Edit: I think it might be time to differentiate between smack (heroin) and coke. This because the coke might have been travelling upwards, but the heroin might have been travelling down [into the United States], simultaneously. Someone somewhere might have even said that one type of narcotic was used to trade for the other, as a means of payment. No money changing hands, imagine that. Opinions?
Yes, one of the first who did that for the Sicilian Mafia and the 'Ndrangheta was early cocaine broker Roberto "The Baby" Pannunzi.