(Phoenix, AZ – June 6, 2003) – Notorious, self-professed Mafia hit man Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano and Debra Gravano were ordered to pay the State of Arizona $933,750 for their roles in a large-scale ecstasy distribution ring, Attorney General Terry Goddard announced today. A final order of judgment in that amount was entered against the Gravanos, jointly and severally, by the Maricopa County Superior Court on June 2, 2003.
An investigation led by the Phoenix Police Department into the market for MDMA, or ecstasy, revealed that the Gravanos were major players in introducing ecstasy to Arizona’s drug scene. They arrested the Gravanos and their distributors and sales force in February, 2000. In October, 2002, Sammy the Bull Gravano pled guilty to 10 felony charges: conspiracy to sell dangerous drugs; participating in a criminal syndicate; conducting an illegal enterprise; money laundering; weapons misconduct; and use of electronic communication in a drug related transaction and was sentenced to 19 years in prison. He admitted bankrolling and advising the young ecstasy dealers, including his son, Gerard.
Debra Gravano pled guilty to one count of illegally conducting an enterprise for which she is serving five years of supervised probation. She was active in the ecstasy distribution, serving as the "banker" for the enterprise, and knew that the money she was "banking" was for the purchase of ecstasy. The $933,750 judgment represents the amount of income the enterprise removed from Arizona’s legitimate economy in exchange for illegal drugs, in addition to the substantial losses in health, public safety, and related expenses, including damaging persons who used the drugs. The court also ordered the Gravanos to pay additional amounts for the cost of the investigation and prosecution, to be determined at a later date. Assistant Attorney General Cameron Holmes said that this judgment is another step in the civil racketeering action against Gravano and his enterprise. That action has obtained judgments forfeiting Gravano’s royalties from his endorsement of a book about him, Underboss, and attorney fees to date. The action also seeks forfeiture of the Gravanos’ trucking business, restaurant and investment business, cash, residences, weapons and other property that was either used in the criminal enterprise or was proceeds of it.
The investigation was conducted by Phoenix Police Department with the cooperation of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and assistance from the Gilbert Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.