T he black Cadillac pulls into the diner’s parking lot in Queens. Built in the 1950s, the building looks like it only exists on a rainy day, the rock-lined exterior out of another time. I step out of the Uber and look up at the restaurant where, in 1983, my father was arrested after escaping federal prison. He had spent two years on the lam, and was brought down by the U.S. Marshals after eating breakfast with his longtime mistress. He had just come from organizing a new shipment from Colombia. I imagine the day was also rainy. Almost 40 years later, I am there to meet with the Drug Enforcement Agency officer who tracked him for nearly a decade, trying to bring down one of the biggest mari juana kingpins of the 1970s, the man I once called “Daddy,” and one of the architects of the modern drug trade: Dan McGuiness. When the Cadillac arrived at my hotel, I had to laugh. The last time I saw my father, he, too, was driving a black Cadillac. He had just arrived in Los Angeles … [Read more...] about Learjets, Mistresses, and Bales of Weed: My Dad’s Life as a Drug Kingpin
He went up to his room
It was the first hour of November 3rd, 1980, as the Learjet left behind Miami’s city lights and headed west over the dark of the Everglades. Aboard were two principals, each flanked by their respective henchmen . Until this hour, they had never met. The one who had leased the plane was a thirty-six-year-old drug-smuggling kingpin named Dan McGuiness. He had a penchant for ordering up Learjets on short notice. Once, after striking up a conversation with a young woman in a Boston bar, he went, on impulse, over to a pay phone and called up a Learjet from Miami to take the two of them to Jamaica for the weekend. McGuiness had pulled off enough successful smuggling deals to be able to afford little luxuries like that. The other man, forty-two-years old, was well known in smuggling circles as Theo Poulos, a specialist in providing highly specialized off-loading services to “mother ships” coming up from Co l ombia laden with marijuana . The aircraft was now headed for a … [Read more...] about Inside Operation Grouper: the DEA’s War on Marijuana Smuggling
Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Simmonds has been announced as a contestant for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing , saying she’s delighted to be the first contestant with dwarfism to take part in the show. The competition will be returning for its 20th year in September, and Simmonds told the BBC she was embracing the “once in a lifetime” opportunity: “I’m so excited, I just want to enjoy every second and try out the sequins and costumes. “I’ll be the first dwarf doing this show and I just want to show how positive it is – being different is okay.” In 2008, Simmonds became Britain’s youngest ever athlete to compete in the Summer Paralympics – then aged 13 – and was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year the same year. She won two gold medals at those Games, another two at the London Paralympics and a fifth in Rio in 2016. She has since commentated on the sport, and made two documentaries, including Ellie Simmonds: A World without Dwarfism? … [Read more...] about “The First Dwarf”: Paralympic Champion Ellie Simmonds Makes Strictly Come Dancing History
Since quitting the 2020 U.S. Olympic team and stepping away from competitive skateboarding , Leo Baker has had no regrets. “I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life, beyond what I could have ever even imagined,” he says, speaking on a hot August day by Zoom from his Brooklyn apartment. He’s wearing a black tank top, exposing tattoos on his chest and arms, and his side-parted blonde hair has just the right amount of bounce to call to mind another Leo’s beloved Nineties style. “Purging all the stuff that was not working for me, like quitting the Olympics and getting rid of all this stuff that was not ‘it,’ created a clearing for things that are it or could be it.” After rising to fame as a child skater on the competition scene, Baker was considered a sure thing for the sport’s debut at the 2020 Tokyo games. But he felt deep ambivalence. A new documentary , Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story , which premiered at the Outfest film festival last month and begins streaming Aug. … [Read more...] about A Skateboarder Quit the Olympics to Come Out As Trans. A New Doc Shows His Journey
There was a time when one could often find Mandela Barnes on MSNBC. His hits peaked in late summer 2020, when Wisconsin ’s 33-year-old lieutenant governor took to the liberal airwaves to register his outrage over a police shooting in Kenosha. Those appearances left a strong impression, as Barnes — young, Black, equal measures charismatic and unapologetic — condemned law enforcement’s accounts of how one of their own shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man. ”We’re being told not to believe our eyes,” he said on the network. “If we have the accountability we deserve … we wouldn’t be in the place that we are with this racial reckoning.” It was an era when Democratic Senate candidates were fixtures on MSNBC, preaching soundbites to the liberal choir and hoovering up millions of dollars’ worth of donations, a reward for taking on a reviled Trump toady. Fast-forward two years, and Barnes is now a Democratic Senate candidate himself. But he’s appeared on the liberal cable network … [Read more...] about The Hot New Strategy for Unseating Trump Republicans: Don’t Make It About Trump
TMZ/Getty Britney Spears and Sam Asghari went on the attack after Kevin Federline , the father of her 2 children, did an interview saying the 2 teens are avoiding their mom. Sam went on social media, saying ... "There is not validity to his statement regarding the kids distancing themselves and it is irresponsible to make that statement publicly. The boys are very smart and will be 18 soon to make their own decisions and may eventually realize the ‘tough’ part was having a father who hasn’t worked much in over 15 years as a role model." Getty Britney doubled down ... "It saddens me to hear that my ex husband has decided to discuss the relationship between me and my children … as we all know, raising teenage boys is never easy for anyone … it concerns me the fact that the reason is based on my Instagram … it was LONG before Instagram … I gave them every thing … Only one word: HURTFUL … I’ll say it … My mother told me ‘You should GIVE … [Read more...] about Sam Asghari, Britney Spears Attack Kevin Federline For Saying Sons Avoid Her
Getty 'Hello,' Mindy Kaling ... your looks over the years are seemingly 'fresh.' Here is a 26-year-old version of the comedian and actress showcasing her fresh, curly look and intriguing smize at the premiere of "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" in Hollywood back in 2005 ( left ). This was the year she debuted her Kelly Kapoor character on the hit show "The Office." And, 17 years later ... the gorgeous momma bear stepped out for a "Late Night" and rocked her ageless smile at the premiere of "Vengeance" at the Ace Hotel in L.A. ( right ). The question is ... Mindy Kaling ... Something Went Wrong … [Read more...] about Mindy Kaling — Good Genes Or Good Docs?!