- John Gotti, 23, will serve eight years in prison and forfeit $259,996 in cash for his role in a drug ring
- He was arrested along with eight others in August and charged with illegal distribution of prescription pills
- Police seized more than 850 Oxycodone and Xanax pills, drug ledgers and $240,000 in cash from his home, tattoo parlor and cars
- The long-term investigation was referred to as Operation Beach Party, and revealed that John's business generated $1.6million
- Undercover officers purchased $46,080 worth of pills from Gotti during 11 undercover buys in the span of three months, the most recent on July 28
- He is the grandson of infamous head of the Gambino crime family
John Gotti, one of the namesake grandsons of the infamous mob boss, will be spending eight years behind bars for his role in a drug ring after accepting a plea deal on Wednesday.
Gotti entered a guilty plea on three drug-related charges in Queens Supreme Court on Wednesday, and will serve time behind gars while also being forced to forfeit $259,996 in seized money.
That sentence will be followed by five years probation, at which point Gotti will be a free man.
The 23-year-old has been behind bars ever since his arrest back in August on $2million bail.
Locked up: John Gotti (above in August) will serve eight years in prison and forfeit $259,996 in cash for his role in a drug ring
Legacy: John is one of the namesake grandsons of the infamous head of the Gambino crime family (above in 1987), and the son of Peter Gotti
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in August that John was one of seven people taken in after a year-long drug string that ended with police seizing $240,000 in cash after executing search warrants on John's business, his two cars and his home, along with the homes of two of the other men who were arrested.
More than 850 Oxycodone and Xanax pills, drug ledgers and records were also discovered and seized by authorities during their searches.
Speaking at a press conference shortly after the bust, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce referred to the infiltration and take-down of the alleged drug ring as Operation Beach Party.
Undercover officers allegedly purchased $46,080 worth of Oxycodone from John over the summer, with their last buy happening on July 28 according to Brown.
A listening device was also installed in one of John's cars, and authorities claim that during one conversation they listened to him say he sold 4,200 pills a month generating $100,000 in revenue, before later noting that the entire business generated $1.6million.
Justin Testa, Shaine Hack, Steve Kruger, Edward Holohan, Michael Farduchi and Melissa Erul were also arrested back in August and are all facing a number of different charges.
John, Kruger and Testa are also facing an additional charge for operating as a major drug trafficker, meaning they could ultimately be looking at 25 years behind bars.
Brown said that John would sell the pills for $23 or $24, which were supplied to him by Kruger and Testa.
The first search back in August occurred in John's home, which has been in the Gotti family for over 50 years and is where John and Victoria raised their six children.
It was the first time that members of law enforcement had successfully executed a search warrant on the residence.
The search of John's home also led to the arrest of his girlfriend Eleonor Gabrielli while the search of Testa's home led to the arrest of his wife Dawn Biers both on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
In the system: A look at the seven others who were involved in the alleged drug ring that was busted back in August
Caught up: John's girlfriend Eleonor Gabrielle (above in 2015) was also arrested on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
The third residence searched back in August was Hack's apartment.
Hack had been heard claiming to have $200,000 of John's money during a conversation that was intercepted during the investigation, while John said that his records and ledger were also kept at the apartment in another exchange picked up by investigators.
He is not facing any charges directly related to dealing drugs, but rather second-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy for his alleged role in the operation.
Erul, 23, of Lynbrook, Long Island, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance; Farduchi, 24, of Ozone Park, Queens, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance; Holohan, 50, of Glendale, Queens, is charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.
'The drug in which the defendants are alleged to have primarily trafficked – Oxycodone – is especially popular with club patrons despite the fact that it poses serious health risks,' said Brown in a statement.
'In recent months, we have seen a significant rise in the use and abuse of prescription painkillers. Drugs such as Oxycodone are extremely potent and have a high potential for abuse and death.
'Today’s arrests not only cut off the suppliers of these drugs, but the distributors as well.'
Former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton also released a brief statement congratulating those involved in the investigation at the time.
'As alleged, John Gotti and the other defendants peddled prescription painkillers from Howard Beach to Ozone Park, contributing to the rampant supply of these potent drugs,' said Bratton.
'I commend the Queens South Narcotics detectives for their work on this case and my thanks, as always, to the Queens District Attorney, Richard A. Brown.'
