Ruthless and fearsome, Carmine Galante was the man behind the real “French Connection” – the person who took the Mafia into heroin. So when he was sentenced to 12 years, it seemed the authorities had got rid of a bad one. How wrong they were.
For once in jail, Galante mused on the Heroin business and he began to work out how to do it both bigger and better. Galante decided that he would be the Mob’s first druglord. And he would use the profits to seize control of the Bonnano crime family.
His timing was perfect. When he came out of jail, America was entering the 70s, and heroin was taking becoming the drug of choice in New York’s vast housing estates. Galante set up networks to deal direct with the Sicilian Mob to import the drug into the US. He even devised a network of pizza parlours to distribute the gear.
But all that wealth began to draw envious glances from other mobsters. Galante thought he was safe surrounded by hired muscle from his Sicilian homeland...but he was wrong. His killing by masked gunmen as he tucked into a fish lunch at Joe & Mary’s is the most famous of all the Mafia’s greatest hits.