Review ~ Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham
Book Description ~ For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and Hassidic teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle--Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.
Chemical Cowboys is a thrilling journey through the groundbreaking undercover investigations that led to the toppling of a billion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking network--starting in 1995 when New York DEA Agent Robert Gagne infiltrated club land to uncover a thriving drug scene supported by two cultures: pill-popping club kids and Israeli dealers.
Gagne’s obsessive mission to take down Tuito’s network met unexpected challenges and personal discoveries that almost crippled his own family. Weaved into the narrative are the stories of Tuito’s underlings who struggled with addiction as they ran from the law, and the compelling experiences of a veteran Israeli police officer who aided Gagne while chasing after his own target--a violent Mob boss who saw the riches to be made in Ecstasy and began to import his own pills and turf warfare to the U.S.
Chemical Cowboys offers a taut, behind-the-scenes glimpse into an international criminal enterprise as daring as it is deadly.
If you grew up in the 70's, 80's or even the 90's then you are probably familiar with Ecstasy. It was actually discovered in the early 1900's by Merck (Germany), but was forgotten about due to the War and other discoveries. Somehow the drug made it's way over to the US for further study over the 1950's & 1960's. It actually has an interesting history, along with most illegal drugs.
Chemical Cowboys is an account of one DEA agent's years-long quest to take down an Israeli crime boss who was responsible for the importation of much of the Ecstasy sold in the United States. This is an investigation that took place over several years, the book covers all of it, including another look at the Michael Alig case.
Chemical Cowboys is full of facts, figures, and details. However, it never reads like it is. The book is fast paced, it reads just like a fiction novel. I honestly, hardly ever read non-fiction. I had to keep reading the book description to verify it really was a true crime book.
It provides a unique perspective on how the police build their cases. Regardless of how you feel on drugs that are considered illegal, you can't help but be happy when Tuito was a taken down. It also gives you a look at some of the other illegal activities that most drug dealers take part in, and why the police are so serious about drug crimes.
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