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Reputed Gotti Hitman Dies In Upstate NY Prison

John Gotti is seen in New York City - Jan 24, 1990 - Photo: MARK CARDWELL/AFP/Getty Images

John Gotti is seen in New York City – Jan 24, 1990 – Photo: MARK CARDWELL/AFP/Getty Images

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NEW HARTFORD, NY (AP) - A reputed hit man for the late John Gotti has died after being taken from prison to an upstate New York hospital.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections confirmed that 71-year-old Anthony Rampino died Monday at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Hartford.

Rampino’s lawyer cited his poor health - including heart and breathing problems - when she tried unsuccessfully to win a reduction in his 25 years to life sentence for heroin trafficking in 2009. Rampino went to prison in 1987.

His death was first reported Tuesday by the New York Daily News, which described him as a backup gunman in the 1985 killing of then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano.

Rampino was hospitalized on Dec. 4. The cause of death was not released.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)