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Authors: Evan Wright

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How to Get Away With Murder in America

BOOK: How to Get Away With Murder in America
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How to Get Away with Murder in America

Drug Lords, Dirty Pols, Obsessed Cops, and the Quiet Man Who Became the CIA’s Master Killer


By Evan Wright



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Copyright © 2012 by Evan Wright
All rights reserved


Cover illustration by Mimi Dutta; background image, iStockphoto/emirsimsek


ISBN: 978-1-61452-034-4


Byliner Inc.
San Francisco, California


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[email protected]


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Table of Contents

Key Figures


Hit Man


The Liar’s Tale


Total Intelligence


The Last True Crime Fighter


Ricky and Albert


The Country Club Wiseguys


Superman Returns


The Transworld Detectives


Life with the Godfather


The Great Corrupter


Hard Guy


It Comes a Time


Wrecking Ball


Get Out of Jail Free


Operation Rabid Dog


Man in a Lego House


The Return of Alex




The Murders


Death of a Country Club Wiseguy


Detective Fiction


The Zipper Man


Everyday Miracles


Enter the Cocaine Cowboy


Exit the Detective


Good Guy


The Ghost of CIA Past


Billboard King


Baker Acted




The Woofer and the Quiet Man


Spies Like Us


“Whacking People Like Crazy”


Major General Doper


Notes on Sources


About the Author


About Byliner


Byliner Originals & Byliner Fiction

Key Figures

Enrique “Ric” or “Ricky” Prado
, a.k.a. “Alex Padron,” former high-ranking CIA officer who was chief of the agency’s counterterrorist operations before and after the 9/11 attacks, reportedly ran its “targeted assassination unit,” and later became vice president at Blackwater. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he served as bodyguard and alleged criminal enforcer for the convicted cocaine trafficker Albert San Pedro.


Alberto “Albert” San Pedro
, a.k.a. “the Maniac,” “the Great Corrupter.” A convicted cocaine smuggler and alleged killer renowned for his political influence. His contacts with Prado prior to and throughout Prado’s CIA career first drew the notice of federal investigators in the 1990s. He and Prado became friends in high school.


J. Cofer Black
, Mitt Romney’s national security adviser and a former high-ranking CIA officer who promoted Prado within the agency and later worked with him at Blackwater.


Detective Mike Fisten
, former Miami-Dade Police Department officer and federal task force member who investigated San Pedro and Prado for RICO and murder charges.


Jon Roberts
, the “Cocaine Cowboy,” who first claimed that Prado was the hit man who carried out the murder of Meyer Lansky’s stepson, Richard Schwartz.


Richard Schwartz
, stepson of legendary Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky who was shotgunned to death, allegedly by Prado.


Robert “Bobby” Erra
, one of the alleged “country club wiseguys” who partnered with San Pedro in cocaine trafficking. An alleged accomplice in the murder of Schwartz.


Gary Teriaca
, mafioso and “country club wiseguy” pal of Bobby Erra’s who disappeared in 1981. He was allegedly murdered by San Pedro and Erra, with Prado allegedly serving as an accomplice.


Miguel “El Oso” Ramirez
, Prado’s judo instructor and close friend, who claimed they committed numerous arsons and acts of extortion together while working for San Pedro. El Oso was convicted of murdering and beheading an undercover ATF informant.


Mark Baer
, attorney for Bobby Erra who implicated Erra, San Pedro, and Prado in numerous cocaine transactions and murders.


Ron Book
, former aide to Florida governor Bob Graham who worked for San Pedro.


Jenny Cartaia
, San Pedro’s stepdaughter, whom he allegedly raped and then married.


Donald Dugan
, former political operative of Congressman Claude Pepper whom San Pedro hired as his lobbyist.


Pasquale “Patsy” Erra
, Mafia capo and Bobby Erra’s father.


Miguel “El Rubio” Garcia
, a former member of the weight-lifting fraternity who served as San Pedro’s first bodyguard.


Steven Grabow
, Gary Teriaca’s college friend and an Aspen, Colorado, ski bum whom Teriaca recruited into the cocaine business. Killed by a car bomb in 1985, allegedly planted by San Pedro with help from Prado.


