I read the 2017 book from St. Martin’s Press called Pill City: How two honor roll students foiled the Feds and built a drug empire. The author is Kevin Deutsch a criminal justice journalist and author. The book, Pill City, is his account of two high tech teens that used opioids, stolen during the Freddie Gray Riots in Baltimore, to sell using an Uber like app and form a nationwide syndicate. Deutsch worked for the Miami Herald, Daily News, Riverdale Press, Palm Beach Post and Newsday. At the time of this post he has written two books.
Freddie Gray was arrested and died of a broken spine during his van ride to the police station. Riots broke out on April 25, 2015 in downtown Baltimore. During the riots the teens and their recruited gang looted multiple pharmacies stealing multitudes of opioids that they would later sell at rock bottom prices. The book is a well told, riveting story of how all this got started, went down and eventually played out. There is lots of murders, mostly gang on gang and many deaths from the drugs.
To keep all his sources secret he has changed the names and locations. This has caused a controversy over his book Many have tried to substantiate parts of the story and were completely unable.
Even seemingly easy sources, ones that have no reason to keep their identity out of the story, are not substantiated and some are calling the whole story a fabrication. I was surprised of his ability to get all of these type individuals to be so open with him.
Nonetheless it is a great story that I enjoyed reading. It made me realize that when I hear about local drive-by and parking lot shootings that they are probably not what they seem, probably gang drug members taking care of each other. Scary.
I will give this book 4 out of 5 stars and might even read his other book from 2014, The Triangle: A Year on the Ground with New York’s Bloods and Crips.