“Conn. man expected to plead guilty in drugs and guns case; FBI thinks he has info on art heist”

November 14, 2012

The Washington Post on November 14, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — A 76-year-old reputed Connecticut mobster is expected to plead guilty in a weapons and prescription drugs case that has revealed the FBI’s belief that he has information about the largest art heist in history.

Robert Gentile, of Manchester, has a change-of-plea hearing scheduled in Hartford federal court on Wednesday. He has pleaded not guilty to allegations he illegally possessed firearms and explosives and sold illegally obtained prescription drugs.

It’s not clear whether there is a plea deal. Gentile’s lawyer and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment about the hearing.

Gentile hasn’t been charged in the museum theft. His attorney, A. Ryan McGuigan, has said his client knows nothing about the heist and isn’t a Mafia member.

At a court hearing in March, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham said the FBI believes Gentile “had some involvement in connection with stolen property” related to a 1990 heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Thieves disguised as police officers struck as the city finished celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, tying up two guards and making off with 13 pieces of art including masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet worth more than a half-billion dollars. The artwork hasn’t been found and the museum is still offering a $5 million reward.

Durham has said that FBI agents had unproductive discussions with Gentile about the theft, but he didn’t elaborate on his allegations. Durham also said the FBI believes Gentile is a made member of a Philadelphia crime family.

Gentile has been detained since February when he and an associate, Anthony Parente, were charged with selling illegally obtained prescription drugs including OxyContin, Dilaudid and Percocet.

Authorities searched Gentile’s home and reported finding homemade dynamite sticks, several guns, ammunition, homemade silencers, a bulletproof vest, handcuffs, police scanners, brass knuckles and $22,000 in cash at the bottom of a grandfather clock.

Federal agents swarmed Gentile’s home again in May in what McGuigan called a veiled attempt to find the stolen paintings. McGuigan said at the time that the FBI got a new warrant allowing the use of ground-penetrating radar to look for buried weapons, but he believed they really were looking for the artwork.

“This is nonsense,” McGuigan said in May. “This is the FBI. Are you trying to tell me they missed something the first time? They’re trying to find $500 million of stolen artwork. … All they’re going to find is night crawlers.”

All McGuigan would say on Tuesday was that Gentile has been confined in a cell by himself and “looks terrible.”

“They have him in a hole 24 hours a day where he can’t see anybody,” McGuigan said.

Gentile is charged with three weapons crimes that each carry up to 10 years in prison and six drug crimes that carry up to 20 years in prison apiece. He wasn’t supposed to have any guns because of a 1990s larceny conviction.

The drug case against Parente remains pending. He is free on bail.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


FBI Agents Search Robert Gentile’s Home in Connecticut

May 10, 2012

Fox News on May 10, 2012 released the following:

“Agents swarm reputed mobster’s home in Conn.

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. – FBI agents on Thursday searched the property of a reputed Connecticut mobster who is suspected of withholding information about an infamous unsolved art heist in Boston.

Dozens of agents dug in the yard and removed boxes of evidence from the ranch-style Manchester home of 75-year-old Robert Gentile, who has been detained since February on federal drug and weapons charges.

A lawyer for Gentile, A. Ryan McGuigan, said the FBI was searching his client’s property for a second time because the agency had a new warrant allowing the use of ground-penetrating radar to look for buried weapons. McGuigan said he believes agents are really looking for stolen paintings but will find no such thing.

“This is nonsense,” McGuigan said. “This is the FBI. Are you trying to tell me they missed something the first time? They’re trying to find $500 million of stolen artwork. … All they’re going to find is night crawlers.”

A federal prosecutor said in March the FBI believes Gentile had some involvement with stolen property related to the 1990 heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the largest art robbery in history. Thieves stole masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet worth more than a half-billion dollars.

McGuigan said Gentile doesn’t know anything about the art heist.

A U.S. attorney’s office spokesman declined to comment. A message left with an FBI spokesman was not immediately returned.

Gentile was arrested three months ago on a charge of selling illegally obtained prescription painkillers. Federal agents say they seized three revolvers, numerous rounds of ammunition and home-made silencers during a Feb. 10 search of Gentile’s home.

Gentile was arraigned last month on weapons charges. He leaned on a cane as he slowly rose before a judge in federal court in Hartford to plead not guilty to three charges.

McGuigan has said prosecutors were “piling on” with the gun charges.

Gentile was convicted of larceny in 1996. Convicted felons may not possess firearms or ammunition that have been transported across state lines or from overseas. Federal law also prohibits possession of a silencer unless it’s been registered.

Each of the three charges carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Authorities say FBI agents have had unproductive discussions with Gentile about the art theft.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.