1975–1984: Philadelphia’s Black Mafia on the Wane

Part of the Studies of Organized Crime book series (SOOC, volume 2)


Organize Crime Criminal Enterprise District Attorney Eastern District Search Warrant 
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  1. 2.
    United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Barbara Hinton, William Beckwith, Charles William Cameron, James W. Carter, John Darby, Thelma Darby, David Bates and Scarvey McCargo, Defendants-Appellants, Nos. 1018, 1019, 1023, 1062-1065, 1390—September Term, 1975. Nos. 75–1402, 75-1418, 75-1441 — 75-1445, 76-1024, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 543 F.2d 1002;1976 U.S. App. LEXIS 6904, September 27, 1976, p. 2.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Toni Locy, “‘Heroin Kingpin’ 2 Decades Ago Linked to Harris,” Philadelphia Daily News, October 9, 1987, Local, p.10.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Max H. Siegel, “8 Convicted as Members of a Drug Ring for Blacks,” The New York Times, October 9, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    U.S. v. Hinton et al., p. 4.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Jim Nicholson, “Muslim Plan,” Philadelphia Daily News, September 13, 1978, Local, p. 5. Also see the Strike Force’s “Intelligence Summary, Black Organized Crime—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” n.d.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Strike Force’s “Intelligence Summary, Black Organized Crime—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” n.d.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
  8. 9.
    Mattias Gardell, In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996); and Tyree Johnson, “Muslim Changes Revealed,” Philadelphia Daily News, February 20, 1978, Local, p. 12.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Tyree Johnson, “Con May Be Cleaning Up Mosque,” Philadelphia Daily News, February 20, 1978, Local, p. 5; and Gardell, pp. 109–110. Wallace changed the name of the organization from WCIW to the American Muslim Mission in April 1978. The reforms were considered radical to many within the movement, and two other factions split from the larger Muslim community. Louis Farrakhan was first moved to Chicago following Elijah Muhammad’s death. In 1977, Louis Farrakhan and Silis Muhammad each left Wallace D. Muhammad’s community and created their own sects to reform the Nation of Islam as it was under Elijah Muhammad. On August 21, 1977, Silis declared he was creating the Lost Found Nation of Islam (LFNOI), and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Farrakhan announced he had re-founded the Nation of Islam in Chicago in November 1977. The majority of Elijah Muhammad’s followers went with Farrakhan, though Jeremiah Shabazz aligned himself with Silis Muhammad. Shabazz explained his rationale in Thomas Hauser, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times (New York: Touchstone [Simon & Schuster], 1991), pp. 295–296. Farrakhan’s rise to power began years previously in Boston. He then succeeded his former mentor, Malcolm X, as minister of the Harlem Mosque after Malcolm’s assassination and eventually became Elijah Muhammad’s National Representative. Lincoln, p. 128. After 25 years of vitriolic discord (Farrakhan considered Wallace Muhammad a “soft-minded heretic”), Farrakhan and Wallace Muhammad “celebrated a symbolic reunification of their rival Black Muslim factions” on February 26, 2000. William Claiborne, “Farrakhan reunites two rival factions,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26, 2000; Dirk Johnson, “Farrakhan Ends Longtime Rivalry With Orthodox Muslims,” The New York Times, February 28, 2000; and Annette John-Hall, “Farrakhan Joins Old Foe to Renounce Separatism,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2000.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Johnson, “Muslim Changes Revealed.” Shabazz died on January 7, 1998. The Philadelphia Inquirer (“Metro News in Brief” section), January 8, 1998.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
  12. 13.
    Maida Odom, “Nation of Islam stands divided,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 23, 1978. Other signs placed on the front of the mosque read: “The Original Black Nation of Islam: The Home of the So-Called Negro”; Muhammad’s Temple’s Defense Dept.: Self-Help, Registration, Separation & Correction Headquarters”; “Nation of Islam: Muhammad’s Mosque No.12, Under the Guidance and Leadership of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, Last Messenger of Allah.”Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Harry Amana, “Jeremiah Shabazz Suspended by Muslims,” The Philadelphia Tribune, February 10, 1976, p. 1.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Les Payne, “The Man Who Drew Cassius Clay to Islam,” Newsday, February 16, 1997, p.G06.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
  16. 17.
    Jim Nicholson, “Black Mafia Blamed in Shabazz Ouster,” The Philadelphia Bulletin, February 16, 1976. Nicholson is quoting William Brashler form the June 9, 1975 issue of New York Magazine.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    I should note the group was also engaged in various credit card scams throughout 1974 and 1975. I have, unfortunately, discovered no law enforcement intelligence information or interview data regarding the frauds. See, Mike Leary, “Now the Black Mafia Bilks Banks,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 24, 1975.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    George Murray and Mike Leary, “Black Mafia Figure is Shot, Critically Hurt,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 6, 1975.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    Lonnie Dawson’s statement to the police; contained in Common Pleas Court of Phila. Co., Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lonnie Dawson, Nos. 2747-2748, 12 Phila. 659; June 28, 1985, p. 3. Also see United States of America v. Lonnie Dawson, a/k/a “Abdul Salim”, Criminal Mo. 82–128Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Commonwealth v.Dawson, p. 3.