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Mob informant's son gets nine years for part in Ecstasy ring

Mob informant's son gets nine years for part in Ecstasy ring

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PHOENIX (AP) — The son of mob informant Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano was sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar Ecstasy ring masterminded by his father.

"I apologize to the court and my family," Gerard Gravano said. "I'd like to start my life over… and do the right thing."

Gravano, 27, had pleaded guilty in state court in June 2001 to illegally conducting an enterprise and offering to sell and transport dangerous drugs.

In July, he was sentenced to nine years in a federal court in New York on similar charges.

It hasn't yet been determined where Gravano will serve both the New York and Arizona sentences, which are to be served concurrently, said Pati Urias, spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

Judge Steven D. Sheldon of Maricopa County Superior Court said Gravano's prior felony convictions didn't reflect his desire to stay out of trouble.

"The defendant's conduct is associated with violence, and the maximum punishment is warranted," Sheldon said.

The sentencing marks the winding down of a roughly 3-year-long investigation and court hearings for Salvatore Gravano and others involved in one of the largest drug prosecutions in state history, authorities said. About 45 individuals in the drug ring have been charged and most have pleaded guilty.

"The sentencing of Gerard Gravano puts an end to the effort to breed a new generation of mobsters in Arizona," said Attorney General Janet Napolitano.

Salvatore Gravano, 57, pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced in New York federal court to 20 years in prison.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 30 in Arizona Superior Court on charges including conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs, participating in a criminal syndicate and conducting an illegal enterprise.

The elder Gravano had served five years in 1994 for plotting 19 murders, receiving leniency for testifying against Gambino crime boss John Gotti Sr., who was given a life sentence in 1992 and died in June at a prison hospital in Missouri.

Gravano was put under the federal witness protection in Tempe and used the name "Jimmy Moran."

In 1998, Gravano helped Gerard Gravano's friend operate a drug business in the Phoenix area to make it more efficient and profitable. At its height, the ring sold up to 30,000 Ecstasy pills and pulled in more than $300,000 a week, authorities said.

— Arizona Daily Sun


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