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Daily Archives: April 9th, 2009

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Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno

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Frankie  Roche

TAMPA – The federal government  paid a mob hit man $150,000 to settle a lawsuit against the FBI, according to court papers filed today.

Frankie Roche sued the law enforcement agency over injuries he sustained when an agent accidentally shot him in the back when he was in handcuffs and being placed under arrest in Tampa in 2004,

U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore dismissed the lawsuit in February because of the settlement. At the time, authorities would not disclose the amount of the payment.

Roche pleaded guilty in Massachusetts last year to a federal murder charge, admitting he shot and killed Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, the regional boss of the Genovese crime family, in 2003, according to court records. Roche was paid $10,000 to carry out the hit

His attorney, Mark A. Sylvester, has said Roche is cooperating with federal prosecutors and has either entered or will enter the witness protection program.

On Aug. 18, 2004, Roche was being arrested in Tampa on several outstanding warrants out of Massachusetts when FBI Agent David Street shot him, officials said. The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting was accidental.

Officials said Roche was being handcuffed in his friend’s home on Wood Trail Boulevard when he was accidentally shot in the back and critically wounded

A firearms instructor and member of the Tampa FBI’s SWAT team, Street was based in the FBI’s Sarasota office and was the bureau’s lead agent in the Carlie Brucia murder. The 11-year-old girl was abducted as she walked home from a friend’s house in 2004.

Roche sued the federal government in 2007 saying he was shot while “handcuffed and face down on the floor, and in no way resisting arrest.”

The lawsuit says he sustained “severe, life-threatening and permanent injuries

A settlement stipulation filed with U.S, District Court in Tampa today says federal authorities “specifically deny” liability for Roche’s injuries, but are making the payment to settle legal claims “and avoiding the expense and risks of further litigation.”

Roche’s legal fees are to be paid out of the settlement. The fees are not to exceed 25 percent of the payment

thanks ELAINE SILVESTRINI