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Kitty Caparella, “Fugitive Kept His Hands in Drugs, Authorities Say,” Philadelphia Daily News, October 26, 1989, p. 5. Williams lived on Bayard Street near Ivyhill Road.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    Jim Smith, “City Oks 21G Settlement in Police Beating Suit,” Philadelphia Daily News, May 22, 1981, p. 6. On appeal, Hoskins was represented by Joel Harvey Slomsky.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    See Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Lonnie Dawson, Appellant, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 486 Pa. 321; 405 A.2d 1230; 1979 Pa. LEXIS 615, June 5, 1979.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Appellee, v. William Hoskins, Appellant, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 485 Pa. 452; 403 A.2d.521;1979 Pa. LEXIS 621, July 5, 1979, p. 5. This document contains the most detailed analysis of the Williams homicide.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    Ibid., p. 7.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    “Motive sought in slayings,”; The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 27, 1976, p. B01 (n.a.).Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert Minis, Appellant (two cases), Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 481Pa. 275; 392 A.2d1290; 1978 Pa. LEXIS 994, October 5, 1978.Google Scholar
  28. 29.
    Howard Goodman, “Convict Says Prosecutor Barred Blacks from Jury,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 3, 1992. Local, p. B01.Google Scholar
  29. 30.
    Robert Fowler and Robert Fensterer, “Man, wife are slain in home,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 26, 1976, p. A01.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    “Autopsy Fails to set time of 2 slayings,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 28, 1976 (n.a.).Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    “Police seeking two in double slaying,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 30, 1976 (n.a.).Google Scholar
  32. 33.
    Dave Racher, “Dubrow Case,” Philadelphia Daily News, October 9, 1978, Local, p. 12.Google Scholar
  33. 34.
    Jim Nicholson, “Witness Against Muslims Finds Son’s Body in Car,” The Philadelphia Daily News, June 12, 1980, p.3. Barry Kelly could have been a witness in the trial, but was never called to testify.Google Scholar
  34. 35.
    Ibid., and author’s interview with “John P. Gallagher”.Google Scholar
  35. 36.
    Frazier was convicted with Eugene Beckman. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Appellant, v. Larris Frazier. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Appellant, v. Eugene Beckman, a/k/a Eugene Beckham, Superior Court of Pennsylvania, 331 Pa. Super. 128; 480 A 2d 276; 1984 Pa. Super LEXIS 5401, July 13, 1984. Also see Linn Washington and Joe Blake, “Allen ‘Mafia’ Hires Killers to Silence Women Foes,” Philadelphia Daily News, September 16, 1980, p. 5.Google Scholar
  36. 37.
    Russell Cooke, “Drug Dealer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 5, 1983, p. B06; and Jim Smith, “Heroin Dealer Will Remain in the Tank,” Philadelphia Daily News, August 6, 1983, p. 4.Google Scholar
  37. 38.
    Joe O’Dowd and Frank Dougherty, “Alleged Dubrow Slayer Held in Drug Bust,” Philadelphia Daily News, May 14, 1981, Local, p. B03. Mims was later re-convicted for the murder of Alton Barker.Google Scholar
  38. 39.
    Lonnie Dawson v. United States of America, Civil No. 97-7420, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16909, November 2, 1999, p. 4.Google Scholar
  39. 40.
    See United Stales of America v. Lonnie Dawson, No. 87-1352, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 857 F.2d 923; 1988 U.S. App. LEXIS 12775, September 21, 1988.Google Scholar
  40. 41.
    Ibid., p. 7.Google Scholar
  41. 42.
    Philadelphia Police Department, Organized Crime Unit, “Lonnie Dawson”, April 7, 1981. Adderly was imprisoned later that month for an unrelated investigation, though it was also for manufacturing methamphetamine.Google Scholar
  42. 43.
    United States of America v. Lonnie Dawson, a/k/a “Abdul Salim”, William Roy Hoskins, a/k/a “Muhammad Waliyud-Din”, Robert Hardwick, a/k/a “Fareed Abdul Shakoor”, Criminal No. 82-00128-01, 82-00128-02, 82-00128-03, United States District Court for the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania, 556 F. Supp. 418; 1982 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16787; 12 Fed R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 353, December 21, 1982.Google Scholar
  43. 44.
    On January 23, 1985, the Third Circuit reduced Dawson’s sentence to 65 years, and his fine to $100,000. Hoskins had his sentence reduced to 621/2 years. See United States of America v. William Roy Hoskins, a/k/a Muhammad Walliyud-Din, Crim. No. 82-128-02, Civil No. 97-2974, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15159, September 23, 1998.Google Scholar
  44. 45.
    Smith, “Black Mob Bosses Get Stiff Jail Terms,” p. 3.Google Scholar
  45. 46.
  46. 47.
    Cooper, “2 in “Black Mafia’ Get Stiff Terms,” p. B01.Google Scholar
  47. 48.
    Smith, “Killer Sentences for 2 Drug Dealers,” p. 8.Google Scholar
  48. 49.
    Kurt Heine, Julia Lawlor and Joe O’Dowd, “Hostage Freed in Surrender to Stone,” Philadelphia Daily News, October 13, 1983, p. 3. Also see DEA, report, “Vernon Earl WALDEN/ Larris FRAZIER ORGANIZATION: West Philadelphia; 60th and Pine Streets/60th and Market Streets,” n.d.Google Scholar
  49. 50.
    Smith, “City Men Held in Heroin Ring,” p. 3; Colimore, “6 Suspects in Drug Ring Are Arrested,” p. 1; and Goldwyn, “Sentences Ring Out Black Mafia,” p. 6.Google Scholar
  50. 51.
    Colimore, “6 Suspects in Drug Ring are Arrested,” p. B01.Google Scholar
  51. 52.
    Goldwyn, “Sentences Ring Out Black Mafia,” p. 6.Google Scholar
  52. 53.
    PPD, “News Release,” February 23, 1984, included in the Black Mafia files.Google Scholar

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