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Paulie Walnuts Was a Real Life Thug

NY- Before he became knee-breaking “Sopranos” henchman Paulie Walnuts, TV tough guy Tony Sirico was a low-level, gun-toting shakedown artist who threatened to kill cops and hinted that he once whacked a guy with five bullets in the head, an explosive new report reveals.

Although Sirico, 63, has made no secret that his art imitates his life, the thug-turned-thespian has kept the details of his checkered past as closely guarded as a “Sopranos” script.

But a newly published document sheds a harsh light on Sirico’s criminal past – showcasing the life of an armed, arrogant hoodlum.

According to court documents obtained by, Sirico was shaking down a Manhattan nightclub in 1970 when he got pinched for threatening the lives of city cops and a nightclub owner.

Sirico was sentenced to prison for seven years, of which he served three. At his sentencing, according to a transcript of the proceeding, a prosecutor outlined the bullying style that Sirico would later bring to HBO.

Sirico was working his mob magic on a discotheque called “Together” on 59th Street, telling club owner John Addison how he dealt with guys who didn’t obey.

“You hit them over the head with a baseball bat and they come around,” Sirico said.

Then, according to prosecutor Gerald Hinckley, Sirico explained to Addison the penalty for non-compliance. A previous owner’s bouncer was thrown out a window, another club was shut down, and another man named Bobby Woods suffered the ultimate punishment.

“You saw what happened to him,” Sirico said to Addison, according to the transcript.

Addison knew.

“Mr. Bobby Woods was found dead with five bullets in his head in Queens with a .32 automatic,” Hinckley told the judge.

Addison went to the cops anyway, and seven detectives were assigned to the Sirico case.

But one day when detectives assigned to follow him botched a surveillance, Sirico and an associate turned the tables on the cops and followed the unmarked car, running it into a traffic divider at Broadway and West 72nd Street.

According to the transcript, an angry Sirico went back to the nightclub and confronted Addison.

“I’m going to come back here and I’m going to carve my initials in your forehead,” Sirico screamed. “You put those guys on me. I’m going to take care of them. You want to play with guns? We got guns. We’re going to shoot them.

“I have an arsenal of weapons and an army of men, and I’m going to use them, and after I take care of those guys I’m going to come back here and carve my initials in your forehead. You better learn a lesson. You better show me the respect I deserve.”

A frightened Addison ran outside, where cops were still staking out his club. They went in and dragged the mobster out, and found a .32-caliber automatic handgun in his waistband. Sirico was indicted for extortion, coercion and felony gun possession, and pleaded guilty to the gun charge.


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