After nearly six years of criminal trials in two federal cases, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced that the Justice Department was requesting the court to sign a nolle prosequi order (see below) formalizing a decision not to prosecute John A. Gotti a/k/a 'Junior Gotti' any more on federal racketeering and murder conspiracy charges involving alleged drug trafficking and loansharking activities.
The latest case was originally filed in Florida, but subsequently transferred to New York.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York prosecuted Junior Gotti in four successive trials in these two cases over the last six years. The first case in 2004 charged charged him with criminal conspiracy involving a plot to kidnap Guardian Angels founder and radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa. That case also involved allegations of securities fraud, and loansharking.
Three trials in the Sliwa plot case all ended with the juries unable to reach verdicts.
What effect, if any, will the latest move have on the Justice Department's prosecution of organized crime families and their leadership figures?
The answer is unclear.
Gotti has spent time in federal prison, however. In 1999 he plead guilty to racketeering charges stemming, in part, from an extortion and gambling scheme involving owners and employees at a Manhattan strip club. Before he finished serving his time and being released from prison in 2005, a federal grand jury indicted him on felony charges in the alleged plot against Sliwa.
Here is the government's nolle prosequi filing declining to prosecute Gotti further in the latest federal case:
You can read Junior Gotti's original charges in the latest case to be dropped after trial by federal prosecutors here:
Gotti's criminal defense lawyers included Charles Carnesi, John Meringolo, and Seth Ginsberg.
Photo Credit: U.S. Dept. of Justice