Chemical Cowboys: The DEA's Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin

Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 2009 - True Crime - 442 pages
6 Reviews
For nearly a decade, Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito was the mastermind behind a drug ring that used strippers and Hassidic teenagers to mule millions of pills from Holland to the party triangle—Los Angeles, New York, and Miami.

Chemical Cowboys is a thrilling journey through the groundbreaking undercover investigations that led to the toppling of a billion-dollar Ecstasy trafficking network— starting in 1995 when NewYork 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 take down Tuito’s network met unexpected challenges and personal discoveries that almost crippled his own family.Weaved 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.

Chemical Cowboys offers a taut, behind-the-scenes glimpse into an international criminal enterprise as daring as it is deadly.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LiteraryFeline - LibraryThing

Journalist and author Lisa Sweetingham takes the readers behind the scenes of the investigations into major Ecstasy rings, while following the career of Special Agent Robert Gagne. For many years ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - morbidromantic - LibraryThing

Chemical Cowboys: The DEA’s Secret Mission to Hunt Down a Notorious Ecstasy Kingpin by Lisa Sweetingham traces of the evolution of the popular rave and nightclub drug, Ecstasy. DEA Agent Gagne first ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Lisa Sweetingham, a senior staff writer at, travels around the country reporting on high-profile murder trials. An award-winning graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, she has covered such notorious cases as the Scott Peterson murder trial, the Michael Jackson molestation trial, and Robert Blake’s murder trial, as well as the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Sweetingham’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Spin magazine, Health Affairs, and Venice.

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