American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written.
Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever.
With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo," a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption.
JON ROBERTS was, prior to his incarceration, among the most successful drug smugglers in American history, at one point overseeing an operation that accounted for more than half of the cocaine entering the US. He collaborated with some of the most notorious criminals of his era, including Pablo Escobar and General Noriega, was a key player in the Iran-Contra affair, and starred in the hit documentary Cocaine Cowboys. EVAN WRIGHT is the author of Generation Kill, one of the most celebrated books on the Iraq War and recently adapted by David Simon into a 7-hour HBO miniseries. He is a recipient of the National Magazine Award, a Los Angeles Times Book Award, a PEN/Faulkner Award and a Lukas Book Prize. He is also a contributing editor to Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.