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No Surprise Here: Prosecutors Wave White Flag and Finally Drop Case Against John Gotti Jr.

John Gotti Jr./youtube photo

John Gotti Jr./youtube photo

By Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com (A new AOL news site)

In a move that came as little surprise, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday  afternoon that it won’t go for a fifth trial to try and put New York mobster John Gotti Jr. behind bars. The other four resulted in mistrials after jurors deadlocked.

“In light of the circumstances, the Government has decided not to proceed with the prosecution against John A. Gotti,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Accordingly, today we submitted a proposed Order of nolle prosequi to the Court. The Order has been approved by the presiding United States District Judge, and thus the prosecution of the case has ended. I would like to commend and thank the many dedicated law enforcement agents, prosecutors, and staff who worked vigorously on this case.”

The case became a running embarrassment for the U.S. Attorney’s office, which tried four times in five years to convict Gotti on racketeering charges. In the last trial, prosecutors beefed up the indictment by adding allegations of murder.

But in the end, following 11 days of deliberations, a federal judge declared a mistrial on Dec. 1 and Gotti, son of the late Godfather John Gotti, was a free man.  As in the other three trials, the jury was deadlocked.

After trial, Gotti, 45, expressed optimism that the feds would give up. And he was quoted in the website Gang Land News as saying that he wanted to move out of state if all went as planned.

“To be here, it’s a little awkward at times,” he said. “I’m not that far from Queens; I’m not that far from New York. You go to dinner in a restaurant with your wife, you tend to bump into old acquaintances.”

Some jurors in the last trial as in previous trials, expressed skepticism about the government’s case.

“The evidence was just not there to prosecute the guy,” one anonymous jurors told the New York Times after the last trial.

Four jurors told the Times that they seemed to buy Gotti’s defense that he had withdrawn from the mob long ago.

“The jurors said that of the 12 people on the panel, 6 did not believe that Mr. Gotti quit the mob, 5 did believe him and one remained undecided,” the Times reported.

“They should stop this now — it’s ridiculous,” said one of the jurors, a middle-aged man, according to the Times. Another juror, a woman, said of the prosecution: “It’s abusive. It’s almost become a mockery.”


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