Lawyers for John "Junior" Gotti said they received notification Friday from prosecutors that a former NYPD detective allegedly tied to the mob has pleaded guilty to federal charges.
The nature of the charges facing Phil Barrone wasn't disclosed, according to Gotti lawyer Charles Carnesi. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan declined to comment when asked if Barrone had entered any plea.
Word that Barrone, who left the force in the 1980s, has entered a plea raised the question of whether the former cop might be a cooperating witness in the Gotti trial, slated to begin Monday.
Gotti, 45, of Oyster Bay Cove and son of the late mob boss, is scheduled to go on trial for racketeering, drug dealing and two murders, the Queens slayings of George Grosso in December 1988 and John Gotterup in 1992.
Barrone's name surfaced earlier this year in connection with the case, when mob turncoat John Alite testified in Brooklyn federal court during the racketeering trial of Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia. Alite testified that he shot Grosso while he drove with him in a car on the Grand Central Parkway.
Alite also testified that Suffolk County Police Officer Nicholas Tobia and Barrone were around and ready to help when he set up Grosso, whose killing he said was directed by Gotti.
Neither Barrone nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday.
Tobia's attorney, William Petrillo of Rockville Centre, said the allegations area "a malicious and grotesque lie which slanders the great name of a respected officer and family man."
Tobia, 45, of Wantagh, who joined the force in 1995, is on leave, a Suffolk police department spokeswoman said Friday.