Peter Gotti to Remain in Prison, NY Judge Rules

     (CN) – Peter Gotti, the brother of former Gambino family boss John Gotti, lost his bid to have his sentence vacated. A federal judge in Manhattan refused to reconsider an April decision denying Gotti’s habeas corpus petition.

     U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. said Gotti’s arguments “failed to convince me that I overlooked any point of fact or controlling law in reaching those conclusions.”
     He said if Gotti wants to argue that the court’s conclusions were wrong, “those arguments could be raised on appeal.”
     Gotti was convicted in 2003 of racketeering and money laundering related to the Gambino family’s activities on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts, and for trying to extort actor Steven Seagal.
     He was sentenced to over 20 years in prison.
     In 2004, he was convicted on racketeering charges and for plotting the murder of former Gambino family underboss-turned-government informant, Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.
     He received an additional 9.5 years in prison.
     Gotti claimed that he should be sprung early, based on allegedly withheld FBI tapes and a judge’s failure to consider possible jury tampering.
     The former garbage man assumed the role of acting boss of the Gambino family in 1997, when John Gotti went to prison and John Gotti Jr. was beset by legal woes, officials said.
     Peter was tasked with carrying out his brother’s orders from prison to have Gravano killed for testifying against the “Teflon Don” and effectively sinking the crime family. Gravano’s location had been disclosed in a newspaper article.
     Peter ordered two family members to travel to Arizona and kill him. Before the would-be assassins could complete their assignment, Gravano was arrested for running an ecstasy ring.
     FBI special agent Bruce Mouw, who oversaw Gravano’s protective custody, testified at Gotti’s trial for attempted murder. During their investigation of Gravano’s drug operations, the Phoenix police purportedly recorded conversations between Mouw and Gravano in which they allegedly swapped confidential information. None of the recordings mentioned Peter Gotti, but he argued that the tapes could “undermine the integrity of the FBI” and “establish Mouw’s bias and motive to fabricate for Gravano.”
     The government said it was never in possession of the tapes during trial.
     Judge Baer Jr. said the “fly in the ointment” was Gotti’s failure to explain how the alleged relationship between Gravano and Mouw could have impacted the special agent’s testimony.
     “Gravano did not testify at trial, and apparently his only role at the trial was as the target Petitioner had directed be killed,” he wrote in his April 15 opinion.
     Gotti also claimed that a juror approached the court and tried to change his guilty vote. The judge said Gotti’s request to hold an evidentiary hearing might carry some weight “but for the fact that he has failed to produce a scintilla of evidence that the recantation was the result of jury tampering.”
     Baer noted that reconsideration is an “extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly” and said “the difficult burden imposed on the moving party has been established in order to dissuade repetitive arguments on issues that have already been considered fully by the court.”
     He added, “A motion for reconsideration is not an opportunity for the moving party to argue those issues already considered when a party does not like the way the original motion was resolved.”

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