HARTFORD – Robert Gentile, the alleged Mafia figure who emerged last year as a law enforcement focus in the investigation into the notorious Gardner Museum heist, was sentenced here in federal court Thursday to 30 months in prison for unrelated gun charges and for selling prescription drugs.
Prosecutors said for the first time in open court Thursday that their continued interest in Gentile in relation to the Gardner was based in part on a list they found in his home of the 13 works of art that were stolen in the heist, their estimated value, and a Boston Herald article published days after the theft. They also said a polygraph test he took about his knowledge of the heist concluded with a 99 percent assurance rate that he was lying.
Assistant US Attorney John Durham said the disclosure and Gentile’s alleged Mafia history should have been factored into the sentence handed out Thursday, though Gentile’s lawyer said they had no bearing on the gun and drug charges. The lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, has also denied that Gentile has any knowledge of the location of the paintings.
US District Court Judge Robert N. Chatigny, while agreeing that Gentile appeared to show no remorse for his crimes and that he had a seedy history, ultimately handed out what was seen as a lenient sentence. Gentile, 76, had faced 46 to 57 months in prison under sentencing guidelines.
Chatigny said he was considering Gentile’s age, his ailing health, and his wife’s poor health in handing out the sentence.
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