Page last updated at 23:40 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 00:40 UK

Gotti Jr charged in murder cases

John "Junior" Gotti outside court in 2006
Mr Gotti says he rejected the Mafia lifestyle in 1999

Alleged Mafia boss John "Junior" Gotti has been arrested and charged with conspiracy connected to cocaine trafficking and three New York murders.

A federal prosecutor announced the charges in Tampa, Florida.

Mr Gotti, 44, was arrested at his Long Island home early on Tuesday and was later denied bail by a New York judge.

He has been tried three times on racketeering charges linked to the Gambino family, which was run by his late father. Each ended in a mistrial.

His father, John Gotti Senior, was nicknamed the "Teflon Don" because of his ability to escape justice. He eventually died in prison in 2002 after being convicted of murder and racketeering.

Federal prosecutor Robert O'Neill said the fresh charges, which follow a FBI investigation in Tampa and New York, relate to murders in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

Five other suspects were also charged.

A lawyer for Mr Gotti, Seth Ginsberg, was quoted in The New York Times newspaper as saying: "We’re confident that there is no strength to the allegations and that he will prevail once again."

Mr Gotti faces life in prison if convicted.

In 2006, US prosecutors failed for a third time to convict Mr Gotti on racketeering charges after the jury was deadlocked.

Mr Gotti was released from prison in 2005 having served more than six years in jail for racketeering crimes including bribery, extortion, gambling and fraud.

But he says he decided to reject the Mafia lifestyle in 1999.

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