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Man questioned in art heist faces weapons charges

April 23, 2012
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HARTFORD, Conn.—A reputed Connecticut mobster suspected of having information related to the largest art theft in history from a Boston museum has been arraigned on weapons charges.

Robert Gentile (JEN'-tile) of Manchester was arraigned Monday in federal court in Hartford.

The 75-year-old Gentile rose slowly and leaned on a cane as he rose before U.S. Magistrate Donna Martinez to plead not guilty to three charges.

He's been detained since his arrest in February on a charge of selling illegally obtained prescription painkillers.

Authorities believe Gentile "had some involvement in connection with stolen property" related to the unsolved 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Masterworks worth a half billion dollars were stolen.

Gentile's lawyer says he had nothing to do with the art theft and said after the arraignment that prosecutors are "piling on" with the gun charges.

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