Eighteen-year-old Salvatore Lucania (later known as Charlie "Lucky" Luciano) was convicted June 27, 1916, of narcotics possession. He was sentenced to eight months in the reformatory.
According to court records, Lucania had been a seller of morphine for some weeks. In June, he made his third purchase of a one-eighth bottle of morphine* and began selling doses. He reportedly sold fifteen doses from that eighth-bottle before he was caught by a law enforcement agent. [*Records do not indicate the volume of morphine, but the amount was sufficient for a large number of doses.]
When on trial for compulsory prostitution in 1936, defendant Lucania took the witness stand and was questioned about the 1916 narcotics arrest. He recalled that he was arrested on Fourteenth Street as he made a sale "to a dope fiend."
Morphine sale and possession were regulated under the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson late in 1914 and effective on March 1, 1915. Morphine could only be obtained legally under a physician's prescription for treatment of an issue unrelated to addiction and through a federally licensed and taxed dispensary.
Lucania did his sentence at the recently opened 610-acre New Hampton Farms reformatory upstate in Orange County, New York. He was released early, at the conclusion of six months, close to Christmas 1916.
|New Hampton Farms|
- "'Ride' victim wakes up on Staten Island," New York Times, Oct. 18, 1929.
- "Charles Luciana, with aliases," FBI memorandum, file no. 39-2141-X, Aug. 28, 1935, p. 5.
- "DEA history in depth: The early years," Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA.gov, May 2018.
- "Heroin, morphine and opiates," History.com, June 12, 2017, updated June 10, 2019.
- "Lucania is called shallow parasite," New York Times, June 19, 1936.
- "Open new reformatory," New York Times, April 1, 1916, p. 9.
- "Charles Luciano, with aliases Charles Luciana, Lucky Luciano, Miscellaneous, Information Concerning," FBI memorandum, file no. 39-2141-2, Feb. 26, 1946.
- Dewey, Thomas E., Twenty Against the Underworld, Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, p. 185.
- Feder, Sid, and Joachim Joesten, The Luciano Story, New York: Da Capo Press, 1994 (originally published in 1954), p. 46.
- The People of the State of New York against Charles Luciano, et al., Record on Appeal, Volume III, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division - First Department, 1937, p. 5182, 5200, 5209.