In his own words, Frank Lucas recounts his life as the former heroin dealer and organized crime boss who ran Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. From being taken under the wing of old time gangster Bumpy Johnson, through one of the most successful drug smuggling operations, to being sentenced to seventy years in prison, Original Gangster is a chilling look at the rise and fall of a modern legacy. Frank Lucas realized that in order to gain the kind of success he craved he would have to break the monopoly that the Italian mafia held in New York. So Frank cut out middlemen and began smuggling heroin into the United States directly from his source in the Golden Triangle by using coffins. Making a million dollars per day selling “Blue Magic”—what was known as the purest heroin on the street—Frank Lucas became one of the most powerful crime lords of his time, while rubbing shoulders with the elite in entertainment, politics, and crime. After his arrest, Federal Judge Sterling Johnson, the special narcotics prosecutor in New York at the time of Lucas’ crimes, called Lucas and his operation “one of the most outrageous international dope-smuggling gangs ever, an innovator who got his own connections outside the U.S. and then sold the narcotics himself in the street.” This powerful memoir reveals what really happened to the man whose career was dramatized in the 2007 feature film American Gangster, exposing a startling look at the world of organized crime.
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