The New York FBI brought John Bologna into its fold and protected him. His story is told by a reporter from far out in the west of Massachusetts, Stephanie Barry of the Springfield Republican newspaper. She has been covering the 2003 murder of Alfredo “Big Al” Bruno who was born in Bracigliano, Italy, and worked his way up to be the Mafia kingpin in the Springfield area.
Bruno was the frequent racquetball partner of the Hampden County DA Matty Ryan. Matty used to show up every year at the State House at the DA budget hearings and yell and scream at the legislators claiming that they were not properly funding his office. When the budget came out they proved his point.
Stephanie Barry reported that the prosecutors filed a 34-page summary that “offers a fascinating picture of a mobster whom investigators have previously gone to great lengths to protect.” Unlike with the Whitey/Connolly/Flemmi relationship, we aren’t informed of the identity of the FBI handlers of Bologna.
Court records submitted in advance of his sentencing document Bologna was an informant for 17 years, longer than Whitey, while ascending through the ranks of the Gambino, then the Genovese crime families. He ultimately landed in the latter’s inner circle. Bologna helped plot murders, orchestrated shakedowns and manipulated the entire crime landscape in Greater Springfield from 2001 to 2003 according to the prosecutors.
As a long-time associate of the Gambino Mafia Organized Crime Family from the 1970s to the 1990s he helped run large-scale bookmaking operations and aided in the corrupt control of the garbage industry. He switched teams to align with Genovese Mafia family boss Arthur “Artie” Nigro in 1999.
He became Nigro’s “right-hand-man” in overseeing rackets in New York and beyond. He helped plot murders, orchestrated shakedowns and manipulated the entire crime landscape in Greater Springfield from 2001 to 2003. He worked with Nigro until Nigro was jailed on extortion charges in 2006. Nigro is now serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2011 in connection with the Bruno murder and other crimes
Bologna pled guilty on charges brought in connection with the Bruno murder including conspiracy to murder Bruno. The prosecutors said he didn’t give the order to murder Bruno but knew he knew full well that the order had been given. When the guys who were supposed to do it weren’t moving fast enough, Bologna told them to “do what they had been told to do” in carrying out the murder, the prosecutor’s memo states.
When Bologna pled guilty in 2009 he was allowed release with no bail, as he continued to cooperate. His deal only began to unravel in earnest when another of those implicated in Bruno’s murder began to cooperated and it appeared Bologna had been evasive and left out critical details of his own involvement in several schemes. This person said Bologna was the instigator for a good deal of the tension that arose in Springfield pitting mobsters against each other, and creating strife where none had previously existed.
One interesting note is that Massachusetts state police went to the New York FBI looking for information on Bologna. They had started surveilling Bologna who was hanging around Springfield. After making that inquiry, they noticed that Bologna had mysteriously and abruptly stopped coming to Springfield. State police said they suspected a leak but had no idea Bologna’s was an informant. The U.S. attorney’s memo, as expected, did not address that aspect of the case.
Bologna’s ten or so years younger than Whitey. Whitey criminal career as a gangster started after he got out of prison probably in the late 1960s and ran until 1995; Bologna’s ran from the 1970s to 2009, and probably until after 2011 about the same length of time. Whitey may have been an informant 15 years; Bologna 17. Bologna was in the Mafia, Whitey on his own.
Bologna was in on the planning of the murder of a Mafia boss in Springfield, As the right hand man of a Mafia boss of the Genovese and an up and comer in the Gambino family you know he was as vicious as Whitey. He planned many murders. The FBI went to great lengths to protect him including tipping him off that the state police were watching him.
I’m sure if we could look into the FBI file on Bologna we’d see things were done for him in the same manner things were done for Whitey and Stevie. I’m almost positive there were guys who were willing to give Bologna up who are no longer with us. I’d ask the same question about Bologna that many have asked about Whitey, how is it he could have operated so openly and for so long without having been put in prison. I’d like to know how many people around him were that lucky.
You’ve heard of John Gotti. He was the leader of the Gambino family. You can look up the records and see how many murders they were involved in. Then go check out the Genovese family. How many of those did Bologna bring about after learning information from the FBI?
The point is the situation with Whitey is not unique to the FBI nor is the situation with Connolly’s handling of him. If we could see the FBI files on its Top Echelon informants we’d see that. But what we’ve seen is only one file and have jumped to the conclusion that it is unique. How can we possibly do that without seeing the others yet that is what we have done.
Common sense and the little else we’ve been able to learn is that Whitey was no more than a common run-of-the-mill Top Echelon informant. Connolly did for him what every other FBI agent has done for his Top Echelon informant. It’s just that we’ve been taught otherwise like the ancients believed the sun revolved around the earth because that was what they were told.