Federal agents arrested Andres Fernandez in the murder of 61-year-old Louis Barbati, the co-owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens, a popular pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York, who was shot to death in front of his home on June 30. Fernandez, a 41-year-old alleged drug addict, faces federal murder, robbery, and weapons charges, but refuses to talk about his alleged role.
The arrest was made by FBI agents who are part of the Bureau’s squad investigating La Cosa Nostra in New York, more specifically the Bonanno and Colombo crime families. This suggests some sort of link between the Mafia and the murder of Barbati, however no such connection has yet been found.
Fernandez is an alleged “crack addict,” newspaper the New York Daily News reported. “He had serious drug problems,” one neighbor told the city tabloid. “He had a beautiful family. A wife and two kids. They left him because of the drugs. I’m glad they caught him.”
Authorities were able to identify Fernandez through a combination of surveillance video, witness accounts, vehicle registration, and phone records – data from his cellphone placed him at both the pizzeria and Barbati’s residence on the same day.
Barbati was killed while he carried $15,000 in cash, but after he lay bleeding on the ground, the gunman fled the scene without taking the money. A baffling action if one went through all this trouble to get that cash.
That is why investigators have reason to believe this wasn’t a simple robbery went bad. Now, they are eager to find out whether or not this murder was mob-related. So far they’ve been unable to do so. Fernandez is not cooperating, complicating the investigation and laying blame purely on his shaky junkie shoulders.
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