Mafia boss Peter Gotti sentenced to 25 years

Peter Gotti, the brother of late New York mob boss John Gotti, was sentenced on Wednesday to 25 years in prison for plotting to murder the mafia turncoat who put his brother behind bars for life, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano.

The sentence followed Gotti’s conviction in December last year.

The jury in the month-long trial deliberated nearly three days before finding him guilty of planning to kill Gravano and extorting money from New York City building contractors.

In passing sentence, Judge Richard Casey said Gotti (66) had played a leading role in the Gambino crime family whose business was “to terrorise, extort, maim and murder in the pursuit of illegal profits”.

Casey dismissed appeals by Gotti’s lawyer Joseph Bondi who argued for a lighter sentence on the grounds of his client’s advanced age and ill health.

Gotti, who arrived in court using a cane for support, showed no reaction as the sentence was pronounced. He is already serving nine years in federal prison for a 2003 conviction on separate money laundering and racketeering charges.

Gravano had been instrumental in convicting John Gotti, who was sentenced in 1992 to a life sentence for murder and racketeering.

Gravano and John Gotti had risen together through the ranks of the Gambino family, eventually taking over the reins after organising the slaying of family boss Paul Castellano in 1985.

John Gotti became the new don, with Gravano as his underboss.

But when the two were indicted in 1990, Gravano turned on his mentor and, in five days of devastating testimony, described the inner workings of the Gambino family’s operations.

He also personally admitted to carrying out 19 “hits”.

John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2002 of cancer, while Gravano was given a token sentence and placed in the Federal witness protection programme. Gravano was later plucked out of the programme and sentenced to 20 years for running an ecstasy drug ring.
- Sapa-AFP

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