HOWARD BEACH, Queens (WABC) --John Gotti, a grandson of the late organized crime figure of the same name, was sentenced to eight years in state prison Thursday after pleading guilty in February to felony drug charges.
Gotti has been in custody since his second arrest last year, unable to make his $2 million bail. His attorney said that he will likely be out of prison in about four years, including his time in custody and with time off for good behavior.
The 23-year-old Gotti accepted responsibility and expressed remorse in a personal letter written to the judge over what he regards as a youthful indiscretion, but his relatives insist that he was prosecuted more aggressively because of his family ties.
"It's always more aggressive when you're dealing with a Gotti," defense attorney Gerard Marrone said.
Gotti was just 9 years old when his grandfather, Gambino godfather John Gotti, Sr, died in prison in 2002 at the age of 61.
"They're beautiful family," Marrone said. "They've been very supportive of him since day one. They stick together, the entire family, which is a beautiful thing."
Attending the sentencing were the younger Gotti's father, Peter Gotti, and his uncle, John "Junior" Gotti.
"He's a strong kid," Peter Gotti said. "He will come out of prison a better man than when he went in."
"It sums up a failure as an uncle," John Junior Gotti said. "I couldn't keep him out of the streets. It's tough to watch."
Marrone said the younger Gotti had sworn away a life of crime.
"I don't think the court will ever see him again, ever, when he comes home," he said. "Which is a good thing."
Gotti was targeted in the NYPD's "Operation Beach Party" for selling oxycodone in Howard Beach and Ozone Park in Queens.
The first arrest came during a July traffic stop, in which Gotti was caught in possession of oxycodone, methadone and other drugs. The second, a month later, came at the same Howard Beach home where the Gambino crime family boss lived. Investigators found 500 oxycodone tablets and $40,000 in cash inside the house.