Friday, June 19, 2009

Lisa Sweetingham and Chemical Cowboys

For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and ultra-Orthodox teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle—Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. CHEMICAL COWBOYSThe DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin: is the thrilling, never-before-told success story of the groundbreaking undercover investigations that led to the toppling of a billion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking network, starting in 1995 when New York DEA Agent Robert Gagne infiltrated club land to uncover a thriving drug scene supported by two cultures: pill-popping club kids and Israeli dealers.

Gagne's obsessive mission to make Ecstasy a priority for the DEA and to take down Tuito's network met with unexpected professional and personal challenges that almost crippled his own family. Woven into the narrative are the stories of Tuito's underlings, who struggled with addiction as they ran from the law, and the compelling experiences of a veteran Israeli police officer who aided Gagne while chasing after his own target—a violent Mob boss who saw the riches to be made in Ecstasy and began to import his own pills and turf warfare to the U.S.


"With enviable skill and flair, Sweetingham plunges readers into the depraved drug scenes of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles alongside an undercover DEA agent consumed by his mission to bring down a cunning Ecstasy kingpin."
BRUCE PORTER, author of Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

"This book is the closest you'll ever get to the inner workings of a globe-spanning, high-stakes DEA investigation without a badge, a gun, and a grand jury subpoena. An extraordinary, fearlessly investigated tale."
CHRIS AYRES, author of Death by Leisure and War Reporting for Cowards.

Journalist Lisa Sweetingham spent four years following in the footsteps of DEA agents and Ecstasy traffickers to bring CHEMICAL COWBOYS to life. Previously, she covered high-profile murder trials and Supreme Court nomination hearings for Court TV online. Sweetingham is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Parade, Spin, Time Out New York, Health Affairs, and many other publications. She resides in Los Angeles. CHEMICAL COWBOYS is her first book.

For more information about the author or his work, please visit

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