MANHATTAN (CN) – A “longtime associate of the Gambino organized crime family” was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison on murder and assault charges, federal prosecutors said.
Joseph Watts, 69, pleaded guilty in January to a two-count information charging him with “participating in murder and assault conspiracies in order to maintain and increase his influence in the Gambino Family,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in announcing the sentence.
At the behest of John Gotti, Watts allegedly put together a hit team that killed Frederick Weiss in 1989.
Weiss was a defendant in a federal case and fired a lawyer who regularly represented the Gambino family, which aroused Gotti’s suspicions that Weiss may have been cooperating with the government, prosecutors said.
Watts allegedly went to Staten Island to shoot Weiss himself, but Weiss didn’t show up that day, so a different team of killers killed him the next day, according to the U.S. attorney.