Frank Lucas

Frank Lucas

Born: 9-Sep-1930

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Criminal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Harlem heroin kingpin

Brother: Ezell
Brother: Vernon Lee
Brother: John Paul
Brother: Larry
Brother: Leevan
Daughter: Francine Lucas-Sinclair

Frank Lucas: In Short

Frank Lucas is an American organized crime boss, and former heroin dealer, who operated in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was particularly known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in the Golden Triangle. Lucas boasted that he smuggled heroin using the coffins of dead American servicemen, but this claim is denied by his South East Asian associate, Leslie “Ike” Atkinson. Rather than hide the drugs in the coffins, they were hidden in the pallets underneath as depicted in the 2007 feature film American Gangster in which he was played by Denzel Washington, although the film fictionalized elements of Lucas’ life for dramatic effect.

Frank claimed to have made $1M a day at his peak selling heroin in Harlem. After his arrest and conviction in 1975, he received a 70-year sentence, but was began informing and was released in 1981. Three years later Lucas was again arrested, after conspiring to exchange drugs with an undercover federal agent.