Throughout the criminal justice process and when I began my prison sentence, I did not initially plan to tell my story. The tears of my mother at my sentencing and the realization of the impact of my choices remained too close to my heart. But later came the inquiries of writers and the entertainment industry, which ultimately resulted in larger- than-life stories, a best-selling book and now a major Hollywood movie. The book and movie were based on my preliminary writings, used without my authority, which were unfortunately expanded and dramatized without consulting me – despite my offers of aide. Such unauthorized versions of my life story compelled me to respond to set the record straight despite the pain and realization that resulted in my writing this book. At the beginning of this process, someone told me an old expression that goes: “When telling your life story, make sure that you’re the one holding the pen.”
So… now I’m the one holding the pen, even though it forces me to relive such a turbulent chapter of my life. In a CNN interview, my father expressed his early dreams for me when I was a toddler, that I would become a doctor or lawyer… and then his shame when I became a gun runner. Now, I journey forth as an author, not based upon career ambition or fatherly direction, but instead to set the record straight for my own personal honor.