Frank Lucas, one of the most famous drug kingpins in American history, died Thursday night.
TMZ reports Lucas died in New Jersey. Lucas was being taken to a local hospital for an undisclosed health issue and died during the trip. Additionally, Lucas’ nephew Aldwan Lassiter confirmed his death to Rolling Stone.
Lucas was known for his lucrative heroin operation that ruled Harlem in the 1960s and 70s. His story was detailed to bring drugs straight into America from Southeast Asia by using the coffins of servicemen who died. In an interview, Lucas claimed he was able to put six to eight kilos in each coffin, a figure that has become questioned over time. The drugs carried the street name of “Blue Magic.”
Lucas was arrested in 1975 by DEA raid, which uncovered more than $584,000 in cash. He was eventually convicted of drug violations, both federal and state, then sentenced to 70 years behind bars before becoming an informant, only serving five years initially. He would do an additional seven after returning to drug dealing.
Frank Lucas’ life was depicted in the 2007 film American Gangster by Denzel Washington. The movie inspired Jay-Z’s album of the same name.
He was 88-years-old at the time of death.