He first appeared in The Punisher vol.5 #31
At a panel at the 2008 Philadelphia Wizard World comic convention Garth Ennis stated that the basis for the character of Barracuda was the song Stagger Lee, especially the version recorded by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
After castrating a would-be attacker while in a youth detention center, Barracuda was recruited by the US Army. As a Green Beret, Barracuda's A-team helped the CIA install Leopoldo Luna, a South American dictator in the 1980s. According to his recollection, in another mission in Africa he engaged in cannibalism to prove his masculinity.
After leaving the service, he became a feared gangster. Police arrested him after finding him after a shootout at which site Barracuda calmly waited with the decapitated head of a gangster on his lap. He spent time in jail afterwards -presumably in California-, where he struck a profitable partnership with Harry Ebbing, a corrupt and violent corporate CEO.
During his fight with the Punisher, Barracuda loses an eye and the fingers on his right hand. The Punisher is taken out to sea. When he informs Barracuda that he has lost the chance to have his fingers reattached, the man laughs at his own foolishness. He tosses the Punisher overboard, along with a local gangster that had wronged him. The Punisher uses the gangster to trick Barracuda into thinking both of them are slain by a great white shark. The Punisher sneaks back to land by hanging onto Barracuda's boat.
Barracuda becomes deeply involved with Dynaco and the affairs of the CEO's mistress and his right hand man Dermot. The plan is to set Dermot up as the new CEO during a shareholder fishing trip. Dynaco's plans, leaked to the media, result in the CEO committing suicide and Dermot, with the backing of the shareholders, expresses the opinion that Dynaco can do what they want, that the Punisher cannot touch them.
The Punisher realizes that, with Barracuda's help, the ship is now vulnerable. He sinks it, sending all the shareholders (the crew was in on it also) into the ocean, where they are slain by sharks. Barracuda tries to come aboard Frank's boat, only to be shot at point blank range. Like Frank, he survives by hanging on to the boat.
This is all part of a plan to gain the money he needs to get revenge on the Punisher. He announces to Luna's inner-circle that he intends to kill the dictator & put Wanda in his place, kill Angelone and put Oswald in his place, restart the cocaine trade between the two factions and get an American reconstruction firm (represented by an accountant he knew in prison) to start up work in Santa Morricone. One of the circle reveals this plan to Luna and he invites Barracuda & Fifty on a helicopter trip to the local volcano, planning to kill them; Barracuda salvages the situation by getting Fifty to show off his penis, causing the dictator to leap out of the helicopter to his doom.
Meanwhile Angelone, angry at being betrayed and humiliated, has been trying to launch a coup in Santa Morricone and successfully swings part of the army to his side. Barracuda and Fifty have to fight their way into the presidential palace to grab Oswald & Wanda and then flee back to the helicopter, but Fifty is gunned down in the second half of the plan and he remains behind to cover their retreat. (To his face, Barracuda seems stoically upset about this but grins & calls his old comrade "dumbass" when out of earshot) They escape in the helicopter and when Angelone (who'd grabbed the landing gear) rises up to get his revenge, Oswald shoots his father dead. He and Barracuda celebrate his becoming a "hardcore motherfucking gangster!".
Barracuda then gives Oswald a friendly pat on the back, which due to his hemophilia kills him - right as it turns out the helicopter has too little fuel and no compass. Barracuda and Wanda are left floating in the Pacific Ocean in a boat with no food or equipment, and it is strongly hinted that he's going to cannibalize her.
Barracuda returns to New York in order to draw the Punisher into a trap. He secretly sets up a meeting between several criminal organizations in a high rise hotel, knowing full well that such a meeting would attract the Punisher. Barracuda is not at this meeting himself; in fact the criminals are totally unaware of who set up the meeting in the first place. Frank, who is hiding in the ceiling, plans to strike amongst the confusion when he realizes that the entire place, including his own location, has been wired with explosives. Barracuda then steps off an elevator into the meeting and massacres the entire group (with intentions of taking over their businesses once he has finished with the Punisher.) Frank joins the fray in order to escape the explosives and is easily captured by Barracuda, who escapes with an unconscious Punisher to a nearby building via zip line.
When the Punisher awakes, he finds himself bound to a chair. Barracuda gloats to him about his plan and reveals his daughter to him. An enraged Punisher breaks his bonds and attacks Barracuda, biting off his left cheek. Barracuda stabs the Punisher in the side and tosses him through the window. The Punisher lands on the hood of a police car and is arrested and hospitalized. Seeking treatment for his own injuries, Barracuda disappears with Frank's daughter.
Soon Frank escapes from police custody and travels to California to try to head off Barracuda. When he arrives he confronts Barracuda at the home of O'Brien's sister to rescue Sarah. Barracuda kills the child but Frank realizes that it was a fake baby and attacks him resulting in Barracuda getting shot twice, his glass eye getting smashed and then getting tortured by having his testicles hooked up to a car battery.
After telling Frank where Sarah is, Frank sees that the baby's seat is attached to a Claymore Mine. Barracuda goes insane from his wounds and attacks Frank with an M60 that was in Frank's car. Luckily, Frank finds the M60 in Barracuda's car and the fight is on. After the fight, Barracuda, who is covered with burns and gunshot wounds, tries to beat Castle to death. Castle escapes by tearing Barracuda's nose off with a pair of pliers. The fight ends in an elementary school where Barracuda tracks Frank down but he gets caught off guard. Castle chopped his arms off with a fire ax and then blew his head apart with his own AK-47.
In the next arc "Valley Forge, Valley Force," it is revealed that Barracuda was sent by the US Military Generals who organized the military operation in the arc "Mother Russia" to silence the Punisher.