Friday, April 18, 2008

Roche pleads guilty to Adolfo Bruno murder

Frankie A. Roche, 35, of Westfield MA, pleaded guilty yesterday to the 2003 murder of Springfield MA underworld figure Adolfo Bruno, according to published reports by Martin Finucane of the Boston Globe and Stephanie Barry of the Springfield Republican.

According to a statement by federal prosecutors, the "hit" was an effort by the Genovese Crime Family to bring to heel the Springfield branch of their organization:

"Members of the Genovese LCN family hierarchy in New York became upset with Adolfo Bruno because he was not sending sufficient tribute payments to New York. Thereafter, a member of the Springfield Crew sought authority from the hierarchy of the Genovese LCN family in New York, pursuant to the rules of La Cosa Nostra, to murder Adolfo Bruno."

On Nov. 23, 2003, Roche (left) greeted Bruno (right), 57, in the parking lot of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society in the South End of Springfield and then shot him six times with a .45-caliber handgun. Bruno was the ranking member of the Springfield Crew at that time. A document from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston named Bruno's alleged successor, Anthony J. Arillotta, as the crew member who requested approval from Genovese higher-ups Pasquale "Scop" Deluca and Arthur "Artie" Nigro for the Bruno murder. The Genovese Crime Family was functioning without a formal boss, as Vincent "the Chin" Gigante was in federal prison. Arillotta is currently serving a three-year sentence in a Massachusetts prison for illegal gaming and loansharking. He could be released as early as next week.

Roche, an associate of the crime family, was reportedly paid $10,000 to assassinate Bruno. He could have received the death penalty, but prosecutors will recommend life in prison as part of a plea deal. His sentence could be further reduced if he aids law enforcement in resolving other cases.

In 2005, authorities charged Roche with murder in aid of racketeering and aiding and abetting. At the state level, he was charged along with two co-defendants, Fotios "Freddy" Geas, 40, and Brandon D. Croteau, 29, who have not been brought to trial. The original state case was indefinitely postponed. U.S. Attorneys would not comment on what is in store for Geas and Croteau.

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Writer, editor, researcher, web publisher, specializing in organized crime history. (I am available to assist with your historical/genealogical research, as well as your writing and editing chores. Email me at
I am editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer; publisher of American Mafia history website; moderator of Mafia-related online forums; author of Wrongly Executed?; coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime; contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime; writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.