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Apprehended: The Trials of Dickie Lynn

260 pages3 hours


Written by one of the defense lawyers, Apprehended: The Trials of Dickie Lynn is a true crime tale. High-end and affluent pretty-boy Florida Keys drug traffickers traveled to the Deep South to set up a command center at a rural hunting camp. With the precision of a well-oiled machine, they used sophisticated radio communications equipment to triangulate between Florida and South and Central America the many moving parts of their scheme: aircraft would depart from Miami and arrive in Columbia at the same time as the contraband; it would be refueled in Belize; an impromptu landing field would be constructed moments before the plane’s arrival; offloaders would arrive from all parts of the country; and within minutes the contraband and the field were gone. This synchronicity resulted in the importation of sixteen tons of cocaine “up the 88,” the line of longitude that runs through Mobile, Alabama.

Defending them were some of the best lawyers in the country, one of them Miami's Roy Black. It's a story with a plethora of sexy facts like airplane crashes, jail breaks, dead bodies, Columbian drug lords,the CIA and Cuban freedom fighters, corrupt United States Customs Service officials and governmental attempts at paranormal policing. Using trial transcript testimony and exhibits, as well as interviews with the lead investigative officer and Dickie Lynn, Soto spins more than just another lawyer war story. It's an allegory about justice, injustices and the justice system.

Concerned that the justice system was “being played,” there has been for the last twenty years a national trend to make it intractable, to limit options, to insist on the concrete, to diminish the human calculus and the balancing of the merits of things. The subjective is now officially discounted. The measures of humaneness and humanity are seen as too ethereal.This notion of “certainty” is a conceit that more often than not serves to thwart a just result. The justice system is a machine whose fodder is people. And its moving parts are people. They can be just as subjective in the application of the system. They, too, are prey to human foible.

Justice has not only turned its blind eye to Dickie, it is being wrongfully vengeful and petty. What Apprehended illustrates is that good cause exists for revisiting the case.

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