Carmine “Junior” Persico the ailing boss of the Colombo crime family continues his fight for early release from prison. The now 83-year-old New York mafia boss has served the last 31 years in prison but still owes the government 34 years of his 100-year sentence.
He is the only living defendant from the infamous Commission case against the NY mafia still behind bars. But now time is of the essence for the aging mobster who claims he is suffering from various ailments as his health continues to deteriorate. According to reports he needs a wheelchair to get around because of emphysema and his eyesight is failing along with the use of his arms.
A request was made last summer stating that long concealed FBI documents now recovered by his defense team through the Freedom of Information Act prove that he was convicted of a crime he did not commit. The defense claims that Persico’s sentence was illegally enhanced based on allegations they can now prove were not true. That request is still pending, but Persico is now pressing the issue filing new motions and adding more newly discovered documents that allege government wrongdoings against him by the FBI according to a report by Ganglandnews. Persico’s attorney Anthony DiPietro has requested a status conference be called by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Kevin Duffy.
“Carmine Persico while in Prison”
Although DiPietro stated in his new motion that a status conference could be a moot point if the judge agrees that Persico has already demonstrated a basis for sentence relief based upon the already submitted documentary evidence from last year’s filing. The defense attorney claims he is ready to add even more documents to the file if needed exposing even more troubling issues with the case against his client and claims the submitted evidence to date demonstrates his client’s innocence. Among other things, these newly submitted documents according to the defense establishes that Persico had not yet become the boss of the New York mob family in the 1970’s.
DiPietro wrote that since Persico was not yet a mafia boss, he could not have been a member of the Mafia Commission during the time frame charged in the indictment and he could not have conspired with other Commission members on the 1979 murder of mafia boss Carmine Galante. These newly discovered documents also call into question “illegal and unethical service contracts” that the feds had with cooperating witnesses that played a crucial role in Persico’s conviction. One witness testified that Junior Persico admitted to taking part in a vote to kill Galante with other NY mob bosses and that Carmine had taken over as boss of the Colombo family after Joe Colombo was mortally wounded in 1971.
These newly discovered reports prove that the feds knew both of those things were false at the time of the Commission case according to DiPietro. Among the documents filed were numerous FBI reports that identified others as acting bosses of the Colombo family during the 1970’s and one which state that Carmine had become boss of the Colombo family in November of 1980. DiPietro wrote “The importance of affording Mr. Persico a just and timely review of his motion cannot be overstated,” due to his ongoing health concerns. DiPietro also noted the release of former Lucchese family consigliere Christopher (Christy Tick) Furnari in 2014 after spending 28 years of his 100-year sentence from the Commission case.