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Without a Badge Audio CD – June 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Books In Motion (June 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1596070145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596070141
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,161,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An original member of the DEA's legendary Group 93, which was founded in 1990 to target the drug cartels based in Cali, Colombia, Speziale has an amazing life story to tell, and in a breathless narrative, he (with freelance writer Seal) nails the high points of his 20-year-long career. From his troubled youth in New Jersey through his incarnation as the suave "Geraldo Bartone" to infiltrate the Cali gangs, to a final bout with career burnout, Speziale provides a detailed insider look at the tough life of undercover cops and the relentless pressure of a job in which the "only way to bust the cartel is to become part of it." As Speziale is schooled in the ways of a drug lord by a confidential informant-who later tries to double-cross him-the authors show just how easy and dangerous it is to go to Guatemala, build an airstrip, set up a business and begin to do large drug deals for the Cali cartel. Unfortunately, the book is written in a faux tough-guy style, reminiscent of old Miami Vice episodes. Speziale has lived an interesting life, but phrases like "I felt that roller-coaster ride ratcheting up another level" don't raise his tale beyond that of a B-movie.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Exciting and authentic! A great book. -- Joe Pistone

Speziale has an amazing life story to tell, and nails the high points of his 20-year-long career. -- Publishers Weekly

This harrowing autobiography provides a fascinating peek into a subculture few of us have ever seen before. -- Washington Post

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I can't wait until I see this one in the movie theater.
C. Christian
If anyone takes the time to read this book it will be one of thier best reads ever.
Darin Zaborski
It gives a sense realism that rings true with straightforward writing.
Jennifer Chase

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Darin Zaborski on May 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
From what seems like real danger in the begining while acting like a low life junkie ends up later looking like childs play. Later Mr. Bartone goes deep undercover and goes on to con and collect several thousand dollars in cash and drugs from key members of the Cali Cartel. Even though the situations that Speziale gets himself into are very dangerous you often find yourself laughing because he always finds a way to pin the drug bust on someone other than himself and even having the nerve to ask for retribution for his losses. Along the way he meets up with and learns from an interesting character named Paul Lir Alaxander who is as mysterious as he is savy when it comes to understanding the drug business. The book reads like a novel but the story is anything but fiction. If anyone takes the time to read this book it will be one of thier best reads ever.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lance B. Hillsinger on May 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very compelling book. It is the true story of NYPD undercover officer on "loan" to the DEA. This cop turned author, literally wrote the book on wiretaps. He risked his life to make major drug busts. However, by pursuing the Columbia drug cartels so aggressively, he also risked the lives of many innocent (and some not so innocent)others. He does not hide this fact in his book and he should be applauded for his honesty.

If you, read a "true crime" book only now and again -- buy this book. If you read "true crime" regularly this will be one of your all-time favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dwight on February 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Watching THE WIRE changed me and made me more sympathetic in general. I read this book as a result of THE WIRE even though I am not that interested in true crime or drugs. I am still not that interested but I feel that I should know. It's very straightforward and nondepressing despite the overwhelming odds. It's one man's story simply told although the details are sensational. Sheriff Speziale of Passaic, New Jersey was groomed by a real drug dealer from Brazil who also groomed a Brazilian entertainer known as Xuxa - this detail is not mentioned in Without a Badge but this book is written in a very pedestrian manner despite the extraordinary events and people involved. He spent many hours, days, months away from his family life. He was at the forefront of modern surveillance tactics. He is a friend to Bernard Kerik. And he is still making a contribution to fighting crime. Sometimes the antidote to the hopelessness of the fight is as simple as doing your own part and cleaning up your work environment and infecting others with a work ethic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Christian on August 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This by far is one of the best books I have read in a while. I read it cover to cover in one day and I am a fairly slow and detailed reader. I could not put it down. Without A Badge takes you deep into the life of a narcotics investigator with such a zeal for cleaning up the streets that it is personally motivating. I am now reading for the second time. I can't wait until I see this one in the movie theater.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By UMLBB10 on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book can be summed up like this.....
this one time, we flew down to Brazil and busted some drug dealers.
this one time, we flew down to Colombia and busted some drug dealers.
my unit was a bunch of misfits. man we were crazy.
this one time, we flew to Miami and busted some drug dealers.
I am the worlds expert on wire taps.
He runs through a bunch of busts he was part of but you never really feel ike you were there with him while reading because there isn't much detail given. He prefers to list all his accomplishments. When I read Under And Alone I really felt like I was going along with the writer during the story. This one never developed in that way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By traveller on April 29, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jerry, obviously, was very sucessful in his efforts to impact the drug trade. However, in the book he was certainly not shy about taking the lion's share of the credit for all that was accomplished.

It appeared to me that in his recounting of the "facts", few others existed in other than a passing manner and in some cases, not at all. One noteable example of his failure to credit others involved is when he states that he lead the Vancouver, BC, Canada, DEA agents on the raid outside of Vancouver. Not without the involvement of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police he didn't.

If there was arresting to be done, Jerry didn't do it as the DEA does not have jurisdiction in British Columbia, nor anywhere else in Canada for that matter. Getting a warrent or a phone tap is a tougher job in Canada than in the USA and Jerry would not even be able to approach the courts to obtain one, let alone serve it or put a tap in place.

Good info, lots of credit to Jerry for his efforts, but way too much "me" and "I".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Wolinsky on March 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Jerry Speziale is a talented operative and his accomplishments in busting big-time drug smugglers can't be doubted. But the book put me off because of the tone. Speziale is really full of himself and has a massive ego. He seems more interested in trying to flash his bravado than in protecting the public. He did make great strides in worming his way into the workings of the Colombian drug cartels, but I wonder what it was worth. When you bust a major drug smuggling ring, another one will take its place. As long as there's a market for drugs, there will be people interested in smuggling them. As long as a country (like Colombia) is poor and has a high birthrate, there will be no shortage of criminals who will kill for pennies.
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