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Lorenzo Nichols was one of the top drug lords in New York City in the 1980s. He is currently serving time in a New York State corrections facility.
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In 1986, Isaac Bolden was shot and killed by Nichols's associates after he and a few others robbed Nichols's then-girlfriend, Karolyn Tyson.
Nichols's former girlfriend, Myrtle "Myesha" Horsham, also met a grisly fate after she took money from his drug operation. It didn't even matter that she and Nichols had a child together, a son named T.C. In December 1987, Horsham and a friend were shot several times by members of Nichols's crew. The friend lived,
but Horsham died of her injuries. T.C. was with Horsham at the time of the shooting, and was later dropped off in his maternal grandmother's yard.
Nichols later stated that he had Horsham killed because "she was my girl and ... she took my money and spent it on another person," according to a report in The New York Times.
Nichols soon found his own family under siege. His wife was kidnapped in May 1987 and held for ransom. After paying off the kidnappers, she was released. The kidnappers were later apprehended. Other members of his family were not so fortunate. In May 1988, the home of Louise Coleman, Nichols's mother, was firebombed. His mother and stepfather escaped unharmed, but his invalid half-sister Mary died in the fire.
By that time, however, Nichols had been convicted of several counts of drug-related and weapons-related crimes. He had been convicted in January 1988 and later sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. But this was only the part of his legal woes. The cold-blooded murder of police officer Edward Byrne in February 1988 by his associate Pappy Mason created a public outcry, and the authorities turned up the heat on Nichols's operation.
In 1992, Lorenzo Nichols pleaded guilty to the murder charges related to Rooney's death. He was given 25 years to life in prison for that crime. Around that same time, Nichols pleaded guilty to federal drug-related charges and racketeering-related murder charges, and subsequently received a sentence of 40 years in prison. The sentence was to served concurrently with the state charges. While he could have been facing life in prison for the federal charges, Nichols was given a lighter sentence for agreeing to cooperate with the authorities. His main motivation behind this decision may have been to help his mother and girlfriend, both facing charges related to their role in his drug business, receive lighter sentences.
Nichols is currently serving his time in the New York State corrections system. In 2010, the New York Daily News published a letter that Nichols had written the publication from his prison cell. "I have nothing but time to ponder my misdeeds," Nichols wrote, adding, "To the victims of my criminal activities, I offer my deepest regret and sincerest apology."
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