When the pieces of the green Ford stake-body truck were found at the dump in Stoughton on March 4, , additional emphasis was placed on the investigations concerning them. Local officers searched their homes, but no evidence linking them with the truck or the robbery was found.
A Federal search warrant was obtained, and the home was searched by agents on April 27, Several hundred dollars were found hidden in the house but could not be identified as part of the loot. Following their arrests, a former bondsman in Boston made frequent trips to Towanda in an unsuccessful effort to secure their release on bail. Although Gusciora was acquitted of the charges against him in Towanda, he was removed to McKean County, Pennsylvania, to stand trial for burglary, larceny, and receiving stolen goods. On October 11, , Gusciora was sentenced to serve from five to twenty years in the Western Pennsylvania Penitentiary at Pittsburgh.
Even in their jail cells, however, they showed no respect for law enforcement. He had been questioned concerning his whereabouts on January 17, , and was unable to provide any specific account of where he had been. He had been released on parole from the Norfolk, Massachusetts, Prison Colony on August 22, —only five months before the robbery. Questioned by Boston police on the day following the robbery, Baker claimed that he had eaten dinner with his family on the evening of January 17, , and then left home at about p. Since he claimed to have met no one and to have stopped nowhere during his walk, he actually could have been doing anything between and on the night of the crime.
Prominent among the other strong suspects was Vincent James Costa, brother-in-law of Pino. Costa was associated with Pino in the operation of a motor terminal and a lottery in Boston. He had been convicted of armed robbery in and served several months in the Massachusetts State Reformatory and the Norfolk, Massachusetts, Prison Colony. Costa claimed that after working at the motor terminal until approximately p. Pino and Baker separately decided to go out at p. Costa started back to the motor terminal at about p. Other principal suspects were not able to provide very convincing accounts of their activities that evening.
Since the robbery had taken place between approximately and p. By fixing this time as close as possible to the minute at which the robbery was to begin, the robbers would have alibis to cover their activities up to the final moment. Unfortunately, this proved to be an idle hope. After completing its hearings on January 9, , the Grand Jury retired to weigh the evidence. Ten of the persons who appeared before this Grand Jury breathed much more easily when they learned that no indictments had been returned.
Edgar Hoover and his men were convinced that they had identified the actual robbers, but evidence and witnesses had to be found. Born in Italy in , Pino was a very young child when he entered the United States. But he never became a naturalized citizen. Due to his criminal record, the Immigration and Naturalization Service instituted proceedings in to deport him.
This occurred while he was in the state prison at Charlestown, Massachusetts, serving sentences for breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony and for having burglar tools in his possession. Pino determined to fight against deportation. In the late Summer of , he was released from the state prison and was taken into custody by Immigration authorities. During the preceding year, however, he had filed a petition for pardon in the hope of removing one of the criminal convictions from his record. He was granted a full pardon by the Acting Governor of Massachusetts.
The pardon meant that his record no longer contained the second conviction; thus, the Immigration and Naturalization Service no longer had grounds to deport him. On January 12, , Pino was released on bail pending a deportation hearing. Again, he determined to fight, using the argument that his conviction for the larceny offense was not a basis for deportation. After surrendering himself in December, , in compliance with an Immigration and Naturalization Service order, he began an additional battle to win release from custody while his case was being argued. In the deportation fight which lasted more than two years, Pino won the final victory.
His case had gone to the highest court in the land. While on bond he returned to Boston; and on January 23, , he appeared in the Boston Municipal Court on the probation violation charge. During his brief stay in Boston, he was observed to contact other members of the robbery gang. He needed money for his defense against the charges in McKean County, and it was obvious that he had developed a bitter attitude toward a number of his close underworld associates.
Within two months of his return, another member of the gang suffered a legal setback. If Baker heard these rumors, he did not wait around very long to see whether they were true. Soon the underworld rang with startling news concerning this pair. All denied any knowledge of the alleged incident. By this time, Baker was suffering from a bad case of nerves. Baker fled and the brief meeting adjourned.
This incident also took place in Dorchester and involved the firing of more than 30 shots. Five bullets which had missed their mark were found in a building nearby. On August 1, , he was arrested at Leicester, Massachusetts, and turned over to the Boston police who held him for violating probation on a gun-carrying charge. Other members of the robbery gang also were having their troubles. Faherty had been questioned on the night of the robbery. He claimed he had been drinking in various taverns from approximately p. Some persons claimed to have seen him.
Continuous investigation, however, had linked him with the gang. In and , Faherty was convicted of armed robbery violations. Due to unsatisfactory conduct, drunkenness, refusal to seek employment, and association with known criminals, his parole was revoked and he was returned to the Massachusetts State Prison.
Seven months later, however, he was again paroled. McGinnis had been arrested at the site of a still in New Hampshire in February, In the Fall of , an upper court overruled the conviction on the grounds that the search and seizure of the still were illegal. Adolph Maffie, who had been convicted of income tax violation in June, , was released from the Federal Corrections Institution at Danbury, Connecticut, on January 30, Banfield had been a close associate of McGinnis for many years. Although he had been known to carry a gun, burglary—rather than armed robbery—was his criminal specialty; and his exceptional driving skill was an invaluable asset during criminal getaways.
