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Martinez 1 Servio Martinez Lisa M. Russell English 1101 14 November, 2012

There has always been and will continue to be people who do things without being noticed, but even a small idiotic thing can lead to the truth being revealed. Frank lucas, a heroine smuggler, was a young boy when he witnessed the shooting of his 12 year old cousin by members of the Klu Klux Klan. From that day forward Frank lucas told himself," Anyone can die at anytime for any reason," this was what triggered him to move up north, in search of becoming somebody and stop being the nobody he was. While in Harlem Lucas was involved in many robberies and thefts. One day Frank happened to be in the same bar as a very famous heroin smuggler, Bumpy Johnson. Bumpy was involved deeply with the Mafia and had control over most of Harlem. Bumpy was a very important man and was very well known for taking care of Harlem , although he sold heroin. While in there Frank had gotten into a fight with an older man. Bumpy quickly noticed Lucas and went up to him and asked, "kid do you think you can take him?" Frank not knowing who he was talking to responded ," of course," and Bumpy released him and said ,"go get him." Bumpy was impressed by the fact that Frank didn't care and was willing to fight his way through; he decided to take Frank and use him for whatever he needed done. Frank worked with bumpy and continued to do so for 10 years; in these 10 years he learned everything there was to know about drug dealing like how to sell, how to communicate and most importantly Martinez 2


to take care of Harlem. Lucas used bumpy as his mentor and was like his father. Everything Bumpy did he did to show lucas how things worked; he would do illegal things in harlem but in return he helped by giving out food or helping the town. Frank would say, "I got Harlem's back , so they going to have mine." Not only did he learn of Bumpy's way of selling and distributing , but of the Mafia's. He watched exactly how the Mafia worked; the way they brought in large amount of heroin and later using it to his advantage. Franks time came when Bumpy johnson was dying of a heart attack. Since Bumpy had become so close to Frank he decided to give him part of what he owned; he gave lucas all the heroin he owned. Once Bumpy died, frank knew it was his turn to take control of harlem; he was the man in charge and would start to do things his way. Frank began by moving his brothers into Harlem, this would mean they would all work together; they were known as the country boys. He had brought them from New Jersey along with more family members, knowing that his brothers would pursue whatever Frank would pursue. Lucas knew that it was better to have his own relatives working for him because they were less likely to steal or rat him out. When they all settled down he introduced them to the business and set each one with a special location where large amounts of heroine could be brought in and out. He sets up a total of five locations. Lucas was determined to make more of himself than Bumpy did; he would cut out the middle man making him more profit than Bumpy ever dreamed of. In order to do this he used a friend who was located in thailand as a sergeant; he was known as, "Sergeant Smack," for the heroine he smuggled into the US. Frank would begin shipping in large amounts of heroine using the coffins of already passed away soldiers. By doing this Frank wasn't Martinez 3


purchasing the amounts of heroine from the Mafia meaning he would get it for far less and make a larger profit. Not only did he get it for less but he sold it more pure than any other competitor out 3 there; his heroine was so pure it was called, "Blue Magic. " The drug becomes so popular it 4 immediately knocked out the competition, this catches the attention of law enforcement which 5 brings in more cops. Frank is begins making so much money that he decides he will use the cops 6 to his advantage and pays them to work for him. This turns out great for Lucas because now he 7 doesn't just own the drugs but he takes control of Harlem and the law enforcement. Everything seems to be going well until Ritchie Roberts, a very honest cop, finds out of Franks smuggling. Frank was a man who kept everything he had done in secret; he never really expressed his money or what he did. This however was ruined when him and his wife attended a the Ali and Frazier fight; Lucas attended it wearing a $50,000 dollar coat and caught the attention of many,primarily that of Ritchie's. Since Lucas had so much money he sat as close as he could to the fight meaning he was sitting with the Mafia, which to Ritchie was very surprising. Wanting to know who this man was Ritchie begins following Frank and watches his every move eventually he runs into one of Franks cousin and starts to unwind the entire mess. Knowing that Frank was working with many of the towns cops he decides he will bring Lucas down and any crooked cop that works with him. Ritchie would begin by finding evidence to support that Lucas was in fact in the smuggling business. Frank was arrested and took into trial for distribution but was released due to the fact of no evidence.The betrayal of Franks cousin wasn't enough to bring down a man with so much power


