Al Capone Distributing
1929 Ford Model AA

During the Prohibition Era, Capone controlled large portions of the Chicago underworld, which provided The Outfit with an estimated US $100 million per year in revenue. This wealth was generated through numerous illegal vice enterprises, such as gambling and prostitution; the highest revenue was generated by the sale of liquor. His transportation network moved smuggled liquor from the rum-runners of the East Coast, The Purple Gang in Detroit, who brought liquor in from Canada, with help from Belle River native Blaise Diesbourg, also known as "King Canada," and local production which came from Midwestern moonshine operations and illegal breweries. With the revenues gained by his bootlegging operation, Capone increased his grip on the political and law-enforcement establishments in Chicago.
Lexington Hotel Vault Doors from Al Capone’s office in downtown Chicago

The old Lexington Hotel at the corner of Michigan Avenue and 22nd Street used by Capone had dozens of secret passages and stairways, including one behind Capone’s medicine chest. The passages led to hidden tunnels that connected taverns and whorehouses. The tunnels had been designed to provide elaborate escape routes from police raids and attacks by rivals.Al Capone, who became the Lexington’s most famous resident, moved into the Lexington in July 1928. He ran his operations from the hotel until he was escorted off to prison in October 1931. Capone held court in an office that overlooked Michigan Avenue while in the Lexington’s lobby, armed gunman kept a careful eye on the front doors. Additional guards with machine guns patrolled the upper floors and were hidden away in closets.



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