John Burke, a longtime associate of the Gambino organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Gambino family”), was sentenced on 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 before United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. in Brooklyn federal court, Burke was convicted of all charges in the superseding indictment.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
As established at trial, 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 fatal shootings and home-invasion robberies, as well as drug trafficking involving cocaine and marijuana. Burke was convicted of two murder predicate acts, including the 1991 murder of Bruce Gotterup, who was shot in the back of the head on the boardwalk in the Rockaways, and the 1996 murder of John Gebert, who was slain under a pool table in a Woodhaven bar. The jury also found Burke guilty of the murder of John Gebert in aid of racketeering, murdering John Gebert as part of a continuing criminal enterprise, and a firearms charge.