76-Year-Old Reputed Mobster Robert Gentile to Plead Guilty

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:
76-Year-Old Reputed Mobster Robert Gentile to Plead Guilty

HARTFORD, Conn. (Associated Press) — A 76-year-old reputed Connecticut mobster said to have information about the largest art heist in history was expected to plead guilty Wednesday in a weapons and prescription drugs case.

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

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

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 the 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 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.

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.

Gambling News

All News and Latest Odds, Trending: MLB Playoffs Betting, Trump-Clinton Debate Odds

For a comprehensive look at today’s top news stories and latest event odds from your mobile device or laptop, Visit the Gambling911.com Site Map

James Packer Loses Nearly $700 million of Value in Crown Resorts

Australian gambling magnate James Packer reportedly lost almost $700 million of the value of his stake in Crown Resorts this week alone.

Sportsbooks Get Off to Dismal Start for Week 7 NFL

Sportsbooks Get Off to Dismal Start for Week 7 NFL

The sportsbooks endured a double whammy Thursday night with Green Bay’s big win over Chicago.

Australia's Crown Says No Charges Laid Against Staff Held in China

Australia's Crown Says No Charges Laid Against Staff Held in China

Australia's top casino operator Crown Resorts said on Thursday no charges had been laid against 18 of its staff held in China for alleged gambling crimes.

Raiders Owner Mark Davis Makes Presentation to NFL Owners re: Vegas Move

His eyes on Las Vegas, Raiders owner Mark Davis says he hasn’t shut the door on anything. Oakland, though, might have shut the door on itself as home for his team.