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Queens Chronicle

Mobster sentenced to life for 2 murders

Gambino associate convicted in June

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:30 am

A former mobster and drug dealer will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of two murders in South Queens during the 1990s. 

John Burke, a longtime associate of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra — formerly run by the late John Gotti — was sentenced Friday to life imprisonment without parole plus 10 years for the murder of a rival drug dealer in aid of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and other charges. 

On June 8, 2012, following a four-week trial in Brooklyn federal court, Burke was found guilty of all charges.

Burke was convicted of two killings —  the 1991 murder of Bruce Gotterup, who was shot in the back of the head on the boardwalk in the Rockaways, and the July 12, 1996 murder of John Gebert, who was slain under a pool table in a bar on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven. 

According to trial testimony, Burke was a trusted Gambino family enforcer and drug dealer for nearly three decades. As part of the racketeering conspiracy, Burke participated in numerous acts of violence, including the fatal shootings and home-invasion robberies, as well as drug trafficking involving cocaine and marijuana. 

The jury also found Burke guilty of the murder of Gebert as part of racketeering, murdering John him as part of a continuing criminal enterprise, and a firearms charge.

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