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Frank Lucas (September 9, 1930 – May 30, 2019) was an American drug lord who operated in Harlem, New York City, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia. Lucas boasted that he smuggled heroin using the coffins of dead American servicemen, as depicted in the feature film American Gangster (2007), which fictionalized aspects of his life. This claim is denied by his Southeast Asian associate Leslie "Ike" Atkinson.
In 1976, Lucas was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 70 years in prison, but after becoming an informant, he and his family were placed in the Witness Protection Program. In 1981, his federal and state prison sentences were reduced to time served plus lifetime parole. In 1984 he was convicted on drug charges, and was released from prison in 1991. In 2012, he pled guilty to attempting to cash a $17,000 federal disability benefit check twice, and because of his age and poor health, received sentence of five years' probation.
Lucas rose to prominence as a drug lord in Harlem, New York, during a time when the heroin trade was largely controlled by the Italian Mafia. His unique approach involved smuggling pure heroin from Southeast Asia, particularly the Golden Triangle, in the coffins of deceased American servicemen during the Vietnam War. This method allowed him to bypass the traditional Mafia-controlled drug distribution channels.
Known for his business acumen and ruthlessness, Lucas established a highly profitable drug empire, reaching a level of wealth and influence that attracted significant attention from law enforcement. His operation was characterized by its efficiency and the direct control he exerted over the entire supply chain.
Frank Lucas's criminal career came to an end in 1975 when he was arrested and later convicted on federal and state drug charges. Following his arrest, Lucas cooperated with law enforcement, providing information about other criminals involved in drug trafficking.
After serving a reduced sentence due to his cooperation, Lucas lived a relatively low-profile life until his death on May 30, 2019. His life story remains a fascinating and controversial chapter in the history of organized crime and drug trafficking, highlighting the complexities and challenges faced by law enforcement in combating major drug enterprises during that era.
Analysis for Frank Lucas
1930-09-09 09:00:00 GMT
35° 18′ 24.6″ N 77° 47′ 16.9″ W
La Grange, NC 28551, USA
1x Records. Last Queried Dec 2, 2023 12:08 AM GMT