Cover

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Title Page

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Contents

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p. vii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xiv

Paul Doyle’s memoir, based on his career in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is a candid and detailed description of a federal drug agent’s work at the street level, primarily in Boston. The writing has a personal edge: Doyle captures better than any writer who has addressed...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-6

This story began in 1971, when I returned stateside after thirteen months on the DMZ (demilitarized zone) in Korea. My wife, Pam, and I were just getting to know one another again, after being separated military style for most of our young marriage. We wanted to have a family, but we each wanted to commit to a cause that would...

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1: Narcotic Agent

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pp. 7-36

The first three days that I spent at the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building in downtown Boston were three of the longest days in my recent memory. I was fresh out of the agents academy of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. My group supervisor, Todd Downs...

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2: Chinatown

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pp. 37-57

In the early 1970s, some of the purest white heroin in the country was pouring out of Boston’s Chinatown. In an elaborate smuggling operation, Chinese merchant seamen jumped ship in Boston harbor and swam ashore to deliver heroin directly from Hong Kong to local Chinese distributors. As a reward for their crimes, the seamen received...

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3: Informant

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pp. 58-80

Lucifer, a Boston hot spot, stood in the shadow of the famous neon Citgo sign at Kenmore Square. Danny Santarpio, Jason Germano, and I were regular customers there during our undercover investigation of the nightclub scene. Lucifer, appropriately named, attracted a young, upscale crowd. It was a disco....

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4: Expired

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pp. 81-113

‘‘Dan, why don’t we just jump in a shitbox, and drive out to the Washingtonian? One of my old informants called yesterday, and said that they were dealing drugs like fools out there!’’ The Washingtonian was a methadone center, and the junkies were crawling all over the place according...

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5: Bad Acid

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pp. 114-177

Breathing in deeply through my nose, I could feel the cold, salty air burning my lungs while I tried to keep pace with my colleagues Danny Santarpio and Jason Germano. They both ran like deer. The ground was covered with hard, crusty snow, and our feet made crunching...

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6: A Light in the Darkness

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pp. 178-211

I thought about the horrible nightmare, the recurring dream; faceless men coming to kill me. My gun jams, they keep coming, closing in. I run desperately, examining the cylinder of the pistol for bullets, trying to unlock the mechanism so that I can shoot at them and defend myself. It’s no use. I am cornered, with no place to go, so I turn to face my aggressors and fight....

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Epilogue

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pp. 213-214

Pam, my three daughters, and I mixed in with the stream of theatergoers emptying out of Boston’s Wang Center, and found ourselves on Tremont Street. The freezing cold air stung our faces. Bundled up in winter clothing, everyone seemed to be smiling cheerfully, spellbound after...

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Conclusion

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pp. 215-217

Most would argue that we are losing the war on drugs. They are more plentiful and pure and less expensive than ever before. Yet, I remain cautiously hopeful. We live in a big world, and the United States of America is a superpower with great responsibilities. Even...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 219-220

I am forever grateful to Paddy and Gertrude Doyle for taking me into their stable when there was no room in the inn. They showed me what sacrifice was all about and taught me what I needed to survive. Paddy taught me to read and Gertrude taught me to dream. Beverly and Henry, I wish we knew what really happened; perhaps it’s...