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Chaz "Slim" Williams is a former bank robber who later founded Black Hand Entertainment and worked as manager of rappers 50 Cent and Foxy Brown.
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Born in Harlem, New York, Chaz "Slim" Williams became an interstate bank robber during the 1970s. Believed to have been behind dozens of heists, he received a 95-year prison term that was eventually whittled down to a decade and a half. He later founded Black Hand Entertainment and helped shape the careers of rap stars 50 Cent and Foxy Brown for a time.
Chaz "Slim" Williams was born Charles Williams in Harlem, New York, the middle of three children. His father was a World War II veteran, and his mother stayed home to raise the family. When Williams was 5 years old, the family moved to Jamaica, Queens, where they lived hand-to-mouth in the notorious "40 Projects."
At an early age, Williams's visits to the South to visit extended family made a deep impression. His experiences with segregation, Williams later said, affected how he felt about law enforcement, society, and the government. The violence, fear and inequality facing African-American citizens struck Williams as unfair, and he became determined to do what he could to strike back at the people in power.
For Williams, going to school and following rules weren't producing the results he wanted to get ahead. So instead, he turned to robbery. Williams had his first encounter with the law at the age of 12, when he robbed a local drug store. He was immediately captured by law enforcement officials, and held in a Bronx youth facility.
The arrest had little affect on Williams, who continued to buck the system. He was kicked out of a string of schools during his youth, and his overwhelmed family eventually shipped him to Florida to live with relatives. The move didn't change Williams's behavior, either; he carried out a string of petty robberies in his new environment, and was finally sent back to New York by his frustrated grandmother.
As soon as he was back with his parents in Queens, Williams was caught yet again for breaking the law. This time, he was given an 18-month juvenile detention sentence. While in the detention center, Williams plotted a successful jailbreak that involved distracting security with an outburst. Upon his escape, he fled over the U.S. border to Canada, where he was almost immediately caught for another attempted robbery.
Williams was sent to Montreal's Prison de Bordeaux with a stiff sentence. After completing his time, the 17-year-old returned to New York with the intention of living the extravagant lifestyle he felt the country owed him. In order to pay for what he thought were the finer things in life—expensive cars, jewelry, and high-priced houses. He decided to rob federal banks, believing that he was somehow getting revenge on a federal government that he felt ignored the needs of African-Americans.
In 1971, Williams and his band of bank robbers were caught after one of the bandits was arrested on an unrelated charge. In an effort to plea bargain, the robber revealed the identities of Williams and his crew. Williams was indicted and sent to a federal corrections institution in Milan, Michigan, were he was sentenced to a five-year term.
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