Cocaine and Me: A Memoir

It all began when I got that job at the Mutiny Hotel

On the way to the hospital I was diverted to a warehouse on the Miami River, where two brutes wearing 9mm pieces in Bianchi shoulder holsters met us at the door. "Adentro," one of them ordered, pointing toward a dimly lit interior, where I saw another guy standing near a large table. Reckoning that the dispatcher had communicated with these people, I didn't foul myself right there, but I did want to finish this quickly.

After we laid the "patient" on the table, the guy who had been waiting inside began cutting open the cast with a Stryker saw and removing bags of coke from the cavity. An extractor sucked up the plaster dust the saw kicked up, but bits still flew into my eyes. I was shaking. A fourth guy gave us an envelope for the dispatcher, promising more business. Later I told the dispatcher to stuff it — his kind of action was just too dangerous.

I didn't have the stones to continue risking jail time or worse, and I had a newborn at home. So I called it quits in the summer of 1982 and went back to school.

Carlos Suarez De Jesus went on to study journalism in college and then worked in local government as a writer for Dade County Mayor Steve Clark, commission chairman Art Teele, and Mayor Alex Penelas.


Hurts So Good: Health risks of using cocaine

Body Count: Cocaine-related murders in Miami-Dade County

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