Engaging in organized crime undoubtedly entails a precarious existence, a fact well-known to those immersed in its shadowy depths. Yet, the repercussions of such a life extend beyond the individuals directly involved, casting an uncertain shadow over the lives of their family members. In the unforgiving world depicted in Netflix’s ‘How to Become a Mob Boss,’ the narrative doesn’t solely revolve around the notorious figures orchestrating criminal enterprises but also illuminates the often-overlooked struggles of their kin. A poignant example is Ezell “Dickey” Lucas, brother to the infamous mobster Frank Lucas. Ezell sheds light on the experiences of family members of those entangled in organized crime, offering a perspective on the challenges, fears, and constant worry that define their daily existence.
Ezell Lucas’s Account of Frank Lucas’s Criminal Empire
Born into the family of Fred and Mahalee Lucas, Ezell Lucas was one of four siblings, with his older brother being the notorious Frank Lucas. All of them were country boys who lived in the suburb named La Grange in North Carolina. In the documentary, Ezell provides insights into the factors that drove his brother into a life of crime, tracing back to a traumatic incident in their youth. According to Ezell, Frank witnessed the brutal murder of their 12-year-old cousin by the Ku Klux Klan, a horrifying event sparked by the mere act of the young boy looking flirtatiously at a white woman. Following another incident in which Frank killed a former employer, their mother, driven by fear for Frank’s safety, sent him away to New York City, concerned that he might face lynching or incarceration. It was in the vibrant neighborhood of Harlem that Frank found refuge and mentorship under the wing of the influential gangster Bumpy Johnson. Following this period, Ezell revealed that his contact with his brother became limited.
By 1975, Ezell’s brother, Frank Lucas, had established himself as a formidable figure in the criminal underworld, particularly in the drug trade. Known for revolutionizing the heroin trade by smuggling it into the United States in the coffins of American servicemen during the Vietnam War, Frank Lucas became a prominent and powerful drug lord. However, his criminal empire eventually crumbled. Law enforcement agents raided his New Jersey residence, leading to his conviction on federal and New Jersey state drug violations. In 1977, facing the repercussions of his criminal activities, Frank Lucas and his family entered the witness protection program. Over the years, negotiations around his sentence, coupled with declining health, led to his early release. This allowed Ezell Lucas to rebuild his relationship with his brother. Ezell disclosed that Frank Lucas passed away at the age of 88 on May 30, 2019, in Cedar Grove, New Jersey—a loss deeply felt by Ezell, given the close bond and love he shared with his brother.
Where is Ezell “Dickey” Lucas Now?
Ezell Lucas, undeterred by the complexities of his family’s criminal legacy, has consistently opened up about his brother Frank Lucas in various TV series and shows. His candid insights have made him a notable presence in the realm of true crime storytelling. His first appearance was in the 2008 video ‘Fallen Empire: Making ‘American Gangster.” In the subsequent years, Ezell continued to share his family’s story on prominent platforms, featuring in the 2018 TV series ‘Drug Lords’ and the 2022 TV series ‘Narco Wars.’ Notably, Ezell has maintained a balanced perspective on his brother’s actions, refraining from casting judgment. He has never spoken ill of Frank, acknowledging the missteps he took in life. Ezell believes that, under different circumstances, his brother could have chosen a different and better path, reflecting a nuanced understanding of the complex forces that shape individuals in the world of organized crime.
Ezell Lucas emerges as a steadfast testament to familial loyalty and the unwavering commitment to ensuring his brother’s story is told with authenticity. Stepping into the spotlight on various TV shows, Ezell fearlessly navigates through the complex history and negative connotations that often accompany tales of organized crime. While not extensively active on social media, his occasional TV appearances serve as windows into his life, portraying a man who carries the weight of his family’s legacy with grace. Beyond the public eye, one can imagine Ezell leading a private, yet undoubtedly meaningful, life where the memories of his brother, both the triumphs and tribulations, are carefully preserved and cherished.
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