November 15, 2019 — Boston mob soldier Stevie Rossetti and Patriarca crime family associate David Turner were recently released from prison early. They were sentenced to nearly 40 years and but did just 20. Both were convicted for plotting to rob the Loomis-Fargo vault, an Easton, Massachusetts armored car way station. Turner is considered a suspect in the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, the biggest art-theft in world history. Another museum heist suspect, infirmed New England gangster, Robert (Bobby the Cook) Gentile, 82, was let loose from a weapons charge back in March.

On the morning of March 18, 1990, two armed men dressed as police officers fleeced the private museum for a half-billion dollars in precious artwork – 13 pieces, including classic paintings from Rembrant, Manet and Vermeer. According to people familiar with the investigation, Turner matched the description of one of the perpetrators.

The art has never been recovered and no arrests have ever been made in the case, yet the investigation remains open and very active to this day. Investigators believe it’s possible that one or both of the stick-up men could be dead and the rare art most likely was never sold (instead, sits somewhere hidden). The museum keeps the original frames empty awaiting the eventual return of the historic paintings.

In the 1990s, Gentile, Rossetti and Turner were part of the same East Boston mob crew. Gentile and Turner headquartered out of the TRC Auto Electric body shop in gritty Dorchester. Turner, a former star football player in high school, was a protégé of Gentile’s longtime partner-in-crime, Robert (Bobby Boost) Guarente, who died of cancer in 2004.

Rossetti, once a rising star in Beantown mob circles, was Guarente’s nephew. He was re sentenced last month by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns to time served.

Guarante gave pieces of the stolen art to Gentile before he passed away, according to Guarente’s widow. The FBI recovered a hand-written list of the paintings and accompanying black-market values in a search of Gentile’s Connecticut residence in 2012.

Gentile and Guarente jumped ship to the Philadelphia mafia in 1998, helping set up an outpost of the Bruno-Scarfo crime family in New England. That same year, Rossetti and Turner were busted alongside Patriarca crime family member Carmello (The Auto Man) Merlino and Merlino’s nephew Billy for planning on blowing up the Loomis-Fargo vault with a grenade and running off with the up to $50,000,000 in cash inside.

Billy Merlino also matched the description of one of the museum robbers. Carmello Merlino died of cancer in 2005 behind bars. The elder Merlino owned TRC Auto Electric, operating gambling, narcotics and fencing rackets out of his office in the back. Rossetti’s cousin Mark rose to become capo of the Patriarca’s East Boston crew prior to taking a drug pinch in 2011 and being outed as a confidential informant for the FBI.

Leave a Reply