Sammy "The Bull" Gravano Biography

Organized Crime, Drug Dealer (1945–)
Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, a mobster turned government witness, is best known for testifying against his mafia associates in exchange for government protection.

Who Is Sammy Gravano?

Born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano became the highest-ranking mafioso in history to turn government witness. His testimony helped to jail 36 of his former mafia associates and, as part of the deal, admitted to the murders of 19 people, including that of his brother-in-law. Gravano then entered the government's Witness Protection Program, but left the program in 1997 to promote his autobiography, Underboss. However, Gravano didn't leave his life of crime behind. In the late 1990s, he began a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking faction in Arizona, and in 2000, he was arrested on trafficking charges. In 2001 he pleaded guilty to federal and state drug-trafficking charges, and the following year, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is currently serving his sentences in a Colorado prison.

Sammy Gravano Photo

Sammy Gravano

Early Release From Prison 

Although Gravano was set to be released in 2019, he was released early in September 2017. 

“I spoke to him,” daughter Karen told The Post. “He is happy to be out after spending the last 17 1/2 years in prison. He’s in good health, great spirits and he’s anxious to move forward with the next phase of his life.”

Wife, Daughter and Son

Gravano married his wife Debra Scibetta in 1971. The couple have a daughter and son, Karen and Gerard. Unlike most mob families, Debra actually got involved in her husband's criminal enterprise, helping to sell ecstasy in Arizona — in fact, the entire family did. Although Gravano and son Gerard served prison time, mother and daughter were given probation.  

Sammy Gravano Movies

Among the films that have depicted Gravano in pop culture are the TV movies Gotti (1996) and Witness to the Mob (1997), as well as an upcoming film also entitled Gotti, which stars John Travolta in the title role and William DeMeo as Gravano.

Gambino Mob Underboss & Government Witness

Salvatore Gravano, better known as Sammy Gravano, was born on March 12, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York. An admitted "underboss" of the Gambino crime family, Gravano became the highest-ranking mafioso in history to turn government witness in the mid-1990s.

Gravano's testimony helped jail 36 of his former mafia associates, including the boss of the Gambino crime family, John "the Teflon Don" Gotti. As part of his deal with federal prosecutors, Gravano admitted to the murders of 19 people, including that of his brother-in-law, but he served less than five years in prison. Gotti was serving a term of life in prison until his death in 2002. After testifying, Gravano entered the government's Witness Protection Program, but left the program in 1997 to promote his biographical book, Underboss, written with Peter Maas.

Arizona Ecstasy Ring

However, Gravano, who had relocated to Arizona, didn't leave his life of crime behind. His son, Gerard Gravano, became friends with an Arizona gang known as the "Devil Dogs," and by the late 1990s, Sammy Gravano had also become involved with the group. Living in Arizona at the time, Sammy Gravano began what would become a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking faction, bringing in a reported $500,000 per week.

Not long after, in February 2000, Gravano and several other members of his Ecstasy ring were arrested on trafficking charges. The following year, Gravano pleaded guilty to federal and state (Arizona) drug-trafficking charges. In 2002, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a federal judge for drug trafficking. His son, Gerard Gravano, was also convicted on federal drug charges. Sammy Gravano is currently serving his state and federal sentences in a Colorado prison.

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