In January 1969, in New York City, Detective David Durk had a meeting in East Harlem with an old man who wanted a miracle.
The miracle would be the arrest of Ernie Boy, a young hoodlum who was trying to recruit the old man's son into the heroin business. Ernie Boy offered a job that paid $1,000 a week or more, and the old man said his son was unlikely to turn it down. The only way the old man said he could have his miracle was for Durk to arrest Ernie Boy and scare off the old man's son.
Four years later, in April 1973, Ernie Boy and 85 others were indicted as co-conspirators in the operation of the Pleasant Avenue Heroin Establishment. Why did it take more than four years to lock up Ernie Boy? It didn't take the old man long to tell David Durk the story, but getting the New York City Police Dept. to take action on the information took a long time. That's what this book is about.
Durk tried to work the case himself, but he was told not to get involved. Some police officers wanted the action on Pleasant Ave. to continue; some were in on the action. So Durk went to officials in the city government, close to the Mayor, and finally to the New York Times, who was interested.
Not long after, the Knapp Commission was appointed and Durk appeared as a principle witness. This book tells the story Durk could not tell the Knapp Commission: what he knew about Pleasant Ave. and corruption in the Police Department's elite Special Investigations Unit. It is the story of Operation Undercover...the largest and probably most important organized crime investigation ever conducted in this country.
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