Sammy Gravano left school at 16, by that point having already been spending much of his time with a local youth gang called the Rampers. Subscribe to SILive.com. He was accused of buying 40,000 Ecstacy pills from a drug gang in New York. Look at your family. Arizona Department of Corrections officials said Gravano got released from the state prison system last year, but was incarcerated federally until recently. Gravano lamented that what often goes unrecognized in public depictions of the Mafia is that hitmen are victims too. gunned down earlier this year outside his family’s home on Staten Island. Looking back on businesses he ran while a member of the Mafia, and his ability to plan hits, he said if there would have been help in the schools for his learning disability, he could’ve excelled past the 8th grade and maybe pursued another career, saying, "it’s not in my DNA.”. Gravano said Gotti told him: “'The streets need me, the boss, you’re the sacrificial lamb.' - By Larry McShane. He played a key role in planning and executing Gambino boss Paul Castellano's murder and is the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss by agreeing to become an FBI informant. then-boss “Big Paul” Castellano in December 1985 – and was seated alongside Gotti when the hit went down. “I was a hero,” he bragged to reporter Diane Sawyer in a nationally televised interview.
The decision to go rogue spared Gravano from the fate that eventually faced Gotti: a life sentence and death behind bars. He is a 37-year veteran city reporter who worked for The Associated Press as a national writer and in the Baltimore and New York City bureaus.
Gravano served two lengthy stretches of prison time, the second coming after he was arrested by federal authorities in connection with an ecstasy ring in Arizona. And then, in February 2000, Gravano was busted – along with his son – for running a multimillion-dollar drug ring in his new Southwestern home. Though an eighth-grade dropout, he made millions in the mobbed-up construction businesses of New York City. The Brooklyn-born Gravano still faces parole for the rest of his life – likely spent in an undisclosed location. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. He describes how the humiliation of dyslexia as a child, mixed with an alpha-male mentality and the respect he held for the Mafia in a working-class neighborhood shaped who he would become. He offered an example of a sit-down meeting with a man, as a third individual served the man coffee then shot him in the head.
He is best known as the man who helped bring down family boss John Gotti by agreeing to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) … He is the author of three books: Cops Under Fire, Chin: The Life and Crimes of Mafia Boss Vincent Gigante and Last Don Standing: The Secret Life of Mob Boss Ralph Natale. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.
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