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Carmine Persico

Carmine Persico Mugshot

The arrest of Carmine Persico:

He's been a New York City crime family boss since 1973, when he assumed the reigns of the Joe Colombo crime family. But for all but four years of that reign, he's been in federal prison; accused of overseeing murders, gang wars and major rackets.

And since 1987, he's been serving a 139 year sentence in federal prison.

With nicknames like "Junior", "Immortal" and The Snake", Carmine John Persico was not a man to be played around with. A Depression era baby born in Brooklyn, Persico's father Carmine Senior was a legal stenographer for several Manhattan law firms who provided a comfortable home for his family in the Carroll Gardens and Red Hook neighborhoods.

Carmine Persico mugshot

But Junior dropped out of school when he was 16 and was the leader of a street gang. And by March, 1951 he was arrested for the beating death of another teen, although those charges were later dropped.

In the early 1950's, he was recruited into the predecessor of the Colombo Gang, the Profaci family, and did loansharking and book making before graduating to hijackings and burglaries. He was arrested a dozen times but only spent a few days in jail.

He then started working with Joe Gallo and his brothers and Persico was suspected in participating in the execution of a rival mob boss, Albert Anastasia in 1957…

albert anastasia

…although no one was ever formally charged.

Persico and the Gallo's were dissatisfied with Profaci leadership and control of the gang eventually changed when Profaci died of cancer. But there was infighting in the clan, and the eventual leader, Joe Colombo was gunned down in Columbus Circle Rally in June 1971…

joe colombo shot

…and Gallo was shot and killed in Little Italy restaurant less than a year later.

umbertos after joe gallo shooting

Persico emerged as the leader…

carmine persico

…but was hounded by state and federal charges and convictions.

carmine persico

He was still the official boss of the Colombo gang, according to law enforcement records. However, with a projected prison release date of March 2050, Persico would be 117 years old – meaning he'll never be the Boss on the street ever again.

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