Former plastic surgeon and Great Neck resident Matthew Bonanno was sentenced to five years of probation in Nassau County on Friday after two county police departments seized a cache of guns, ammunition and other weapons from him in 2019, officials said.
Bonanno, 49, pleaded guilty to possessing a 9 mm pistol in July while Nassau County prosecutors dropped additional charges, including 11 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees and two charges of criminal possession of a firearm, court records showed. Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy sentenced Bonanno to five years of probation on Friday, despite his lawyer Paul Gentile claiming the gun was a “collector’s item,” according to a Newsday report.
Gentile has made longstanding claims that his client is an “avid gun collector” and touted his professional accomplishments. Murphy’s sentencing also included the revoking of Bonanno’s medical license.
Bonanno was first indicted in Westchester, where he pleaded not guilty to 53 weapons charges – separate from the ones in Nassau County – in September 2019. Earlier this month, according to multiple reports, Bonanno pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Westchester. Murphy said the probation in both counties will occur simultaneously, according to Newsday.
Tuckahoe village police searched his vehicle after they were notified of threats being made by Bonanno against his estranged wife, according to the Westchester County district attorney’s office.
Bonanno’s arrest on the night of Aug. 12 led Tuckahoe village police to find five assault rifles, three handguns, over 1,600 rounds of ammunition, handcuffs, a stun gun, military-style knives, binoculars and other paraphernalia. The search of Bonanno’s vehicle led to police discovering assault rifles, body armor, ammunition, magazines, smoke grenades and handguns at his former East Shore Road residence in Great Neck.
Gentile criticized the ways that police in Westchester and Nassau searched Bonanno’s property.
“They learned of the weapons being in his home by asking him. He was already in custody,” Gentile said in a 2019 interview. “He had invoked his right to counsel. That means that the search warrant is based upon a violation of his Fifth Amendment right, which then leads to a violation of his Sixth Amendment right.”
On Friday, Gentile was reportedly vocal on how the trial was concluded, citing that “injustice has a comfortable home in this courthouse,” according to Newsday.
In October 2019, Gentile requested the Westchester trial be moved to the Bronx, where he served as district attorney in 1988.
“Dr. Matthew Bonanno cannot get a fair trial here in Westchester County,” Gentile said in an interview. “The jury pool has been tainted by the Westchester district attorney, with unlawful accusations of Mr. Bonanno being a domestic terrorist and a danger to himself, and others.”
Gentile also said Bonanno’s ex-wife, Marianna Soropulos, never asked for an order of protection from the plastic surgeon. Courtroom footage from News 12 Westchester showed Soropulos asking Westchester Judge George E. Fufidio in September 2019 to lift the order of protection.
Efforts to reach Nassau County prosecutors or Gentile for further comment were unavailing.