- SKU: 19590789
- Release Date: 12/06/2011
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In contemporary parlance, "gangster" often refers to a gun-wielding hood with ties to La Cosa Nostra, but a number of gangsters neither carry a piece nor belong to the Italian mafia - such as adventure-cum-gambler Leslie 'Ike' Atkinson of North Carolina. During the Vietnam War and under the aegis of the U.S.A.F., Atkinson - aka 'Sergeant Smack' - assembled one of the most powerful and lucrative drug trafficking operations in history. In fact, his cartel succeeded at moving $400 million in heroin from Thailand to the southeastern United States between 1968 and '75. Unfortunately, many myths have developed about Atkinson. For instance, the feature film American Gangster presented a distorted view of his relationship with thug Frank Lucas, implying that Lucas - not Atkinson - was the one responsible for the said cartel. This documentary cuts through the myth and legend to present an accurate, factual view of Atkinson's life. Via archival materials, interviews and other resources, it tells how this enterprising young man prompted the creation of a DEA unit code called Centac 9 and a three-year investigation by the federal government. It also tells how one careless error - Sergeant Smack's palm print on a cache of heroin - brought him tumbling to the ground. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi