Mob Wives. In the mafia world, collaborating with the government is breaking a cardinal rule. Rats are not tolerated. But in 1991, “Sammy the Bull” Gravano became a government witness against mob boss John Gotti. Gravano testified against Gotti and others in exchange for a reduced sentence. Gravano got five years; Gotti got life in jail. (Gotti died in prison, from cancer, in 2002.) When Gravano was released in 1994 he went into the witness protection program in Arizona but left the program in 1995.
Later the Gravano family started a drug ring selling Ecstasy in Arizona. The family — father Sammy, wife Debra, son Gerald, and daughter Karen, who is now a star on Mob Wives — were arrested and charged. All four of them pleaded guilty: Debra and Karen got probation, Gerald got 9 years, father Sammy got 19 years. In response to the new law for non-violent drug offenders, the Gravanos have filed a motion to request that Sammy come home earlier than his release date, March 8, 2019. The late John Gotti’s daughter Victoria Gotti isn’t pleased and she’s talking to the press about it. Karen Gravano believes, “this is a plot from them, to sway the judge into making a bad decision.” She adds, “Honestly, I’m so over the Gottis — always pointing the finger; Sammy this, Sammy that. They need to realize and take responsibilty for what their father did.” Mob Wives airs Wednesdays at 8pm on VH1.
L to R: Salvatore “Sammy the Bull”, Debra, Gerald, and Karen Gravano mugshots (ABC News)