Opting against a new identity and the cozy confines of the Witness Protection Program, former Springfield, Massachusetts mafia crew leader Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta came back home earlier this month after completing an eight-year prison sentence in a federal security wing and testifying in multiple mob trials against gangland superiors and underlings alike. The news of Arillotta’s return to Western Massachusetts was broke Monday morning by acclaimed local mob scribe Stephanie Barry of MassLive.com (read here).

A little balder, a little fatter, good ole Bingy has had a difficult time keeping a low profile. According to Barry’s story, there have been numerous sightings of him around town in his first week back.

The 48-year old Arillotta ran the Springfield mafia, a wing of the Genovese crime family out of New York City, from 2003 through 2009, killing his way to the top area’s mob kingdom and grabbing ahold of the region’s rackets with vicious and coldblooded calculation. Arillotta admitted to orchestrating the November 23, 2003 assassination of his predecessor and underworld mentor, Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno, outside Bruno’s Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society Social Club in Springfield’s South End. His testimony brought down Genovese syndicate acting boss Arthur (Little Artie) Nigro, his best friends and top henchmen, the Geas brothers (Ty and Freddy), among a cast of others.

Nigro sanctioned the Bruno hit and tapped the young and ruthless Arillotta his replacement as capo of the Genovese’s Massachusetts satellite. The Geas helped Arillotta bludgeon and shoot his brother-in-law Gary Westerman, a convicted drug dealer and mob associate, to death the week before Bruno was slain. Bruno, 57 at the time of his murder, was gunned down by hired assassin Frankie Roche getting into his Chevy Suburban SUV leaving a card game.

Westerman had been a police informant and angered Arillotta’s family by seducing and marrying his sister, who was 30 years younger than him. Colorful, gregarious and a longtime fixture of the Western Massachusetts mob scene, Big Al Bruno simply stood in the way of Arillotta’s self-appointed destiny to ascend to the boss’ seat in Springfield before his 40th birthday – Arillotta created and circulated a false narrative that Bruno was an FBI snitch, waving around a court document recounting a casual conversation between Big Al and an FBI agent in a public setting as his proof.

Roche became a witness for the government too. The Geas didn’t and are both serving life prison sentences. Nigro is locked up for the rest of his life as well.

Just like Arillotta, former Springfield mob heavy Felix Tranghese joined Team USA and testified against his fellow mafia contemporaries but refused admittance into the Witness Protection Program. Tranghese, 64, left prison in 2014 and is resettled in the Springfield community living life on the straight and narrow these days.

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