The Chicago Syndicate: Junior Gotti Allegedly Holds Sit Down with Latin King Leadership

Monday, April 06, 2020

Junior Gotti Allegedly Holds Sit Down with Latin King Leadership

John “Junior”, namesake son of the late Gambino family boss, once pondered life as a gangbanger instead of a godfather while locked in a federal prison. And now the 56-year-old Gotti, retired from the Mafia for better than two decades, is under investigation for his meetings with accused Massachusetts-based Latin Kings bigwig Michael Cecchetelli, aka King Merlin, according to GanglandNews.com.

The get-togethers involved Gotti, Cecchetelli and the latter man’s uncle David “Fat Chicky” Cecchetelli, according to law enforcement sources. Of particular interest, the sources say, was the use of a longtime Genovese family social club in Springfield, Mass., for two Latin Kings meetings captured on videotape.

The Mount Carmel Social Club is perhaps best known as the location for a mob hit on capo Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, gunned down in the parking lot while leaving a 2003 card game. Fat Chicky is an associate of the Genovese crime family, according to sources.

King Merlin, identified in court papers as the east coast commander for Latin King chapters from Massachusetts to Florida, was busted this past December after a four-year federal probe, with prosecutors alleging he at one point advocated an re-enactment of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre to take out an enemy.

Boston FBI head Joseph Bonolovonta noted Cecchetelli’s “blood ties” to the New York-based Genovese family.

Asked whether Gotti was on the federal radar, Boston FBI spokeswoman Kristin Setera said investigators would not comment “because of the ongoing investigation and prosecution of the case.”

Gotti’s links to the Latin Kings date to his federal prison time in upstate Ray Brook, N.Y., while he was serving six years in a 1999 racketeering plea deal. Sources indicate Gotti reconnected with the Kings though Fat Chicky, an MMA fighting fan. Gotti’s son, John III, is 5-0 in his young career as an MMA fighter.

Various Instagram accounts posted online show photos of Gotti with King Merlin, Fat Chicky and a former MMA fighter named Damien “The Omen” Trites. And Junior had once appeared to show an affinity for the Kings, a group whose membership is not based on ethnicity — unlike the Mafia.

In a recording played at Gotti’s third of four unsuccessful racketeering prosecutions in Manhattan Federal Court, the mob scion complained that he was “pushed” into the mob life against his better judgement. “I’d rather be a Latin King than what I am,” he declared. “I mean it on my father’s grave. I’m so ashamed. I’m so ashamed.”

Attorney Ron Kuby, who spent time with the younger Gotti during the 1990s racketeering case and testified at a separate 2009 racketeering trial, said the second-generation Mafioso was looking for a different kind of lifestyle when they first met. “He was pretty much sick of all criminal life, so it’s hard to imagine he was pining for a lateral transfer,” said Kuby.

Attempts to reach Gotti for comment were unsuccessful.

Thanks to Jerry Capaci and Larry McShane .

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