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Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs

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Overview

During the late 1970s and early '80s, a golden age of marijuana trafficking, the country's most prominent kingpins were fun-loving Southern gentlemen who forsook college educations to sail drug-laden luxury sailboats across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Les Riley, Barry Foy, and their comrades eschewed violence as much as they loved pleasure, and it was greed, lust, and disaster at sea that ultimately caught up with them, along with the law. Based on years of research and interviews, Jackpot...
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Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs

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Overview

During the late 1970s and early '80s, a golden age of marijuana trafficking, the country's most prominent kingpins were fun-loving Southern gentlemen who forsook college educations to sail drug-laden luxury sailboats across the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. Les Riley, Barry Foy, and their comrades eschewed violence as much as they loved pleasure, and it was greed, lust, and disaster at sea that ultimately caught up with them, along with the law. Based on years of research and interviews, Jackpot is a new classic tale from America's controversial Drug Wars.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Endorsement of The Day: A Great Book About the Early Years of the War on Weed…. Before Juarez was a war zone, before coke-rich Colombia was the hostage capital of the world, and before an ex-B-movie actor with a good haircut declared War on Drugs, a group of wayward Southern gentlemen yachted the globe with unseen amounts of marijuana and hashish, and did it with style. The adventures, the long-gone economy, and the sting that ultimately brought them down and changed US drug policy are meticulously documented and lucidly spun by reporter Jason Ryan in Jackpot…. Part New Yorker feature-part Jimmy Buffett song. . . . The result is adventuresome, lavish, informative fun. Try it. You'll like it." —GQ "Over the course of Jackpot's rollicking story, Ryan manages to pack in one amusing tale after another: the day after a shipment, the crew stumbles upon a bale of marijuana accidentally left on the side of the road; they pilot a pot-filled sailboat that is taking on water all the way back from Jamaica; … they help U.S. forces during the invasion of Grenada, earning one trafficker, Bob 'The Boss' Byers, the nickname rocket launcher.... Jackpot is a rip-roaring good read." —Charleston City Paper "High times on the high seas: Investigative reporter Ryan recounts the glory days of dope smuggling and their terrible denouement.... The protagonists are, in the main, decent and hardworking guys who just happen to be engaged in something very illegal—a trade that, as Ryan notes, is an ancient one along the South Carolina coast, where contraband smuggling is a big intergenerational business, whether of cigarettes, booze or pot. The principals of the story long enjoyed a place at the top of the smuggling pyramid, landing, in one year, more than 30,000 pounds of marijuana in three moves alone.... A well-told tale of true crime that provides a few good arguments for why it should not be a crime at all." —Kirkus Reviews "[A] thoroughly researched account of Operation Jackpot, the drug investigation that ended the reign of South Carolina's 'gentlemen smugglers,' marijuana kingpins who kick-started Reagan's war on drugs.... Ryan recreates the era with a vivid, sun-drenched intensity." —Publishers Weekly "Mr. Ryan has hit the jackpot with this tale of drug smuggling on the high seas. . . . [Jackpot] reads like an international thriller. . . . chock-a-block with hilarious and hair-raising anecdotes of fast times." —Sam Millar, New York Journal of Books
Publishers Weekly
Ryan writes a thoroughly researched account of Operation Jackpot, the drug investigation that ended the reign of South Carolina's "gentlemen smugglers," marijuana kingpins who kick-started Reagan's war on drugs. As a result of Operation Jackpot, more than 100 men were charged with smuggling, racketeering, tax evasion, and conspiracy, relatively tame charges, as Ryan stresses, compared with the violence surrounding contemporary drug trafficking. Ryan draws on extensive interviews, grand jury and trial transcripts, personal correspondence, news articles, and police reports. Still, rather than a comprehensive survey of marijuana and hashish smuggling in the 1970s and '80s, his book profiles personalities, focusing on "a few talented smugglers" and their wild exploits, such as a 1976 incident in the Florida Keys when the approach of police caused smugglers to scatter, sending a 65-foot sport fishing yacht with 15,000 pounds of marijuana on autopilot toward Cuba "never to be seen by the smugglers again." The last member of the crew to go to prison, having evaded the law for 25 years, pleaded guilty in 2008. Ryan recreates the era with a vivid, sun-drenched intensity. (Apr. 20)
Kirkus Reviews

High times on the high seas: Investigative reporter Ryan recounts the glory days of dope smuggling and their terrible denouement.

Back in the 1970s, bringing brain candy from offshore or Mexico wasn't the deadly game it is today—at least not so deadly, though surely just as lucrative. The protagonists are, in the main, decent and hardworking guys who just happen to be engaged in something very illegal—a trade that, as Ryan notes, is an ancient one along the South Carolina coast, where contraband smuggling is a big intergenerational business, whether of cigarettes, booze or pot. The principals of the story long enjoyed a place at the top of the smuggling pyramid, landing, in one year, more than 30,000 pounds of marijuana in three moves alone; writes Ryan, "even with the lax drug patrols in South Carolina, that so many ventures could be accomplished successfully is a testament to the sophistication the gentlemen smugglers developed." Eventually, though, the smuggling ring drew the attention of the feds, who brought it down in a showcase operation that heralded the Reagan administration's war on drugs. Classically, it also set friend against friend, cousin against cousin. Particularly bothersome to those on the wrong side of the law, Ryan writes, was the fact that so many "cooperating witnesses spilled their guts when they had relatively little exposure to serious charges." Ultimately, the league of gentlemen smugglers was torn apart, its members imprisoned. But, Ryan notes in closing, smuggling persists, and now it's "less romantic and much more deadly."

A well-told tale of true crime that provides a few good arguments for why it should not be a crime at all.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762780303
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 517,214
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Ryan is a South Carolina journalist and former staff reporter for the State newspaper.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Great read, interesting characters.

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Interesting but a bit tedious

    I recommend it. You should expect factual, not inspired, writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    Blake

    Res 14

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Cody

    Moans and turns her so that he can give her oral. He licks up and down her slit slowly, like a paintbrush, shoving his tongue into her cu<_>nt every few seconds. His teeth grab her pus<_>sy lips and nibble a little.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Scarlet

    She moand takeing his c<—>ock out of her mouth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Cody

    Kisses her and says into her mouth "maybe...why dont you have a taste?" He grins and takes his di<_>ck out of her pus<_>sy, slippery with her cu<_>m, and shoves it into her mouth, filling her throat with his long shaft.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Retro 70's gangsters

    A fun look at a forgotten era of less sinister stoner gangsters.

    J.R. Locke
    Author of Possible Twenty a Gangster Tale &
    Down and Out in Manhattan

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    No lam not reading it

    :P

    0 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

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    Posted March 23, 2012

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    Posted May 2, 2012

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    Posted June 27, 2012

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    Posted July 4, 2012

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