Records show Springfield crime boss was warned of impending hit

Associated Press / February 22, 2010

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SPRINGFIELD - Organized crime boss Adolfo “Big Al’’ Bruno was warned he was a target more than a year before he was gunned down, according to records unsealed in Hamden Superior Court.

The Republican of Springfield says the records show that an FBI agent wrote Feb. 12, 2002, that Bruno was advised of a threat. An unidentified informant in a federal witness protection program said someone wanted to take control of crime rackets.

That person’s name was blacked out in a copy of the report obtained by the newspaper.

Bruno was shot in November 2003 as he left his regular Sunday night card game in Springfield.

The would-be assassin “wanted to put a ‘hit’ ’’ on Bruno and wanted to take over Bruno’s business, the report said.

The report and others are among hundreds of pages of court records recently unsealed in Hampden Superior Court after requests by The Republican. However, thousands of pages of information remain under seal.

Judge C. Brian McDonald ruled that impoundment orders in the six-year-old case involving Bruno’s slaying were not enforced properly and were at times without merit.

He agreed that many documents could be made public without compromising the investigation.

Fotios “Freddy’’ Geas has pleaded not guilty in US District Court in Springfield to murder in aid of racketeering in Bruno’s death.

Frankie Roche, the admitted triggerman, cooperated with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to murder.

Federal authorities said last week that Anthony Arillotta of Springfield and Arthur “The Short Guy’’ Nigro of New York also were charged in a federal indictment with crimes including murder to obstruct justice and racketeering conspiracy.

Court filings allege that the 41-year-old Arillotta “green-lighted’’ Bruno’s murder with Nigro’s blessing.