Sliwa said now that Gotti's release from prison is imminent, he plans to leave New York City and lay low for awhile.
Gotti, of Howard Beach, is due for release from Rye Brook Federal Prison on Sept. 6, but the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, David Kelley, said Gotti had been indicted on several charges, included the attempted murder of Sliwa.
Gotti, sometimes known as Junior, has been in federal prison since late 1999 serving a five-year term on convictions for gambling, extortion and loan sharking.
The new charges also include two other cases of attempted murder conspiracy, loan sharking, securities fraud and extortion. Conviction on all of them could bring 130 years in prison for the 40-year-old Gotti.
Kelley said Junior Gotti ordered gunmen to "snuff out the voice of Sliwa."
Sliwa had used his access to radio to call repeatedly for a life sentence for the Teflon Don, who died in prison in 2002 while serving a life term.
Sliwa was shot and wounded five times in a taxi he had hailed near his home in Manhattan's East Village on June 19, 2002. Federal prosecutors said the stolen taxi contained Gambino crime family torpedoes, Joseph "Little Joey" D'Angelo and Michael "Mikey Y" Yannotti, who wearing a handkerchief over his face, had crouched down in the front seat when Sliwa got into the taxi. The indictment accuses Yanotti of shooting Sliva, who escaped despite his wounds.
D'Angelo and Yannotti pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges.
Sliwa said he feared for his life, is always accompanied by a bodyguard and intends to spend time soon at an undisclosed location.
Sliwa organized the Guardian Angels, a team of red jacketed and beret wearing young men in the 1970s to ride subway trains as crime fighters, a group for whom the New York Police Department expressed lukewarm approval. But polls indicated many straphangers welcomed them during what was then a high crime period.
The indictments against Junior Gotti were another blow to the Gambino crime family. Peter Gotti, brother of the late John Gotti and chief of the Gambinos, is serving nine years in prison.
Federal Judge Frederic Block recently sentenced Richard V. Gotti, a brother of the late John Gotti, to a year and a day in prison on a racketeering charge. The judge called Richard V. Gotti "a very minor player" in the Gambino crime family operaton.
The sentence was much more lenient than the judge handed down to Richard V. Gotti's 36-year-old son, Richard Gotti Jr. He got 33 months in prison in connection with what federal prosecutors said was a scheme to carry out systematic deliveries of cash to Peter Gotti over several months.
Both father and son are free on bail but must surrender to begin serving their sentences in October.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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