Bob Graham
, former Florida governor and U.S. senator whose wife helped lobby for San Pedro’s pardon.


Special Agent Fred Harden
, who served on Ed Hinman’s RICO task force and made key identifications linking Prado to the murder of Gary Teriaca.


Sergeant Ed Hinman
, Miami-Dade Police Department officer who headed the RICO task force that targeted San Pedro, Bobby Erra, and Prado.


Detective Rosario Kennedy
, Miami-Dade Police Department officer who led the 1985 undercover sting that ensnared San Pedro.


Abe Leaser
, Florida state prosecutor who declined to prosecute murder cases involving San Pedro, Bobby Erra, and Prado.


Dexter Lehtinen
, former U.S. attorney who granted San Pedro immunity in exchange for his testimony against his wife’s political opponent, Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez.


Marsha Ludwig
, common-law wife of Bobby Erra and childhood friend of Adele Graham (the former first lady of Florida) who assisted San Pedro’s efforts to receive a pardon for his crimes.


“Detective McGruff,”
nickname of the Miami-Dade Police Department officer who investigated San Pedro in state and federal cases and interviewed Prado at CIA headquarters.


Al Malnik
, alleged Meyer Lansky protégé, owner of the Forge restaurant, and later godparent of Michael Jackson’s son “Blanket.” He was targeted for a car bombing in 1982, allegedly with assistance from Prado.


Armando Mirabal
, a former member of the weight-lifting fraternity who was murdered in Los Angeles, allegedly on orders from San Pedro.


E. Page Moffett
, former CIA associate counsel who spearheaded the effort to block Prado’s appearance before a grand jury.


Danny Mones
, Meyer Lansky protégé and lawyer, who became San Pedro’s top adviser.


Detective Al Morciego
, Miami-Dade Police Department officer who served on Hinman’s RICO task force.


Ciro Orizondo
, CIA-trained Bay of Pigs veteran who claimed Prado assaulted him while extorting money on behalf of San Pedro.


Congressman Claude Pepper
, San Pedro’s political patron.


Rudolfo Pesci
, murdered in 1983 after his involvement in a drug deal that Prado allegedly brokered.


Carlos Redondo
, a former member of San Pedro’s and Prado’s high school weight-lifting “fraternity” who later pleaded guilty to racketeering with Bobby Erra and allegedly helped murder Gary Teriaca.


Ron Reed
, president of the detective agency San Pedro founded to enable Prado and other bodyguards to legally carry weapons while working for him.


Janet Reno
, former Dade County attorney general and U.S. attorney general, who oversaw the state case against San Pedro in 1986 and later approved the decision not to prosecute him for murder.


Manuel Revuelta
, CIA-trained Bay of Pigs veteran who claimed Prado extorted money from him on behalf of San Pedro.


Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
, Dexter Lehtinen’s wife, who won her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after her husband led the federal prosecution of her opponent. She now serves as chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


Gilberto Salazar
, allegedly murdered by San Pedro with help from Prado.


Rick Sanchez
, former CNN host who in the 1980s became a close friend of San Pedro.


Lourdes San Pedro
, Albert San Pedro’s third wife.


Fred Schwartz
, San Pedro’s attorney who was eventually disbarred.


Hector Serrano
, CIA-trained Bay of Pigs veteran who claimed Prado extorted money from him on behalf of San Pedro.


Guillermo Tabraue
, CIA asset and drug smuggler targeted by Detective Fisten’s federal task force.


nickname of a childhood friend of Prado’s who later worked with him at the fire department.


Craig Teriaca
, Gary’s younger brother, whom Richard Schwartz murdered, setting off a cycle of revenge.


Vincent Teriaca
, Mafia underboss to Patsy Erra and father of Craig and Gary Teriaca.


Detective Mel Velez
, Miami-Dade Police Department officer who served on Hinman’s RICO task force.


Hector “Puma” Valdez
, convicted drug dealer who identified Prado as having represented San Pedro at a meeting to ship cocaine to California in 1983, after Prado had entered the CIA.

BOOK: How to Get Away With Murder in America
2.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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