Takedown: Jeff Buck with Jon Land and Lindsay Preston
Living a life under another name and going undercover for 20 years Jeff Buck lived in a world filled with drugs, drug lords, bringing down their kingpins and hopefully finally setting down in a quiet job of police chief of Reminderville, Ohio. But, sometimes things and events are not always so cut and dry and his quiet job would send him back to being Joseph Morgan or as he was known as Dope Ghost. As you learn more about Jeff where he started and how he became involved a simple routine domestic assault would lead him away from his wife and children once again as the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars across both the U.S. and Canadian borders would change it once again for Jeff. Buck. A young boy is sitting on his stoop waiting for the bus when his life ends because of a war between two gangs. Each page is filled with the different players that are controlled by one man named Alan Jacobs who is their primary dealer and who both Danny the runner, Kevin the dealer along with his girlfriend Ashley, smuggle and handle more money than twenty people might see in three lifetimes. Pills that are sold with prescriptions, coke, heroine and anything that makes you get high, Reminderville, a great name is a town not any different than any small or large city where until a simple murder of a young child turns out to have links to a drug runner named Danny and the Hells Angels.
Getting to know Jeff Buck we also get an inside picture of several other law enforcement officials, the history of how the reservation became their road map between the U.S. and Canadian borders allowing drugs to be smuggled across without any interference. Known as Dope Ghost to those in the underworld, Buck makes a difficult decision to put his personal life and family on hold in order to get back into the world of drugs, lies, betrayals and deceit to take down both Hells Angels find their link to the Russian Mafia and just how they were able to use the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation as their home base. Finally taking down Hells Angels, arresting them whether they were in it big time or just small town hustlers, the death of Danny in 1995 spearheaded this concerted effort to uncover this cartel. As Jeff Buck continues to relate he explains how he came to work with a man in Canada named Frenchie, how they were aligned with Homeland Security, the fact that resources and manpower would be coordinated and pooled and just where they would begin to end the violence, bloodshed and murders affiliated with Hells Angels and the drugs being sent over both borders. As Danny a young drug runner learns the hard way when crossing the man in charge Alan Jacobs, things spiral out of control when he switches affiliations and a lesson that was to be taught winds up in murder.
Within the book you will see extensive research on the history of Hells Angels, the drug cartels and the link between Canada and the United States borders. You will learn more about how these drug lords managed to get young kids like Alan Jacobs to rise to higher levels in the cartel in order to have money, food and feel some type of self-worth. The research was done by Lindsay Preston who interviews Jeff Buck and others mentioned within this book as both as tying in both timelines. Jon Land provided the vast amount of material with structure and turned it into this outstanding book. He also helped to find Jeff’s voice ,which is heard loud and clear as we hear him describe the many missions he and several others go on, meeting with many law enforcement agencies and stating his viewpoints on each one. Some are easier and more knowledgeable while others would benefit from his experience. Jon also had dozens of conversations with Jeff in order to make sure that what you are reading came directly from Jeff.
As Alan’s territory grew he decided to branch out leaving both Sam and Benny and joining Hells Angels when in a bar. Forming this alliance would take him over the top and being able to front several legitimate businesses helped the young people on the reservation have money to spend, live on and help out their families. Drug running was not uncommon but cigarette smuggling was lucrative and creating his own cigarettes on the reservation Canada or the U.S. could not tax them and charging less than the 15 dollars they sold for in Canada helped increase his profits.
Chapter 25 is quite compelling and thought provoking as the authors share the history of Hells Angels, how they cam to be a dangerous biker gang, drug force and where it all began. All of the players are listed and the information is mindboggling. The Hells Angels of Quebec: found themselves in need of new leadership –this own version of their leader taken down: Sonny Barger and they found: Maurice Mom Boucher. In Chapter 26 we learn more about how Alan Jacobs rose to power, how a simple gameboy played an important part and just how his life changed when he met Sam, Wildcat and Benny. You need to read the entire chapter to find out just how far he would go to rise to the top. The next chapter flashes back to 1994 and we meet Boucher and how he was finally taken down, what he demanded of those under him and what happens when Boucher is released from prison and takes on the leadership. As the author relates he is a full-blown sociopath with no morals, values or conscience. There is much more. In the next chapters we hear more about Alan, how he came into his money, who he trusted and his rise to fame finding himself how involved with Hells Angels.
There are so many players and the authors relate information about the vanquished Rock Machine and how Boucher would takedown in his own way any opposition. In 2004 when released from prison he joined Hells Angels and we learn about a dangerous man named Cazzetta who would now become the head of the Montreal Chapter. In 2004 Alan knew there was trouble, contacted Cazzetta personally and building his own huge network using his own runners, drivers and dealers and distributers. Chapter 30 is quite enlightening even his parents looked the other way as did anyone related to the reservation. Read more of this chapter to learn why.
The final section is where Jeff becomes his alter ego/ Dope Ghost and each one of us will get to go into the wire room with Mike Berquist and Mike Motz two young patrolman that would experience something that would remain with for a long time. The entire process was described in detail and would involve not only Jeff and his men, but also the DEA, ATF, Border Patrol, Tribal police and various entities of law enforcement working together for one common purpose. Just listen to the phone tap on pages 202-203 to understand.
Kevin Sorin and his girlfriend Ashley were on the top of the list to be arrested but something happened forcing Jeff to go to another county to stop them from taking them down and ruining the entire operation. Join Kevin as he gets to money, the drugs and deals with Danny Simonds before losing his life trying to outfox Alan Jacobs. This chapter is quite interesting as you go along with Kevin and find out what happens when you do not have what is expected. The parents of both were taken down, questioned and in one case one mother could not understand why she could not keep her assets and would lose it all. Some turned a blind eye to find out they could no longer deny what has been right in front of them all the time. Dealing with the officers from Chardon proves that not everyone knows how to run an investigation or collect information. Having the right contacts changed it all for Jeff when the two officers refused to work together with him.
The final chapters flash back and forth to how the takedown was created, what was involved, the art of writing a perfect search warrant and what it entailed. The authors also included what happens if your t’s and I’s are not dotted and you do not have all of your ducks in place. More than 156 Hells Angels were arrested. Using OnStar and cooperation from Hertz they got Kevin and Ashley. The rest you will have to read for yourself as the final moments are heart stopping, electrifying and will capture the reader as they capture those involved when they finally confront not only Kevin’s parent, Ashley’s and many more before putting everyone in place and completing the perfect TAKEDOWN!
It all started when an 11-year-old boy named Danny Desrochers was killed in a Hells Angels bomb blast in Montreal, the incident that ignited the Quebec Biker Wars. A simple arrest of Yulia Abramovich a Russian woman Jeff arrested on a domestic assault, provided the first clue to drug dealing in his own Ohio backyard. As you read this book you will learn that the final takedown was just the epilogue to all the others throughout the book whether the police or the drug dealers were taking down those that dared to usurp their authority. Read the aftermath to learn what happens. As it says on the cover: A small town cop’s battle against the Hells Angels and the Nation’s Biggest Drug Gang, never thought that the Chief of Police of a small town in Reminderville, Ohio would take them down.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine
Let’s dedicate this to the memory of 11 year old Danny Desrochers and all those who dedicated their time, energy and lives to this takedown. A special thank you to Jeff’s Wife Kathi who understood.