Frank Lucas, the “American Gangster” drug kingpin from Harlem, had a billion-dollar smuggling business. In the 1970s, he and Nicky Barnes made their wealth from drug sales. The two were rivals.
Lucas lived a lavish life on his drug profits, selling to countless people and spreading addiction throughout Harlem. He “owned” certain neighborhoods in the world of drug sales. His ring was called the Country Boys, and was a family-run operation.
Lucas’s specific brand of heroin was called “Blue Magic,” which he claimed was better quality than most of the other brands of heroin that were being hawked on the street during that period.
After being caught, Frank Lucas was sentenced to 70 years in prison. However, in 2012, after he was released, he received five years of probation because he had stolen more than $15,000 from the federal government. A shadow of his former self, when Lucas appeared in court, he was in a wheelchair.
Lucas’s life even inspired a movie, American Gangster, which starred Denzel Washington. Released in 2007, the movie was nominated for 2 Oscars.