John Edward Alite (born September 30, 1962) known as "Johnny Alletto", is a New York City mobster of Albanian origin. A former member of the Gambino crime family he was a friend and crew leader for John A. "Junior" Gotti in the 1980s and 90s. Following extradition from Brazil in 2006, he was convicted in Tampa, FL of several counts of murder conspiracy, racketeering and other charges stemming from allegedly heading a unit of the Gambino organization in Florida and was sentenced in 2011 to 10 years in prison (of which he had already served six). He was a prosecution witness against former associates, including Gotti and Charles Carneglia, in wide-ranging racketeering trials.
Early life Edit
He testified in court that he was introduced to organized crime when an uncle of his took him to a gambling den in The Bronx and was accompanied by a made man in the Gambino crime family. Alite grew up in Woodhaven, Queens and says he briefly attended the University of Tampa on a baseball scholarship and played on the university team, but left after one semester following an injury. He married his wife Carol on February 14, 1989 in Hawaii by a justice of the peace. The witness to his wedding was John Gotti, Jr. He divorced his wife several years later.
Working for Gotti Edit
Alite and Gotti met in their teens and moved quickly into criminal enterprises, according to federal prosecutors. Alite has testified that he and Gotti ran a cocaine trafficking ring in the Forest Hills section of Queens and extracted a tax from other dealers. By the 1990s, Alite says that the ring was earning $1 million a month. On February 14, 1988, Gotti was best man at Alite's wedding in Queens. The date was selected not because it was Valentine's Day, but as a sign of respect for Gotti because it was his birthday.
According to Alite, his relationship with Gotti and the Gambino family soured in 1994 when he confronted an associate, Carmine Agnello. Alite claims that he had been having an affair with Agnello’s wife Victoria Gotti, and grew angry when he believed that Agnello was beating her. Victoria Gotti strongly denied the affair. After a tense reconciliation meeting with Gotti, Alite received the family's permission to move to Tampa, Fl, where he had an interest in a valet business run by a friend, Ronnie Trucchio and ran a crew for the Gambino family.
Soon afterwards, Alite and Trucchio became involved in A&A, a valet company in Tampa, FL which later changed its name to Prestige Valet. Beginning in 1995, Prestige had contracts with St. Joseph's Hospital and the shops in Channelside, and parked cars at restaurants and nude clubs. Authorities said Alite used his alleged mob ties to threaten in and intimidate others in the Tampa valet business. Prosecutors, and Alite, also say that he also arranged for the purchase of Mirage, a Tampa nightclub.
In 1995 Alite was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm in violation of a parole agreement and spent three years in prison. After his release three years later, Alite earned an additional three months back in prison for smuggling sperm donation kits for a fellow inmate who was trying to impregnate his wife.
As federal racketeering indictments were handed down for his group's activities in the Tampa area, Alite fled to Rio de Janeiro in January 2004 and lived and worked in the Copacabana neighborhood, according to the Brazilian Federal Police. He lived there for 10 months before authorities there arrested him. He served two years in prison in Brazil while fighting extradition, but was eventually handed over to federal authorities in Tampa, Fl. for trial in 2006.
Government Informant Edit
In January 2008, Alite secretly pled guilty to two murders, four murder conspiracies, at least eight shootings and two attempted shootings as well as armed home invasions and armed robberies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. The maximum penalty for the charges is life in prison. Alite agreed to testify in the trial of Gambino family enforcer Charles Carneglia, who was found guilty of four murders and is now serving a life sentence.
After the successful trial against Carneglia, federal prosecutors have made him a witness in their unsuccessful racketeering trial against Gotti. Prosecutors charged that Gotti ordered the murders of George Grosso and Bruce Gotterup, who prosecutors said were part of the drug ring he and Alite operated in Queens. After 11 days of deliberations, the jury sent word that they were deadlocked and Judge P. Kevin Castel declared a mistrial. Interviewed after the trial, jurors said that they had not trusted prosecution witnesses, particularly Alite.
On April 26, 2011, Alite was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Susan Bucklew. Having served six years since his extradition, he could be eligible for release in 2015.