John Ventimiglia, who plays Artie Bucco, is busted for drugs and DWI

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 02, 2006 09:05 AM
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Actor John Ventimigli – who plays restaurant owner Artie Bucco on The Sopranos – was arrested for drunken driving and cocaine possession on Monday near his Brooklyn home, authorities tell the New York Post.

The actor admitted to cops he drank four glasses of wine at a Manhattan eatery before getting behind the wheel of his 2004 Volkswagen Jetta and driving home.

Police say they observed Ventimiglia, 42, weaving in and out of traffic without the headlights on at 1 a.m. The police report described him as unsteady on his feet and smelling of alcohol. Prosecutors say his blood-alcohol content was .12 (the legal limit is .08)

Police also say that Ventimiglia had a plastic bag with cocaine residue in his rear pocket, reports the Post. He was charged with DWI, reckless driving, operating outside the lane, operating without headlights and criminal possession of a controlled substance at Brooklyn Criminal Court.

After his arraignment he was released on his own recognizance. Ventimiglia’s lawyer, Benjamin Petrofsky, did not return the newspaper’s call for comment.

In other Sopranos news, Louis Gross, 23, who plays Tony Soprano’s muscled-up bodyguard on the HBO mob show, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly breaking into a home in Queens, N.Y., and burglarizing the residence, reports New York’s Daily News.

Gross also stands accused of roughing up a downtown Manhattan clothing merchant in February after allegedly attempting to leave the store with a bag of clothes, says the paper.

“I don’t know nothing,” Gross tells the News. “I’m innocent. I’m always innocent.” If convicted of the break-in, the actor faces a year behind bars, and 15 months for the store incident.