By David Amoruso
Posted in 2001
Read the obituary and most up-to-date profile of Carmine Persico here.
Carmine Persico was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Carmine senior, was a soldier in the Genovese Crime Family. To his friends Carmine Persico was known on the streets as 'Junior', to his enemies he was known as 'The Snake'. As a teenager he became the leader of a group of young thugs called 'The Garfield Boys'. When he was 17 he reputedly killed his first victim. Before he could be convicted on the testimony of a state witness known only as "The Blue Angel," his older brother Alphonse confessed to the murder and went to prison for 18 years.
Carmine Persico was one of the main enforcers for the Colombo Family. When he was a Capo he had a crew that consisted of many heavy hitmen such as: Alphonse "Ally Boy" Persico (Carmine’s brother), Gennaro Langella, Anthony Abbattermarco, Joey Brancatto and associate Hugh "Apples" McIntosh. Eventough Apples couldn't become a made guy, his father was not Italian, he still was a very succesful enforcer for the Family and ultimately became Carmine Persico's bodyguard and was very respected within the underworld. Carmine Persico was a real tough guy. Small in stature, scrawny and ugly in appearance, one hand was twisted from a bullet wound; he had also been shot in the face during the first Gallo Wars. The incident, that went down in mob lore had him and a partner in crime, Alphonse D'Ambrosia, sitting is a car as a group of Gallo hoods drove by shooting at them with a M-1 carbine. Ambrosia was shot in the chest and the Snake got one in the face, but spat the bullet out and then drove them both to hospital.
Persico became boss for the first time at the end of the second Gallo war, although it has not been proven most people believe that he pulled the strings from prison while Thomas DiBella was appointed acting boss. When Persico got out of prison DiBella stepped down and handed the seat to Persico. His tenure as boss of the Colombos was marked by his troubles with the law. Of his first thirteen years in the seat, he spent ten of them in prison. When he was out of prison, he operated the family out of the Diplomat Social Club, on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Carroll Street in the Van Brunt district of Brooklyn. Here you would find the main players of the Persico faction of the Colombo faction: Carmine, when he was out of prison, his brother Ally Boy, Jerry Langella, Hugh MacIntosh, one of the family’s main enforcers, Carmine Franzese, the brother of Sonny, Greg Scarpa, Anthony, Vincent and Joe, Jr., the sons of Joseph Colombo, anybody who was part of the Persico faction or who had dealings with them.
Throughout the 80’s, the Colombo family was under massive pressure as the FBI and city and state organized crime strike forces attacked them and the other four families on all fronts. In 1986, Anthony, Joseph and Vincent Colombo were convicted for racketeering, conspiracy and narcotic offences and went to prison for varying terms. Carmine and Alphonse Persico and Jerry Langella went down for labor and construction racketeering and extortion for terms of 39, 12, and 65 years respectively. In addition, Carmine and Langella were sentenced to 100 years for crimes under RICO in what became known as "The Commission Trial," effectively removing them from the streets of New York forever. But in removing "the Snake" from his stronghold, the government was helping to set the stage for the third war in the family.
Incarcerated in Lompoc Penitentiary in California, Persico still held control and strong influence over his family, he made Vic Orena acting boss and in doing so he created the third Family war, after this war which decimated the Colombo Family Carmine’s son Alphonse was put in charge as acting boss. Until he too got nabbed by the feds. If Carmine Persico is a real Family man then he probably is glad to be in prison because the Colombo Family is not doing well and is on the verge of braking down, maybe Carmine prefers his rose garden over his troublesome mob family.