SPRINGFIELD — A former bookie for the Genovese wing of La Cosa Nostra in Springfield is heading to jail for “being a felon in possession of ammunition.”
On April 22, David “Chicky” Cecchetelli, 54, was sentenced to 63 days in jail and one year of home confinement with electronic monitoring by U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, her sentencing follows a guilty plea from Cecchetelli in December 2021 for one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition.
On Dec. 5, 2019, Cecchetelli was arrested during a nationwide crackdown on the Latin Kings whose primary target was his nephew, and then roomate, Michael “King Merlin” Cecchetelli, 42, the East Coast leader of the Latin Kings, MassLive reported.
After busting down the doors and arresting King Merlin during an early morning raid of Chicky’s multifamily home in Springfield’s Forest Park neighborhood, federal agents conducted a search of the residence and found a gun and ammunition in Chicky’s bedroom. (The ammunition was hidden under Chicky’s mattress).
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in 2005, Chicky was convicted of bookmaking with the underboss of the Springfield La Cosa Nostra. This conviction prohibited him from possessing firearms as well as ammunition.
Although Chicky did share blood and his residence with the East Coast leader of the Latin Kings, federal investigators did not directly tie him to that particular sting, which included 59 members plus his nephew.
However, the Daily Mail reported in 2020, that the FBI’s Boston Office speculated that John Gotti Jr., the acting boss of the Gambino crime family in the 90s, had been covertly organizing the Latin Kings using a comparable structure to La Cosa Nostra. Gotti did this by instructing Chicky and Michael at meetings held at the Mount Carmel Social Club in Springfield, where Adolfo ‘Big Al’ Bruno, the former capo of the Springfield wing of La Cosa Nostra was murdered in 2003.
“We believe, under Cecchetelli’s leadership, the eastern region of the Latin Kings is currently structured, organized and run like La Cosa Nostra,” FBI Special Agent Joseph Bonavolonta said when King Merlin was arrested.
Authorities at the time believed Gotti had been running the Latin Kings with a Mafia-style hierarchy that included a council of leaders and 11 chapters throughout the state of Massachusetts, the Daily Mail reported.
Since his 2005 conviction for bookmaking, the FBI has described Chicky as a “known associate” of the New York-based crime family, though his defense lawyer at the time said he was “not a member of that organization,” MassLive reported.