Dead on Delivery: Inside the Drug Wars, Straight from the Street

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9780446515580: Dead on Delivery: Inside the Drug Wars, Straight from the Street

A former DEA chief and a crime journalist examine why federal anti-drug programs have failed

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Sober telling of a top narc's life story. Stutman, who retired from the DEA in 1990 after 25 years, starts near the end of his career, in February 1989, with the Staten Island murder of DEA agent Everett Hatcher by drug-dealing mobster Gus Farace. It's a powerful beginning, one that allows Stutman--writing with New York Newsday city editor Esposito--to honor his fallen comrade and to introduce his major theme: the betrayal of the war on drugs on the federal level, thanks to inadequate funding--``As had three presidents before and one after him, Reagan ensured the nation's anti-drug policy was dead on arrival.'' An emotionally charged description of Hatcher's funeral gives way to a lengthy retracing of Stutman's career from his rookie days as a campus narc through his rise in the ranks, duty overseas, and long stint as head of the DEA's Boston office. Much of this recap deals with relatively dull bureaucratic wranglings (punched up by the occasional revelation--e.g., that in 1972 the DEA identified Manuel Noriega as a suspected drug trafficker but was told to lay off by the State Department; that Stutman's own son smoked pot), and it's padded by a long ``informant's tale'' drawn from talks with a major cog in the Chinese Connection. The narrative picks up as Stutman takes over the N.Y.C. office in 1985 and confronts crack, and races ahead when he returns to the hunt for Farace in a terrific climax that includes details of his surreptitious dawn visit to John Gotti's house to ask for help in nailing the killer. Farace was slain by the mob soon after, and Stutman's parting words show just how hard-boiled this cop is: ``I was glad he was dead. He didn't deserve a trial.'' Tough as nails but not so sharp, and most notable for Stutman's caustic criticisms of a weak federal antidrug policy. (Sixteen-page photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In one of the most gripping books yet on this topic, Stutman, former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) New York office, tells of his life as a federal drug agent while showing how the government, through several administrations, has blundered along in a war that cannot be won. Stutman states that both law enforcement and social programs need to be used to combat drug trafficking and use; unfortunately, in the federal drug war, funds are usually cut from these areas even while war is being declared. Far from just showing how the war is being lost, Stutman also shows the toll it takes on those who fight it, particularly in several harrowing chapters about the shooting of agent Everett Hatcher and the hunt for his killer, a drug dealer eventually killed by the mob. Both a thought-provoking study of the nation's top crime problem and a powerful look at law enforcement officers in action, this book is very highly recommended for all collections. (Photos not seen.) Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/92.
- Sally G. Waters, Stetson Law Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Stutman, Robert M., Esposito, Richard
Published by Warner Books (1992)
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Robert M. Stutman; Richard Esposito
Published by Grand Central Pub (1992)
ISBN 10: 0446515582 ISBN 13: 9780446515580
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