Gennaro “Jerry” Bruno’s criminal career began when he joined a violent Ozone Park, Queens, street gang called the Young Guns. Surrounded by a group of young, wannabe thugs, Bruno began establishing his credentials as a gangster. His end goal was clear: La Cosa Nostra.
Throughout its history, the American Mafia has used street gangs as a breeding ground for its members. It was a way for them to let young bucks run wild and watch them grow into something worth recruiting.
By 2000, Bruno was deemed worthy as he became an associate of the Gambino crime family in New York, joining the Corozzo crew run by consigliere Joseph “JoJo” Corozzo. The following 14 years, Bruno grew into his new role as mobster. Together with other Gambino crime family members and associates he moved large quantities of high-potency marijuana from Canada into the New York City area.
As always in the Mafia, greed began fucking up a good thing. In 2001, Bruno’s criminal associate Martin Bosshart began making efforts to exclude one of Bruno’s buddy’s from the marijuana importation operation. Actions that cost Bosshart dearly.
When Bruno found out about Bosshart’s plotting, he began a plot of himself. A murder plot to be exact. On the night of January 2, 2002, Bruno lured Bosshart to an isolated location in Queens, New York. There, he shot his backstabbing partner in the back of the head at point-blank range, killing him immediately. The body of 30-year-old Martin Bosshart was recovered at the scene.
For Bruno, meanwhile, it was business as usual. He continued his lucrative drug business and also used his position in the Gambino crime family to extract extortionate payments from the owner of a waste carting company in Queens.
All the while, he evaded justice for years and conspired with other Gambino associates to obstruct an official grand jury investigation into the Bosshart murder. But one can only run from the law for so long. Ask Sicilian Cosa Nostra boss Bernardo Provenzano or Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger.
On October 28, 2014, Bruno was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with racketeering and the murder of Martin Bosshart. Last week, the 43-year-old Gambino mobster pleaded guilty to these charges. As part of his plea agreement, he will receive 21 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 6, 2016.
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