The Nation: Bad, Bad Leroy Barnes

The law finally touches "Mr. Untouchable"

His friends claimed he was just a wealthy real estate investor who was harassed by overzealous, even jealous white authorities. Police contended he was the biggest heroin dealer in New York City, maybe in the country. To blacks in his old Harlem neighborhood, Leroy ("Nicky") Barnes, 45, was a legend of defiance and success. What he had he flaunted, and he had a great deal: 300 custom-tailored suits, a string of glamourous women and powerful friends in show business and politics. He drove two Citroën-Maseratis and four Mercedes. Ghetto kids, said a black police detective, "think...

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