Joaquín "Jack" García

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Joaquin Garcia (born 1952 in Havana, Cuba), also known as Jack, Jock, and Jocko, is a retired FBI agent best known for his undercover work infiltrating the Gambino crime family in New York. Garcia is regarded as one of the most successful and prolific agents in the history of the FBI.[1]

Background[edit]

Garcia was born in Havana, Cuba in 1952. His family fled to the U.S. to escape Castro's regime when he was nine years old. He grew up in the Bronx, New York where he attended Mount Saint Michael Academy. He received full football scholarships and played ball at West Texas State University, Westchester Community College and at the University of Richmond where he subsequently graduated in May 1975. His large size (6'4", 390 lbs.) benefited both his football and undercover careers.[2] Garcia applied for the FBI soon after graduation and was finally sworn in for duty as a Special Agent in May 1980.

FBI career[edit]

Garcia is renowned for his roles in successful cases against corrupt politicians in Atlantic City, New Jersey; corrupt police officers in the Hollywood Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff's Office; Boston Police Department and in the San Juan, Puerto Rico Police Department. He has also worked undercover against hundreds of drug dealers and leaders of both Colombian and Mexican drug cartels, while posing as either a money launderer, transporter or trafficker. He has done undercover work on National and International terrorism cases as well as National Security investigations. Garcia has also worked undercover against Russian and Asian organized crime groups. Most remarkably, Garcia worked on many of these cases simultaneously, as he juggled his various undercover identities and roles. Garcia successfully managed to work as an undercover FBI special agent for 24 out of his 26 years of service without detection.[3]

Operation Jack Falcone[edit]

In his 26 years of service with the FBI and as an undercover agent in over 100 undercover operations, Garcia is best known for his undercover role as "Jack Falcone," a self-described Sicilian jewel thief and drug dealer from Miami, Florida, who penetrated the Gambino crime family of La Cosa Nostra in New York City for nearly three years. The case resulted in the arrest and conviction of 32 mobsters, including the top members of the Post John Gotti Gambino crime family, Arnold Squitieri and Anthony Megale.[4]

FBI agent Garcia played his undercover role so convincingly that Gregory DePalma, a high ranking Gambino family capo, offered him the position of made man. If Garcia continued in his undercover role, he could have been the first law enforcement officer to become a made man in the Gambino crime family.[5] Garcia is only the second agent to have ever been offered the position of made man.[2] In the late 1970s Joseph Pistone became the first during his infiltration of the Bonanno crime family as Donnie Brasco.[6] Garcia's investigation ceased in March, 2005 when FBI Supervisors, much to the dissatisfaction of Garcia, decided to terminate the investigation. In the end, the FBI produced sufficient evidence to convict DePalma at trial while the others defendants all pleaded guilty. DePalma was sentenced to twelve years in federal prison thanks in large part to Garcia's efforts.[7]

Book and film[edit]

In 2008, he released "Making Jack Falcone", a book detailing some of his undercover cases and experiences with the FBI, including his successful infiltration into the Gambino Crime Family. The book became an instant New York Times Bestseller. A movie based on the book and Garcia's life was announced in 2010, with actor Benicio del Toro cast to play the lead role and Steven Soderbergh, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, and John Henson as producers.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Video on YouTube
  2. ^ a b c "Benicio Del Toro Infiltrates the Mob for 'Making Jack Falcone'". MTV Movies Blog. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Meet the FBI's 'Best Undercover Agent'". New York Sun. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. ^ Preston, Julia (2006-04-21). "Guilty Plea is New Blow to the Once-Feared Gambinos". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  5. ^ "Undercover Mob Buster". "CBS News". 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  6. ^ Pistone, Joseph D.; & Woodley, Richard (1999) Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia, Hodder & Stoughton.
  7. ^ "Ex-FBI agent tells how he learned to walk wiseguy walk and put capo in pen". New York Daily News. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 

External links[edit]