Gotti (left), 44, was indicted in Tampa for three racketeering murders and drug trafficking. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August. Federal prosecutors, who have failed to win convictions in three racketeering cases against him in New York, hoped for better luck in Tampa. Gotti was arrested and transported to Tampa, where he has been held without bail.
Gotti's attorneys argued that a trial in Tampa would be a large financial burden on the Gotti family. They noted that nearly all the charges against their client were based on incidents in New York.
In Judge Merryday's decision, he outlined the repeated frustrations of federal prosecutors and stated that the Justice Department's decision to try Gotti in Florida "creates the unmistakable and disquieting impression of forum shopping."
Gotti is the son of former Gambino Crime Family boss John J. Gotti, who was known for a time as the Teflon Don for his ability to escape prosecution.