American Desperado pdf

American Desperado PDF by Evan Wright

Download American Desperado PDF by Evan Wright published on 1 November 2011.


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    Inside this book

    During a break in the Heat versus Pistons game at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, an announcer informs the crowd that a “very special celebrity” is in the house. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have Jon Roberts, Miami’s original cocaine cowboy, with us tonight.”
    Live images of Roberts seated in the arena splash onto the screens in the arena: a physically fit sixty-year-old with silver hair combed straight back. Unaware that he is being filmed, Roberts gazes expressionlessly. Deep-set eyes give his face a wolfish, predatory appearance. Fans seated near him stand with their camera-phones and take aim. Roberts notices his image on the screens and offers a pained okay-you-got-me grin. He puts his arm on his eight-year-old son, Julian, seated beside him. Julian ducks his head into his father’s shoulder but peeks up, grinning, as cameras flash. His dad is the biggest star in the arena.
    Little more than fifteen years earlier Roberts was a fugitive. His face was featured on FBI most-wanted posters at U.S. post offices across North America. He fled Miami after the U.S. government labeled him as top “American representative” of the Medellín Drug Cartel and charged him with overseeing the importation of billions of dollars of cocaine. Roberts and a small band of American partners had created a veritable FedEx of drug smuggling. They employed secret airfields, listening posts to eavesdrop on Coast Guard communications and sophisticated homing beacons for tracking cocaine shipped by sea that stymied the U.S. government for nearly a decade. That part of Roberts’s story—and the outrageous life he led that epitomized the excesses of Miami’s cocaine-fueled boom of the 1980s—was told in the underground hit documentary Cocaine Cowboys, released in 2006.