Imagine an era when the War on Drugs collided with the largest crime wave of the century!!
And the kingpins who managed to escape death or jail became so powerful that their influence extended into the highest echelons of government!!
Hear from Jon Roberts, who will be portrayed by Mark Walberg in an upcoming Peter Berg directed film, on how he went from mafia soldier to cocaine cowboy to secret government asset all in one lifetime!!
AMERICAN DESPERADO: My Life—from Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset
Born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family, Jon witnessed his first murder at age 7, was arrested at 17 for kidnapping and attempted murder, and avoided jail time by joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. Returning to New York at age 20 Roberts spearheaded the takeover of numerous nightclubs, quickly becoming a top promoter of Manhattan’s nascent disco scene where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of TED KENNEDY, MICK JAGGER, JOHN LENNON, BRUCE LEE, and ED SULLIVAN.
After being implicated in the murder of a dirty New York cop, Roberts fled to Miami where he began buying large quantities of cocaine and joined forces with Mickey Munday, a brilliant former airline pilot with a “MacGyver-esque” knack for avoiding security systems. The two forged an alliance with an unknown but ambitious drug cartel led by PABLO ESCOBAR, and soon Roberts and Munday had transformed Miami into the cocaine capital of America. But as national demand for cocaine skyrocketed and Roberts and Munday raked in millions, vicious gang warfare broke out and everyone from the CIA to George H.W. Bush ratcheted up efforts to bring Roberts down. He was the government’s number one target—until they needed an expert smuggler to deliver arms to the anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua.
Wright presents Roberts’ revelations in AMERICAN DESPERADO with the same hard-nosed journalist’s instincts he took to his earlier combat reportage. Woven into the narrative is an astonishing depth of voices including Roberts’ family members, criminal associates, ex-lovers, cops, even a priest who was once his closest friend, all of whom enrich and sometimes challenging his incredible story.
The book offers a no-holds barred look into the life of Jon Roberts, including:
- A haunting portrait of Jon’s traumatic Mafia upbringing, and his efforts today to give his own son a better life
- His role in the unsolved murder of MEYER LANSKY’S stepson-a crime that gripped Miami and has remained unsolved for more than three decades- until now
- How the political establishment of Florida was corrupted by drug profits (the book implicates a current member of congress in cocaine use)
- Details of the CIA’s recruitment of American drug smugglers to circumvent U.S. law and help arm Latin American paramilitaries
- Dark but hilarious details of the relationship between the Mafia and celebrities ranging from JIMI HENDRIX and ANDY WARHOL during Roberts’ days working as a mob enforcer at New York night clubs, to JAMES CAAN and O.J. SIMPSON when he became a cocaine kingpin in Miami
- How Roberts’ revelations about a high-ranking CIA officer led to his serving only three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to smuggling billions of dollars of cocaine
More than one man’s dark take on the American Dream, AMERICAN DESPERADO captures an era when the War on Drugs collided with the largest crime wave of the century. And the kingpins who managed to escape death or jail became so powerful that their influence extended into the highest echelons of government.
Paramount is already on board to produce the film with Peter Berg directing and Mark Walberg set to play Roberts.