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Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded coming to Showtime in September

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Throwback Thursday: 1986 Edna Buchanan feature in The New Yorker

via The New Yorker:

In the newsroom of the Miami Herald, there is some disagreement about which of Edna Buchanan’s first paragraphs stands as the classic Edna lead. I line up with the fried-chicken faction. The fried-chicken story was about a rowdy ex-con named Gary Robinson, who late one Sunday night lurched drunkenly into a Church’s outlet, shoved his way to the front of the line, and ordered a three-piece box of fried chicken. Persuaded to wait his turn, he reached the counter again five or ten minutes later, only to be told that Church’s had run out of fried chicken. The young woman at the counter suggested that he might like chicken nuggets instead. Robinson responded to the suggestion by slugging her in the head. That set off a chain of events that ended with Robinson’s being shot dead by a security guard. Edna Buchanan covered the murder for the Herald—there are policemen in Miami who say that it wouldn’t be a murder without her—and her story began with what the fried-chicken faction still regards as the classic Edna lead: “Gary Robinson died hungry.”

Edna Buchanan knows every policeman and policewoman in the area—even though Dade County has twenty-seven separate police forces, with a total strength of more than forty-five hundred officers. “I asked her if by any chance she happened to know this sergeant,” a Herald reporter once told me. “And she looked at her watch and said, ‘Yeah, but he got off his shift twenty minutes ago.’”

In Miami, a few figures are regularly discussed by first name among people they have never actually met. One of them is Fidel. Another is Edna.

Dawg Fight Star Dada 5000's Latest Backyard Brawl Hit With State Cease-and-Desist Letter

via Miami New Times:

Dada 5000 — the Mohawked, muscled monolith born Dhafir Harris but better known as the P.T. Barnum of Miami’s backyard fisticuffs — spotted them through the window.

It was July 5, and the promoter was chilling at home, the same “Famous Green House” where thousands of knuckle-busters and bloody noses have been recorded. The lawn out back was scheduled for another of Dada’s blowouts, a seven-card fight. But then two men from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) came bearing a cease-and-desist letter, ordering him to stop staging his popular — but unlicensed — brawls.

When Dawg Fight hits theaters, he figures the sport’s popularity with take a quantum leap. He wants to be ready for the next step and is already plotting to hold brawls on boats outside the state’s jurisdiction. “Like LeBron James said he was taking his talents to South Beach,” Dada says, “I’m taking my talents to the ocean.”

Shop owner’s conviction shows Miami’s link to global black market in rhino horn

via Miami Herald:

The conviction of a Biscayne Boulevard shop owner this month was the latest crackdown by a federal task force targeting illegal trafficking in a substance that costs more per ounce than cocaine, or even gold.

Black rhino horn.

The horns, prized in some Asian nations as popular but unproven folk remedies, are at the center of an international black market with a hub in South Florida. High prices and demand have triggered a poaching bloodbath in Africa that threatens the survival of black rhinos and fueled a growing illegal trade in old taxidermy mounts from museums or private collections.

It’s a criminal network run like sex, gun and drug trafficking and is often linked to the same players, said Edward Grace, assistant director for the U.S. Department of Justice’s division of Wildlife Law Enforcement, which oversees a multiagency investigative effort called “Operation Crash.” Crash is another name for a herd of rhino.

“It’s like any drug investigation,’’ said Grace. “Take out cocaine or heroin and replace it with rhino horn.’’

Miami, already a nexus for smugglers dealing in an array of protected wildlife, also has figured in the illicit horn trade. There been three rhino-related busts in the last two years alone.

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