Leroy “Nicky” Barnes
Leroy Antonio Barnes was born on October 15,1933 in Harlem, New York. He grew up in Harlem where he got into the drug business. In 1965 he was arrested and sent to prison with the charges of low level drug dealing. While he was serving his time in prison he met two very influential people, “Crazy” Joe Gallo a member of the Colombo crime family and Mathew Modanna, a heroin dealer for the Lucchese family. Gallo was extremely interested in being more involved with the Harlem Heroin market but couldn’t do that without proper personnel. Theory has it that Gallo told all Barnes needed to know about drug trafficking and how to run it which led to him asking Barnes to assemble a team.
Gallo was released from prison and shortly after he gave Barnes a lawyer who overturned his conviction. When Barnes returned to New York City he started to bring together people to work with him in the heroin trafficking. Barnes created an alias for himself, he called himself Nicky. Barnes started getting more black gangsters involved with this which led to formation of The Council. The Council was a group of seven men who structured themselves after Italian mob families. The Council was key to handling problems that dealt with the heroin trade and other disputes. The Council had strict rules that everyone that was involved had to follow. The Council was made up of six other black gangsters Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, Wallace Rice, Thomas “Gaps” Foreman, Ishmael Muhammed, Frank James and Guy Fisher.
The Council’s heroin trade made through New York and Pennsylvania. It also passed into Canada. In 1976, Barnes had seven lieutenants who controlled the drug trade by selling to mid level distributors and finally to many street level dealers which was estimated to be forty of them. This time period was when Barnes received the name Mr. Untouchable because he avoided many charges and arrests that were put on him. At the climax of his dealing, Barnes was worth...