Bust: Police discovered and seized over 500 oxycodone pills and $50,000 in cash after they executed a search warrant at the Howard Beach home where John lives with his father Peter (above)
Impound: One of John's cars that was taken in by police back in August (above) and had been bugged
Possible problem: John was out on bond at the time of his arrest in August (above in 2014)
The arrest came a little over one month after John was discovered with 205 Oxycodone pills, 18 methadone pills, marijuana, a testosterone bottle and close to $8,000 in cash in his car after police searched the vehicle on June 30 following a traffic stop.
John, who was driving on a suspended license, was pulled over close to his home in Howard Beach because of his vehicle's tinted windows.ecords.
John was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, four felony counts of criminal possession of a narcotic drug, four misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, two infractions for driving with tinted windows and on a expired license and an additional misdemeanor count of aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree.
He was released after posting $25,00 bond.
John's passenger at the time, Hack, was arrested on the same charges and released as well after posting the same bond.
The officers who arrested John had no idea of the investigation that had been underway at the time, but their action did aid in the operation after it was determined that $7,000 of the cash found in the car had been given to Gotti by one of the undercover officers.
John's run-ins with police began when he was just a teenager, with officials first taking him in after a 2010 incident in which he tried to flee the scene of a crime after his friend fired a pellet gun into a crowd.
Two years later, a then 18-year-old John was busted near his home and collared by law enforcement officials when he was found with a small amount of steroids.
In the end, he was given just a desk appearance ticket because authorities found so little of the substance.
Prior to his arrest, John owned a tattoo shop in Queens called Rebel Ink Tattoo and, according to his Facebook page, was a personal trainer and fitness model.
Problems with police and time behind bars was a big part of John's grandfather's life.
Business: John is a personal trainer, fitness model and owns a tattoo parlor in Queens, Rebel Ink Tattoo (above)
Family affair: John with his father Peter (left) and his uncle John Gotti Jr (right) in September
The notorious head of the Gambino crime family turned to a life of crime at a young age, a profession that allowed him to escape the poverty of the Bronx, where he was one of 13 children born to John and Philomena.
Gotti joined a street gang before he was a teenager and eventually dropped out of school before becoming a part of the Gambino family, where he quickly rose up the ranks until he ultimately became head of the massive organized crime syndicate.
He first made inroads by running errands for members of the family as a teenager, and by his twenties was a key player in many of the biggest burglaries and heists.
Gotti landed in jail for the first time in 1965 after being convicted of attempted burglary, spending a year behind bars.
Three years after his release he once again found himself locked up after being charged with hijacking a Northwest Airlines warehouse and a United Airlines warehouse at what is now John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City along with a truck of cigarettes on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The $50,000 cigarette heist came two months after his arrest for the United hijacking, while Gotti was out on bail awaiting trial.
He pleaded guilty to the warehouse hijackings, and the charges relating to the New Jersey incident were dropped by prosecutors.
Reality stars: John's aunt Victoria Gotti with her sons Frank Gotti Agnello, John Gotti Agnello and Carmine Agnello Jr
Gotti was out again in 1972 after three years spent in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary.
And just a year later he was again locked up, sentenced to two years following a manslaughter conviction for his role in the death of James McBratney, a man believed to have killed the nephew of Carlo Gambino.
That move endeared him to the family though and Carlo, who was boss at the time.
It was not until 1986 that Gotti was named boss however, being passed over following Carlo's death in 1976 in favor of Paul Castellano.
He was then passed over for underboss in 1985 when Castellano gave that role to his chauffeur Thomas Bilotti following the death of the acting underboss.
Castellano and Bilotti were found shot dead soon after, and in January of 1986 Gotti was named boss of the family.
He served in that role for four years before his arrest in 1989 for murder, and in 1992 he was sentenced to life in prison.
Gotti died behind bars in 2002, one year after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
He was survived by his wife and all of his children with the exception of Frank, who died in 1980 at the age of 12 when a neighbor accidentally hit the boy with his car while he was riding a motorbike.
The neighbor, John Favara, disappeared soon after and has never been found.
Favara lived down the street from the Howard Beach home.
About Article Author
He is a leading authority on business trends including ‘big data’, self-employment and the social media revolution. He’s the author of the award-winning book, Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. He has spoken about global mega trends, big data and the social media revolution at conferences and business events around the world .View More Articles