Man Tied to $500M Art Heist Sentenced in Unrelated Case

The mobster faces between three to five years in prison

A reputed mobster who authorities believe is the last surviving person of interest in the largest art heist in history has been sentenced to 54 months in prison in an unrelated weapons case in Connecticut.

Eighty-one-year-old Robert Gentile was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Hartford to four and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The judge ordered that the first six months of home confinement be in home confinement.

Gentile pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, unlawful transport of firearms and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. But months after pleading guilty, Gentile said he forgot his plea, and had to undergo a psychiatric exam to make sure he was competent to proceed with sentencing.

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Federal prosecutors have said they believe Gentile has information about the still-unsolved 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where thieves stole an estimated $500 million worth of artwork. However, his Manchester home was searched three times and investigators never found any evidence.

Gentile has denied any connection, even to his attorney last May.

"Doctors said he wouldn't make it through the night, and that's when I asked him about the paintings and he said he didn't have any more information than he ever has said to anyone. That led me to believe that he doesn't have any knowledge about where the paintings are,” explained Gentile’s attorney Ryan McGuigan in a previous interview with NBC Connecticut.

Gentile has been detained since he was arrested on April 17, 2015.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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