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Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang

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Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of d Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars in drugs across the U.S.-Canada border. As Buck reluctantly plunges back into his old world of death and deceit, he uncovers a complex chain linking the Hells Angels to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. From grow houses set ablaze in Quebec to the insular St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, from board rooms and biker wars to the frozen rivers that serve as private turnpikes for the drug gangs, Buck opposes a serpentine criminal enterprise that has every reason to want to end his crusade in violence and bloodshed. Ultimately, his efforts lead to an unprecedented slew of indictments on both sides of the border and prison terms for even the kingpins, toppling an empire once deemed invincible. Takedown spans the period of December 2007 to June 2009.


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Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of d Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars in drugs across the U.S.-Canada border. As Buck reluctantly plunges back into his old world of death and deceit, he uncovers a complex chain linking the Hells Angels to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. From grow houses set ablaze in Quebec to the insular St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, from board rooms and biker wars to the frozen rivers that serve as private turnpikes for the drug gangs, Buck opposes a serpentine criminal enterprise that has every reason to want to end his crusade in violence and bloodshed. Ultimately, his efforts lead to an unprecedented slew of indictments on both sides of the border and prison terms for even the kingpins, toppling an empire once deemed invincible. Takedown spans the period of December 2007 to June 2009.

30 review for Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang

  1. 4 out of 5

    Russell

    Review of Takedown by Jeff Buck with Jon Land & Lindsay Preston Jon Land has proven once again that he’s much more then just a thriller writer with Takedown. This is Land’s second non-fiction book, spinning the story of one of the biggest drug busts in modern history, born of an unholy alliance between the Hells Angels out of Montreal, a corrupt Indian reservation in New York State, and the Russian mob. But the man at the center of the bust, Jeff Buck, actually comes from a small town in Ohio wher Review of Takedown by Jeff Buck with Jon Land & Lindsay Preston Jon Land has proven once again that he’s much more then just a thriller writer with Takedown. This is Land’s second non-fiction book, spinning the story of one of the biggest drug busts in modern history, born of an unholy alliance between the Hells Angels out of Montreal, a corrupt Indian reservation in New York State, and the Russian mob. But the man at the center of the bust, Jeff Buck, actually comes from a small town in Ohio where he still serves as chief of police after a much lauded twenty-year career as an undercover drug officer that rightfully earned him the nickname “Dope Ghost.” This is Buck’s story, told in nourish, tough guy prose that features alternating chapters between the major case he spearheaded in 2009 and the chain of events the year before that led to his involvement in the first place. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction and Takedown doesn’t read much like nonfiction at all; in fact, a few times I had to remind myself that all of this really happened. The novelistic approach serves Buck’s co-authors, the aforementioned Land and noted ghostwriter Lindsay Preston, well, creating a comfort zone that allows Jeff Buck’s voice to ring through in clear and discerning fashion. A complicated story turned into a coherent and riveting narrative that’s the best book of its kind since Robin Moore’s The French Connection. The book opens with the 1995 murder of a young boy in a Montreal suburb, another victim claimed by the infamous Canadian Biker Wars that saw the Hells Angels stake their exclusive claim to territory previously shared with other gangs. Nearly fifteen years later Buck masterfully ties that to an infestation of drugs, mostly marijuana, being transported through sovereign Indian land belonging to the Akwesasne Mohawk nation in upstate New York that straddles the border with Canada to the tune of as much as two billion dollars per year. Did you know more drugs come into the US from Canada than Mexico? Neither did I. The story takes on an almost Shakespearean-feel as Buck’s trail leads him from 20-something, millionaire Russian drug dealers in his suburban Ohio backyard to a Mohawk criminal kingpin done in by his own greed. But here’s the thing. Buck and his task force take them all down without gunfights or car chases. It’s all about surveillance, informants, drones and wiretaps. That said, Buck introduces himself into the story via a drug bust that almost went very bad when his back-up team got stuck in traffic behind a school bus. Some things you just can’t make up. And Takedown is full of them. Somehow Jeff Buck, with Land’s and Preston’s help, has managed to make all the minutia seem magical, turning a by-the-books procedural into a no-holds barred, gritty tale of low-lifes and heroes battling for control of the nation’s heart and soul. This is the War on Drugs as seen from the front lines by a cop who’s walked the walked and talked the talk and it’s sure to leave you with a fresh understanding of the rigors and challenges involved in bringing down the bad guys. In reading Takedown, you get the sense you’re learning from the very best. School’s in session with Jeff Buck serving as our teacher, providing a lesson in pitch-perfect plotting and storytelling that’s destined to be the best true crime tale of 2016.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John Marricco

    I would give this book a 3.5, really wish goodreads would let us do that. This book was actually a lot of fun to read. Jeff definitely knew what he was doing. The one thing I didn't like was how it kind of tailed off at the end. I would give this book a 3.5, really wish goodreads would let us do that. This book was actually a lot of fun to read. Jeff definitely knew what he was doing. The one thing I didn't like was how it kind of tailed off at the end.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike Mackley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Anticlimactic finish. In depth, behind the scenes look at how an undercover cop was able to ultimately capture drug dealers. Battle isnt necessarily with the Hells Angel's as much as it is dealers who got their supply from the HA. Overall decent book. A bit scattered at times. Anticlimactic finish. In depth, behind the scenes look at how an undercover cop was able to ultimately capture drug dealers. Battle isnt necessarily with the Hells Angel's as much as it is dealers who got their supply from the HA. Overall decent book. A bit scattered at times.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Awesome book! Great insight into what our LEO's have to do with in the drug war. Awesome book! Great insight into what our LEO's have to do with in the drug war.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    — Check out my #Bookstagram post on Instagram — — Check out my #Bookstagram post on Instagram —

