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Surgeon Busted With Weapons Cache In Tuckahoe Pleads Guilty

Dr. Matthew Bonanno
Dr. Matthew Bonanno Photo Credit:

A Long Island surgeon who was busted with a cache of weapons in his BMW in Westchester will avoid prison time after reaching a plea agreement.

Great Neck resident Matthew Bonanno, 49, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and will be sentenced to five years of probation following a delayed court appearance on Monday, June 7.

Bonanno was initially charged with 11 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon related to assault rifles found in his possession; 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.

Police in Tuckahoe were contacted by acquaintances of the plastic surgeon in August 2019, after they overheard threats against Bonanno's estranged wife and her family, and when they intervened, he was found with an illegal Glock and an arsenal in his BMW.

Officers responded to Growler’s Beer Bistro, where they found Bonanno, who was armed, prompting them to search his vehicle, where they found:

  • Five fully-loaded assault rifles with high-capacity magazines;
  • Three handguns;  
  • 29 high-capacity loaded magazines;
  • More than 1,600 rounds of ammunition;
  • Stun gun;
  • Heavy ballistic body armor;
  • Ballistic helmet;
  • Handcuffs;
  • Full head cover face masks;
  • Multiple military-style knives;
  • Four brass knuckles;
  • Pepper spray fogger;
  • Scopes, binoculars, and other paraphernalia.

Investigators also recovered weapons at a residence of Bonanno's in Mount Pleasant and from his Long Island home.

Officials noted that the guns were bought legally out of state, and Bonanno previously had a license to possess guns in New York, but it had expired. If he was convicted, he faced up to three and a half years in prison.

Bonanno will officially be sentenced in Westchester on Friday, Sept. 17. He will also be sentenced to time served after spending three months in Westchester County Jail before being granted bail.

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