Frank Morano discussed on Morano in the Morning


Also on bark on an audio adventure in which nothing is off limits politics movies organized crime and the social issues that really Q. it's all on the line now please welcome the man who all the talk show host one of B. and all the politicians come to see live five AM nine seventy the answer Frank Morano well let me read you the very first words printed in a book that I just read and absolutely devoured I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong neither yet bread to the wise nor riches to men of understanding nor yet favor to men of skill but time and chance happens to them all if that sounds familiar to you that is because it is from Ecclesiastes chapter nine verse eleven it is followed quickly by a three word question ain't life grand and then if that question sounds familiar it's because you heard it uttered by Warren Beatty's character the real life Clyde barrow in the film Bonnie and Clyde those are the first quotes that begin a fascinating fascinating memoir of the memoir is by Richard Stratton Richard Stratton is an old friend of mine for about thirteen fourteen years he is somebody that is a gifted writer a tremendous journalist a Hollywood producer we've talked to him previously in studio before about the the documentary that he produced four godi god father and son we've talked to him about a number of books he's written in the past including smuggler's blues and king pen and now we're thrilled that he is brave the elements M. V. the hour and joined me in studio to discuss in the world from the big house to Hollywood Richard is always a pleasure to see you well francophones a pleasure to be here I look forward to seeing you whenever I can see you and I love doing a show where we are well I you know what a fan I am of of yours and you've done it again with this book in the world from the big house to Hollywood but for people that aren't familiar with you for people that might be new listeners to my show and haven't heard any of our previous discussions here not shall you've gotta tell us anybody that meets you anybody that hears you can tell you're very intelligent guy you or somebody that does you don't even look like you would J. walk how does someone like you this area died intelligent intellectual writer end up in federal prison how did you how did you get into federal prison had to get out well I got into federal prison because I started smuggling marijuana when I was in college in Arizona when I was eighteen nineteen years old I started bringing back a kilo or two at a time in a car that we have my roommate and I had and then I would bring it back to Boston and sell it to my friends and make a little bit of money it was really more of something that I did for the adventure and for the extra cash it gave me but gradually I went to Europe and then I went to Lebanon I started smuggling hashish it got bigger and bigger and bigger and we we became huge me where I was so called king pin I was smuggling tons of good of cannabis from all over the world into United States until the early eighties I had about a fifteen sixteen year run on I got arrested and was sentenced ultimately to twenty five years and six months in federal twenty five years in federal prison a quarter century right wow yeah but you didn't serve twenty five years no I ended up getting out after eight I became a jailhouse lawyers started studying my own case realized that the judge who sentenced me dear Constance Baker motley who's a federal judge here in New York City had said the reason she was giving me so much time was because I refused to cooperate with the government by that they meant I refused to rat out on other people I said no look I did it I'm guilty put me in prison for what I did but I'm not going to become a stool pigeon and start giving you evidence on other people and that turns out to be a good way to get yourself us a shorter sentence if you end up cooperating with the government but they cannot give you more time for refusing to cooperate that makes the sense coercive rather than punitive this I discovered sitting in the law library after six or seven years and I appealed my sense on the grounds that it was coercive rather than punitive the second Sir I know you don't have any legal training any formal legal training at that point right now well no I mean all my legal training was really in the law library in different prisons and talking to other jailhouse lawyers who really immersing myself in the language of the law I was a writer before I went to prison I was a writer all the time that I was smuggling pot I was a journalist so language was always something that fascinated me once I started reading the law I thought you know this is really just words it's all about words the the crimes that they're charging me with are defined in words the evidence that's going to be held against me is word to come out of the mouths of the witnesses and therefore I really need to immerse myself in the language of the law and figure out exactly how I can get myself of the situation all right so you end up getting out of prison and you didn't serve the whole twenty five year prison sentence you were able to get one of your convictions vacated you end up doing about eight years in prison eight years old and I want to say to you if you're listening if that sounds interesting Richard's story of being a drug smuggler it is right and if you want to learn more about that you've got to pick up is available on Amazon and elsewhere Richard's first book in this trilogy it's called smuggler's blues and in it you have basically you would