Tony Soprano's Boy Cops A Plea

Teen-age television actor Robert Iler, the rebellious, pot-smoking son of a mob boss on "The Sopranos," resolved his own criminal woes Tuesday with a surprise guilty plea in an Upper East Side mugging.

The plea bargain allowed Iler, 17, to admit to a misdemeanor, petty larceny, in return for a sentence of three years probation. Iler was granted youthful offender status, and his record will be sealed.

A co-defendant, 17-year-old Alban Selimaj, took the same plea. Both he and Iler stood before state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Fitzgerald and admitted their roles in the July 4, 2001, incident.

Initially, the pair was charged with second-degree robbery. They could have faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted of that count.

Iler read a statement to the court, admitting he and Selimaj spotted two youths walking toward them and decided to "hassle" the pair. The youths were mugged of $40.

Iler and the others were arrested a few blocks away, and a police officer testified Monday that he took a bag of marijuana and a still-hot pipe out of Iler's pocket.

The guilty pleas came on the second day of a pre-trial evidentiary hearing.

A third suspect, Michael Cournede, 20, still faces trial on the robbery charge. He has pleaded innocent. A fourth male who was 15 was turned over to juvenile authorities and his case is being handled by family court.

Iler portrays the pot-smoking, troubled Anthony "A.J." Soprano Jr. on the HBO television hit about gangland life, "The Sopranos."