Patrick Picciarelli

Patrick Picciarelli, a Vietnam vet, spent twenty years in the NYPD and is currently a licensed private investigator and adjunct writing professor at Seton Hill University. He is the author of Jimmy the Wags, My Life in the NYPD (Onyx), Blood Shot Eyes (Trafford) and has collaborated with Theresa Dalessio on Mala Femina: A Woman's Life as the Daughter of a Don (Barricade Books). He regularly contributes to Hardboiled magazine, among others. He lives in Monessen, Pennsylvania.

Published in Authors

Undercover Cop

Undercover Copby Mike Russell with Patrick Picciarelli

The true story of a New Jersey State Trooper's infiltration of the Genovese crime family and how he decimated the organization

Working undercover, Mike Russell was infiltrating a Mafia crime family when a turn for the worst left him with a gunshot to the back of the head. Left to die in an alley, Russell survived the botched hit and went on to orchestrate one of the biggest mafia takedowns of all time.

Urged by his police handlers, Russell used his cover story—an ex-cop fired for excessive force who now made his living from an oil delivery business—and street skills to assimilate into the Genovese crime family in New Jersey, ultimately leading to more than fifty arrests of mobsters, corrupt prison officials, and even a state senator. Straddling the thin line between collecting evidence and participating in the very crimes he was leaking to the cops, Russell consistently placed himself at risk—especially when his police handlers disregarded his wishes and his well-being, conducting premature raids on the gangsters. With his marriage suffering and his family in danger, Russell took extraordinary steps to ensure his financial security and safety, demanding better terms from the police and allowing a film crew to document the final moments of the epic bust for a documentary that was later sold to HBO.

A real-life version of The Sopranos, Undercover Cop immerses readers in the colorful yet harrowing trials of a standout cop who faced the mob on his own terms, disrupting organized crime in New Jersey and forever redefining undercover police work.

"Nobody did undercover better than Mike Russell. His story is grittier than The Sopranos, more volatile than Goodfellas. A must read." —George Anastasia, author of The Last Gangster and The Goodfella Tapes

"Mike Russell is one tough cop. This book is a great read." —Henry Hill, subject of Wiseguy, the basis of Scorsese’s Goodfellas

Published in Memoirs