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'Junior' Gotti denied bail on racketeering, other charges

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: "Junior" Gotti goes before a judge Tuesday who orders him held without bail
  • Prosecutor: Gambino crime family was "trying to gain a foothold" in Tampa, Florida
  • John Gotti is among six people indicted by a Florida grand jury
  • He faces federal charges, including racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder
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(CNN) -- John "Junior" Gotti, son of the late Gambino family mob boss John Gotti, was arrested in New York on Tuesday and faces a number of federal charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder and drug trafficking, authorities said.

Gotti was among six people indicted by a Florida grand jury, said Robert O'Neill, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

The indictments were unsealed Tuesday with the arrest of five defendants, including Gotti, he said. Negotiations were under way for the surrender of the sixth person named in the indictment, O'Neill said.

All six suspects were charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, a law used to target organized crime groups -- in this case, the Gambino crime family.

Gotti appeared Tuesday afternoon before a judge, who ordered him held without bail. His attorney, Charles Carnesi, told reporters the charges against his client were baseless.

"I can guarantee you that this case will be based on people who have been convicted of various crimes who do not want to go to jail," Carnesi said outside the courthouse.

"Let's face it, they have the money, they have the resources, they have an army of agents and most of all they have the ability to go to people who are willing to lie and say, 'OK, here's the key. Here's the way out.' " Video Watch authorities talk about 'significant evidence' »

The indictment alleges Gotti was involved in three slayings in New York City -- those of George Grosso, who died in December 1988 in Queens; Louis DiBono, killed in October 1990 in the parking garage of the former World Trade Center; and Bruce John Gotterup, slain in November 1991 at the Boardwalk at the Rockaways in Queens.

Gotti is the first person charged in Grosso's death, which was listed as an unsolved homicide and was investigated with assistance from the New York Police Department's Cold Case Squad, O'Neill said in a written statement.

Gotti is charged in one indictment, and the five others in another one. Watch Gotti being led away in handcuffs Video

Carnesi said he was surprised by the judge's decision to hold Gotti without bail. He said it would be his preference to keep Gotti in New York as long as possible "so that we can maintain contact with him" and suggested he enter his not-guilty plea by video to the Florida court.

Gotti, 44, of Oyster Bay, New York, has served as an associate, soldier, captain and de facto boss in the organization, the indictment alleges, as well as a member of a captains' committee formed in the early 1990s to assist in the administration of the family.

His co-defendants are John Burke, 47, a New York prison inmate; James Cadicamo, 33, of Tampa, Florida; David D'Arpino, 33, of Howard Beach, New York; Michael Finnerty, 43, of Oceanside, New York; and Guy Peden, 47, of Wantagh, New York.

Burke and Peden are also accused of participating in the murder of Gotterup, according to authorities, and Burke and D'Arpino are charged in the death of John Gebert, who was killed in 1996 in Queens. In addition, Cadicamo is charged with conspiring to beat or kill a man named Michael Malone to prevent Malone's testimony in a case, and with retaliating against Malone for his cooperation with authorities.

A number of cases culminated in the indictment, which names people in Florida and New York, the prosecutor said. "I think what you have here is, you have the Gambino crime family reaching out to Tampa, Florida" and "trying to gain a foothold," he said.

All six defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison, authorities said. If convicted of the charges involving Malone, Cadicamo could face the death penalty.

"[Gambino crime family] enterprise members engaged in public acts and displays of violence -- shootings, stabbings, baseball bat beatings and murder -- designed to create and maintain fear and dread in others so that the GCF enterprise could defend and expand its unlawful dominion and influence in certain geographical areas," according to a statement issued by O'Neill's office. "GCF enterprise members worked to establish and maintain GCF enterprise footholds, or operational bases, in various parts of the United States of America, specifically including the city of Tampa, Florida."

The Gambino family also is accused of crimes including robbery, bribery, kidnapping, extortion, home invasions and money laundering, among others, authorities said. Members of the organization "invested some of their criminal income for the acquisition of interests in other businesses," including window and glass businesses, valet parking businesses and bars or nightclubs, prosecutors allege.

Carnesi questioned why, if Gotti is involved in drug trafficking and murder, informants such as Sammy "The Bull" Gravano have never suggested it. "You can go down the line as to any of these individuals who made deals with the government. ... They don't know anything of this," he said.

In late 2006, a third mistrial was declared in a federal racketeering case against Gotti. Charges against him included racketeering and extortion. Prosecutors said they would not retry Gotti, who was accused of ordering attacks on radio talk show host Curtis Sliwa after the Guardian Angels founder criticized Gotti's father on his radio show. Sliwa was shot three times but recovered and testified against Gotti.

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Asked Gotti's feelings on the newest charges, Carnesi said, "He was very disappointed to have to go through all this again. You can imagine the toll it took on him and his family to have to fight three times in the course of a year, to feel that, OK, perhaps it's over ... because the government itself came to the conclusion, no more. It's very disheartening for him to be back here again."

Gotti's father, who was nicknamed the "Teflon Don" because prosecutors had trouble making charges stick against him, died in prison in 2002 of throat cancer.

CNN's Kevin Bohn and Kimberly Segal contributed to this report.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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