Florida: Messiah in Open Town

Among Miami mobsters he is known contemptuously as The Messiah. Boasts one criminal attorney: "He won't change things here." Indeed, E. (for nothing) Wilson ("Bud") Purdy promised no millennium last December when he became Dade County sheriff during a period of flourishing crime in south Florida and blatant corruption in his new command. Nonetheless, he has already changed things considerably.

The Florida sheriffs' bureau reported recently that south Florida is home to at least 40 Mafia members and dozens of affiliated hoods. Scores of Northern gangsters drop in regularly for pleasure as...

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