The Council (drug syndicate)

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The Council
Founded 1970's
Founding location Harlem, New York City, New York
Years active 1972 - 1983
Territory Various neighborhoods in New York City and New Jersey
Ethnicity African American
Membership 7
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, Murder, Robbery
Allies Lucchese Crime Family, East Harlem Purple Gang[1]
Rivals Various gangs in New York City including their allies

The Council was a drug and crime syndicate in New York City created by Harlem gangster Nicky Barnes in the 1970s. The seven man organization was modeled after the Italian mob families.[2] The Council settled disputes, handled distribution problems and other drug related issues. It was connected to the Lucchese crime family through family member Matthew Madonna who supplied the group with raw heroin which was then diluted and distributed, in New York State but also Pennsylvania, Canada and as far west as Arizona. [3] Barnes was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1978 and in 1982 he became a federal informant.[2] His testimony led to the dissolution of The Council in the mid-1980s.


The Council included seven people:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Younger Thugs Surpass Elders: Manhattan's new Purple Gang deals with deceit, drugs, death". Eugene Register-Guard. New York Times News Servie. Dec 8, 1977. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Chepesiuk, Ron (1999). The war on drugs : an international encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-87436-985-4. 
  3. ^ Abadinsky, Howard (2010). Organized crime (9th ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-495-59966-1.