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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Harlem’s Most Anticipated Crime Biography Tells the Story of Richard ‘Fritz’ Simmons

Harlem Plug: Richard 'Fritz' Simmons Story by Harlem Holiday

Author Harlem Holiday and her bookcover

Harlem, NYThe Harlem Plug is the 266-page biography of Richard ‘Fritz’ Simmons written by author Harlem Holiday and released during Women’s History Month through her imprint, Harlem Westside Publishing. This is the highly anticipated biography of Harlem’s own urban legend known as ‘112th Street Fritz.’

Fritz operated a high-volume narcotics enterprise, employing several hundred throughout the five boroughs of New York City and neighboring states during the Crack Era, generating millions a month—all beneath the radar of police and drug enforcement agents. Was Fritz a victim of circumstance, misled by example, or merely a product of his environment? In the late 1970s, David Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, faced public disgrace after being robbed in a Harlem hotel and exposed for Heroin abuse. Also, during this time, drug lords thrived and gained notoriety. Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes were Harlem’s own, known for their ruthlessness, the subject of news articles, film, and television, inspiring rap artists to acquire their persona.

The Miramax film, Paid In Full, produced by Roc-A-Fella (Jay-Z and Damon Dash) and Rat Entertainment (Brett Ratner), was based on events that led up to a December 5, 1989, high-profile Harlem kidnapping case of 12-year old Donnell Porter investigated by the FBI. Donnell’s older brother, Richard Porter, reached out to Richard ‘Fritz’ Simmons for help with the half-a-million-dollar ransom for the return of his kidnapped brother. The real-life Fritz, though a millionaire many times over, didn’t believe in being flashy. Harlem’s consignment kingpin insisted on remaining low-key. Most often, he would be found, hidden in plain sight, sitting right on his stoop at 109 West 112th Street, hair braided, in nondescript overalls, and worn-out footwear.

The Harlem Plug is a biography that offers insight into Fritz, his family, his early childhood, his work ethic, his return to Harlem, and how and why he opted for the drug trade. Through an associate of the Lucchese crime family, one of the five families of La Cosa Nostra (the Mafia), Fritz would expand his operations and become a supplier for many area dealers. This biography explains the agreement with the Medellín Cartel, positioning Fritz as the leading narcotics distributor for New York and New Jersey. Further details reveal his involvement with local kingpins and why the ransom negotiations infamously went awry.

The Harlem Plug also offers a detailed chronology of the early roots of the drug culture in Harlem that brought lucrative opportunities for Fritz and others. The account of events, as told by Fritz’s closest friends and family, includes research gathered from newspaper clippings, magazine articles, social media, blogs, and court transcripts—fully disclosed. The Harlem Plug also reveals events leading up to Fritz’s own mysterious, untimely death.

Harlem Westside Publishing independently publishes The Harlem Plug. Harlem Holiday’s work of creative non-fiction seamlessly depicts how one loving, loyal family, rooted in forgiveness and integrity, can be impacted by loss, trauma, and poverty, and ultimately, segues into criminal activity.

The Harlem Plug is a 266-page Crime Biography, creative non-fiction published by Harlem Westside Publishing. For more information, including speaking engagements and interviews, call 914-768-3192 or visit www.HarlemWestsidePublishing.com

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Harlem Westside Publishing