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11 Netflix Documentaries That Will Change the Way You Think About Drugs

#10: Cocaine CowboysThanks to an overabundance of dead-body closeups, this documentary might make you think you’re back in high school health class. But these shots aren’t so much a scare tactic as a dramatic ploy in what is at times an overdramatic take on the cocaine-trafficking boom in 1970s and ’80s Miami. Cocaine Cowboys does manage to introduce an impressive cast of characters on all sides of the issue — smugglers, cops, reporters, importers, coroners and snitches. And it gives an interesting account of the city’s transformation from drowsy retirement destination to teeming cosmopolitan center, a transformation that would have never happened without the economics of the drug trade.

Sports Illustrated: The 13 Best Sports Documentaries on Netflix

via Sports Illustrated:

#10 THE U (30 FOR 30)
Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, 2009

The 1980s in Miami were a time of racial unrest and changing demographics. Rather than resist the change, University of Miami football coach Howard Schnellenberger steered into the skid, recruiting a team of almost all black athletes from some of the poorest ghettos in Florida. After years of being a pretty-good-but-not-great team, this change in personnel made Miami something to care about again. The team ended up winning four national titles between 1983 and 1991, and Billy Corben’s film suggests that this was due largely to the recruitment of these new athletes and the adoption of Miami’s hip-hop culture. It’s a must-watch for anyone who cares about music and sports. And if you’re already a fan, there’s good news: Corben is making a sequel set to come out this winter.

Just another day in Miami

The Miami Herald’s David Ovalle was busy today:

Miami-Dade cop arrested, accused of working with marijuana grow-house operation:

A Miami-Dade County narcotics detective passed along sensitive police intelligence to a violent gang of marijuana smugglers, allowing them to avoid arrest and even to target their rivals, federal authorities said Thursday.

The detective, Roderick Silva, was arrested after a federal grand jury indicted him on charges that he worked for the lucrative grow-house operation.

But allegations of the extent of his work for drug dealers turned into another embarrassing blow to the county’s largest police department.

In April, a Miami-Dade Police Department internal affairs lieutenant, Ralph Mata, was arrested by the feds, accused of acting as a henchman for cocaine smugglers in an unrelated case. He is awaiting trial in New Jersey.

Fired Miami Beach cop gets job back after blaming cocaine test on sex-aid cream

After Miami Beach police Detective Reinaldo Casas tested positive for cocaine, he insisted that the drug had been unwittingly absorbed into his blood through an erection-enhancing cream he applied to his genitals.

His defense worked.

An arbitrator this week ordered Casas, who was fired last year because of the positive drug test, be reinstated with complete back pay.

USA TODAY: Miami is the most underrated team in college football

via USA Today:

Since Al Golden’s arrival, the Hurricanes have admirably overcome tough NCAA sanctions that hit the program in 2011. In 2013, for example, the program claimed nine wins for the first time since 2009. But there were struggles. The Hurricanes’ only big victory was over rival Florida, and they had losses to Florida State, Duke, Virginia Tech and lost their bowl game to Louisville. But the team’s 9-4 record is among the things showing Golden is moving in the right direction.

Another thing is the talent. Miami boasts one of the best college football players in the country in running back Duke Johnson. Last year he rushed for 920 yards in eight games before suffering a year-ending ankle injury. If he stays healthy, Johnson, who will be the team’s offensive leader, is a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. He will be exceptionally key after the departure of three-year starting quarterback Stephen Morris.

Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded coming to Showtime in September

Sat, Sep 06, 3:45 PM

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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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