Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love

Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love by Wendy Ruderman


ISBN
9780062085443
Published
Binding
Hardcover
Pages
256
Dimensions
160 x 238 x 24mm

In 2009, veteran reporters for the Philadelphia Daily News Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker broke an unbelievable story of police corruption and exposed a rogue narcotics squad in a series of articles that would prompt an FBI probe and review of hundreds of criminal cases.

It all began when Benny Martinez walked into the offices of the Daily News and asked for Wendy Ruderman. In 2003, Benny had lost his job and started selling drugs. It was then that he was approached by Jeff, a member of the city’s narcotics squad, and became Confidential Informant #103. He would become the most prolific drug informant the city had ever seen, and over the next seven years, Jeff used Benny to help bust nearly 200 drug dealers and take 127 guns off the street.

While Benny’s undercover work went well at first, if he couldn’t score drugs from a house, Jeff told him to start buying somewhere, anywhere and he would lie on the search warrant application. They did it over and over. Now Benny had a new secret. But the lies and corruption didn’t stop there. Jeff and his crew were systematically looting mom-and-pop stores. They stormed into bodegas under the guise of busting them for selling tiny ziplock bags, which they considered drug paraphernalia. After smashing surveillance cameras, they would do whatever they wanted. Hardworking immigrant store owners, who barely spoke English, said they were terrorized by gun-toting cops who swept aisles of stock to the floor and threatened the owners. They stole thousands of dollars in cash and merchandise, forced them to the ground in handcuffs and then browbeat and sometimes pummeled them, demanding to know how their surveillance systems worked and where they kept their money. And one of the cops was molesting and sexually assaulting women wherever they were making these busts.

Why did the cops become no better than the criminals? Why would they risk everything when they had so much to lose? The work of Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker resulted in five cops taken off the street, and hundreds of bogus criminal cases were dismissed. In the end, their investigative reporting brought justice to the victimized women and immigrant store owners. And Benny got what he wanted-witness protection.

BUSTED will show how two suburban moms formed an unlikely bond with a convicted drug dealer who knew the secrets of both ruthless kingpins and dirty cops. In this provocative, true-life thriller, Ruderman and Laker plunge into a gritty urban world to expose those secrets-some darker than they ever imagined. They single-handedly took on the city’s most powerful narcotics unit. And not only did they win, they won a Pulitzer Prize.
35.00


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