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.

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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.

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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.

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