learn about Richard and his time evading law enforcement in this country you learn about law enforcement cracking down on him you learn about Richard's criminal cohorts that were writing him out you learn about some people in in really wild adventures and you see you chronicle Richard as he goes all over the world one trying to carry out these crimes and to trying to evade capture it's a fascinating fascinating story and possibly even more of a fascinating story is what Richard just alluded to his time in prison working by himself to get himself out of prison writing his own appeal by the fact he was a lawyer and getting an appeals court to say yeah you can't send someone to more prison time because they refused to rat on somebody else that's a book as well that book is called king pin so you go to Richard Stratton if you're Amazon dot com just type in Richard Stratton or anywhere you like to buy books or promote Amazon specifically anywhere you buy books just type in which is trying the whole world opens up that brings us to this book and here we are now in the world from the big house to Hollywood cell you're in prison for eight years you've been into a bunch of different prisons Otisville ray brook the M. C. C. here in the New York area and you describe different conditions in different prisons and then you describe coming out of prison but it wasn't as if they set you loose right away and you were totally free there was still some level when you were first released from prison of government of Abd I don't know how you'd characterize it but tell us what happened once you were let out and were told you were going to be on parole and it turned out you had a parole officer well it was it was interesting because I have what they call a non parole sentence meaning that I was not eligible for parole so as I'm walking out the door walking out the gates of prison my my unit manager my counselor has me papers as you've got forty eight hours to report your parole officer and I was like winning parole officer look at the senses non parole sort of well you're not gonna be on parole you gonna be on supervised release so I said well supervised release what's that it's the same thing as parole agents of the different so you know it's government speak so we figure out another way to get you so in other words the time that I got with so called good time while I was locked up they take that away from you when you walk out the door you have to do that serve it on the street as they say so I had to report to my parole officer and the conditions of my parole were extremely the harsh I might say because my parole officer immediately suspected I was going to go right back into the marijuana business which I had no intention of doing I had every intention of getting out and getting free and staying out there was no way I wanted to go back even though I didn't look upon my particular crimes is and now we know that stuff is practically legal so but I didn't want to go back so I was determined to adhere to the conditions of my parole as different difficult if they were and also as badly as I felt about being on parole when I wasn't supposed to be on parole so that was this constant thing playing in my head why am I having to report to a parole officer when I was serving in on tonight's nonsense and you know you name the parole officer in the book as ms lawless was her name really lawless no but I can't so I won't okay all right fair enough it was similar to that but not exactly so then you you're out on your your out on parole you're trying to start a new life I think a lot of people who further we actually have a lot of listeners in prison right now listening but we also have a lot of people that can't imagine what it's like to go from being in prison for close to a decade and then be told okay go ahead go start your life where do you begin when you're set free from prison where do you go from there well you know it's a very difficult thing in fact I even say in the book that in many ways getting out of prison is more difficult harder than going to prison once you imprisoned basically everything's taken care of in the sense that you have woman board right now the way that how you can pay your rent you have to worry about how you pay your rent you have to worry about keeping a job you have to worry about any of that stuff they've got you there's nothing you can do about it so when you get out you walk out the gate you think oh god I'm free at last free at last then you really got to find a place to live I got to try to get a job which is not easy when you've got convictions and you've got your a polio however whatever the conditions are so gay getting out and then getting for free and that's a big part of the book because it's one thing to get physically out of prison it's another thing to get your mind out of prison to get your your your habits out of prison get your responses out of prison me even to this day there's still a lot in me that after almost thirty years now but I've been out recently we were out on our own driving around going to come back from a soccer game I was riding shotgun somebody came up and banged on the window of the car I was out the door and ready to beat the living daylights out of that guy because just that we act right you know you in I've had situations where people come up to me and aggressively on the street for whatever reason of walking yeah I have dealt with the New York observer but those reactions that that they are inculcated in you in prison that you have to have absolutely stand up to any even though.

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