Dirty Dealing: Drug Smuggling on the Mexican Border & the Assassination of a Federal Judge: An American Parable

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Cinco Puntos Press, 2010 - True Crime - 387 pages

"Cartwright tells the story of the Chagra brothers, Lee and Joe, as they get mixed up with the drug-running community along the border and in short order find themselves hopelessly entangled in a net cast by the DEA. Even readers unfamiliar with the well-publicized events of the book or of the dark, lawless aspect that often rules El Paso will find themselves pulled along by the plot: brigands and intrigue leap from almost every page, and the story just gets wilder the further into it you venture."--from an Amazon.com review

Four pages into this rollicking good story, the central figure, Lee Chagra, comes alive: "[Lee] washed his morning cocaine down with strong coffee and remembered the time he had met Sinatra, how genuine he appeared." Everything you'll need to know and remember about Chagra--the son of Syrian immigrants to Mexico and an attorney who spun the world of dope-running, border-crossing, high-living outlaws along the El Paso-Juarez border around his finger like the gaudy rings he favored--can be neatly summarized in that one sentence. Chagra dies two pages later, yet he haunts the rest of this cautionary tale like a high-rolling specter.

Gary Cartwright is a long-respected, award-winning journalist and contributing editor to Texas Monthly magazine. The author of numerous books, he has contributed stories to such national publications as Harper's, Life, and Esquire. He lives in Austin, Texas.

 

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Contents

Part
147
Part Three
253
Afterword
373
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Gary Cartwright was born August 10, 1934 in Dallas, Texas, and raised in nearby Arlington. He received a B.A. in journalism and government from Texas Christian University in 1957. Cartwright reported the police beat for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram from 1956 until he was hired away in 1958 to the Fort Worth Press, where he joined Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake in the sports department under legendary Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod. In 1960, Cartwright moved to the Dallas Times Herald as a sports reporter and in 1963 he joined the Dallas Morning News to write his own sports column. Cartwright's first book, a football novel entitled The Hundred Yard War, was published in 1967 at which point he left newspaper work to became a freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Texas Observer, Esquire, Saturday Review, Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly. Cartwright has been associated with Texas Monthly magazine since its inception in 1973. His articles range over various topics - crime, notable Texans, Texas culture, travel, sports and international travel. A collection of his Texas Monthly articles can be found in Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter. The true-crime books Blood Will Tell and Dirty Dealing began as articles for Texas Monthly. In 1988, Cartwright had a heart attack that required quintuple-bypass surgery. A suggestion by Governor Ann Richards to document changes in his life since the injury led to his latest book, HeartWiseGuy. Among the many honors Cartwright has received for his writing are the Texas Institute of Letters' Stanley Walker Award for Journalism for The Endless Odyssey of Patrick Henry Polk" (Texas Monthly, May 1977) and the Press Club of Dallas Katie Award for Best Magazine News Story for "The Work of the Devil" (Texas Monthly, June 1989). Cartwright has written screenplays in collaboration with Edwin (Bud) Shrake, including J. W. Coop (1972) and Another Pair of Aces (CBS-TV, 1990).

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