Martinez 4 especially when Lucas took care of Harlem. Ritchie knew that in order to bring Lucas down he would require a lot of witnesses and proof of Lucas's smuggling activities. Ritchie would start by finding exactly where Frank made, kept and sold his product. Ritchie would monitor Frank's every move and eventually it lead him to finding Frank's operating location and a way to bring Frank down. This was the start of the end of Frank Lucas, he didn't expect so much disaster to happen to him especially with all the money he had. Thinking that Harlem would always have his back, Frank continued his smuggling , however on a sunday afternoon everything came down. While Frank was in church with his mother, Ritchie had planned he would bring down Lucas and the country boys. He began by gathering groups of cops and hit every location at the same time, this gave the country boys no time to hide or communicate with one another. By the time Frank was walking out of of church into the streets he was surrounded and had no escape. There was cops on every direction he looked and this time he was alone; he could only walk forward and surrender. Lucas would go to court trials for a little over a year and during these trials Ritchie would try to work out a deal with Lucas to surrender and plead guilty. Frank thought about it, knowing he was in his late forty's would really have an impact on his decision. He didn't really fear that they would find him guilty but then Ritchie told him of all the witnesses he had to testify against him and that he was making so much profit that all the other smugglers wanted him out. They would testify against him in order to get rid of Frank, so either he turns them in or they bring him down. After thinking deeply and knowing he could stay in jail for the rest of his life Frank decided to work with Ritchie and bring down every crooked cop in the city of New York. Martinez 5


By this time frank had already been sentenced to seventy years of prison. Frank and Ritchie came together and together were responsible for more than 100 drug-related convictions. Although Ritchie had told Frank it would be better to tell him to cooperate and help with the case, Frank remained in jail for 5 years. After these 5 years the court had decided to bring down the sentence from 70 years to only 5 with lifetime parole. This would lead to the release of Frank once more except this time he didn't have the cops to help him or his wife, he had nothing. While out of jail it didn't take long for him to be put to trial once again. Frank was caught and convicted of trading an ounce of heroin and $13,000 for a kilo of cocaine. However, this time returning to court he would be defended by the same man that put him behind bars to begin with. Ritchie Roberts would be Franks lawyer for the case and brings down his sentence to 7 years, Frank is released once again in 1991. After his release Frank and his family were placed in the witness protection program. Frank thought many times of returning to what he did and would say,"if i could do it again I would." However, he never did, in fact he became very close friend with Ritchie. So close that he was Franks daughters godfather, they would both continue their lives except Frank was now left with nothing; he would start living like a normal person. Frank Lucas had lived his entire life smuggling heroine through caskets of past away soldiers without ever being discovered, never did it come to him that a silly coat would lead to his end. This would remain in his head forever knowing that sooner or later the truth is always revealed.

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Citations Christian, Margena A. "The Man Who Inspired 'American Gangster'." Jet 112.18 (2007): 63. Middle Search Plus. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. "Original Gangster: The Real Life Story Of One Of America's Most Notorious Drug Lords." Publishers Weekly 257.16 (2010): 44. Literary Reference Center. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. Reyes, Wendy. "American Gangster." Contemporary Justice Review 13.4 (2010): 491-495. Legal Collection. Web. 12 Nov. 2012. Davis, J. Madison. "Living Black, Living White: Cultural Choices In Crime Films." World Literature Today 82.3 (2008): 9-11. Literary Reference Center. Web. 14 Nov. 2012 Scott, Ridley, dir. American Gangster. Writ. Mark Jacobson. 2007. Film. 14 Nov 2012

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