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MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS Success in the drug game always comes with a price. If you think hustling is a glamorous profession, check out the fate of these legendary American gangsters before you try to become the next Scarface. BIRTH PLACE

NAME Leroy Antonio “Nicky” Barnes Frank Lucas

Rayful Edmond III

Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff

Larry Hoover

“Freeway” Ricky Ross





current Status

Harlem, NY


Portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in American Gangster (2007); dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by The New York Times


Net worth estimated at several million dollars at height of his career

Sentenced to a life sentence in prison, turned states evidence and was released in 2003; currently lives in the Witness Protection Program.

Born in LaGrange, NC; resided in Harlem, NY


Portrayed by Denzel Washington in American Gangster (2007); allegedly smuggled heroin from Vietnam in coffins of dead soldiers; known for his “Blue Magic” heroin


Estimated gross of $1 million a day

Sentenced to 70 years in prison in 1976; turned states evidence and was released in 1981 on parole; convicted again in 1981 and released in 1991.

Washington, D.C. 11/26/1964

Credited with helping make D.C. the ‘80s murder capital of the world; American Gangster BET documentary; rumored to have sold drugs to D.C.’s mayor


Estimated $70 million dollars monthly

Arrested in 1989; sentenced to life in prison; received an additional 30 years for conducting drug business from a Federal prison phone; became a government informant to secure his mother’s release from prison and a reduced sentence; currently a part of the Witness Protection Program

New York, NY

Formed a crack distribution organization in Queens, NY called “Supreme Team”; some claim the characters Nino Brown in New Jack City and Majestic in Get Rich or Die Tryin’ are based on him; allegedly had a hand in the murder of Jam Master Jay and the 50 Cent shooting


Estimated $200,000 daily at peak in 1987

Served 7 years in prison and released on parole in 1994; served another 2 ½ years for violating parole and released in 1997; Sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for conspiracy to commit murder and drug dealing

Born in Jackson, 11/30/1950 MS; resided in South Side of Chicago, IL

Leader of the Chicago-based Growth & Development Nation, formerly Black Gangster Disciples


The Gangster Disciples brought in an estimated $100 million annually

In 1998, sentenced to six life terms, seven terms of 20 years, three four-year terms, and one five-year term, with all sentences running concurrently in addition to the 150-200-year sentence he received for his 1973 murder conviction

Born in Troup, TX; resided in Los Angeles, CA

Ross’s career was emphasized in Crack-Cocaine The Last White Hope where he was noted as the biggest crack dealer in American history; name adopted by Philadelphia rapper Freeway and Miami’s Rick Ross [Ed.’s note: Rick

Estimated gross of $1 million a day (“on a good day”)

Sentenced to life in prison in 1996 after trying to purchase more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from a federal agent



Ross denied this in last year’s drug issue]

Alberto “Alpo” Martinez Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory

Howard “Pappy” Mason

Harlem, NY


Depicted by Cam’Ron in the film Paid in Full; rose to power in the 80s alongside teenage friends Rich Porter and Azie Faison


Estimated $1 million per month at the height of his career

Currently serving a life sentence for 14 homicides including the murder of Rich Porter

Detroit, MI


Co-founded the drug enterprise Black Mafia Family along with his brother Terry. BMF appeared in Hip Hop DVD magazines, had billboards towering over Atlanta proclaiming “the world is BMF’s;” affiliated with rappers like Fabolous and Young Jeezy

Cocaine, Crack-Cocaine

Exact amount unknown, estimated over $270 million

Sentenced to 30 years in prison on December 5, 2007 for multiple counts of charges including running a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; also fined $270 million dollars.

Estimated $100,000 per week at the height of his career

Serving a life sentence for federal charges including the murder of a police officer. In 1990 his mother sentenced to a ten year prison term for drug trafficking. She was released in 1998.

Jamaica Queens, 9/8/1959 NY

Compiled by: Ms. Rivercity


From behind bars on gun charges, Crack-Cocaine Mason ordered the murder of police officer Eddie Byrne; partnered with Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols

Note: If we failed to include your favorite drug dealer, it’s because enough statistical information could not be obtained.

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