SUNBURY — A self-proclaimed “hitman for the mob” may be making his way to the Northumberland County Prison upon his extradition from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It’s the “when” that is causing grief to state troopers in the Valley.
Anthony Rocco Franklin, 72, is was being sought for the murder of Frank Spencer in July 2012.
Maria Sanutti-Spencer was arrested in August on charges she and her father, Franklin, plotted to kill the 46-year old Millville resident shortly after the Spencer divorce became final.
Franklin was captured while walking down Gurruchago, a street in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires, state police at Bloomsburg said.
Maria Sanutti-Spencer told investigators two months ago her father was dodging authorities in South America and the arrest in South American validated her claim.
It’s getting Franklin back that seems to be the problem, said arresting officer Cpl. Shawn Williams, who worked with state and federal agencies and authorities in Argentina to capture Franklin.
“We have been told he has not had his extradition hearing yet,” Williams said Friday.
“We don’t even know if he is going to fight that.”
Williams, who never gave up on the case from the beginning, said once the extradition process is complete and Franklin is returned to the United States, he will be sent to a Valley jail, either in Northumberland County or Montour County.
‘We can’t have him in the same jail as his daughter,” Williams said.
Sanutti-Spencer is being housed in the Columbia County Prison, in Bloomsburg.
Williams said once the extradition process is complete, Franklin will be flown to Florida, where Williams will be waiting.
From there, Franklin will be escorted to Philadelphia by Williams and U.S. Marshals.
Franklin then would be brought back to Columbia County for his arraignment and then placed in jail until he stands trial.
“This is in the hands of the officials in Argentina and the U.S. Department of Justice right now,” Williams said. “We are just seeing some of the red tape but we will be getting him back here.”
Franklin is being held at the Federal Penitentiary Service in Argentina and when he does return to Columbia County he will face he will face the same charges as his daughter, police said. Sanutti-Spencer was ordered to stand trial after a nearly 12-hour preliminary hearing in Columbia County Court.
Witness testified Sanutti-Spencer would often tell friends how she vowed to kill her ex-husband and would tell them she torched the home of Spencer’s girlfriend.
Sanutti-Spencer, a kidney transplant recipient who looked thin and frail, listened as a former co-worker testified the 49-year-old soccer mom said at least 20 times she was going to kill Spencer — and even described how she would do it.
Spencer’s body was found inside his home in Millville. He had been shot once in the torso with a .30-caliber rifle, and in the head and neck, from close range, with a .357 handgun, prosecutors said.
Sanutti-Spencer had said on the day of her arrest that her father was in South America and claimed police only arrested her to lure him out of hiding.
Franklin’s son, Anthony Sanutti, of Northumberland, is the owner of the Brass Key bar on Reagan Street.
The establishment caught fire in January and was ruled to be not suspicious.