This story from the New York Times is a heartwarming story of a man who has apparently transformed his life.
Salad was being served.
Time for a question to Myles Coker about the origins of a life that he had kept secret from the people closest to him.
How had he gotten started in the heroin trade?
Mr. Coker did not blink.
“It was back in the ’80s,” he said, when he worked for an illegal gambling business.
His son Clifton pulled his chair closer. “I’ve never heard this part of the story,” he said.
Neither had others at lunch at the National Arts Club on Friday. Among them were Mr. Coker’s lawyer, Harlan Protass, who got him out of prison at age 63, well ahead of the life term he was supposed to serve, and Roland Riopelle, the former federal prosecutor who had put Mr. Coker behind bars.
A star wide receiver in college who is still in excellent shape, Mr. Coker did not use drugs himself. He ran an entirely legitimate limousine business that had among its clients “The Cosby Show.” The parents of children he coached in Little League held parties to thank him for his devotion. His wife was a teacher, principal and textbook author; their two sons, Clifton and Kelvin, went through private elementary schools in Manhattan, Poly Prep high school in Brooklyn and top colleges, and have enjoyed professional success.
Unknown to all, Mr. Coker was a gentleman heroin dealer.
His work for an illegal gambling operation — he took bets on sporting events over phones in safe houses in the Bronx — brought him to the home of Anthony Damiani, an overseer of the operation, who lived in Morris Park. “Not at the beginning, but after a few years, all this cash was coming in,” Mr. Coker said. “Once they got into heroin, I was seeing the currency machine for counting cash. They had me carrying it in sacks.”