Harlem Homecoming: The Great Guy Fisher Returns To NYC, Fmr. Heroin Chief Receives Medical Pardon

October 31, 2020 – One-time New York drug don Guy Fisher got a ticket home from the federal government this week, let out of prison Wednesday on a medical pardon after 36 years behind bars on a drug and racketeering conviction from the early 1980s. The 73-year old Fisher led The Council, a syndicate of African-American heroin bosses in Harlem founded by his mentor, the notorious Nicky Barnes, who was jailed in 1978.

Barnes and Fisher fell out over a woman and Barnes eventually became the government’s star witness in a case against Fisher and the five other “Council” members. Fisher, known for being suave and business savvy on the street, was sentenced to life in prison in 1984. He became Barnes’ acting boss in the late 1970s when Barnes got locked up.

The woman in question was Beverly (Shemecca) Ash. Upon Barnes jumping ship to Team USA, Ash and her brother, Steve, a mid-level player in The Council, were murdered on orders of an Italian mob associate from the Gambino crime family. Shemecca was gunned down inside The Monarch Bar in Manhattan on December 13, 1982. Steve Ash was shot to death less than a year later.

In the years before he went away, Fisher became the first-ever Black owner of the famous Apollo Theatre. During his incarceration, he earned a PHD in the sociology.

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