October 14, 2007
The Raid in Teaneck is the prologue from Ron Chepesiuk and Anthony Gonzalez's book, Superfly: The True Untold Story of Frank Lucas, American Gangster. (A major movie about Lucas entitled American Gangster and starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe will be in theaters beginning Nov. 2, 2007.) The book investigates Lucas's life and criminal career and the claims to fame the movie makes about him. This includes Lucas's relationship with legendary Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson, his connection to La Cosa Nostra, the money he made in the drug trade and the development of the Asian drug pipeline. Lucas's life as a government informant is also examined. Beginning Oct. 25, 2007, Superfly can be purchased from the web site franklucasamericangangster.com. A documentary is also available.
by Ron Chepesiuk and Anthony Gonzalez
The law enforcement raid came on a crisp, cold night in late January, 1975, without a high profile. No involved planning. No SWAT team. No large show of force. No TV cameras. There was plenty of man power, though: a task force consisting of 10 agents from Group 22 of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and 10 New York Police Department detectives attached to the Organized Crime Control Bureau (OCCB).
The task force felt confident that it would face little resistance and certainly no bodyguards wanting to disrupt the raid and cause trouble. After all, it was the personal residence of the drug dealer and his family lived with him.
Group 22 had been investigating the Gambino crime family of East Harlem for some time, and now the long hours and hard work were about to pay off. In 1975 the Gambino family was one of the five families that ruled the powerful Italian American mob, La Cosa Nostra, and controlled organized crime in New York City.