Cavities & Cocaine - An Amazing Story Of A Druggie Dentist
This turned out to be an amazing story. Picture your nice-guy, low-key dentist having a dual life where he's also the biggest cocaine drug dealer in the city!! It's almost impossible to imagine, but that's what happened here in this case against Larry Lavin.
What's also amazing is that he got his drug-dealing start along with a bunch of other dentists-to-be at the prestigious University Of Pennsylvania where those med students were pocketing a lot of money while they learned how to drill teeth. This was around 1981, "the dawn of the Yuppie Age," as our sarcastic narrator Paul Winfield puts it. It's a sad comment that our bright med students at an Ivy School were doing this. Later, when Lavin went really big-time - we're talking millions of dollar in cocaine sales each month in the '90s - many of his clients were executives.
Whatever, this case all began when a rap artist, maybe the first ever, complained about not getting any revenue from his big hit record, "Double Dutch Bus." That guy was Frankie Smith, a small-time guy who made it big one day while fooling around in the studio with this frog-voice imitation. Smith's record earned the new WMOT record company at lot of cash but Lavin, the key investor of the company, didn't give Frankie much of the profits. Smith was not bitter about it. In fact, his attitude is really good. He's a funny and very likable guy.....but, you know: fair is fair, and this hip-hop cowboys would like some of the cash he earned.
That's how Lavin, in a nutshell, began to be investigated by the FBI and two agents in particular: agents Chuck Reed and Sid Perry, who wound up discovering Mr. Lavin was into a lot more than they thought. It wasn't just scamming recording artists; he was selling drugs, a lot of drugs! All of this led to eventual criminal charges of tax evasion and drug dealing.
Interspersed in the program are comments by Lavin, who is serving a 40-year term (20 on each count). I have to admit, he's very calm, intelligent and interesting to hear, like a good dentist. I almost felt sorry for him at the end....almost.
I didn't go into the profile of Philadelphia because everyone knows about the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the like. We did get a few comments from "Ben Frankin," however, which was a pleasant surprise.
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