Photo Courtesy of DOJ
The remains of the vehicle that Gotti admitted to setting ablaze.
By Michael V. Cusenza
John J. Gotti, namesake grandson of the Teflon Don, recently was sentenced to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to torching a car at the behest of Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro and participating in the robbery of a borough bank.
The Hon. Allyne Ross seemed to be swayed by the prosecution’s January sentencing memorandum in which the government submitted that a “range of 60-71 months’ imprisonment should be imposed in this case, half of which should run consecutive to the defendant’s current State sentences.”
Gotti, 24, is already locked up. He was taken into federal custody just weeks after he was sentenced to eight years in prison for admitting to selling massive amounts of prescription painkillers in Howard Beach and Ozone Park.
According to the federal charges, in early April 2012, Asaro, 83, was traveling in a car on Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach when he became enraged at another motorist who had cut him off at a traffic light. Asaro chased the other vehicle at a high rate of speed. Later, after obtaining the home address of the owner of the other vehicle, Asaro directed an associate of the Bonanno family to set fire to that vehicle. That associate then recruited Gotti and co-defendant Matthew “Fat Matt” Rullan to help him carry out the arson.
Gotti and Rullan drove in Gotti’s Jaguar sedan to a service station in the pre-dawn hours of April 4, 2012, where they filled a container with gasoline and proceeded to the residence of the owner of the other vehicle. The Bonanno associate doused the vehicle with gasoline, and Rullan ignited it. A City Police officer in an unmarked car observed the crime in progress and pursued the Jaguar on a high-speed chase through borough streets until he terminated the pursuit for safety reasons due to Gotti’s reckless driving.
Additionally, Gotti copped to robbing the Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association on 69th Street in Maspeth along with two cohorts.