April 3, 2020 – Retired New York mafia don John (Junior) Gotti met with a leader of the Latin Kings in Massachusetts and may have advised him to use a mob social club in Springfield for meetings, according to Gangland News this week, as reported by American mob journalist extraordinaire Jerry Capeci. The FBI is probing what, if any, role Gotti played in connecting the Latin Kings and the New York mafia.

The Latin Kings’ east coast boss Michael (King Merlin) Cecchetelli was indicted for racketeering along with 60 Latin Kings members and associates back in December. Gotti’s dad was famed Gambino crime family boss John (The Dapper Don) Gotti, who rocketed to underworld and pop-culture stardom in the 1980s.

The younger Gotti ran the Gambinos through most of the 1990s in his father’s stead, with the Dapper Don serving out the final years of his life in a federal prison. Junior Gotti survived four separate racketeering cases filed against him and, reportedly fed up with the treachery of the “Life,” left the mob behind in the 2000s. John Gotti died behind bars of cancer in 2002.

The Latin Kings is a mostly Hispanic criminal organization based out of Chicago. Despite being Italian, King Merlin Cecchetelli, 40, heads all Latin Kings affairs on the eastern seaboard. He has ties to the Italian mafia through his uncle and roommate, David (Fat Chicky) Cecchetelli, an animated and quite rotund Genovese crime family associate and convicted bookmaker.

Fat Chicky Cecchetelli, 52, took a pinch for weapons possession late last year and is linked to the mob in Western Mass, specifically a Genovese family crew based out of his hometown of Springfield. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Cecchetelli ran a massive sports book for Springfield mob capo Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno and then his successor, Anthony (Bingy) Arillotta.  

Big Al Bruno was slain in 2003 in a power play orchestrated by his protégé Arillotta, around the same time Cecchetelli got busted millions of dollars of bets for both of them. Arillotta flipped in 2010 and testified against Genovese bosses out of New York, including acting don Arthur (Little Artie) Nigro, who had taken him in under his wing after he fell out with Bruno. Nigro ordered Bruno’s murder and installed Arillotta as his replacement.

Bruno was gunned down on the evening of November 24, 2003 in the parking lot of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Social Club in Springfield’s South End. Per Capeci’s storied Gangland News column, the FBI is looking into if Junior Gotti played any role in arranging a pair of Latin Kings gatherings at the club last year called by King Merlin Cecchetelli. The two meetings were videotaped by the FBI and Latin Kings business, including chatting about potential murder plots, was discussed. The 56-year old Gotti wasn’t present at either of the meetings.

According to federal documents, Gotti made an alliance with the Latin Kings for himself when he was in jail in the 2000s in the wake of his father’s passing and a feud that erupted with his uncle, Peter (One-Eyed Pete) Gotti. One-Eyed Pete took over the Gambino crime family from Junior. The feud related to the distribution of John Gotti’s money.

The Cecchetellis know and are friendly with Junior Gotti. Pictures of the three of them together have appeared on various social media platforms in recent years. Gotti produced a movie about his dad’s rise and fall starring John Travolta, released in 2018.

Fat Chicky Cecchetelli has belonged to the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Social Club for the last three decades. These days, the club is the domain of alleged Springfield crew skipper Albert (The Animal) Calvanese. Both Cecchetellis have pleaded not guilty in their respective criminal cases and await trial on the charges. Calvanese used to collect for Fat Chickie Cecchetelli’s sports gambling business.

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