Matthew Bonanno, 49, a plastic surgeon and a resident of Great Neck, pled guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon (a 9 mm pistol) during a court hearing last month.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy sentenced Bonanno to five years of probation under a plea agreement. Prosecutors in Nassau County agreed to drop the rest of the 13-count indictment after authorities seized five illegal assault weapons and two pistols from his Great Neck residence in 2019.
Bonanno was arrested in August 2019 by the Tuckahoe Village Police Department in Westchester County after local police said they received a tip from a friend of Bonanno’s that he was armed and discussing a plan to kill his ex-wife and family, whom he had driven up from Great Neck to attend a family barbeque with that day.
During a search, police found he had a handgun with him during his arrest and a subsequent search of his BMW (parked outside his ex-wife’s house) revealed five assault rifles, four smoke grenades, face masks, body armor, high-capacity ammunition clips, 1,600 rounds of ammunition, two pairs of brass knuckles, handcuffs, a stun gun, knives, pepper spray and three more pistols.
Representatives from the Westchester District Attorney’s office said in 2019 that the Nassau County Police Department searched Bonanno’s Great Neck apartment and found additional assault rifles.
Bonanno’s attorney, Paul Gentile, stated in 2019 that his client is an “avid firearms collector,” and was merely transporting the weapons and related paraphernalia, which he planned to have registered and which were part of that collection.
In Westchester, Bonanno was initially charged with 11 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon related to assault rifles found in his possession and 38 counts of third-degree grand larceny related to illegal high-capacity magazines and ammunition that were seized and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon for possessing metal knuckles.
Bonanno pled not guilty to those 53 weapons charges, which are separate from the charges in Nassau County.
Officials stated that Bonanno will forfeit his medical license due to the felony convictions. Bonanno will also be sentenced to time served after spending three months in the Westchester County Jail before he was granted bail. He will appear in a Westchester court for official sentencing on Friday, Sept. 17.