According to the reports Gotti will be released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Pollock, La. on September 15th. The 71-year-old mobster was convicted in the early 1980s of running an extensive drugs operation with pals John Carneglia and Angelo Ruggiero. The trio was captured by an FBI bug in Ruggiero’s home talking about drug deals along with other mob business. The recording of Gene and his Cosa Nostra pals set in motion the death of then boss “Big Paul” Castellano.
John Gotti ordered the 1985 assassination of Big Paul in part to save his brother’s life. Castellano had imposed a penalty of death for anyone from the New York Mafia family who was caught dealing drugs. He like his predecessor Carlo Gambino was worried that lengthy drug convictions would offer an incentive for wiseguys to flip on the families hierarchy. Not only had Gene and his mafia pals break the rule but they were caught discussing it on tape.
Big Paul pressed the Gotti faction to turn the tapes they got from prosecutors over to him. But John knew it would likely lead to his brother along with other being whacked by Castellano. So they delayed and offered excuses and ended up whacking out Big Paul 10 days before Christmas outside of a Midtown Steakhouse in 1985. It forever changed the direction of the powerful organized crime family.
While Gene is often referred to as the brother of the Teflon Don he himself is a legit wiseguy through and through. Gene rejected a plea deal that would have likely only called for him to spend about 7 years behind bars because his brother and his boss said no. John didn’t believe in making deals and it cost Gene 20+ years more behind bars. While it was becoming popular for mobsters to make deals with the government Gene remained loyal to his brother and the NY Mafia, he kept quiet and did his time.
Now he is returning to the streets but the Mafia is nothing like it once was. The Gotti’s only hangout in Ozone Park, Queens the Bergin Hunt & Fish Club is long gone along with the Gotti families influence in the Gambino family. While it’s clear that Gene has the reputation for being a valued mobster its unclear as to whether or not he would fit in with today’s Gambino family leaders. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Gene Gotti whether its retirement or entry back into the world of the American Mafia.