Law enforcement largely has been unable to penetrate the Genovese family -- the ivy league of organized crime -- but recent flips suggest the feds may have gotten the breaks it's long needed to make a major strike.
Arthur Nigro, the reputed former acting boss, is set for a March 8 trial in a Mahattan federal court involving the 2003 hit on Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno who was the family capo in Springfield, MA, and according to court filings federal prosecutors have assembled a roster of government witnesses who have jumped off the Genovese ship.
Among those wise guys who have wised up are Anthony "Bingy" Arillotta, the reputed capo who allegedly succeeded Bruno, and reputed capo Felix Tranghese, and their plea agreements recently were unsealed as reported by Stephanie Barry for The Republican. The crimes to which Arillotta has admitted are extensive -- including a role in the 2003 murders of Bruno and Arillotta's brother-in-law Gary Westerman, involvement with the 2003 attempted murder of New York union official Frank Dadabo, and a hand in the crime family's gambling, loansharking, drug trafficking and shakedown rackets -- and his confessions will ripple throughout the Genovese clan. Indeed, Arillotta has knowledge of the family's drug operations going back a full two decades, and its pervasive extortion against multiple bars, restaurants, strip clubs and other businesses in Springfield and Hartford, CT and New York, NY.
Moreover, John "Big John" Bologna, a reputed Genovese soldier from the Bronx, NY whose plea agreement also was unsealed, apparently "has been an FBI informant for five years" as reported by Stephanie Barry for The Republican: "But, prosecutors have said they do not intend to call him as a witness at trial, despite his ties to Nigro and direct knowledge of the racketeering and murder conspiracies he conceded in his guilty plea. Bologna also admitted to a 2002 shakedown of Mardi Gras owner James Santaniello, plus gambling and loan-sharking operations he ran between 2004 and 2007."
The Genovese crime family long has avoided a major bust due to the lack of defections among its members; however, its fortune may be changing.