Crazy Charlie: Carlos Lehder, Revolutionary or Neo Nazi by: Ron Chepesiuk

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Born in 1949, Carlos Lehder rose from a struggling, small time pot dealer to become a major godfather in the Medellin cartel, the crime syndicate largely responsible for initiating the cocaine epidemic plaguing American society since the late 1970s. Federal U.S. prosecutor Robert Merkle, who successfully prosecuted Lehder in 1988, said that the drug lord was to cocaine transportation what Henry Ford was to automobiles because he was the mastermind behind the transportation network that revolutionized the international drug trade. Lehder's genius was to devise a sophisticated transportation system that allowed the Medellin cartel to transport huge quantities of cocaine from Colombia, the source country, to the U.S., the world's major illegal drug market. By 1987, the DEA and the Colombian government had put Lehder's net wealth at more than $3 billion. A great admirer of both Nazi icon Adolph Hitler and Marxist Che Guevara, Lehder hated the U.S. and viewed cocaine as a kind of atomic bomb that could destroy Uncle Sam from within. Lehder got the nickname, Crazy Charlie, because of his bizarre and often unpredictable behavior. Once again, Ron Chepesiuk opens up the world of gangsters to his readers in a style that is rich both in historical facts and entertainment. Crazy Charlie is a book not to be missed by either the casual reader or the aficionado of the Prohibition era.