During the 1990’s Boston was a world leader in arts, culture, higher education, and medicine. It was also a world leader in organized crime.
In this exciting account, former FBI supervisory special agent David Nadolski tells the story of an unlikely alliance between two diametrically opposed people—the con and the FBI agent. While investigating a break-in at the Stone Library in Quincy, MA that houses the personal book collection of John Quincy Adams, the FBI gets a call from prison inmate, Anthony (Tony) Romano, requesting to meet with the case agent on the burglary. Romano provides a helpful tip that leads to the apprehension of the thief and the recovery of four priceless, historically significant books. Recognizing Tony’s potential as an informant, Nadolski begins to cultivate a relationship in hopes of recruiting Romano as a criminal informant.
Nadolski recruits Romano to play a very dangerous game—infiltrate the Merlino gang, controlled by Carmello Merlino, a career criminal who specialized in bank robberies, armored car robberies, and home invasions. The Merlino gang also became suspects in the largest art theft in history which took place at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston and remains unsolved to this day. Romano, a former armed robber, agrees. With sights set on the Loomis Fargo Armored Car Company money vault, located south of Boston, the Merlino gang gets to work. Little did they know, Romano, at great personal risk, was a wearing a wire and recording their planning sessions.
After two years of being joined at the hip and learning to trust each other unconditionally, special agent Nadolski and Romano run a successful criminal investigation and undercover sting operation to catch four dangerous criminals poised to launch one of the biggest armed robberies of the twentieth century.
David Nadolski is a retired supervisory special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan and a Vietnam veteran. Nadolski began his law enforcement career in 1977 as a police officer in the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan. In February, 1983, he was sworn in as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and started his federal career in the Detroit Division of the FBI. Subsequent transfers led to service in the Atlanta, New York and the Boston divisions of the FBI.
During his twenty-one year FBI career, Nadolski investigated violent crimes, gang activity, foreign counter-intelligence cases, public corruption, and fraud against the government cases, and he was a member of the Boston FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT). As a member of the ERT he travelled internationally and domestically to investigate terrorist bombings. Nadolski was eventually promoted to supervisory rank and finished his career as a public corruption squad supervisor. He retired from the FBI in 2004 and moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he continues to reside and work part-time as a specialiInvestigator for the FBI.
He appeared in the Netflix hit series, “This Is A Robbery” plus the WBUR/Boston Globe podcast Last Seen; author Jerri Williams podcast FBI:Retired Casefile Review and Steve Gould’s podcast Things Police See:First Hand Account.
Chapter 1: Bad Choices, Bad Days
Chapter 2: Like Father, Like Son
Chapter 3: The FBI Academy
Chapter 4: Life on the Inside
Chapter 5: Doing My Own Time
Chapter 6: Tunnel Vision
Chapter 7: The Promised Land
Chapter 8: The Library Card
Chapter 9: Paths Converge
Chapter 10: Heartbreak in Cambridge
Chapter 11: Parole
Chapter 12: Undercover and Underdressed
Chapter 13: Stuff is Getting Real
Chapter 14: Getting Wired
Chapter 15: Best Pancakes in Town
Chapter 16: “Stealing” a Van
Chapter 17: The Dry Run
Chapter 18: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Chapter 19: Tony’s New Digs
Chapter 20: Team Huddle
Chapter 21: Will She Stay or Will She Go?
Chapter 22: Finding a Steady Rhythm
Chapter 23: On Edge
Chapter 24: Hammer Time
The relationship between David Nadolski and Tony Romano not only led to the recovery of stolen treasures and brought down a notoriously violent criminal gang, it also stands as a testament to the power of redemption. This is an unforgettable true crime story.
An engrossing, exciting read, the kind of complex tale of good guys and bad, of the human condition, that could only be written by someone who was in the mix and knows the characters and the terrain of which he writes. Be prepared to stay up late.
When the cast of characters is a rogues' gallery, the reader needs a reliable narrator. They have that and more in author Dave Nadolski, whose long career with the FBI makes this astonishing account of beating assorted ne'er-do-wells and conmen at their own game read like something out of Dennis Lehane's imagination. Except it's all the more gripping and impossible to put down for being true.