Notorious former mob underboss turned informant Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano has landed an early release from prison. Gravano found himself behind bars following drug charges for distributing and possessing MDMA in 2002 – a racket that netted him around $500,000 a week. He had previously entered a witness protection program after he helped with the takedown of mob boss John “Dapper Don” Gotti.
The ex-Gambino underboss dodged 19 murder charges and murder conspiracies which stretched for more than 15 years by becoming a rat for the FBI. The inside information he provided landed 39 Mafia wiseguys and associates, including Gotti, behind bars. At the time, he was the highest-ranking member of La Cosa Nostra to turn canary.
In 1992, Gotti was convicted of five murders, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, obstruction of justice, illegal gambling, extortion, tax evasion, and loansharking. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole and died behind bars of throat cancer in 2002 aged 61-years-old.
Pictured above: Mob boss John Gotti
Peter Gotti, brother of the mob boss, intended to kill Gravano with a homemade explosive device although the hit was not successful. Gravano told Vanity Fair, “They send a hit team down, I’ll kill them. They better not miss, because even if they get me, there will be a lot of body bags going back to New York.” Following his release, his whereabouts and plans for the future will likely be kept strictly confidential.
Gravano’s lawyer, Thomas Farinella, said, “He’s in good spirits, good health, and anxious to move forward with the next stage of life,” adding, “Right now, his plan is to soak up the experience he’s in right now. He’s focused re-acclimating into society and enjoying his freedom.”
His daughter, Karen Gravano, told The New York Post, “I spoke to him. 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. There is no doubt I’m extremely happy,” she said. “I’ve been fighting for this day the whole 17 1/2 years that he’s been in prison, so I’m ecstatic it’s finally here.”