Meet Mahalee Lucas, Frank Lucas’s Mother


Mahalee Lucas was the mother of American drug lord Frank Lucas. She was born on December 11, 1909, in North Carolina. At 17, Mahalee met and married Fred Lucas, with whom she had at least eight children, five sons, and three daughters.

Her Son

Mahalee Lucas raised her children in Greensboro, North Carolina, a neighborhood where black Americans were looked down on. Her son, Frank, started his criminal activities when he was 12 years old after witnessing one of his cousins being killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Frank began committing minor crimes until, one time; he knocked someone down with a pipe.

Frank Lucas went ahead and stole money from the unconscious man. Mahalee had a hand in her son’s criminal activities because after Frank had stolen money from his employer, she helped him flee to New York. Mahalee Lucas did not want her son to be killed or imprisoned, which is why she helped him escape, not knowing she had planted a seed of crime.

Her Son’s Life in Crime

Once Frank Lucas arrived in New York, he settled in Harlem, Manhattan, where he continued his petty criminal activities. He made a name for himself, and crime boss Bumpy Johnson could not fail to notice him. Mahalee’s son worked with Johnson in the drug business until his death.

While Mahalee’s son was working with Johnson, they were just middlemen in the drug business, But as soon as Johnson died, Frank realized he would become richer faster if he got the drugs directly from the source. He collaborated with Army officer Leslie Atkinson, and illegal substances were trafficked to the United States as corpses. They would be put together with the bodies of American soldiers.

While making their case, Mahalee’s son and Leslie said that they did not smuggle drugs in corpses but rather in furniture. Nevertheless, they got their package in the United States from Asia and continued their business. Once the drugs were in the US, Mahalee’s son would sell them himself or use a few friends or family members.

Frank’s drug business kept growing, and he claimed to have made up to 1 million dollars in one day. With the money he made, he bought properties all over the US and liked interacting with the rich in society; however, he dressed casually to avoid attention.

Arrest and Conviction of Mahalee’s Son

Despite doing his criminal activities for over thirty years, Frank was rarely arrested until 1975 when law enforcers from NYPD and Drug Enforcement Administration raided his home and found drugs and over five hundred thousand dollars. Mahalee’s son was sentenced to 70 years in prison, but his term was reduced after providing evidence on drug-related cases.

Mahalee’s son was released after spending five years in prison but rearrested three years later for drug-related crimes. However, Frank Lucas was released seven years later, in 1991. He died on May 30, 2019, aged 88.


Mahalee died of old age on December 18, 2003, aged 94, and her body was laid to rest at  Pinelawn Memorial Park in Lenoir County, North Carolina.


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