Fmr. Mafia Hitman 'Sammy the Bull' Gravano Arrested on Drug ChargesAired February 24, 2000 - 1:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A reputed mob figure has been arrested today in a drug bust.
Our justice correspondent Pierre Thomas is working the story in Washington. He joins us -- Pierre.
PIERRE THOMAS, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, CNN has learned "Sammy The Bull" Gravano, a key witness in the trial against New York Mafia leader John Gotti, has been arrested on drug distribution charges. Law enforcement officials tell CNN Gravano was arrested in a probe of a major ecstasy distribution ring which operated in Arizona, Phoenix and Ohio. The arrest was the result of a joint operation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pheonix Police Department and the Arizona attorney general's office -- Natalie.
ALLEN: And what -- what more do they know about this drug ring that he allegedly was involved in?
THOMAS: Well, sources are telling me that this was a very major drug organization, that they were responsible for putting between 20,000 and 50,000 ecstasy pills on the street every week, and that the operation included not only Arizona but also Ohio and New Mexico, and that Mr. Gravano's role in this particular investigation, I'm told, or in this particular ring was to finance the operation, that he was a very high lieutenant. And this is somewhat embarrassing for federal law enforcement in the sense that, again, Mr. Gravano was a key witness, a person who apparently had gone on the straight and narrow but now they found perhaps otherwise.
ALLEN: All right, Pierre Thomas working the story in Washington. We'll continue to have developments throughout the day. Thank you.
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