John Alite and John Gotti Jr

At one time they were, seemingly, the best of friends and working associates in the Gambino family – but for years there has been an ongoing feud between John Gotti Jr and John Alite. There has been a lot of mud thrown in a very public way between them both. So much so that it’s difficult to work out what really went on. It’s turned into a case of ‘he said/she said’, particularly in interviews and on social media.

John Alite (left) and John Gotti Jr

John Alite

John Edward Alite was born on September 30, 1962 in Queens, New York. He is American of Albanian descent through his grandparents. Alite is a former associate of the Gambino crime family, and was apparently under the control of John Gotti Jr, as well as being a friend. He is a self-confessed drug dealer and murderer, who turned informant in 2006 following his extradition from Brazil. Alite would eventually testify in cases against John Carneglia (this included an alleged plot for them to kill Gotti), and also in a racketeering case against John J Gotti, which was unsuccessful.

John Alite mugshot, 2004

The following is a short extract from ‘Gotti’s Rules: The story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the demise of the American Mafia’ by George Anastasia

Gotti was a mob boss who loved the spotlight, a celebrity gangster who thumbed his nose at the conventional wisdom of the old-time wiseguys. Their idea was to make money not headlines. Gotti thought he could do both. For a long time he did. He and his son embodied the Me generation of the mob. Junior was a spoiled, self-absorbed, second-generation gangster whose sense of entitlement was his undoing. He liked the idea of being a mobster but never really understood how it worked.

Smug and arrogant, bullies in expensive suits, the Gottis played by their own set of rules, rules that allowed them to do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted.

That was part of the hypocrisy of the Gotti crime family. The image they projected didn’t mesh with the reality. Even the Dapper Don moniker was phony, according to Alite. If Gotti Sr. didn’t have an associate picking out his clothes and telling him how to dress, the former thug and hijacker would have dressed like, well, a thug and hijacker, clashing plaids and stripes and colors rather than the cool, sophisticated elegance that became his trademark.

The media, of course, helped create the image. John J. Gotti on the cover of Time Magazine; in boldface on Page Six of the New York Post; a soundbite, a pithy quote, leading the evening news. John Gotti was the face of the American Mafia at the end of the twentieth century.

And his son, coming on his heels, extending the reign.

John Gotti Jr

John Angelo Gotti was born on February 14, 1964, in Queens, New York. He is the oldest son of John Sr. and Victoria Gotti. Following his father’s incarceration in 1992, he became acting boss of the Gambino crime family until 1999. According to journalist and author, Selwyn Raab, in the book The Five Families: The Rise, Decline & Resurgence of America’s Most Powerful Mafia Empire, The Genovese crime family were so unimpressed with him that it refused to deal with him. Indeed, several men in the Gambino family believed he was incompetent. Like his father, Junior was indicted on various racketeering charges, and also on an alleged plot to kidnap radio host Curtis Silwa, after Silwa called his father ‘Public Enemy Number One’ during one of his broadcasts. John A. Gotti has claimed that he left the Gambino family and his criminal life behind in 1999, and he also says that although he gave the FBI information, he is not a ‘snitch’ and no indictments ever resulted from it.

John A. Gotti mugshot

The following is a short extract from ‘Shadow of my Father’ by John A. Gotti and Peter Lance

Around this time, a soldier named Tony ‘Pep’ Trentacosta brought in information that a police source of his had said that John Alite was a confidential informant.

Alite was an Albanian. He was a non-Italian associate, basically the bottom of the totem pole, and could never be made. Alite was not a denizen of the Bergin, but floated between the Our Friends Social Club in Ozone Park, and JoJo’s City Line Club (on the border of Queens and Brooklyn), as well as other crews and places in the area. So if Alite was truly a CI, this would be a local matter in the neighborhood, not a Family issue. After seeing all of the surveillance tapes taken of the Bergin, you would see Alite once or twice going around the corner to the club – and we’re talking from ’84-91.

So we asked ‘Pep’ if he was sure about this information regarding Alite being a CI. He was sure. A few weeks after receiving this information, Alite was sent for. He was put on the carpet, he was fucking up all over the place, using drugs, dealing drugs while flying our flag, and robbing drug dealers. An example of this from a 302: it was reported by government source 3507-98 Michael DiLeornardo says Gotti Jr. asked him to go see Gravano about a situation where a Danny Fama, a drug dealer was going to be robbed by Alite and a rival gang of drug dealers. Gravano told DiLeonardo not to say anything to Gotti Sr.

This would have to have been before November 8, 1991, the date Gravano became a cooperator. Obviously, had Alite been a member of the Bergin crew instead of a floater, this report would have made no sense. He was also involved in the killing of some guy he said tried to kill him, Bruce Gotterup.

Alite was verbally abused by me while my then brother-in-law, Carmine Agnello, Johnny Boy Ruggiero and a guy named Tommy ‘Sneakers’ watched. Alite was chased from the neighborhood. People were instructed to give him the ‘shoulder’ if he came around.

Now, I had said that ‘Pep’ and his police source were wrong about Alite. He was being chased for the drug dealing and the other shit he was doing. If I had put my stamp on the CI story, Alite would have been killed. Chasing him was sufficient. He had a wife and two little kids, and at the time, that was something that I felt shouldn’t happen. His wife was a friend of my wife.

I would later regret having protected him.

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