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- Sammy Gravano
- February, 2000
- Drug Trafficking
- Twenty years in prison
The arrest of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano:
He was the underboss in the Gambino crime family, making him number two to the mob's leader, John Gotti. This meant he had plenty to say when he testified against his gang. However, Sammy the Bull hated the witness protection program, and left to fend for himself, found new ways to break the law and eventually spend some serious time in prison.
Salvatore Gravano, born in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, got into trouble early, accused of stealing cupcakes from a corner store on his way to school when he was seven and eight years old. He was running with a gang by the time he was 13 and he got his nickname "The Bull" from local wise guys who watched the way he handled himself in fights.
He worked his way into the crime family headed by Joe Colombo and later switched his allegiances to the Gambino family.
He was accused of conspiring to kill the gang's boss Paul Castellano and went onto the become Gotti's number two.
But he was one of several members who tired of Gotti's high profile style; felling it brought too much heat on the rest of the gang. And when Gotti was caught on tape calling Gravano a greedy, mad dog killer, Sammy turned state's evidence and testified against his old boss.
Gotti got a life sentence and died in prison. Sammy spent a year in prison overall, a greatly reduced sentence in exchange for his cooperation.
He was released in 1994 and entered the witness protection program and moved to Tempe, Arizona but left the program in 1995 and moved to Scottsdale.
In the late 1990's he started a major ecstasy trafficking operations and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. Sammy pulled a 20 year sentence on the federal charges…
…and is not eligible for release until 2019, when he will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.