The ugly: 2 more cast members in trouble with police

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NEW YORK (AP) – It would be enough to give Tony Soprano agita.

Continuing a string of off-screen run-ins with the law, two more fringe characters from “The Sopranos”- the television mob boss’s favorite chef and his muscle-bound bodyguard – have been charged in separate criminal cases.

John Ventimiglia, who plays temperamental chef Artie Bucco on the HBO hit, was arraigned on Monday on drunken driving, drug possession and other charges after officers spotted him weaving in and out of traffic in Brooklyn.

A criminal complaint alleges that when police pulled him over, the actor had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of booze. His blood-alcohol content was 0.12 – the legal limit is 0.08 – and he was carrying a zip-lock bag with cocaine residue, the complaint said.

Ventimiglia, 42, was released without bail.

In Queens, Louis Gross – who plays bodyguard Perry Annunziata on “The Sopranos” – was charged with criminal mischief after a woman claimed that he broke into her home on April 18.

True to his character, the 23-year-old observed omerta (the Mafia’s code of silence) on Monday following his release without bail.

“I don’t know nothing,” he told reporters. “I’m innocent. I’m always innocent.”

Arrests have become a rite of passage for a growing list of “Sopranos” cast members:

• Lillo Brancato Jr., who played an aspiring mobster on the show, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying last year of an off-duty police officer who interrupted two men breaking into a Bronx home.

• Vincent Pastore, cast as gangster Sal “Big Pussy” Bompensiero before getting whacked, pleaded guilty in 2005 to attempted assault on his girlfriend and was sentenced to 70 hours of community service.

• Robert Iler, who plays Tony’s rebellious son, pleaded guilty to mugging two other youths and stealing $40. He was give three years probation.

Gross’s most memorable scene this season was taking a beating from Tony, who wanted to prove his might to mutinous family members.

In another recent episode, Ventimiglia’s character became unhinged over his wife’s unsolicited advice about his failing restaurant.

Snapped Artie: “You know better than NJ Zagat: ‘Arthur Bucco, warm and convivial host’?”

AP-ES-05-02-06 1607EDT

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