Grandson of mob boss John Gotti arrested on drug charges in Queens

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CeFaan Kim has the latest details.

The grandson of the late mob boss John Gotti was arrested Thursday on drug charges in Queens.

The youngest John Gotti, 22, was one of seven people taken into custody. He was arrested at his grandfather's old Howard Beach home, where he lives with his father, Peter Gotti.

More than 500 oxycodone pills and $50,000 cash were seized from the home.

Gotti, his girlfriend and five others are being charged in a ring dealing oxycodone and other controlled pharmaceuticals in Howard Beach and Ozone Park during the last 12 months. Police called the investigation "Operation Beach Party."

Gotti is charged with operating as a major trafficker, first, second and third-degree criminal sake of a controlled substance, second-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy.

He was actually pulled over June 30 during a traffic stop on Cross Bay Boulevard, apparently by officers unaware that he was the subject of a long-term investigation.

He was stopped for tinted windows. During that stop, he was found to be in possession of drugs stuffed in a Gucci bag in the center console. In it, officers found 205 oxycodone pills, 18 methadone pills, a bottle of testosterone, Xanax and marijuana, as well as nearly $8,000 cash.

"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 Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "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."

"The mob still has its fingers into a lot of what goes on with narcotics etc.," said NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. "They are not the influence they once were. The cartels are superseding, the mob still has its fingers in so many things in New York City."

Through decades of investigation of the Gottis, Thursday's arrest marked the first time law enforcement has ever executed a search warrant at that property.

Others charged with being part of the ring were:

--Melissa Erul, 23, of Lynbrook, Long Island, charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

--Michael Farduchi, 24, of Ozone Park, Queens, charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

--Shaine Hack, 37, of Howard Beach, Queens, is charged with second-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy.

--Edward Holohan, 50, of Glendale, Queens, is charged with second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.

--Steve Kruger, 57, of Howard Beach, Queens, is charged with operating as a major trafficker, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.

--Justin Testa, 41, of Ozone Park, Queens, is charged with operating as a major trafficker, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.

During the execution of the search warrants, two others were arrested on drug possession charges - Eleonor Gabrielle, who is believed to be the girlfriend of Gotti, and Dawn Biers, the wife of defendant Justin Testa.

Brown said that, according to the charges, Gotti was the main seller of the organization and primarily sold Oxycodone pills for approximately $23 to $24 per pill.

Attorney Gerard Marrone says Gotti denies the allegations. He says police "broke in doors" and "wrecked the house" because of Gotti's "last name."

He says Gotti's father, Peter, who also lives there, is law-abiding and owns a bread route. He says Peter Gotti was in Ohio, where he's involved in a John Travolta movie.

If convicted, Gotti faces up to 25 years in prison.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Related Topics:
newsdrug arrestdrug bustoxycodoneHoward BeachNew York City
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