Infamous Harlem Drug Kingpin Nicky Barnes’ Death Confirmed

Leroy ‘Nicky’ Barnes, the notorious Harlem heroin kingpin dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” as he amassed a massive fortune in the 1960s and 1970s, vanished from public view after he turned federal informant and entered witness protection. But now the New York Times says it has confirmed his death, of cancer, in 2012. Before his conviction, Barnes was a flamboyant figure whose life reportedly inspired the Jim Croce song “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and the Wesley Snipes character in New Jack City. Cuba Gooding Jr. played him in American Gangster. The Times said it began investigating what happened to Barnes after the recent death of his narcotics rival Frank Lucas.