News World

Mob canary ‘Sammy The Bull’ flies coop

By Brad Hunter, Toronto Sun

Mob rat Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano has been sprung from prison.

Mob rat Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano has been sprung from prison.

Notorious mob rat Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull’ Gravano — a prolific hitman for the Gambino crime family — has been sprung from prison.

The 72-year-old Mafia lifer spent years at the side of “Teflon Don” John Gotti during his rise in organized crime — until Gravano finked to the feds in 1991.

Gravano’s shocking testimony effectively ended Gotti’s reign at the top of New York’s mob heap.

The New York Post reports that the elderly gunsel was released five years early on Sept. 18, citing the Arizona Department of Corrections. Gravano will remain on parole the rest of his life.

The beefy underboss had pleaded guilty to running a $500,000-a-week ecstasy distribution ring in 2002.

More famously, the hot-tempered triggerman was sentenced to just five years in prison in 1991 when he dropped the dime on Gotti.

On the stand, the mob enforcer copped to clipping 19 people.

The killer — who got his start stealing cupcakes from a Brooklyn bodega at the age of seven, was also one of the masterminds behind the Christmas 1985 hit on Paul “Big Paul” Castellano.

The shocking assassination outside Sparks Steak House in Midtown sent shockwaves through the underworld. And it put Gotti on top.

But his 1991 testimony not only took Gotti off the board but 38 other mobsters as well, crippling the New York Mafia for a generation.

“I spoke to him,” his daughter and reality TV star, Karen Gravano, told the New York Post. “He is happy to be out after spending the last 171/2 years in prison. He’s in good health, great spirits and he’s anxious to move forward with the next phase of his life.”

She added: “There is no doubt I’m extremely happy. I’ve been fighting for this day the whole 17½ years that he’s been in prison, so I’m ecstatic it’s finally here.”

But what’s next for the old gangster?

New York is too dangerous and the Post suggested Gravano would likely stay in Arizona.

After John Gotti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002, enraged acting Gambino chief, Peter Gotti (John’s brother) sent a hit team to Arizona to whack Gravano. The killers came up empty.

When he ratted Gotti out, the Bull was the highest La Cosa Nostra to become a turncoat.

Ironically, Gravano once said: “Never open your mouth, unless you’re in the dentist chair.”