Wednesday, June 03, 2009

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.

My thoughts
Lisa Sweetingham does an excellent job of making non-fiction not dry and boring. CHEMICAL COWBOYS flows easily and one gets to know the characters involved by the comprehensive information that she has gathered about the players. At first, I thought maybe I was reading a novel, but photographs proved otherwise. This book is about on how the drug “Ecstasy” became so popular in the clubs, the people who got them into this country and the DEA agents who fought to bring it all down. Ms. Sweetingham’s research is thorough and detailed and she leaves no stone unturned. This is an enjoyable true crime story.

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NOTE: With Father's Day coming coming up, this would make a great book for the father who loves to read!
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