||New York| Leroy Barnes
Leroy "Nicky" Barnes is a former Harlem, New York drug dealer who at one time, along with Guy Fisher, was one of the two biggest heroin dealers in New York. Barnes was dubbed "Mr. Untouchable" by the NY Times. Barnes was a Lucchese crime family associate. Despite this moniker Barnes was eventually prosecuted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was pulled over on a traffic violation and was not carrying ID. The two arresting officers did not know who they had caught until they brought him into the police station.
The chief prosecutor in that case was Robert Fiske, then the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was assisted by two younger attorneys, Thomas Sear and Robert Mazur. After several years in prison Barnes turned state's evidence and testified against Fisher and others in order to reduce his sentence
Drug Dealing Career
From the ages of 19 to 26, Barnes was addicted to heroin. He was the first black man on record to actually pull the French drug out of the hands of the Italian Mafia and place it in a black neighborhood with himself as the head of the operation. Barnes was the leader of the "Council of Seven", a consortium of Harlem based heroin dealers who organized their retail operations and their revenues to create legitimate businesses to protect their illicit assets. They even had a seven word oathe: "Treat my brother as I treat myself."
Barnes' original connection to the mob was Joey Gallo of Brooklyn, with whom he had served time in prison. After Gallo was gunned down in Little Italy, Barnes' new heroin connection became Lucchese crime family associate Matthew Madonna, whom he had met while doing time for heroin possession in New York's Green Haven facility. Madonna would deliver kilos of heroin to Barnes by placing the drugs in a car trunk, then dropping the car off in a private Manhattan parking lot, where Barnes would then pick up the drugs. Barnes would then process the heroin in Manhattan apartments where neighborhood women would cut the product
Time in prison
According to Barnes, while in prison, he discovered that his assets were not being taken care of, the council stopped paying his attorneys' fees, and one of his fellow council members was having an affair with his wife. The council had a rule that no council member would sleep with another council member's wife. The betrayal Barnes' felt while incarcerated prompted him to become an informant. He forwarded a list of 109 names, 5 of which were council members, along with his wife's name, implicating them all in illegal activities related to the heroin trade. Barnes helped to indict 44 other traffickers, 16 of whom were ultimately convicted. In this testimony, he implicated himself in eight murders. After Barnes cooperated with the government by working as an informant, Rudolph Giuliani sought reversal of Barnes' life sentence, which was shortened to a 30 year term.
In 2004, his cooperation with prosecutors was rewarded with an early release from prison. Barnes' former heroin distributor, Matthew Madonna, would serve a long trafficking sentence, but upon his release would get "made" and is currently serving on a ruling panel that runs the Lucchese crime family.
Life after prison
Barnes has written a book about his life titled 'Mr. Untouchable' which will be in the stores in March of 2007. Barnes will be starring in a documentary about his life titled "Mr. Untouchable", which will be released by HDnet films. The film is being directed by Marc Levin. Barnes, now in his 70's, is part of the Witness Protection Program.
.:Back to American Mafia:.