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He was once called ‘Mister Untouchable’: Nicky Barnes was a ruthless drug kingpin that flooded the streets of Harlem and New York City with heroin in the late 1960s while reportedly murdering rivals, raking in so much cash that he lived a flashy lifestyle that included cars, homes and apartments, and extensive wardrobe with 50 leather coats, 100 bespoke pairs of shoes, and 200 suits.
Barnes’ hubris would be his undoing, posing for a magazine cover that amounted to a taunt to police and prosecutors, and then President Jimmy Carter wanted the book thrown at him. He was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Wife - Girlfriends - Associates - Empire - Government
Upon learning that his wife, girlfriends and former associates were ruining his empire, he turned against them and testified for the government at their trials. For his cooperation, Barnes was released in 1998 and disappeared into witness protection – a vanishing act so thorough that his death in 2012 at the age of 78 or 79 only now has been confirmed by the New York Times on Saturday. He died of cancer, according to his daughter and a former prosecutor.
He had a fleeting taste of the limelight once again in 2007, when Cuba Gooding Jr portrayed him the film, ‘American Gangster,’ but to his consternation, it focused on his competitor Frank Lucas, according to the Times obituary.
Barnes - Drug - Ring - New - York
Barnes ran ‘the largest, the most profitable and the most venal drug ring in New York,’ Robert B. Fiske Jr, a former U.S. attorney during the 1970s, told the Times upon hearing the news of Barnes' death.
Leroy Nicholas Barnes was born on October 15, 1933 in Harlem. Growing up in the neighborhood, he was arrested by aged 10, never made it to high school, and got hooked on drugs at one point, later saying...
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