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90 Church

Inside America's Notorious First Narcotics Squad

Dean Unkefer


90 Church Download image

ISBN10: 1250072697
ISBN13: 9781250072696

Trade Paperback

432 Pages



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Before Nixon famously declared a "war on drugs," there was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

New York City in the mid-1960s: The war in Vietnam was on the nation's tongue—but so is something else. Clandestine and chaotic, but equally ruthless, the agents of the Bureau were feared by the Mafia, dealers, pimps, prostitutes—anyone who did his or her business on the streets. With few rules and almost no oversight, the battle-hardened agents of the bureau were often more vicious than the criminals they chased.

Agent Dean Unkefer was a naive kid with notions of justice and fair play when he joined up. But all that quickly changes once he gets thrown into the lion's den of 90 Church, the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, where he is shocked to see the agents he revered are often more like thugs than lawmen. When he finally gets the chance to prove his mettle by going undercover in the field, the lines become increasingly blurred. As he spirals into the hell of addiction and watches his life become a complex balancing act of lies and half-truths, he begins to wonder what side he is really on.

90 Church is both the unbelievable memoir of one man's confrontation with the dark corners of the human experience and a fascinating window into a little-known time in American history. Learn the story of the agents who make the DEA look like choirboys.


Praise for 90 Church

90 Church is a wild, terrifying, unpredictable, ride with ruthless, violent men—the sort who don't count the dead bodies and ruined lives they leave strewn behind them. And I'm referring to the 'good guys': The twisted, grizzled lawmen of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics . . . With unerring pace and clear style, ex-agent Unkefer creates an irresistible and sometimes funny—but ultimately heartbreaking—first person narrative of his own, and his agency's, self-destruction. Treading the pages, the reader enters the upside down world of dealers, users, informants, assassins, pimps, crooked cops, and slimy middle class middle men.”—Marc Songini, author of Boston Mob: The Rise and Fall of the New England Mob and Its Most Notorious Killer

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt




As far back as I can remember I had always wanted to be an FBI agent. I had never met an agent or a criminal, or even anyone who was victimized by a serious crime. But,...

About the author

Dean Unkefer

DEAN UNKEFER is a former agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dean Unkefer