5/1/13

"ROB THE MOB" - MOBSTER OF THE WEEK...

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Sammy “The Bull” Gravano is a former underboss of the Gambino crime family. He is known as the man who helped bring down John Gotti, the family's boss, by agreeing to become a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) government witness.


Originally a mobster for the Colombo crime family, and later for the Brooklyn faction of the Gambinos, Gravano participated in the conspiracy to murder Gambino boss Paul Castellano.
After Castellano's death, Gotti became the Boss of the Gambino family and elevated Gravano to underboss.


Gotti was imprisoned in May 1986 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York while awaiting trial on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges. He was forced to rely heavily on Gravano to manage the family's day-to-day affairs while he called the major shots from his jail cell.

Gotti's trial ultimately ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury and the boss was freed from jail.

When Joseph N. Gallo and Armone were convicted on racketeering charges in 1987, Gotti turned to Gravano to help fill the void, promoting him to official consigliere and making Frank Locascio acting underboss. By this time, Gravano was regarded as a "rising force" in the construction industry and often mingled with executives from major construction firms and union officials at his popular Bensonhurst restaurant, Tali's.


Gravano's success was not without a downside. First, his quick rise up the Gambino hierarchy attracted the attention of the FBI, and he was soon placed under surveillance. Second, he started to sense some jealousy from Gotti over the profitability of his legitimate business interests. Nevertheless, Gravano claimed to be kicking up over $2 million each year to Gotti out of his union activities alone.

Gotti's ego began to bother Gravano as well as several other members of the family. When Gravano warned Gotti about the negative attention from reporters as well as the constant surveillance from the FBI, Gotti instructed Gravano not to worry about it as Gotti knew what he was doing.


After being acquitted of the shooting of union official John O'Connor, Gotti received word from a mole that indictments were coming down for Gotti, Gravano, LoCascio, and captain Thomas Gambino.

Gravano hid out in various places on the east coast for two weeks before being ordered to return for a meeting at the Ravenite Social club in Little Italy. On the night of the meeting, Gotti, Gravano, and LoCascio were arrested by the FBI.
In court several FBI tapes revealed Gotti talking about Gravano’s greed and discussed several muerders in which Gravano was involved and worded it to sound like Gravano was a greedy "mad dog" killer.
Gravano claimed Gotti's defense to consist of Gotti's lawyers portraying Gotti as a peace-loving boss falling all over himself to restrain the kill-crazy Gravano, resulting in a conviction for Gravano and an acquittal for Gotti.

On November 11, 1991, federal prosecutors announced that Gravano became a cooperating government witness. Gravano would later testify against Gotti and other high-ranking mobsters in exchange for a reduced sentence. John Gotti received a sentence of life imprisonment. As part of Gravano's cooperation agreement, he would never be forced to testify against his former crew.
In 1994, Gravano was released early and entered the U.S. federal Witness Protection Program.



Stéphanie

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