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New York mobster, a murder suspect, nabbed in Las Vegas

By Launce Rake

The New York Mafia may be a thing of the past in the Las Vegas casino industry, but its associates still end up here now and then.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week announced the arrest of a reputed Gambino family crime figure in Las Vegas. Gennaro “Jerry” Bruno was charged with the execution-style murder of a New York man more than a decade ago.

The FBI described Bruno as an associate of the Gambino family, one of the Five Families in New York City that at one time constituted the organized crime syndicate called the Commission, formed by Charlie “Lucky” Luciano in 1931. The Gambino family’s heritage goes back even further to a gang formed in the 1890s.

Federal officials said Bruno, 47, graduated from a youth gang to the Gambino family years ago and was one of a group called “The Young Guns” in the period when the so-called “Teflon Don” John Gotti was head of the crime family.

“As alleged, Gennaro Bruno started his criminal career at a young age as a member of a street gang where he earned his criminal credentials,” said Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “He then graduated to become an associate in the Gambino crime family where he proved himself to be both an earner for the family and capable of murder.”

The Young Guns were also known variously as the Liberty Posse or the Ozone Park Boys. Both this Gambino “crew” and Bruno personally have been linked to high-profile racketeering and murder cases in New York and Florida since the 1990s.

Bruno has been in and out of prison since at least 1997, and pleaded guilty to extortion in a New York waste-hauling business in 2003. He was, according to published reports, indicted on a charge of conspiracy to murder federal witnesses in 2004. Bruno was identified then as an associate of Ronald “Ronnie One Arm” Trucchio, a “capo” of the Gambino family and Gotti protégé. Trucchio, 62, is serving a life sentence for numerous racketeering-related federal offenses.

The latest charges against Bruno stem from the January 2002 murder of a gang associate, Martin Bosshart, in Howard Beach, Queens, New York. Federal authorities say a dispute over control of  marijuana-importation operations from Canada led to Bosshart taking a bullet in the back of the head. Bosshart’s body was found at the scene of the murder, described by the FBI as “an isolated area” of Queens.

“Bruno was as ruthless as he was calculating, and after a long run of evading justice, Bruno’s gig is up,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said.

The FBI alleges that Bruno evaded justice for years while continuing to participate in “core money-making activities of the Gambino crime family including drug trafficking and extortion.”

According to federal prison records, Bruno was released from federal prison just more than a year ago. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Jeff German reported that Bruno was arrested while reporting to his probation supervisor in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

A day later, a federal judge refused to grant Bruno bail and, at the urging of federal prosecutors, said the suspect will remain in a local jail until he goes to New York to face the most recent charges.

“The arrests and charges announced today are a testament to the tireless pursuit of justice by law enforcement,” Lynch said. “We will not rest until violent criminals who use their Mafia ties to obstruct justice and evade the law are brought to justice.”