￼Lucas in the 1970s
That sentiment is perhaps the most significant complaint of all. The film’s most haunting, perhaps heartbreaking premise is that Lucas exploited the fatalities of the Vietnam War to run dope – aka “The Cadaver Connection.” But the film is wrong and Barnes was right. The Cadaver Connection story was the product of misreporting dating to the early 1970s.
In December 1972, United Press International reported that anonymous government officials had discovered a vast network of smuggling that included the method of hiding dope in caskets, describing the organization as “ex-GI’s with Southeast Asian experience [who] had infiltrated many levels of the armed forces, including body preparation centers in Vietnam.” The report went on to detail a federal official’s version of the scheme: “Airtight bags (of heroin) could be slipped into bodies after autopsy.” One of those military men convicted for his role in the heroin ring, Leslie “Ike” Atkinson (portrayed by Roger Guenveur Smith as the character Nate in the film), explained in 2008 how the Cadaver Connection rumor likely started. Atkinson, also known as Sergeant Smack, was convicted in 1974, and in 1987 authorities accused him of continuing to operate the drug ring from his prison cell, crediting him with the sensationalized “Cadaver Connection” scheme. Atkinson said he and his cohorts used teakwood furniture for smuggling. “In Thailand, while he was there, Frank Lucas came to my house and I introduced him to Leon (Atkinson’s carpenter), simply telling Lucas that Leon was doing carpenter work for me,” Atkinson said, adding that he didn’t want even Lucas to know the real method of smuggling. “Lucas asked Leon what he was doing, and I spoke right up and said Leon was making coffins. That’s probably where Lucas got the whole coffin thing.”#americangangster #1960s #1970s #druglord #kingpin #furcoat #furhat #expensiveshit #millionaire #smuggler #drugs #heroin #cocaine #harlem #gangster #streetlegends #hoodrich #fashion #businessman #like4like #likeforlike #boss #followforfollow #hustler