Connecticut man linked to art heist loses bid for weapons case dismissal

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One of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990

HARTFORD — A reputed mobster from Connecticut suspected of having knowledge about the largest art heist in U.S. history has lost a bid to get a weapons case dismissed.

Robert Gentile claimed federal authorities entrapped him into illegally selling a gun to pressure him into cooperating in the investigation of the 1990 theft at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Thirteen pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million were stolen and never recovered, including paintings by Rembrandt and Edouard Manet. No one has been arrested.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny in Hartford rejected Gentile’s motion to dismiss the weapons case Wednesday.

Gentile denies knowing anything about the missing artwork.

Federal prosecutors said they have evidence Gentile has told others he has access to some of the paintings for potential sales.