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Former mobboss Carmine “The Snake” Persico dies at 85

Weintraub told CNN that Persico died at Duke University Medical Center, not far from federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where he served his 139-year-old sentence. Weintraub said his client had just stopped working for 36 years."From my legal relationship with Carmine, he was a good client, a nice guy and a wonderful man," Weintraub told CNN affiliate WABC TV.Persico was responsible for driving much of the organized crime in the United States as the long-regarded head of the Colombo crime family in New York, WABC reported. He was sentenced for racketeering and murder in the late 1980s, which WABC said to be one of Rudy Giuliani's most triumphant wins against the mob when Giuliani was the American lawyer in Manhattan. Persico reportedly told a blow to Giuliani in response, WABC said.Persico acted as his own lawyer and praised both judges and lawyers, according to a New York Times story from 1 986. "You are a tragedy," said Judge John F. Keenan to Persico during his judgment in 1986 reported Times. "You are one of the most intelligent people I have seen in my life." Persico was born in 1933, according to the FBI website. He grew up in the Italian and Irish-American neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the New York Times reported. He became involved in gang activity as a teenager and quickly joined the lead to become the head of the Colombo family. Persico got the nickname "Snake" because he tried to crush and kill a friend and colleague hitman…

Weintraub told CNN that Persico died at Duke University Medical Center, not far from federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where he served his 139-year-old sentence. Weintraub said his client had just stopped working for 36 years.

“From my legal relationship with Carmine, he was a good client, a nice guy and a wonderful man,” Weintraub told CNN affiliate WABC TV.

Persico was responsible for driving much of the organized crime in the United States as the long-regarded head of the Colombo crime family in New York, WABC reported. He was sentenced for racketeering and murder in the late 1980s, which WABC said to be one of Rudy Giuliani’s most triumphant wins against the mob when Giuliani was the American lawyer in Manhattan. Persico reportedly told a blow to Giuliani in response, WABC said.

Persico acted as his own lawyer and praised both judges and lawyers, according to a New York Times story from 1

986.

“You are a tragedy,” said Judge John F. Keenan to Persico during his judgment in 1986 reported Times. “You are one of the most intelligent people I have seen in my life.”

Persico was born in 1933, according to the FBI website. He grew up in the Italian and Irish-American neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the New York Times reported. He became involved in gang activity as a teenager and quickly joined the lead to become the head of the Colombo family.

Persico got the nickname “Snake” because he tried to crush and kill a friend and colleague hitman in the early 1960s, the Times reported. But Persico did not like it and preferred his second nickname “Junior.”

CNN’s Amy Roberts contributed to this report.

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