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Sammy 'the Bull' receives 19-year prison sentence

Salvatore (Sammy) "the Bull" Gravano listens to his sentencing Wednesday at Maricopa County Superior Court.

Salvatore (Sammy) "the Bull" Gravano was sentenced to 19 years in state prison by the Maricopa County Superior Court on Wednesday for running an Ecstasy drug ring in Arizona in 1999.

Two and a half years after being arrested, the former Mafia hit man who was living in the Valley under the Witness Protection Program, faces a total of 39 years in prison — time including a 20-year sentence delegated from a federal court that he is already serving.

The drug ring under Gravano involved, at its peak, 45 people, including former ASU students Michael Papa, Brent Tally and Dustin Zanck. The drug ring allegedly sold upward of 30,000 pills per week, yielding more than $300,000 a week.

"The sentence was what we expected," said Greg Parzych, Gravano's attorney. "We anticipated that it would be somewhat near his previous sentence."

After the proceeding, Gravano thanked Judge Steven Sheldon.

"You've been very fair with me and my family and I want to thank you very much," he said.

Attorney General Janet Napolitano released a statement about Gravano's federal charges.

"When we indicted Mr. Gravano more than two years ago, his attorneys claimed that he was a man of the community," Napolitano said. "But his admission of involvement in this drug ring show[ed] he was just another lifelong criminal."

Parzych added that Gravano got a harsher punishment than others involved.

"Once his name became involved, they focused on his background rather than just this case," Parzych said.

Several of those involved in Arizona's largest drug ring are yet to be sentenced, including Papa, who will be sentenced on Nov.4.

Donald Conrad, assistant attorney general, said he was very satisfied with the sentence.

"I'm not asking the court to sentence him because he's notorious," Conrad said. "He's just another criminal, a repeat offender, who's earned a serious sentence from this court."

Reach the reporter at The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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