Frank Lucas (born September 9, 1930) is an American 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.
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