NH Cop Writes ‘Danger Zone’ About Significant Drugs in the State
John Tommasi put up a Facebook post last week about a book that he had written called, "Danger Zone." The book is set here in NH and is based upon John's experience working as an undercover drug cop for an operation started by the DEA. I emailed John and asked him to answer a few questions for me about his book.
How long were you a DEA agent and why did you choose to do it?
I was a Sgt at Salem PD when I was assigned to the NH Drug Task Force (1987) that was formed by then AG Stephen Merrill. I was there two years full-time and another 3 years part-time. At the time I owned a flight school and charter business and my undercover persona was that of a pilot who would fly anything, anywhere for a price. As a result, many of my deals were at airports where I would fly in and do the deal at the airport. I did a lot of undercovers since I was single at the time. The 1st 3 chapters of the book are close to the way that particular case actually happened. The rest has a lot of artistic license in it. I also ran a limo service out of my flight school (Phoenix East Aviation at Lawrence airport), and as a result, I was loaned out to DEA on a number of cases both as a limo driver and pilot. At that time DEA didn't have that many pilots.
Did you have to do drugs with the bad guys to get them to trust you?
Never had to try drugs, mainly because we were prohibited, but my cover as a pilot was a good out.
Did they ever find out you were a cop when you didn’t have backup?
Whenever we did a deal we always had backup and wore a wire so that was never a problem.
From how far away do the drugs travel before they hit NH?
The drugs usually go from NY to Lawrence to NH or NY to Manchester. Route 93 is a drug highway.
How bad is the drug problem here in NH?
Drugs are exceptionally prevalent, if we are lucky we get 5-15% off the streets. I am a proponent of marijuana legalization.