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Narco X - Description

Racketeering, drug manufacturing, and money laundering have funded Steven Valentino's extravagant Hollywood lifestyle for over a decade. Four years after arriving in Los Angeles with just a few pennies in his pocket, Australian-born Valentino had carved his name deep into the US Ecstasy market. He owned the fastest cars, lived in a beachfront mansion, rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s elite, and had Charlotte, a stunning Swedish model, by his side. However, in the underworld, things can go wrong quickly, and he is now a fugitive of the United States, hiding in the depths of the Colombian jungle.


This sensational true story places the reader in the shoes of a major narcotics producer and reveals his motives to become the largest Ecstasy manufacturer in American history. Valentino shares more details of his life – from a bully kid to becoming a major drug producer for the Sinaloa cartel and his close relationship with a CIA official who helped him traffic $21 billion of narcotics around the world. Fueled by love, greed, betrayal, and revenge, Valentino’s astonishing story is captivating and will transport you away from the world you know.

Sample Chapter 

There’s a feeling you get just before you’re about to commit a crime that can either change your life for the better or tear it apart.

For most people, it’s their conscience that stops them from committing a crime. It can tear at your insides, awaken you in a cold sweat, and isolate you from your friends and loved ones.


Sweltering in the heat and humidity of the South American jungle, I need no forgiveness for the crimes I commit each day, as they have taken away all that was dear to me. The only thing I love the most in this world. This was my way of revenge. The only way I knew how.


A car horn wired to a tree limb is activated, spreading a foreign sound through the jungle. It’s 1:05 p.m., and the men take shelter under a large green tarpaulin hidden by the thick vegetation of the jungle. Any man who breaks cover in the next 60 minutes will be executed on the spot, an order from the head of the Sinaloa.


The ruthless rule is in force to prevent the discovery of the $21 billion, CIA-backed Ecstasy drug lab. Satellites with pinpoint accuracy scan the jungle floor, streaming live images directly to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The sun’s reflection on a can, watch face, broken piece of glass, or any shiny object could set off alarms, compromising the whole operation. The CIA goes to great lengths to ensure this doesn’t happen by providing us with the daily orbiting times. We all rely on the profits from this operation for our reasons. For me it was my uncontrollable quest for revenge. For the others here, they just wanted to ‘Live the Dream’, like I had once. They know money can take them out of poverty. It can buy just about anything. It controls the world.

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sample chapter

There’s a feeling you get just before you’re about to commit a crime that can either change your life for the better or tear it apart.

The rational side of your brain wants to evaluate the dangers: life in a prison cell, execution by a rival gang, an explosion at the drug lab, or even worse, disfigurement. Your reckless side wants to evaluate the rewards: money to burn, freedom, security, the rush of euphoria that overwhelms your body when you know you’ve gotten away with your crime. It's an overwhelming feeling. Some can control it and some can't.

For most people, it’s their conscience that stops them from committing a crime. It can tear at your insides, awaken you in a cold sweat, and isolate you from your friends and loved ones.

Sweltering in the heat and humidity of the South American jungle, I need no forgiveness for the crimes I commit each day, as they have taken away all that was dear to me. The only thing I love the most in this world. This was my way of revenge. The only way I knew how.

A car horn wired to a tree limb is activated, spreading a foreign sound through the jungle. It’s 1:05 p.m., and the men take shelter under a large green tarpaulin hidden by the thick vegetation of the jungle. Any man who breaks cover in the next 60 minutes will be executed on the spot, an order from the head of the Sinaloa.

The ruthless rule is in force to prevent the discovery of the $21 billion, CIA- backed Ecstasy drug lab. Satellites with pinpoint accuracy scan the jungle floor, streaming live images directly to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The sun’s reflection on a can, watch face, broken piece of glass, or any shiny object could set off alarms, compromising the whole operation. The CIA goes to great lengths to ensure this doesn’t happen by providing us with the daily orbiting times. We all rely on the profits from this operation for our own reasons. For me it was my uncontrollable quest for revenge. For the others here, they just wanted to ‘Live the Dream’, like I had once. They know money can take them out of poverty. It can buy just about anything. It controls the world.

As the satellite passes overhead, the workers play cards, drink, take drugs and fuck the dark-skinned whores they fly in from Bogota. The Colombians call me “Narco X” (Ecstasy trafficker). I have no time for or interest in their distasteful habits. The flood has set me back months. If I ever want to get out of this jungle prison, I need to stick to a strict schedule.

They watch nervously as I fill a four-ton steel reactor with a government- controlled substance to manufacture 400 kilograms of high-grade MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy. The task requires my full attention to ensure the highly volatile chemicals are measured accurately to avoid an explosion that would decimate everything within a one-mile radius. There are several ways to make Ecstasy, most of them involving glassware. But if you want to make a large amount quickly (1,000 kilos a week), a bomb is the only way to go.

Old meth cooks called these reactors “bombs” because they had literally blown themselves to pieces. They would load highly volatile chemicals into a 50-liter (15-gallon) steel beer keg on top of a river embankment before closing the lid and rolling it into the water. The chemicals react, exploding inside the reactor. It’s called an “exothermic reaction.” Water cools the hot metal reactor, and if it does explode, the water might save the cook’s life. However, the constant pressure from each explosion fatigues the metal, making it dangerous and unpredictable. These “keg bombs” were only good for making up to 10 kilos of meth at a time. Making 400 kilograms of Ecstasy was a different story. The reactor had to be 40 times larger…and you can’t roll a four-ton vessel down an embankment.

There would be no shelter from the massive reactor I created. I modified the front quarter of a small submarine to make a reactor 25 feet high and weighing four tons. The sub was owned by the Sinaloa cartel and they used it to smuggle tons of cocaine into America, but that death trap was no longer necessary. The tons of Ecstasy I manufacture are safely transported to military airfields around the world, in a C-130 US military cargo plane – owned by the CIA.

With the satellite out of range, I stand beside the reactor, my hand resting on a closed methylamine valve that will soon be opened, setting off the reaction.

Fear falls upon the men’s faces. They make the sign of the cross before running away. The men call the machine “Diablo”, or “devil” in English.

The once-submarine had already claimed the lives of two of their friends. They died from carbon monoxide poisoning that leaked into the crew’s tiny cabin on the return voyage of a smuggling operation. The men know the rusted metal is well past its expiration date and could fail at any moment.

I feel a sense of tranquility standing in the jungle on my own – staring death in the eye. The hum of the generator combined with the heavy sound of my breathing in my mask are hypnotic. I soon found myself lost in my thoughts. What had led me to this moment? A fugitive, standing face-to- face with a bomb I built to give life to millions of Ecstasy pills? How had I become the largest Ecstasy manufacturer in the world? I once hated drugs. I was a good kid who wanted to be a pilot, flying a 747 around the world. What did I have to offer humanity other than the euphoria of taking one of my pills? I had tried to be strong. I had tried to be honest, kind, to protect the one I loved, but I had failed. Where in my life had my good judgment deserted me?

Author Profile

With over 20 years in the Ecstasy business, Australian-born Steven Valentino knows a thing or two about drug trafficking and the risks involved. Dropping out of school as a teenager, Valentino would later further his education in a California state prison, but the subjects they offer in one of America’s hardest prisons won’t look good on your job resume – unless you’re applying for a job with the Sinaloa cartel. Inspired by a number of extraordinary and life-changing events, Valentino gives a detailed account of his life in his gripping autobiography, Narco X. His vast experience with the secrets of the narcotics trade will give you a rare insight into the world you never knew, and will expose the mindset of a drug trafficker who, in the end, had nothing to lose... 

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