THE TRAIL OF THE POPPY: Behind the Mask of the Mafia by

THE TRAIL OF THE POPPY: Behind the Mask of the Mafia

Email this review


Siragusa is personally committed to destroying the Mafia drug trade. Since his childhood as the son of a Sicilian immigrant on the Lower East Side, he has watched the Mafia rackets flourish. Among schoolchildren he remembers the sons of racketeers organizing paid protection for kids. At the end of the Thirties, he was promoted to membership in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and subsequently spent 22 years tracking the traffickers. To be sure, his early case histories read like small peanuts and have the flavor of indifferent fiction. But soon he is a kind of world agent, setting up raids in Turkey, Greece and Italy, and capturing many hundreds of pounds of heroin worth many, many millions of dollars. His usual technique is to follow up leads by stool pigeons and insinuate himself into the drug operation. Using tantalizing amounts of bait money, he impersonates a big racketeer while setting up a comprehensive series of raids. These disguises sometimes lead him into amusing situations, such as the time a cocaine addict was driving him 70mph down a mountainside while sniffing his coke...There's nothing official here; it's simply a deck of stories and anecdotes written on a men's magazine level.

Publisher: Prentice-Hall