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Review: Takedown of Paul LeRoux is gripping true-crime tale

February 27, 2019
This cover image released by William Morrow shows "Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire," by Elaine Shannon. (William Morrow via AP)

“Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire” by Elaine Shannon (Morrow).

A master criminal and the step-by-step methods used to stop him permeate this gripping account that is both well-written and exhaustively researched by Elaine Shannon.

Paul LeRoux was a ruthless killer who took the traditional methods of organized crime and mixed them with modern technology. His team of mercenaries were ex-military men who murdered his enemies without hesitation or remorse. With so many layers to his enterprise, LeRoux was able to stay hidden in the shadows while he raked in the money and others did his dirty work.

A few elite Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents saw a pattern, and uncovered the truth. They realized that with all of LeRoux’s worldwide resources in technology, drugs, weapons and people, it would not be easy to take him out.

These agents worked for a division called the 960 Group, essentially the elite of the elite. They hatched a bold plan to infiltrate LeRoux’s operation by using the same methods that had given their target so much success: a combination of modern technology and men willing to risk their lives undercover.

What follows is a gripping true-crime tale that is both unbelievable while yet being realistic. Investigative journalist Shannon takes the reader beyond the fly-on-the-wall and puts them right into the heart of every action and situation.

One can practically see and smell everything as these brave agents provide a minute-by-minute account of the takedown of a master criminal. (LeRoux was arrested in 2012.) The level of research and detail — including exclusive interviews with the people involved — makes this a one-of-a-kind true crime tale.

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This story corrects the name of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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