There are many ways to become popular; you could choose to conquer one of the various facets of the entertainment universe or become a gangster and drug trafficker like Frank Lucas. It is needless to point out that the latter isn’t worth the stress it will bring your way.
Anyway, this Frank is an American former drug lord who operated out of Harlem during the late 1960s through the ’70s. He made a reputation for himself by cutting out the middleman entirely and buying his heroin straight from a source in the Golden Triangle. It was once believed that he was able to smuggle heroin into the country in the coffins of slain American soldiers; however, this claim has been denied by one of his associates named Leslie “Ike” Atkinson. The drugs were actually transported in the pallets beneath, not the actual coffins. Lucas and his activities were so infamous that his life story inspired the Oscar-nominated movie American Gangster, although most of it was highly fictionalized for more dramatic effect.
Frank Lucas (Drug Dealer) Biography
The legendary drug kingpin was born on September 9, 1930, in La Grange, North Carolina to Fred Lucas and Mahalee Jones. He grew up at a time when the fires of racism were raging boldly and furiously against black people. When he was little, he witnessed his 12-year-old cousin’s brutal murder by the Ku Klux Klan for allegedly looking at a white woman, and this senseless incident set him on a path leading straight to crime.
He committed numerous petty crimes and got involved in pool hustling until the gangster and mob boss Bumpy Jimpson took him under his protection after Lucas moved to Harlem. However, their fabled connection has aroused doubt because Lucas claimed he worked as Johnson’s driver for 15 years even though the latter was only out of prison for five years before he died in 1968.
Frank Lucas quickly realized that the only way to be successful in the drug game was to disrupt the monopoly of the Italian Mafia, so he traced to Thailand where he met Leslie Atkinson, a former U.S Army sergeant who knew everyone and everything, and they began smuggling drugs back in the basement of dead servicemen coffins that they had specially made. Leslie was his direct link in Asia, and thanks to him, Lucas made hundred thousands of dollars a day selling drugs on 116th street. His gang quickly became one of the most outrageous and ridiculously successful international dope smuggle rings ever.
He was wise enough to only trust close friends and trusted family members with aspects of his operation. His brand of heroin called Blue Magic was stated to be 98-100% pure and it was one of the most potent narcotics on the market. Lucas became notoriously wealthy, making profits huge enough to buy real estate all over the entire country. He owned office buildings, several-thousand-acre ranch, and apartment buildings. He rolled with high ranking members of society. Lucas was arrested in the mid-1970s, and all of his assets seized.
The crime boss was convicted of state and federal drug violations and was sentenced to 70 years imprisonment, which was reduced after he provided evidence that led to the convictions of over 100 people for drug-related charges. He entered into Witness Protection with his family in 1977 and after 5 years, his sentence was reduced to lifetime parole. He was caught with drugs in 1984 and sentenced to a seven-year term.
Wife and Children
Lucas may have had other lovers in his life but he is mostly known for his relationship with Julianna Farrait-Rodriguez, the woman he married. They loved each other dearly and would frequently shower the other person with expensive and exquisite gifts.
In view of that, it is not surprising that the woman took part in the man’s crime. For this, she was locked up. After five years in prison, she was released and lived apart from her husband before moving back to Puerto Rico. But as fate would have it, she and Frank Lucas got back together in 2006 and have now been married for over 4 decades.
The couple has seven children together including a son named Frank Lucas Jr. and a daughter named Francis Lucas-Sinclair who went into witness protection with her father. Lucas and Julianna still continue to live together today, although Lucas is only a shadow of his former self.
At the peak of his drug business, Frank Lucas was reputed to be worth about $30 billion and was one of the richest gangsters in the business until the government seized his properties and arrested him. He also had $56 million stashed away in the Cayman Islands.