Gotti and associates charged with violent crimes

After acceptinng an 8-year sentence in a drug case, John Gotti, grandson of the late Mafia don, is charged in a new federal case with bank robbery and arson.
Photo by Ellis Kaplan
By Mark Hallum

John Gotti, the grandson and namesake of the notorious Gambino crime boss, has been indicted on more charges following his eight-year prison sentence earlier this month for peddling prescription drugs.

Acting Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde announced Wednesday the new indictments of Gotti, along with several individuals from the Bonanno crime family, on charges of arson, bank robbery, Hobbs Act robberies and firearms offenses. The Bonannos are a mob family within La Cosa Nostra, while the original John Gotti was head of the Gambino crime family.

“The defendants are charged with committing an assortment of violent crimes – arson to exact punishment for a perceived slight and robberies to unjustly enrich themselves. This office and its partners will continue to vigilantly pursue such organized violence and stop it in its tracks,” Rohde said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced in early March young Gotti had been sentenced to eight years in prison following a guilty plea for selling prescription drugs that earned him an estimated $1.6 million a year. The 23-year-old had been operating his drug trade in Howard beach and Ozone Park.

In the latest case, Gotti was arraigned beside reputed mobster Vincent Asaro, 82; Michael Guidici, 22, of Queens; Matthew “Fat Matt” Rullan, 26, of Queens; Christopher Boothby, 37, a Bonanno associate, of Queens; Darren Elliot, 30, of Queens; Matthew “Mack” Hattly, 26, of Queens.

Asaro is a captain in the Bonanno family, and is accused of chasing down another car after a traffic dispute in Howard Beach around 2012 and torching the person’s car, prosecutors said. Gotti and two others were recruited to help start the blaze, the U.S. Attorney said.

“A man well-known in organized crime circles allegedly got cut off in traffic, and exacted his revenge by sending his associates to allegedly torch the victim’s car,” Rohde said.

Gotti and two others allegedly robbed Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association in 2012 where they delivered a note to the teller informing her they had a bomb before leaving with $5,491, according to Rohde.

Christopher Boothby, an associate of the Bonanno family, and Hattly were arraigned for an alleged home invasion where they tied a woman up in her boyfriend’s home, stole $50,000, thousands of dollars in jewelry and a Cartier ring off the woman’s finger, the indictment said. The U.S. attorney said the owners were “menaced” with the guns and tied up.

Hattley and Elliot are accused of robbing a jewelry store in Franklin Square, L.I., where they left with approximately $250,000 in merchandise, the prosecutor said.

“The FBI refuses to allow acts like arson, bank robbery and home invasions to be conducted as business as usual, as if it is just another day in the office,”FBI Assistant Diretor-in-Charge William Sweeney said.

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively go after those who refuse to follow the laws and prey upon the law-abiding public.”

All the defendants face a maximum of 20 years behind bars with Asaro, Gotti and Rullan facing a mandatory five for the arson case, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Hattley and Elliot face no less than seven years if convicted of the firearms offenses.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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