Mob turncoat John Alite has had a lot to say about his old buddy John (Junior) Gotti -- but he's also found time to tell the feds some amazing stories about corrupt cops and detectives.
Alite -- set to be a key witness at Gotti IV -- has given the FBI names and details regarding rogue cops who he claims helped him deal drugs and murder a possible dozen victims who dared to cross him over the years.
Since he began talking to the FBI in 2007, law enforcement sources say Alite has fingered more than a dozen men in blue for crimes ranging from bookmaking to murder. Two allegedly had roles in a drug-related Queens rubout -- one of three slayings that Gotti is charged with in the racketeering indictment that goes to trial today.
One police suspect in the Dec. 20, 1988 murder of George Grosso, according to court records, is Nicholas Tobia, about 45. Tobia, who joined the Suffolk County police department in 1995, was placed on desk duty a year ago. He is currently "on leave status" pending the outcome of a continuing federal probe, a police spokeswoman told Gang Land.
A second suspect in the Grosso slaying is ex-NYPD detective Philip Baroni, who retired in 1986 with a back injury -- and a disability pension of 75% of his cop's salary -- after a 21-year career with the NYPD. A spokesman declined to comment about Baroni, or discuss the status of any of the other current or former cops or detectives whom Alite has accused of wrongdoing.
At the racketeering-murder trial of Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia earlier this year, Alite, who described himself as a mob rat, testified that Baroni and Tobia were part of a five-man hit team that he assembled for the murder.
Law enforcement sources say Alite also implicated Baroni and Tobia in numerous other crimes, and accused another dirty dozen of being in bed with him, and other Gambino family wiseguys during the 1980s. These include the late Mafia Boss John Gotti, his former son-in-law, Carmine Agnello, and the crime family's currently imprisoned consigliere, Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo.
In addition to Baroni and Tobia, the sources say Alite named at least seven other current or former allegedly corrupt members of the NYPD. He provided only nicknames or other identifying characteristics of five others in discussions with FBI agents and federal prosecutors.
Alite claimed that several cops were involved as either suppliers or distributors in the drug ring that he and Junior Gotti ran in the 1980s. Others, he insisted, had their own drug operations, while some corrupt cops provided "protection" or a variety of other illegal services for Gambino wiseguys.
Alite knew one cop only as "Joe Jocko" who he said was "very close" to the Dapper Don and had a "relationship" with an unidentified judge who was able to "fix" nagging problems that Gotti pals had with their driver's licenses. Sources say Alite told the feds that on one occasion, Joe Jocko took him to the judge's chambers in a Long Island courthouse where Alite personally delivered a $5,000 payment to the judge along with a "list of names" that Gotti had given him.
Alite never learned Joe Jocko's real name, but he knew Baroni and Tobia well enough to ask them to wire hundreds of thousands of dollars to him in 2006, when he was being held on a federal warrant in Brazil, and was looking to bribe his way out of prison.
"He goes back a long time with both those guys," said one law enforcement source.
Indeed, Gang Land sources report that Alite and Tobia were so close to the family as youngsters that they were members of the "7-N-7 gang," one of several Gambino crime family farm teams of wannabe wiseguys that roamed the streets of Ozone Park and Woodhaven in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"They were both in '7-N-7,' the guys from 77th Street," said one knowledgeable source. "Tobia was a tough kid; Alite was a legend in the neighborhood, a tough guy, a crazy guy. They shook everybody down. In the winter they wore leather -- motorcycle jackets with the 7-N-7 logo. In the summer they switched to '7-N-7' dungaree jackets."
From 1987 to about 1994, Alite told the FBI, the pair shared an apartment on 85th Road in Woodhaven where they lived and where they "stored, cut, weighed and packaged" the marijuana and cocaine they were dealing in a number of Queens bars that Junior Gotti controlled.
During the mid-1990s, said one law enforcement source, Alite learned that Tobia "was going to take the test to become a Suffolk County police officer" and "saw it as a great opportunity to have someone on the inside" who could alert Alite and his mob buddies about ongoing probes.
Even before Tobia graduated from the police academy, sources say that he gave Alite a police issue, bullet-proof vest, one that he made good use of during that tense time when he and Junior became enemies and Alite feared he was marked for death.
Alite has told the feds that Baroni, now 58 and living large in Las Vegas, was involved in numerous crimes during their affiliation before and after Baroni retired from the NYPD. Their hijinks including bookmaking, armed robberies, drug dealing and obstruction of justice.
"Phil was around me for 20 years," Alite testified at Caneglia's trial. "He was involved in crimes with me for 20 years; he's worth millions."
Alite contends that Baroni wanted to fire the fatal shots into Grosso. Alite, however, didn't want to share the gory chore and refused to pass his pal the gun as they sat next to each other in the back seat of a car behind their victim. Instead, Alite fired two bullets into Grosso's head as the car pulled off the Grand Central Parkway at the Jewel Avenue exit.
As Tobia drove up behind in a "crash car," Alite tossed the murder weapon, a .25 caliber handgun, into a nearby pond as Baroni dumped Grosso's body over a guardrail and into some weeds on the side of the parkway, according to Alite's account of the killing.
Gang Land could not reach either Tobia or Baroni. Previously, both have declined to comment when contacted by other news reporters.