Bonanno pleads not guilty to 13 new weapons charges

Robert Pelaez
After his Aug. 12 arrest, Great Neck resident Matthew Bonanno pleaded not guilty to 13 new weapons charges, according to the Nassau district attorney's office (Photo courtesy of the Westchester district attorney's office).

Great Neck resident and plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno faces over a dozen new weapons charges after police raided his East Shore Road residence in late August, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.

Bonanno pleaded not guilty Friday during his arraignment before acting State Supreme Court Justice David Sullivan, according to the district attorney’s office.

Bonanno was charged with 11 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees, along with two charges of criminal possession of a firearm, according to an indictment. 

The 47-year-old Bonanno was first indicted in Westchester, where he pleaded not guilty to 53 weapons charges in September.  Those charges are based in Westchester, separate from the 13 Nassau-based additional charges Bonanno now faces.

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 bail for Bonanno in Westchester remains set at a $500,000 bond or $100,000 cash.  An additional $40,000 bond or $20,000 cash was set by Sullivan, according to the Nassau district attorney’s office. 

Bonanno’s defense attorney, Paul 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. “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.”

Gentile also rejected accusations of Bonanno being a “domestic terrorist” that he said were made by Westchester authorities, saying that he is “an esteemed plastic surgeon and an avid gun collector.”

Bonanno is due back in court before Judge Meryl Berkowitz on Dec. 2, according to Brendan Brosh of the Nassau district attorney’s office.

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