Nicky Barnes Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Car

Nicky Barnes Net Worth

Nicky Barnes has an estimated net worth of $1 million. Sometimes called Mr. Untouchable, Leroy ‘Nicky’ Barnes became one of the biggest drug dealers in New York City during the 1970s. He earned his fortune from drug trafficking. 

Known as Mr. Untouchable, Leroy ‘Nicky’ Barnes was a notorious drug dealer in New York during the 1970s. He was a founding member of “The Council,” a criminal organization that controlled a large portion of the city’s heroin trade. He was arrested in March 1977, imprisoned, and eventually released into the Witness Protection Program in 1998.

Barnes’ net worth was estimated to be more than $50 million at the height of his drug career. He was said to have spent millions on hundreds of pairs of Italian shoes, jewelry, coats, and tailor-made suits.

Nicky spent the rest of his life under the protection of the Federal Witness Protection Program. On June 18, 2012, he died at the age of 78.

To calculate the net worth of Nicky Barnes, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities. 

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Nicky Barnes
Net Worth: $1 Million
Monthly Salary: $30 Thousand
Annual Income: $500 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Drug Lord

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Early Life

Barnes was born in New York City on October 15, 1933. Barnes began selling drugs at a young age, according to his autobiography, Mr. Untouchable (2007). For a time, he ran with a street gang and developed a taste for heroin, which quickly became an addiction.

Barnes was arrested in 1950 for possessing a hypodermic needle. He was later arrested for having burglary tools and breaking into cars, earning him a three-year sentence at the Manhattan House of Corrections, also known as “The Tombs.”

Barnes was released in 1954 and returned to his life of street dealing. In 1959, he was arrested on a drug charge and sentenced to five years in Green Haven State Prison.

While incarcerated, Barnes befriended known mob figure Matty Madonna. Both were involved in the drug trade and allegedly shared information about their illegal activities. Barnes was released in 1962 and immediately began expanding his underground operations.

Trouble with the Law

Barnes’ dream of building a massive drug empire was dashed in 1965. According to The New York Times, he was arrested for possessing more than $500,000 in narcotics. According to the article, the police considered Barnes to be “one of the biggest narcotics distributors in Harlem and the Bronx.”

At the time, it was estimated that Barnes’ drug operation employed approximately 50 people. In his autobiography, Barnes claimed that he was set up by the police on the possession charge.

Barnes was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison in 1966 and returned to Green Haven State Prison. He converted to Islam and studied law journals there. Barnes also became friends with reported Mafia crime boss “Crazy Joey” Gallo while at Green Haven.

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Back on the Streets

Barnes was eventually released on appeal in 1971. Barnes was inspired by the Italian Mafia in bringing together a group of African American drug dealers to form “The Council.”

The Council discussed business issues such as which drug suppliers to use and how to deal with difficult situations or people. Barnes, on the other hand, retained veto power over the group’s decisions.

Frank James, Ishmeel Muhammed, Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, Thomas “Gaps” Foreman, and Guy Fisher are among the Council’s prominent members. According to Barnes, the group’s motto was “treat my brother as I treat myself.”

Barnes was known to live the high life when he was flush with cash. In addition to his wife, he frequented nightclubs and had numerous girlfriends. He was a fan of flashy cars, and he drove around in Mercedes and Citroen-Maseratis.

Barnes was frequently pursued by law enforcement teams and enjoyed leading them on wild goose chases. He was also a fashionista, owning around 300 custom-made suits, 50 leather coats, and 100 pairs of shoes.

Mr. Untouchable

Barnes was arrested several times in 1974. He was arrested in May in connection with the murder of Clifford Haynes. Haynes was Guy Fisher’s girlfriend, who had escaped with some of The Council’s money. According to Barnes’ autobiography, Haynes was murdered in order to obtain information about his sister’s whereabouts from him.

Barnes was arrested in December of that year. Officers on the scene discovered more than $130,000 in cash in his car and claimed Barnes attempted to bribe them, which Barnes denied.

Barnes was found not guilty in the bribery case and acquitted in the murder case the following year. He was arrested again in October 1976 for illegal weapon possession after he and some of his associates were pulled over by police.

Barnes’ ability to avoid the long arm of the law earned him the moniker “Mr. Untouchable” for a time. But his luck ran out in March 1977, when he was arrested along with several of his associates on narcotics conspiracy charges. Barnes was also accused of running a continuing criminal enterprise.

Barnes was featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine before his trial began. “Mister Untouchable” was the title of the accompanying article. According to reports, President Jimmy Carter read the article and put pressure on prosecutors to convict Barnes.

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Trial and Imprisonment

In September 1977, Barnes and his co-conspirators, including Fisher, went on trial. According to the case presented by US Attorney Robert B. Fiske Jr., the defendants were selling approximately $1 million in heroin per month from a Harlem garage.

The evidence used in the case was gathered through a lengthy undercover operation. Barnes and ten of his co-defendants were found guilty after a two-month trial. Fisher was found not guilty of the charges.

Barnes was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on January 19, 1978, and was transferred to the Marion Federal Penitentiary in Illinois to serve his sentence. Barnes eventually decided to testify against some of his former associates, including Guy Fisher, in order to have his sentence reduced.

Barnes explained in a joint interview with rival drug kingpin Frank Lucas in New York magazine that he became a federal witness after feeling betrayed by his associates, particularly Fisher. “When I went to the joint, I gave Guy Fisher a woman and told him to keep an eye on her and take care of her,” Barnes explained. But he was enraged to learn that Fisher had gotten romantically involved with her as well.

Starting a New Life

Barnes was then moved to another facility with a special witness protection unit, where he testified in several cases. He was released from prison in 1998. Barnes enrolled in the federal Witness Protection Program and began a new life under a new name. Mr. Untouchable, his autobiography co-written with Tom Folsom, was published in 2007.

Barnes described his new life in an interview with The New York Times around the time of the book’s release. “I live within my paycheck. I want to get up every day … and go to work and be a respected member of my community … I’m not looking in the rear view mirror to see if anyone is tailing me anymore,” he explained.

Mr. Untouchable, a documentary about Barnes, was released in 2007. In the crime drama American Gangster, the story of his rival Frank Lucas was also told. Denzel Washington played Lucas, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. played Barnes.

Barnes, who has stayed out of trouble since his release, still pines for his days as a crime boss. “I miss it,” he told The New York Times. “There was glitz, money, power, and attractive women. I didn’t have financial concerns then, and I do now.”


Barnes bought a number of car dealerships through which he acquired a Bentley, a Maserati, a Citroen SM, and several Cadillacs and Ford Thunderbirds.

He set up dummy corporations to protect his assets. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration eventually got wise to him, and the cars were seized.

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