In the movie "American Gangster," Ike Atkinson appears as the minor character "Nate," who is depicted as gangster Frank Lucas's cousin and as the drug trafficker who helped Lucas established the Asian heroin pipeline from Thailand to the U.S. These were two of many of the Lucas' lies exposed in Strategic Media Books LLC’s recently released award-winning book, Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and His Band of Brothers by Ron Chepesiuk.

"'The American Gangster' movie is a fairy tale told by Hollywood," Chepesiuk said. "It should have been produced by Walt Disney."

Since its publication, Sergeant Smack has been honored by nine book award competitions. Sergeant Smack has also been optioned for a movie, which is currently in development.

Last October, Strategic Media Books LLC released the fascinating documentary interview, "Ike Atkinson, Kingpin-- In his Own Words," as a complement to the book. This coming June 25, the documentary will be screened at the prestigious Philadelphia International Film Festival and Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The time: 5:10 pm; The place; the African American Museum.

In the documentary, Atkinson tells own his story and further sets the record straight. The former kingpin, who operated the largest drug smuggling enterprise in the 1970s, talks about growing up in the rural south, his life in the military and as a gambler and a hustler, his rise and fall as a big time drug dealer, his relationship with Frank Lucas, the 32 years he spent in prison and his life since his release. Those who have an appreciation for the truth will want to listen closely and take note, as the real American Gangster at long last speaks out. The production's running time is 63 minutes.

"It has been really gratifying to get my true story told both in print and on the screen," Atkinson revealed. "The DVD complements the book together they provide a complete picture of my life."

Atkinson led a remarkable life as an adventurer, gambler and drug trafficker. He never carried a gun, never committed murder and never bowed down to the infamous Italian La Cosa Nostra. Atkinson was the first African American drug kingpin to have a DEA task force set up specifically to bring him down.

As a former U.S. Army Master Sergeant, he utilized his intellect and charm to smuggle, by conservative estimates, 1000 pounds of heroin annually from Bangkok, Thailand, through U.S. military bases into the United States from 1968 to 1975. Atkinson's legendary enterprise was so complex and profitable it easily rivaled that of modern day hoodlums, the Black Mafia Family.

Beginning at 1 p.m. on June 25, Ron and Ike will also sign books and DVDs at the African American Museum. Come to the Museum and meet and chat with Ike and Ron. Both Ron Chepesiuk and Ike Atkinson are available for interviews.For further information contact Strategic Media Books LCC by phone at 803-3-66-5440 or e-mail

Note also that prior to the screening of the Ike Atkinson documentary on June 25, another documentary, Superfly: The True Story of Frank Luca, American Gangster will be screened at 4:05 p.m. on June 25. Ron Chepesiuk produced and scripted both Superfly and Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, In his Own Words.

The DVD, "Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, In His Own Words," and book, "Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and His Band of Brothers" are available at,, and Barnes and Noble, and through local book stores.

See and hear from Ike Atkinson himself at For more information about Ron Chepesiuk, go to . You can also 'friend' both Ron Chepesiuk and Ike Atkinson on

Chepesiuk has penned some 28 books, including "Gangsters of Miami," "Drug Lords, the Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel," "Gangsters of Harlem" and "Gangsters of Chicago," and more than 4000 articles. In all, Chepesiuk’s books have won more than twenty awards.

And pick up the "Sergeant Smack: The Legendary Lives and Times of Ike Atkinson, Kingpin, and his Band of Brothers" online or at a bookstore near you!

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  • according to Bob Leuci the Detecive Trupo [played by Josh Brolin] was based on a guy called Vinny Albano who would have worked in the Harlem Narcotics division at the time of the story.....Albano was later caught up in the investigation into the French Connection Heroin theft from the NYPD Property Clerk.
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