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ford

    Interest book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Howard

    Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang by Jeff Buck (with Jon Land & Lindsay Preston) is an inspirational book about the war on drugs and how law enforcement fights it in today's world, but it is also a history lesson using a case Jeff Buck worked on to show how criminal drug enterprises came to be and how they continue to evolve today. Right from the beginning, Jeff Buck makes it clear that his passion is removing as many people and as m Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang by Jeff Buck (with Jon Land & Lindsay Preston) is an inspirational book about the war on drugs and how law enforcement fights it in today's world, but it is also a history lesson using a case Jeff Buck worked on to show how criminal drug enterprises came to be and how they continue to evolve today. Right from the beginning, Jeff Buck makes it clear that his passion is removing as many people and as much illegal substance as possible from the streets as often and in as much volume as he can. He describes several of his past cases and how those cases have helped him develop his style of meticulous and complete research to capture as much drugs and assets as possible. Buck talks of using "walk" money (cash forfeitures from previous cases) for undercover operations and "working up the food chain" (getting as high as possible in the criminal syndicate, to the criminal business owners, above the dealers, runners, and distributors) as far as he can. It was really enlightening to understand how it all works and more importantly how much time and how many people it takes for a large takedown to occur. Jeff Buck constantly reminds the reader that while he likes to lead the large takedown effort, that none of it could happen without the support of several enforcement agencies and offices and most importantly, countless men who believe in the same cause as Buck. The book flows back and forth between the case Buck is working on and necessary backstory with ease. I can feel Buck's addictively frenetic energy at times oozing from the pages and all the while I feel like I am getting an education in the criminal drug world. The book is gritty and honest and yet still quite entertaining. I also appreciated that although there were a lot of names and places going on, the book kept it organized and straight forward enough for me to keep up with all of the players. I would recommend this book to anyone, although it might be depressing to someone in the criminal drug world. I admire Jeff Buck's book and I admire Jeff Buck's drive to make our society a better place! ***I received this book as part of a Goodreads Giveaway!***

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marlowe Fox

    While this book was very interesting, it actually had very little to do with the Hell's Angels. They were a part of the Canadian but that wasn't the side of the case that this guy worked. Besides that, the book is filled with tales of his other busts and experiences thought his year undercover and that's all very interesting, along side the main story. However, they need to fire their editor. Information is repeated several times throughout and the redundancy becomes annoying. The whole book rea While this book was very interesting, it actually had very little to do with the Hell's Angels. They were a part of the Canadian but that wasn't the side of the case that this guy worked. Besides that, the book is filled with tales of his other busts and experiences thought his year undercover and that's all very interesting, along side the main story. However, they need to fire their editor. Information is repeated several times throughout and the redundancy becomes annoying. The whole book reads as if it was an interview with the "Drug Ghost", where they just sat down and let him talk, then typed it out and called it a book. That's not a bad thing, but better editing would have helped it out a lot. Overall this wasn't a bad book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    I received this free through Goodbooks. It's an excellent book. Told from the writers point of view (his real life) and some from the "suspect(s)". Having been with law enforcement I understood a lot of what was going on but I learned a few things too. It's mostly about the US side in Ohio and NY, alittle about some of his earlier busts so you know how things are properly done. I'd say how he does it but he's correct and he does it properly. Takes his time, gathers his evidence, etc. Lots of pap I received this free through Goodbooks. It's an excellent book. Told from the writers point of view (his real life) and some from the "suspect(s)". Having been with law enforcement I understood a lot of what was going on but I learned a few things too. It's mostly about the US side in Ohio and NY, alittle about some of his earlier busts so you know how things are properly done. I'd say how he does it but he's correct and he does it properly. Takes his time, gathers his evidence, etc. Lots of paperwork! So if you were hoping for a story about the HA's this isn't it. (It was the Canadian HA's) There's a chapter or two that talks about them but it's more about the "untouchable" tribal land between Canada and the US and the drug trade running through it and how they brought it down.

  10. 5 out of 5

    SouthWestZippy

    Fascinating story about the drug ring smuggling on the U.S-Canadian border. This book centers around the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Hells Angels and the drug gangs who were making thier living by being the dealers and runners. I did not like the way the stories were broken up into different chapters. Made the stories lose thier luster. I would still recommend it, it is very eye opening.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sf

    Well done and super-interesting, but it ended abruptly. Jeff Buck set up a premise that really drew me in and I hope he will write more about his career when he can. I don't know if all his cases are closed or if any investigations are still ongoing which might explain the sudden ending; however, if that is so, I wish he would have explained that. Well done and super-interesting, but it ended abruptly. Jeff Buck set up a premise that really drew me in and I hope he will write more about his career when he can. I don't know if all his cases are closed or if any investigations are still ongoing which might explain the sudden ending; however, if that is so, I wish he would have explained that.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This was a well written and very interesting book to read. I thought I knew a lot about policemen and the job they do by watching tv but this is much more interesting and I learned a lot.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Albert

    Great nonfiction read. So many twists and turns that actually happened. I couldn't put it down. Great nonfiction read. So many twists and turns that actually happened. I couldn't put it down.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sergey Lenkevich

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason Weber

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell Shapiro

  18. 4 out of 5

    Diona Drake

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arun Venu

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Strickland

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt Steven

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Sewell

  24. 5 out of 5

    Walter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tom Nap

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert dolan

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Iverson

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