U.S. Attorney Charges Former Acting Boss of Genovese Organized Crime Family for 2003 Murder, and Five Others for Racketeering Crimes
SPRINGFIELD MA - Reputed mob head Anthony J. Arillotta was arrested early Wednesday morning at his home in connection with the 2003 murder of crime boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno. FBI agents, Massachusetts State Police and Springfield police made the arrest at Arillotta’s home on Chalmers Street house about 6 a.m. The arrest follows weeks of speculation about secret witnesses and possible new arrests here and in New York. Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 42, Arillotta’s onetime enforcer, according to law enforcement officials, had been charged alone in U.S. District Court since 2008 and is poised for trial starting April 5.
Sources familiar with the investigation say the arrest warrant was issued out of U.S. District Court in New York City. Organized crime figures from that state also have been charge in a broad indictment, which has not yet been made public. Investigators’ theory of the case is that Bruno’s murder was a classic mob hit, paid for by a group looking to wrest power over local rackets from the then-local leader of the New York-based Genovese crime family. Bruno was one day shy of 58 when he was gunned down in a dark parking lot. Admitted shooter Frankie A. Roche turned government informant and told FBI agents Geas paid him $10,000 to shoot Bruno at the behest of higher-ranking gangsters.
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, 2/17/2010...JOSEPH DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced the unsealing in Manhattan federal court earlier today of a 13-count Indictment charging ARTHUR NIGRO, the former Acting Boss of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, and ANTHONY ARILLOTTA, a made member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, with various racketeering crimes, including the 2003 murder of ADOLFO BRUNO. In addition, the Indictment charges Genovese Organized Crime Family member STEVE ALFISI with racketeering, and MARCOS CAIO, JAMES COUMOUTSOS, and GEORGE COUMOUTSOS with participating with ALFISI in an illegal gambling operation.
According to an Indictment unsealed earlier today in Manhattan Federal Court: NIGRO, ARILLOTTA, and ALFISI are all made members of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, and NIGRO served for a time as the Acting Boss of the Genovese Family. In November 2003, in their capacities within the Genovese Organized Crime Family, NIGRO and ARILLOTTA murdered ADOLFO BRUNO in order to maintain and increase their position in the Genovese Organized Crime Family, as well as to prevent BRUNO from providing information to law enforcement about crimes committed by members of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. NIGRO and ARILLOTTA are also charged with multiple extortions and other racketeering crimes in their capacities with the Genovese Organized Crime Family.
The Indictment also charges ALFISI with racketeering for his conduct with the Genovese Organized Crime Family including the operation of an illegal gambling business in New York along with co-defendants CAIO, JAMES COUMOUTSOS, and GEORGE COUMOUTSOS.
A chart listing the potential maximum penalties faced by each of the defendants on each count is attached. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge P. KEVIN CASTEL.
NIGRO, 65, and JAMES COUMOUTSOS, 47, both from Bronx, New York, are currently incarcerated on federal and state charges, respectively. ARILLOTTA, 41, was arrested this morning in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts, and was presented in the District of Massachusetts. ALFISI, 45, CAIO, 39, both from Bronx, New York, and GEORGE COUMOUTSOS, 42, of Eastchester, New York, were arrested this morning and are expected to be presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal Court.
Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Joint Organized Crime Task Force -- including agents of the FBI and detectives of the New York Police Department. Mr. BHARARA also thanked the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts State Police for their assistance in the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JONATHAN NEW and MARK LANPHER are in charge of the prosecution.The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
1 RacketeeringConspiracy NIGRO ARILLOTTA ALFISI Maximum sentence of 20 yearsin prison, and fine of thegreater of $250,000, ortwice the gross gain or lossresulting from thecrime
2 Racketeering NIGRO ARILLOTTA ALFISI Maximum sentence of 20 yearsin prison, and fine of thegreater of $250,000, ortwice the gross gain or lossresulting from thecrime
3 Murder In Aid of Racketeering NIGRO ARILLOTTA Mandatory Life, withpossibility of death penalty
4 Murder to Obstruct Justice NIGRO ARILLOTTA Mandatory Life, withpossibility of death penalty
5 Conspiracy toExtort NIGRO ARILLOTTA Maximum sentence of 20 yearsin prison, and fine of thegreater of $250,000, ortwice the gross gain or lossresulting from thecrime
6 Extortion NIGRO ARILLOTTA Maximum sentence of 20 yearsin prison, and fine of thegreater of $250,000, ortwice the gross gain or lossresulting from thecrime
7 Conspiracy toMake Extortionate Extensions of Credit NIGRO ALFISI Maximum sentence of 20 yearsin prison, and fine of thegreater of $250,000, ortwice the gross gain or lossresulting from thecrime
Bill Warner Director of CSPI..Covert Surveillance by Private Investigators at WBI Inc.