Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Retired cop: Gotti associate killed drug dealer

A former NYPD detective who committed crimes on behest of the Gambino crime family testified today that he witnesed an associate of John "Junior" Gotti shoot a drug dealer to death.

Phil Baroni, 57, who retired from the force in 1987, said he turned to a life of crime once he hung up his badge.

Baroni said a Gotti associate, John Alite, killed a drug dealer named George Grosso in 1988 -- a murder that the feds claim Gotti, who is currently on trial in Brooklyn, was involved with.

Baroni admitted on the stand that he committed robberies and burglaries for the Gambinos, and that he knew Alite took ordered from Gotti because he would send him money as a result of running a bookie sports operation.

John "Junior" Gotti

He said he and Alite were hanging out in a bar in Woodhaven, Queens moments before the shooting.

Baroni said Alite worked for Gotti, who the feds say headed the Gambinos, and that he was there when the former mob brute pulled the trigger, then spat on the man's dead body. He said the hit was ordered by Gotti.

"Just as I turned my back, I heard three shots," Baroni testified in Brooklyn federal court. "Alite had his gun pointed at Grosso's head."

Gotti, 45, has been tried three times in 2005 and 2006 on charges he plotted to kidnap Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels crime-fighting group.

All the trials ended in hung juries and mistrials after Gotti used the defense that he had quit the mob for good in the 1990s.

This time, along with the Sliwa plot, Gotti has pleaded not guilty to charges that he was involved in three gangland slayings and that he trafficked drugs.


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