Man gets 6 months in Family Secrets case

Tribune staff reporter

A peripheral player in the Family Secrets mob prosecution was sentenced to 6 months in prison in federal court Tuesday for taking part in an illegal gambling operation.

Dennis Johnson, 37, who pleaded guilty in advance of the landmark trial last year, told U.S. District Judge James Zagel he has learned from his mistakes. "I kind of look at this in some sort of way as a blessing," he said.Johnson pleaded guilty to being a route man for M&M Amusement Inc., a company that ran video poker machines out of local bars at the direction of mob higher-ups.

His attorney, Daniel Martin, described Johnson as playing a minor role in the case. "He was charged as a gofer and has pled [guilty] to being a gofer," Martin said.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Markus Funk agreed Johnson was a small cog but told Zagel people like Johnson are necessary for organized crime to operate.

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