Like the others, Banfield had been questioned concerning his activities on the night of January 17, One of his former girl friends who recalled having seen him on the night of the robbery stated that he definitely was not drunk.
Even Pino, whose deportation troubles then were a heavy burden, was arrested by the Boston police in August, During the regular exercise period, Burke separated himself from the other prisoners and moved toward a heavy steel door leading to the solitary confinement section. As a guard moved to intercept him, Burke started to run. An automobile identified as the car used in the escape was located near a Boston hospital, and police officers concealed themselves in the area. This vehicle was traced through motor vehicle records to Pino.
On August 30, he was taken into custody as a suspicious person. Pino admitted having been in the area, claiming that he was looking for a parking place so that he could visit a relative in the hospital. He subsequently was convicted and executed. The conviction for burglary in McKean County, Pennsylvania, still hung over his head, and legal fees remained to be paid.
It appeared to him that he would spend his remaining days in prison while his co-conspirators would have many years to enjoy the luxuries of life.
Even if released, he thought, his days were numbered. There had been three attempts on his life in June, , and his frustrated assassins undoubtedly were waiting for him to return to Boston. Through long weeks of empty promises of assistance and deliberate stalling by the gang members, he began to realize that his threats were falling on deaf ears. As long as he was in prison, he could do no physical harm to his Boston criminal associates.
After a period of hostility, he began to display a friendly attitude. Interviewed again on December 28, , he talked somewhat more freely, and it was obvious that the agents were gradually winning his respect and confidence. At p. After each interview, FBI agents worked feverishly into the night checking all parts of his story which were subject to verification.
Many of the details had previously been obtained during the intense six-year investigation. The gang at that time included all of the participants in the January 17, , robbery except Henry Baker. Many problems and dangers were involved in such a robbery, and the plans never crystallized. Almost immediately, the gang began laying new plans.
Each of them had surreptitiously entered the premises on several occasions after the employees had left for the day. During their forays inside the building, members of the gang took the lock cylinders from five doors, including the one opening onto Prince Street. While some gang members remained in the building to ensure that no one detected the operation, other members quickly obtained keys to fit the locks.
Then the lock cylinders were replaced. Investigation to substantiate this information resulted in the location of the proprietor of a key shop who recalled making keys for Pino on at least four or five evenings in the Fall of Pino previously had arranged for this man to keep his shop open beyond the normal closing time on nights when Pino requested him to do so.
Each of the five lock cylinders was taken on a separate occasion. The removal of the lock cylinder from the outside door involved the greatest risk of detection. A passerby might notice that it was missing. Accordingly, another lock cylinder was installed until the original one was returned. Considerable thought was given to every detail. When the robbers decided that they needed a truck, it was resolved that a new one must be stolen because a used truck might have distinguishing marks and possibly would not be in perfect running condition. Shortly thereafter—during the first week of November—a green Ford stake-body truck was reported missing by a car dealer in Boston.
None of these materialized because the gang did not consider the conditions to be favorable. At approximately p. Banfield, the driver, was alone in the front. Geagan and Richardson, known associates of other members of the gang, were among the early suspects. Richardson had participated with Faherty in an armed robbery in February Sentenced to serve from five to seven years for this offense, he was released from prison in September, When questioned concerning his activities on the night of January 17, , Richardson claimed that after unsuccessfully looking for work he had several drinks and then returned home.
Investigation revealed that Geagan, a laborer, had not gone to work on January 17 or 18, Each man also was given a pistol and a Halloween-type mask. Each carried a pair of gloves. This was in their favor. Using the outside door key they had previously obtained, the men quickly entered and donned their masks.
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When the employees were securely bound and gagged, the robbers began looting the premises. During this operation, a pair of glasses belonging to one of the employees was unconsciously scooped up with other items and stuffed into a bag of loot. As this bag was being emptied later that evening, the glasses were discovered and destroyed by the gang. Before the robbers could take him prisoner, the garage attendant walked away.
Although the attendant did not suspect that the robbery was taking place, this incident caused the criminals to move more swiftly. Before fleeing with the bags of loot, the seven armed men attempted to open a metal box containing the payroll of the General Electric Company. They had brought no tools with them, however, and were unsuccessful. Immediately upon leaving, the gang loaded the loot into the truck which was parked on Prince Street near the door. The loot was quickly unloaded, and Banfield sped away to hide the truck.
Geagan, who was on parole at the time, left the truck before it arrived at the home in Roxbury where the loot was unloaded.
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He was certain he would be considered a strong suspect and wanted to begin establishing an alibi immediately. While the others stayed at the house to make a quick count of the loot, Pino and Faherty departed. Approximately one and one-half hours later, Banfield returned with McGinnis. Prior to this time, McGinnis had been at his liquor store.
He was not with the gang when the robbery took place. Before removing the remainder of the loot from the house on January 18, , the gang members attempted to identify incriminating items. It was given to him in a suitcase which was transferred to his car from an automobile occupied by McGinnis and Banfield. He told the interviewing agents that he trusted Maffie so implicitly that he gave the money to him for safe keeping. First, there was the money. In addition, McGinnis was named in two other complaints involving the receiving and concealing of the loot.
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