Detective: Suspects' phones near scene of Boulis slaying
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 20, 2006 at 11:59 p.m.
FORT LAUDERDALE - Cell phones belonging to two men charged in the 2001 murder of businessman Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis were within 500 feet when the gangland-style slaying happened and one was used to call a third defendant moments after the killing, one of the case's chief investigators testified Friday.
Art Carbo, a former Fort Lauderdale detective who handled the case until he became an investigator for the state attorney's office in May 2005, testified at a hearing that company records place the cell phones belonging to Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo at the scene of the crime.
"They were within 500 feet or less," Carbo said.
The phone belonging to Ferrari was used moments after Boulis was fatally shot on a Fort Lauderdale street to call Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello, the third defendant in the case. Moscatiello, described by police as linked to New York's Gambino crime family, was an associate of Adam Kidan, who along with partner Jack Abramoff had purchased the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet from Boulis in September 2000.
Boulis, founder of SunCruz and the Miami Subs restaurant chain, was gunned down in his car on Feb. 6, 2001, in the midst of a feud with Kidan over control of SunCruz. Moscatiello, Ferrari and Fiorillo could face the death penalty if convicted of the murder.
Carbo said the phone call from Ferrari's cell phone to Moscatiello - based on Moscatiello's own admissions - described details of the slaying that only the perpetrator or "someone with firsthand knowledge could know."
"None of that information had been made public yet," Carbo said.
The testimony came in a hearing on requests by Moscatiello and Fiorillo, both of whom were in the courtroom, for release on bail before their trial. Ferrari has not yet made such a request and was not present, and his lawyer declined comment on the testimony.
After four hours of testimony, Broward County Circuit Judge Michael Kaplan ordered a recess until sometime next week.
Also testifying Friday was Dwayne Nicholson, an associate of Ferrari's, who said he was approached by Ferrari and Moscatiello about killing Boulis in November 2000. Kaplan ordered news organizations not to photograph or videotape Nicholson's face at the request of prosecutors who say his life is in danger.
Nicholson said that Ferrari and Moscatiello discussed how they "had to take care of Gus" in his presence and that Ferrari asked him directly to do the killing. Nicholson said he refused but then went along because he feared that he would be slain himself because of his knowledge.
"I didn't care whether anybody got killed or not. I didn't want to kill anybody," said Nicholson, who has a lengthy criminal record but went to police with his information the day after Boulis was murdered.
Nicholson testified that Fiorillo told him directly that he had killed Boulis and that he was waiting for his money for the hit. Moscatiello has also said in statements to police that both Fiorillo and Ferrari admitted their involvement; Moscatiello has insisted he never sought to have Boulis killed.
Kidan's name came up only indirectly in the testimony and Abramoff, the well-connected former Washington lobbyist, was not mentioned at all. Neither has been implicated in the Boulis murder.
Kidan and Abramoff have pleaded guilty in a separate federal case to fraud charges arising from their purchase of SunCruz from Boulis. They are awaiting sentencing, and Abramoff also has pleaded guilty to other charges in a Washington corruption investigation of members of Congress and their staffs.
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