Mob bosses get away with murder. They are the godfathers of the underworld. All of them play a lead role in their criminal enterprises. Some are overt in their leadership while others play a smoke and mirrors game to hide their true intentions. Their histories were bathed in blood. That some of them were black was a surprise to some who equate organized crime with the Mafia.
Nicky Barnes was one of the more prominent narcotics dealers in New York for most of the ’70s. Rising from a street-level drug peddler and addicted to heroin at a young age, he overcame these early setbacks to become the head of “The Council”, a group of seven African-American drug dealers that held sway over Harlem. He was sent to prison in 1978 reportedly after President Jimmy Carter saw an article about him published in the New York Times with the heading “Mr. Untouchable”. He turned state witness while and was instrumental in the conviction of sixteen heroin traffickers. He died in 2012 in anonymous circumstances under a new identity provided to him by the Federal Witness Protection Program.
Felix Wayne Mitchell Jr. was another one of the kingpins of the California narcotics trade. He organized his criminal gang, the “69 Mob” while still a teenager. He was infamous for using children as drug carriers. He was murdered at Leavenworth Prison in 1986.
A life of violence leads to perdition. Nicky Barnes and Felix Mitchell found this out when it was too late.