Rat Roche to Cool Heels in Prison for 14 Years

By | March 5, 2013
Big Al, slain in 2003 by
Nigro and Geas brothers.

Frankie A. Roche was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for the 2003 murder of Genovese family captain Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno.

The decade-long investigation into the hit has involved four made members of the Genovese family, as well as several associates, met its climax at Roche’s sentencing hearing on Friday in U.S. District Court.

Roche was the first to be arrested, in 2004, and also the first to turn government witness in 2007.

He pleaded guilty in federal court in 2008 and was a star witness at two racketeering and murder trials conducted in federal court in New York City.

At the hearing, Roche spoke without emotion of the Bruno hit, but cried as he addressed Judge Michael A. Ponsor about his sentencing.

“My involvement with and the carrying out of Mr. Bruno’s murder came at a time in my life when I had no regard for my life or anyone else’s,” Roche said.

040207 frankie roche mug.JPG
Frankie Roche

In September 2011, former acting boss of the Genovese family Arthur Nigro and two associates, Fotios Geas and Ty Geas, who are brothers, were sentenced to life in prison in Manhattan federal court for multiple crimes, including the 2003 murder plot against “Big Al,” a then-capo in the Genovese family, in Springfield, Mass. Authorities alleged that Nigro ordered the hit to increase his power in the Genovese family, and to punish Bruno for allegedly speaking to the FBI.

During the trial for Big Al’s murder, Masslive.com reported that Roche “coolly told jurors of a criminal history that began when he was a boy in Westfield, Mass., with grand theft auto, armed robbery and a prison escape.”
“The lanky, tattooed former fringe character” in Springfield’s organized crime circles pleaded guilty in 2008, having admitted to shooting Bruno six to seven times for $10,000.