Mob boss Carmine 'The Snake' Persico dead at 85

Carmine "The Snake" Persico, the unpredictable boss of one of the nation's most powerful Mafia families, died Thursday in a North Carolina prison, The New York Times reported. He was 85.

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Persico's lawyer, Benson Weintraub, confirmed Persico's death, the newspaper reported. Persico died at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He was serving a 139-year sentence at a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. A cause of death was not given, the Times reported.

Perisco spent most of his adult life under indictment or in prison, but remained the head of the Colombo family in New York City, the newspaper reported.

Perisco was convicted of racketeering and murder in the 1986 Commission trial, considered one of Rudy Giuliani's biggest victories against organized crime, WABC reported.

Persico and the reputed bosses of the Genovese and Lucchese crime families were convicted of being members of the Commission, the panel that resolved major disputes, the Times reported. The Commission set policies for the five New York crime families: the Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese factions.

Law enforcement officials believed Persico was heavily involved in the assassinations of mob bosses Albert Anastasia in 1957 and Joey Gallo in 1972, the newspaper reported.

Weintraub said Persico's funeral will be in New York City, WABC reported.

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