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Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that VINCENT BRUNO pled guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison to attempting to kill, and conspiring to kill, a Bronx man in 2012. In May 2017, BRUNO and 18 other members and associates of the Luchese Family of La Cosa Nostra were arrested and charged in a nine-count Indictment, for their involvement in offenses including racketeering, murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, and gun crimes. Since the unsealing of the Indictment, BRUNO and nine other defendants have pled guilty, and have been or will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Bruno’s attempt to murder a man at the behest of his mob superiors has ended where it should: With Bruno behind bars. We will continue to work with the FBI and our other partners in law enforcement to stamp out the remnants of La Cosa Nostra.”
According to the superseding information to which BRUNO pled guilty, his statements when pleading guilty, the allegations in the Indictment, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:
In 2012, armed members and associates of the Bonanno Family of La Cosa Nostra forced their way into a Bronx social club controlled by the Luchese Family. During the ensuing confrontation, one of the Bonanno Family associates (the “Associate”) acted in a manner that a leader of the Luchese Family, Steven L. Crea (“Crea Sr.”), perceived as a personal affront. To avenge this supposed offense, Crea Sr. ordered his son, Steven D. Crea (“Crea Jr.”), to have the Associate killed. Crea Jr. passed the order to Paul Cassano Jr., a/k/a “Paulie Roast Beef,” and BRUNO. On a subsequent night, BRUNO and Cassano travelled to the Associate’s Bronx residence. There BRUNO, armed with a gun, tried to find the Associate in order to kill him, but failed. The dispute between the rival families was then resolved before the murder was carried out.
In conjunction with this incident, Cassano pled guilty to attempted assault in aid of racketeering in 2017. Crea Sr. and Crea Jr. are also charged with attempting to have the Associate killed and other crimes, and are scheduled to begin trial before Judge Seibel in 2019.
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BRUNO, 34, pled guilty to one count of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and one count of conspiracy against the United States. In total, the counts to which BRUNO pled guilty carry a maximum sentence of 15 years. BRUNO will be sentenced before Judge Seibel.
The allegations contained in the Indictment as to Crea Sr., Crea Jr., and the other defendants who have not pled guilty are merely accusations, and these defendants are presumed unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Joint Organized Crime Task Force, which comprises agents and detectives of the FBI, NYPD, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. He also thanked the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Scott Hartman, Hagan Scotten, and Jacqueline Kelly are in charge of the prosecution.