American Desperado: My Life as a Cocaine Cowboy. Jon Roberts and Evan Wright

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9780091945220: American Desperado: My Life as a Cocaine Cowboy. Jon Roberts and Evan Wright

American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo," a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: From New York City gangster to running guns for the CIA and smuggling literally tons of cocaine and cash for the Medellín Cartel at the height of America’s “war on drugs”--Jon Roberts has done it all. American Desperado is the uncensored, jaw-dropping account of Roberts’s life of criminal enterprise, decadent excess, murder and mayhem, that has all the trappings of a best-selling crime novel. Yet, co-author Evan Wright’s meticulously researched footnotes serve as an authentic reminder that this is no work of fiction.  Roberts’s adherence to his father’s philosophy that evil is stronger than good, and his ease with violence, are coupled with an indelible charm, candor, and loyalty, that together paint a powerful portrait of a quintessential Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.--Seira Wilson

Featured Photographs of Jon Roberts

Before Jon was a Cocaine Cowboy, Jon's mother took this photo (1956) when he was a boy obsessed with cowboys. Jon later changed his name to Jon Pernell Roberts after Pernell Roberts, star of Bonanza.
 
Jon (third from left) at a 1973 wedding in New York. It was his last wiseguy party before he fled to Miami.
 
Jon's long-time girlfriend Toni Moon was the poster girl for the Ryan O’Neal movie So Fine. Here, Jon and Toni reenacted the poster's photo with Jon in place of O'Neil.
 
Jon's mugshot taken after his arrest in the 1986 cocaine bust that unravelled his empire. 

About the Author:

JON ROBERTS was, prior to his incarceration, among the most successful drug smugglers in American history, at one point overseeing an operation that accounted for more than half of the cocaine entering the US. He collaborated with some of the most notorious criminals of his era, including Pablo Escobar and General Noriega, was a key player in the Iran-Contra affair, and starred in the hit documentary Cocaine Cowboys. EVAN WRIGHT is the author of Generation Kill, one of the most celebrated books on the Iraq War and recently adapted by David Simon into a 7-hour HBO miniseries. He is a recipient of the National Magazine Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Award, a PEN/Faulkner Award and a Lukas Book Prize. He is also a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

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Jon Roberts, Evan Wright
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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city s top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6 6 bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the Bearded Gringo, a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was the guy who can get things done . He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091945220

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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city s top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6 6 bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the Bearded Gringo, a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was the guy who can get things done . He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780091945220

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Book Description Ebury Press, 2012. Book Condition: New. 2012. 0th Edition. Paperback. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. This title tells his story. Num Pages: 576 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: BG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 156 x 216 x 41. Weight in Grams: 608. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780091945220

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Book Description Ebury Press. Book Condition: New. 2012. 0th Edition. Paperback. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. This title tells his story. Num Pages: 576 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: BG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 156 x 216 x 41. Weight in Grams: 608. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780091945220

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Book Description Ebury Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, American Desperado: My Life as a Cocaine Cowboy, Evan Wright, Jon Roberts, "American Desperado" is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo", a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption. Bookseller Inventory # B9780091945220

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