1995, Hope Street, Philadelphia: My partners and I are out hunting heroin dealers – hopefully a nice pinch. The tip comes in from an informant with a long tail, the length extending with each corroborated whisper that leads to an arrest. He is more right than wrong lately. Drug pinches are routine for me; I cannot remember a day without an arrest. Even the odd off-duty robbery arrests infiltrate my life to a point where it all blurs together.
Things always look the same; abandoned houses, cockroach covered walls moving in the dark , rats, no doors, no windows and the walking dead, as we come to call the zombies that roam East division. Today feels different. We enter an abandoned house, some Agents are hands free, and some are carrying automatic MP5s. We make our way in through a dark empty hall to one huge room. The interior walls and ceilings are gone. Sunlight floods the place. I squint against the glare and the dust we kick up. There is a rainbow hanging high above the smell of death. No pot of gold here. The only sound comes from rats scratching on some aluminum sheets that board up the house.
The place is empty. Just one body lay dead in a maze of trash and rubble. The set of works from the community free give-away program stood shiny, new, and still stuck in his carotid artery. Same scene, same smells, but today is different for me. Everything is too bright and sharp-edged. I start softly singing “He’s off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in a monotone, my partners stare. The irony gets to me. Here we are in what some call East, others the Land of Oz, the press terms it The Badlands, and I find myself once again singing, just above a whisper Somewhere over the Rainbow when all I ever see is Death and Destruction. The Great and Powerful OZ, which I recently equated with Al Gore and the Clinton Administration, once again fails to answer the Drug War. They are somewhere in the bright sun, campaigning, shaking hands, probably enjoying a Mama Juana, a Dominican cocktail, with their supporters – all courtesy of the ten spot this junkie and others like him, spent to off himself.
All the connections are getting to me, running backward through my head. This guy, laying in his own vomit, probably stole from his own mother to buy the glassine packet of heroin supplied by the Dominican Traffickers who write a fat check to Clinton and Gore who preach a War on Drugs. The drugs dealt on Hope Street in Philadelphia are supplied by traffickers in the Dominican Republic who are buying votes in the US and lining Bill, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore’s pockets. Gore accepts a check from them just the night before at Coogan’s Bar in Washington Heights in the heart of the most notorious part of the Dominican Drug Trafficking area of New York City. The spoils of the War on Drugs are lining the pockets of the Clinton Administration.
I make the call to Homicide and they will call the meat wagon. I will do my paperwork. And like always, I will end my day asking myself, is this shit for real? Hope Street, of all places, in a house that looks like a twister hit it. No hope, here.
For 19 years until I am sidelined by forced withdrawal, I fought the Drug War on the streets of Philadelphia. I never had a problem fighting the dealers and the addicts – that is the job I live for. What I have a problem with and what I am forced to withdraw from is fighting all the good guys including my commanding officers, State officials, and Federal agents. I challenge men and women in power who are supposed to be on the forefront of the War on Drugs.
As I find out the hard way, there are a whole lot of people in Federal, State, and Local Agencies who have agendas that fly in the face of law enforcement. My superiors give me and my partners the moniker Bastard Squad because we won’t back off of what we know is a major Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) that needs to be taken down and so now they isolate us from everyone else, no one is allowed to work with us; we are the bastard step children. Word comes down that the CIA and The State Department are behind the orders; but I will tell you who the real bastards are. The way it plays out in the press is much different from the truth, but it’s always that way isn’t it; well here’s how it is reported.
In the fall of 1995, my partner, Charlie Micewski aka the Flash, and I discover that a Dominican Republic political party is raising campaign funds for Dominican Presidential candidate Pena Gomez, by selling heroin and cocaine in Philadelphia and up and down the East coast. We work with DEA agents in New York and attempt to seize half a million in campaign funds that we know come from drug deals. This campaign money is to be given to the visiting Pena Gomez and his PRD delegation and we know when and where. We are to stop the entourage and confiscate the ill-gotten funds but the State Department calls it off. The U.S. State Department is backing the guy. I didn’t give a shit.
Two weeks later US Attorneys and the local DA tell the OAG they will no longer prosecute our cases. Over 80 accused drug dealers that we take off the street, skate, because of this decision.
My book takes the reader from my youth in Philadelphia through 34 years in Law Enforcement. I have no agenda. I tell the whole truth.
One of the agencies that most effectively block our efforts is the CIA. It’s documented. There’s no conjecture here. I write the facts as they have been reported in every area of the media including my firsthand knowledge. The CIA turns a blind eye to certain activities because it serves their purposes. In the 80’s and early 90’s the CIA helps to keep the Haitian military and political leadership in power and in the process turns a blind eye to drug trafficking. They add positions to the CIA payroll for National Intelligence Service (SIN), which ironically, is created to fight the cocaine trade. SIN officers however, traffic drugs and aid some of the Haitian military and political leaders.
“We had problems in Haiti, where friends of ours -- that is, intelligence sources in the Haitian military -- had turned their facilities, their ranches and their farms over to drug traffickers. Instead of putting pressure on that rotten leadership of the Haitian military, we defended them. We held our noses, we looked the other way, and they and their criminal friends distributed, through a variety of networks, cocaine in the United States -- in Miami, in Philadelphia, New York and parts of Pennsylvania." - (Jack Blum in testimony before Congress)
My story follows Dominican traffickers, backed by Dominican politicians who are backed by the US State Department. It’s a clear trail of drugs, money and political deals.
Every agency has a mission and an agenda, and how they fulfill their mission often conflicts with other agency missions. My book explores these facts from a unique angle. I am one of the narcotic agents on the street who suffer the consequences. In trying to do the right thing every day I am challenging people in high places who swore to uphold the law.
It just so happens that the losers in this game are citizens on the street, the kids who end up dying from crack and heroin and the Narcs like me who risk their lives every day trying to make it all right.