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May 2018


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

A Mob Boss For President Would Be Good, Mobster ‘Sammy The Bull’ Tells Gand Land News

Jerry Capeci is regarded as an expert on the mob. His website, Gang Land News, is a subscription-based website. This article was republished with permission.

By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

They worked pretty well together 25 years ago, but mob turncoat Salvatore Gravano was as surprised as the next guy — along with several former FBI agents — when he learned that fired FBI Director James Comey cited “Sammy the Bull” and argued in his tell-all book that President Trump sought the same loyalty from him that mob bosses demanded from their troops.

Nothing wrong with that, Gravano tells Gang Land.

“The country doesn’t need a bookworm as President, it needs a mob boss,” said Gravano, who famously brought down his Mafia boss, John Gotti, in 1992. That’s especially so today when the President has to deal with powerful demagogues with nuclear weapons at their command, says the 73-year-old Sammy Bull, who said his health is “much better” since he got out of prison in September.

“Truthfully speaking now,” said Gravano, “if you’re gonna deal with the guy who runs North Korea, or the people who run Iran, or the Russian president, do you want a fucking bookworm to deal with them? Or do you want a gangster? You don’t need a Harvard graduate to deal with these people. These guys are real gangsters. You need
a fucking gangster to deal with these people.”

Gravano said all of that — and much more — in an exclusive interview with Gang Land. The talk was sparked by Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, in which Comey writes that during a private White House dinner a week after the inauguration Trump told him, “I expect loyalty. I need loyalty.” Comey concluded: “The demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony.”

Sammy Not Endorsing Trump

During the interview — Gravano’s first since his release after doing 17-plus years for drug dealing — the former mobster insisted that he was not endorsing Trump as he declared that a Mafia boss as Commander in Chief would be a good thing. Instead, he focused on the main point of the book by Comey, who as a prosecutor, used Sammy Bull as a witness in a 1993 case in which the mob defector helped the feds wrangle convictions of three mobsters for a John Gotti-ordered rubout.

“I don’t want this to sound like I’m tooting Trump’s horn,” said Sammy Bull. “I’m saying you need a guy like me. A real gangster. No matter who it is. When you deal with people on that level, you gotta be a gangster,” said Gravano, who insisted that his real-life gangster days are over. He opined that a President needs the same toughness and moxie to beat back the likes of Kim Jong un, Hassan Rouhani or Vladimir Putin that Sammy Bull used when dealing with murderous mobsters in his own family, as well as mob rivals during the bloody 1980s and early 1990s, years when dead gangsters from three crime families littered the streets of New York.

“When I dealt with other families, their bosses, underbosses and guys like Roy Demeo and Gaspipe Casso, and all kinds of other crazy nut jobs,” Gravano continued, “if I wasn’t a gangster, and they didn’t know I was a gangster, they would have swallowed me up.”

“If you (the U.S. President) ain’t going to act like a fucking gangster with them, (Kim, Rouhani, Putin) you are never going to get their respect, number 1, and number 2, they’ll eat you up,” he said. One topic Gravano refused to go near, however, was whether he had any dealings with Trump in the 1980s — or ever met or spoke to him — while both were major players in the New York City construction industry. It seems likely they might have, since each had close ties to the convicted leader of Teamsters Local 282, John Cody.

Former FBI Director James Comey on ABC’s 20/20.

But Gravano would only state “no comment” on possible meetings or dealings with Trump.

For the record, as the Gambino crime family’s main man in the industry, Sammy Bull controlled Local 282. And for years, while Cody’s members worked on Trump building projects, Cody’s girlfriend had a rent free apartment in Trump Towers, according to Wayne Barrett, who detailed Trump’s ties to Cody and other wiseguys in his 1992 book, Trump: The Deals and the Downfall.

During his mobster days, Gravano owned a Brooklyn construction company. He also ran one in Arizona when he got out of prison in the 1990s before his arrest in 2000 for dealing ecstasy. Today, he says he pays close attention to the economy as he pursues other business “options” and believes, he said, that major issues like unemployment, education and health care would also improve if a mob boss was President.

“Politicians are always lying and they are robbing the country forever,” said Gravano, echoing what Trump, and many of his staunch supporters said during and after The Donald’s surprising victory over Hillary Clinton 17 months ago. Comey’s words in his book, and the amplification of them to ABC-TV’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that Trump’s loyalty remark was an “amica nostra” moment to him, may make Sammy Bull’s ideas about the President, and the economy, somewhat relevant. But Gang Land thought that even the disgruntled Gravano would agree that a Mafia boss would worsen the bread and butter issues that affect most Americans.

“You gotta be kidding,” Gang Land retorted, “Wouldn’t a mob boss do the same thing, rob the public blind?” “Not to the same extent,” said Gravano. “I’ll give you an example. We had the bread association. So we went to the bakers and told them to raise their prices. We told ’em everyone’s going to make more money. You, the union,  everybody’s going to make more money. And we’re going to make a little money. So a loaf of bread, hypothetically (he really used that word) goes up four cents or a nickel.

“We take a penny or two out of that, and everybody eats.”

“The politicians do the same thing the mob does,” said Gravano, “but they’re the Mafia on steroids. They don’t rob pennies. They want the whole loaf of bread.”

“I’ll give you another example,” Sammy Bull continued, recalling a staged 1981 labor dispute between workers in a mob-controlled union who toiled for private sanitation companies that were controlled by an association headed by
Gambino capo James (Jimmy Brown) Failla.

Paul Castellano Murder

“I was in Paul Castellano’s house one day, and there was a garbage strike. Jimmy Brown came up, and Paul told him, ‘Listen.

“I was watching TV. Don’t overdo these things. We got garbage piled up in front of schools, and hospitals. Go get that the fuck out of there. We don’t want to hurt the general public. We want to make a few dollars more. Don’t cripple the fucking city.’ That was Paul’s words to Jimmy Brown in front of me. And that, to me, is the mob.”

When Gang Land noted that Sammy Bull was intimately involved in Big Paul’s demise and was on the scene when his mob cohorts killed him, Gravano declined to go back on either his current remarks or his involvement in Castellano’s murder, stating that he testified about “those reasons” at Gotti’s trial, and several others back in the 1990s.

Gravano was Comey’s key witness in a 1993 case in Manhattan Federal Court against wiseguys John Gambino, his brother Joseph, and Lorenzo Mannino, a trio charged in the 1988 murder of a rival gangster in Queens. The jury hung 11-1 for conviction on the murder, but the trio took 15-year-plea deals rather than take their chances a second time. But Gravano said he couldn’t hazard a guess as to why Comey invoked his name to bash the President, noting that he had told numerous callers, including former FBI agents, the same thing in recent days.

The Bull said he hadn’t spoken to Comey since the trial, and that he didn’t recall ever telling Comey about his own induction in 1976 or a special one he handled for Gotti the same year he supervised the Queens slaying. (See below) Gravano also declined to discuss the opinions that former G-men voiced to him about Comey’s book. But three former agents told Gang Land that his book was a “disservice” to all current and former agents and that Comey and they would have been better served if he left the fallout of his firing and Trump’s Presidency to special counsel Robert Mueller.

“If Comey knows so much about mob bosses,” said one, “he should have taken the advice” that former Gambino underboss Aniello (Neil) Dellacroce gave FBI agents who tried to flip him in the emergency room of Beekman Downtown Hospital on February 26, 1985 when they arrested him on racketeering charges in the historic Commission case.

“The silent tongue is the golden tongue,” said Dellacroce, whose death 10 months later, eased the way for Gotti and Gravano to whack Big Paul Castellano and take over the Gambino family.

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