Arms and the Dudes: How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History

Guy Lawson. Simon & Schuster, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6759-2
In early 2007, two men from Miami Beach, both in their mid-20s, won a Department of Defense contract to supply $300 million worth of ammunition intended for the Afghanistan military. Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz (who were later joined by their buddy Alex Podrizki) were already running a successful arms-dealing organization, but this order was of a size and scale that they were wildly unprepared for, forcing them to bend rules and subsequently pad their wallets. In this highly specific account, Lawson (Octopus: Sam Israel, the Secret Market, and Wall Street’s Wildest Con) details the backroom machinations, corruption, red tape, and intrigue that go along with high-stakes arms deals. Diveroli, the leader of the group, is portrayed as a master manipulator. His insatiable greed, combined with constantly changing regulations and the Department of Defense’s convoluted and conflicting requests for large quantities of ammunition and arms at the lowest possible prices and the regulations that seemed to change every day, created a perfect setup for corruption and corner-cutting. Lawson’s eye for detail and extensive research are commendable, though the book often veers into the weeds as he details the mercurial minutiae of government contracts and international diplomacy. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/06/2015
Release date: 06/09/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-6761-5
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