NEW YORK (Reuters) - The grandson of former New York mob boss John Gotti pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling illegal opioids, according to prosecutors.

John J. Gotti, 23, is expected to be sentenced next month to eight years in prison.

The elder Gotti, who earned the nickname "Teflon Don" after repeated acquittals at trial in the 1980s, died in prison of cancer in 2002. As the head of the Gambino crime family, Gotti was one of the country's most powerful Mafia bosses before he was sent to a federal prison in 1992 for life.

His grandson was arrested in August along with eight other people in a sweep that recovered more than $250,000 in cash and more than 850 pills.


Gotti was arrested following a long-term investigation that included bugging his car, authorities said, allowing investigators to capture Gotti on tape describing an oxycodone-selling operation that generated $1.6 million a year.

"Today's guilty plea sends a message to all drug dealers that we will not tolerate the illegal drug trafficking that is destroying our young people and our communities," said Richard Brown, the district attorney in the city borough of Queens."Do not expect any leniency because you are illegally trafficking prescription medications – rather than cocaine or heroin."

The cases against the other eight defendants remain pending.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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