NEW YORK - The namesake grandson of New York mobster John Gotti was arrested Wednesday and charged with violent crimes, including a bank holdup, acting US Attorney Bridget Rohde said.
John Gotti, 23, allegedly took part in a holdup in April 2012 of the Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association, in the New York borough of Queens, according to Rohde and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
While Gotti waited outside the bank with another accomplice, the third member of the team demanded the teller hand over the money in a note stating "I have a bomb," but was given only US$5,491 (S$7700), the officials said in a Justice Department statement.
Two days earlier, Gotti, with two accomplices, allegedly had set fire to a vehicle at the request of Vincent Asaro, a well-known member of the Bonanno organised crime family retaliating against a driver who had cut him off in traffic.
Gotti was arraigned Wednesday before a federal judge in Brooklyn on the charges, notably for arson and theft. The judge ordered his detention.
Six other people were indicted and arrested in the mafia crackdown. Among them was Asaro, 82, who was acquitted in 2015 for his alleged participation in the notorious Lufthansa robbery in 1978 at Kennedy Airport.
The crackdown, led by the acting US attorney general Rohde and the FBI, showed that members of the big New York mafia clans continue to use their traditional methods of intimidation and violence to make money.
"The defendants are charged with committing an assortment of violent crimes - arson to exact punishment for a perceived slight and robberies to unjustly enrich themselves. This Office and its partners will continue to vigilantly pursue such organised violence and stop it in its tracks," Rohde said.
In 2002, the death of John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family known for his lavish taste and brutality, appeared to mark the end of the mafia era on the US east coast.
But in early August 2016, about 40 members of mafia crime families were indicted on charges that included racketeering and illegal gambling.
No date for their trial has been scheduled yet.