December 15, 2019 — Western Massachusetts wiseguy David (Fat Chicky) Cecchetelli was the biggest bookie in Springfield in the early 2000s, running a multi-million dollar sports gambling business in partnership with powers in the city’s mafia. He pleaded guilty in 2005, admitting to booking over $3,000,000 worth of bets and did a year in federal prison. Last week, he was arrested for illegal possession of ammunition which the feds came across in a raid of a local residence he shares with his nephew, Michael (King Merlin) Cecchetelli, the reputed east coast regional supervisor for the Latin Kings Nation.
King Merlin Cecchetelli was indicted last week with 62 other Latin Kings and Late Kings affiliates on racketeering, narcotics and attempted murder charges out of federal court. If convicted, King Merlin could face up to 20 years behind bars.
Despite his Italian heritage, Cecchetelli, 40, has risen to the upper echelons of the mainly Hispanic criminal group, doing so by parlaying his ties to the Italian mafia, specifically the Genovese crime family out of New York City, according to prosecutors in the case. The Springfield mob is a faction within the Genovese organization). Per the indictment, Cecchetelli was holding meetings at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society Social Club in Springfield’s South End, Ground Zero for the city’s mob crew going back decades. The 52-year old Fat Chicky Cecchetelli is a longtime member of the club, currently run by the crew’s alleged shot-caller Albert (The Animal) Calvanese.
In the 2000s, Calvanese worked as a loanshark and enforcer for Springfield mob capo Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta, who was Fat Chicky childhood friend, partner and backer in his big-money sports book. Calvanese, 57, would often collect debts for Bingy Arillotta and Fat Chicky’s gambling operation, according to police surveillance reports, and did federal prison time himself for extortion via giving out juice loans.
Arillotta and Cecchetelli both came of age in the mob under slain Springfield crime lord Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno in the 1990s. Bruno was murdered in 2003 on orders from New York, a hit Arillotta was tasked with organizing. Arillotta, 51, succeeded Bruno as capo of the city’s mob crew, but eventually turned against his Genovese bosses in the Bronx, testified against them in court and left the mafia.
Cecchetelli is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and once worked as a corrections officer. Today, he’s in the cast of on-line reality show airing on YouTube (Fuggedaboutit!) starring retired Gambino crime family steward John Gotti, Jr., son of New York mob icon John (The Dapper Don) Gotti, and beginning to build a social-media platform.
Two years ago, Fat Chicky caused a stir when he showed up in the gallery to support Springfield mafia crew member Richie Valentini at his extortion trial, only to be thrown out of court during jury selection. Valentini was found guilty in the case and just walked free from his prison term this past fall.
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