HomeTop StoriesWill a True Tampa Mafia Story Be a Hollywood Movie?

Will a True Tampa Mafia Story Be a Hollywood Movie?

TAMPA – Angelo Bedami claims that cardio was key to his drug smuggling operation that spanned from the 1970s to the early 1980s.

“I ran Bayshore Boulevard every day,” he said, “just in case I had to run from the law.”

That day came, the lifelong Tampa resident said, when police waited for him at a Florida farm where a planeload of his drugs had landed earlier that day.

“I was on my way to the plane when I saw them and left before they saw me,” Bedami, 73, said. “I ran through the woods along I-275 from six to two in the morning. It was supposed to be 20 miles… That’s one of my favorite stories.”

It could one day appear in a biopic about the former mafioso whose associates include Santo Trafficante Jr. from Tampa, the Colombian Medellin Cartel and former Panamanian military dictator and drug trafficker Manuel Noriega.

Bedami said he sold the rights to his life story and book “Tampa’s Mafia Underground Airline” to film producer Karlee Perez.

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She did not respond to an email or voicemail from the Tampa Bay Times.

According to her IMDB.com page, Perez is a former Tampa resident who performed for World Wrestling Entertainment before venturing into film.

“She’s invested in acquiring the rights to some incredible IPs and life stories,” the biography on IMDB says.

Acquiring the rights to a story is only the first of many steps required to make a movie, and there is no guarantee that the project will be financed, filmed or distributed.

A script has yet to be written, Bedami said.

“I know it will be fantastic and exciting. I’ve lived it. It’s a great story.”

Or tragic and criminal, depending on who you ask.

His father, Joe Bedami Sr., would be Trafficante Jr.’s assassin. have been. He disappeared in 1967 and the police considered him dead. But Bedami recently claimed that his father fled to Sicily, Italy, where he died around 1990.

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His brother, Joe Bedami Jr., was arrested for counterfeiting. But Dick Cloud, a former Tampa police detective who would be a star witness in the trial, was murdered at home in 1975. Bedami recently claimed this was done to protect his brother, who was acquitted.

And by the time Bedami’s drug smuggling operation ended, they said, they had brought in 37 shipments of marijuana and cocaine — ranging from £1,500 to £15,000 each.

“We got into trouble,” he said.

There was a time, as Bedami relates, when he flew to Colombia to collect 5,000 pounds of marijuana on credit. The suppliers sent his pilot back to Florida and decided to hold Bedami as collateral until they were paid. It took three months.

On a few occasions, his crew has stolen a plane, parachuted the drugs into the Gulf of Mexico, and then deliberately crashed the plane into the water to destroy the evidence.

And then there was the time he ran away from that farm in Kissimmee.

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‘I have reached a resting place,’ said Bedami. “You should have seen the eyes of the man who worked there when I asked for change for the payphone. I looked like hell. But I escaped.”

But the police finally had enough evidence about Bedami. In 1983, he was convicted of federal drug charges and served 36 months in prison.

“The government has taken a lot of my money,” he said. “Millions.”

But they didn’t get everything, Bedami claimed, and now he hopes to earn more from the film.

So crime pays?

‘Absolutely,’ Bedami said with a laugh. “Absolute.”

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