NEW YORK – Lawyers for Emilio Fusco – a convicted loan shark from Longmeadow soon to stand trial in federal court in Manhattan for two organized-crime murders – have long denied his ties to the Mafia.
Prosecutors contend, though, that Fusco was recruited in the early 1990s for the Western Massachusetts faction of the Genovese crime family by onetime capo Albert “Baba” Scibelli, who died in February from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 91. Fusco began building his stock in the rackets here as a driver for Scibelli, according to recent filings U.S. District Court in New York City, where faces trial beginning next week.
Fusco is accused of a litany of organized-crime conspiracies, including the 2003 murders of regional mob boss Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and low-level associate Gary D. Westerman, narcotics trafficking and extorting bar and business owners. He has denied any involvement in the plots, much of which was documented in last year’s trial of three other defendants in the same court.
The prosecution contends Fusco fled to his native Sorrento, Italy, in the spring of 2010, days after law enforcement officials began digging for Westerman’s remains in a wooded lot in Agawam on the advice of newly-minted informant Anthony J. Arillotta. Fusco was arrested in August of that year in the small Italian village where, his lawyers have argued, he had traveled on family business, not to avoid prosecution.