NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors say that Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano plotted to murder his son Gerard's girlfriend for boasting she was dating "Sammy the Bull's son."
In a 34-page document released Thursday, prosecutors allege the former mob hitman threatened Gerard as well, putting a gun to his son's head for "disrespecting the family."
Prosecutors also charged that Gravano, who moved to Phoenix under the witness protection program, had formed a western chapter of La Cosa Nostra called the "Arizona Mafia."
The document also states Gravano planned at least four murder plots in Arizona but that none was ever carried out.
Prosecutors argue that evidence in the memo should be admitted to help cement allegations that Gravano was running a "continuing criminal enterprise," a charged that carries a 20-year minimum prison sentence.
Gravano's lawyer, Lynne Stewart ridiculed the charges. "Out of the Arizona desert rides the phantom of Sammy the Bull," she said, "committing new crimes for which there is no evidence."
Gravano and his son are scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in June on charges they ran a multimillion-dollar drug ring that purchased thousands of Ecstasy pills in Brooklyn and sold them in Arizona.
Gerard Gravano has asked a federal judge to separate their trial because he fears that his father's past could hurt him with a jury.
"All the evils that will be visited upon Gerard Gravano's fair-trial rights will result solely from his father's presence in this case," lawyer Thomas White wrote in a letter to U.S. District Judge Allyn Ross.
Salvatore Gravano admitted killing 19 people but was offered leniency in exchange for his testimony against Mafia boss John Gotti and others. He served just five years in prison.
Meanwhile, Gravano's wife could be facing possible jail time.
The Arizona attorney general wants to revoke Debra Gravano's bond and place her immediately behind bars. A hearing on the matter is scheduled Tuesday in Phoenix.
Prosecutors claim she started looking for hit men last December to kill three of the state's witnesses against her husband who had inside information concerning his alleged involvement in the Ecstasy ring.
Debra Gravano's attorney said she was set up by a planted witness.
— Arizona Daily Sun