Monday, February 27, 2006

Julia Mancuso's Drug Dealer Father

She announced at a press conference that her mother's grandfather had been a liquor runner for Al Capone.
NBC Olympics

It was a bleak winter olympics for American corporations. They had pinned their hopes for advertising gold on the injured Michelle Kwan and lazy ski bum Bode Miller. On one of the last days of competition however, there was a small ray of sunshine. American Julia Mancuso won the women's giant slalom gold medal.

Mancuso was best known for sporting a tiara on and off slope. Whatever. Apparently she is a good athlete and proved herself in the clutch.

While perusing NBC's olympic website, I came across this little gem of information. Mancuso's father, Ciro Mancuso, was a drug king pin who ran a multi million dollar marijuana smuggling operation and ended up serving 5 years behind bars. Being the inquisitive chick that I am, I just had to do a Google search.

Ciro Mancuso is one interesting guy. Before he did his stretch in a federal penitentiary, he snitched on his own lawyer, Patrick Hallinan, and dozens of others, all in attempt to keep from doing time himself. Hallinan was eventually acquitted and out-of-control prosecutor Anthony White turned his rath on Mancuso, making certain he went to the slammer.

Mancuso didn't do too badly, however. His snitching to the feds gave him a leg up on other drug dealers.

Because of his assistance to the government, Mancuso was allowed to remain free until his legal case was resolved and to keep between $2 and $4 million in cash and land that were earned from his trafficking business in Thai marijuana.

Do you recall that when the "war on drugs" was launched we were assured that the "kingpins" would be the ones who went to jail? As an excellent documentary on PBS' Frontline told us, snitches get off. Family members snitch on one another to avoid life sentences. If you have no information to give, you do big time, kingpin or not.

Of course, the mass incarceration of black people began with the monstrous war on drugs. The Mancusos of the world do less time and even get to keep their cash.

There is more I could say. For example, if a black olympian had criminals on both sides of the family, would that information be repeated over and over? I'm guessing that the answer would be yes.

If Madison Avenue wants to use Mancuso to sell products that is their business. But the Mancuso story is not just a personal one. It is the story of how the government has become as corrupt as the criminals they pursue, all in the name of saving us from drugs, and putting more colored faces behind bars.