Great Neck plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno leaves Nassau County Court...

Great Neck plastic surgeon Matthew Bonanno leaves Nassau County Court in Mineola in July Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former Great Neck plastic surgeon will serve five years of probation after authorities uncovered his extensive weapon arsenal in a 2019 investigation that stretched across two counties and sparked worries about possible extremist intentions.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy on Friday sentenced Matthew Bonanno, 49, after his July guilty plea to a felony count of criminally possessing a 9 mm weapon.

Bonanno's attorney, Paul Gentile, said during the Mineola sentencing that the weapon was a "collector's item" found "in a case" in his client's former home.

The Manhattan lawyer has portrayed Bonanno since his arrest as an "outstanding plastic surgeon" who performed surgeries on disfigured veterans. He also has insisted his client is an outdoorsman who hunts and "loves guns" and not an extremist.

Nassau prosecutors agreed to drop the rest of a 13-count local indictment that had charged the physician with illegally possessing five assault weapons and two pistols seized from his former North Shore luxury apartment. But Bonanno, who now lives in Elmsford, will lose his medical license.

Friday's court hearing followed a September sentencing in Westchester after Bonanno struck a deal there to plead guilty to a different felony weapon charge following a 53-count indictment. Bonanno's sentence in that case was a five-year probation term and about 4 months of jail time he already served, a Westchester district attorney's office spokeswoman said Friday.

The probation terms will run at the same time, according to Murphy.

The investigation into Bonanno started in August 2019 when police in Tuckahoe seized a cache of weapons from his BMW. Authorities said they did so after a friend of Bonanno's stepped out of a pub and called 911 after allegedly seeing Bonanno show a weapon and make a threat about killing his estranged wife and her family.

Weapons in the BMW, which was in the woman's driveway, included five assault rifles, three handguns, 29 high-capacity loaded magazines, more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun, body armor, handcuffs, masks, knives, scopes and binoculars, according to police.

A Westchester prosecutor characterized the seizure as involving "basically weapons of mass destruction ... to kill people and lots of them," at Bonanno's arraignment in that county in September 2019.

The probe in Westchester quickly grew to include a search of Bonanno's former Great Neck apartment, where police said they seized weapons including assault rifles, handguns, high capacity magazines, body armor, ammunition and smoke grenades.

Authorities never ended up charging Bonanno with making a threat. Gentile — who previously served as Bronx district attorney — has said the allegation his client threatened to kill was a "false claim" by an intoxicated man.

A Westchester judge previously lifted a protective order that prohibited Bonanno from contact with his estranged wife after she said in 2019 she didn't feel at risk.

Gentile said after Friday's sentencing that his client will pursue a certificate of relief from disabilities in a long-shot attempt to get his medical license back. But the defense attorney also said the way Bonanno's case ended "proves that injustice has a comfortable home in this courthouse."

Bonanno "never was a threat to society" but simply had guns he didn't register in New York after buying them legally in another state, Gentile added.

Nassau prosecutors declined to comment Friday.

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