The Dossier: The Council

0 Posted by - January 8, 2018 - Black History, LATEST POSTS

In previous entries of “The Dossier,” we discussed a number of Harlem’s major crime figures such as Madame St. Clair, Bumpy Johnson, and Casper Holstein. It would be the generation afterward the figures that took organized crime to new levels. Prior to Nicky Barnes and Frank Lucas’ generation, Crime circles operated brothels, gambling dens, fenced stolen goods, credit card fraud, handled extortion, and dealt in mostly soft drugs.

Origin of the Council

When heroin and cocaine began big money, a new generation of mobsters burst onto the scene–some having worked under the previous generation. The late 1960s and early 1970s proved to be a time where organization was needed. As the 1980s in Miami would prove, trafficking in hard drugs was extremely high risk with high reward. There wasn’t just a threat from federal law enforcement but each other. This led to the creation of the Council.

Formed in 1972, this group of crime bosses governed the Harlem underground. They handled how heroin moved through the neighborhood, took care of disputes, and operated in a fashion similar to the larger Commission. The Council allowed for the Harlem bosses to do work with the American mafia which was just warming up to the drug trade in general. The group’s reach was throughout the New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania primarily but would do business in Arizona and Canada.

The Council lasted roughly 11 years when it was brought down by central figure Nicky Barnes who had become an informant for the federal government in 1982.

Reference
-http://www.nytimes.com/1983/10/18/nyregion/barnes-testifies-about-council-of-drug-dealers.html
-Mr. Untouchable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOBc2XJLyBo

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