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  • Writer's pictureOn the Edge With Andrew Gold

Ep. 27: Stealing planes and smuggling drugs from Belize

Ed Hudson worked as the narcotics and law enforcement officer in the Florida unit responsible for bringing down Freddie Crow. Freddie used to steal planes and fly under the radar with death-defying stunts to reach Belize, where he’d smuggle so much marijuana onto the plane that the pressure would bust open the doors.

He wore camouflage and became known by the FBI only as Rambo, before they could identify him and his partner in crime Billy. His life was very much like that of Tom Cruise’s character in American Made, but it took a drastic change after he was caught and met today’s guest on On the Edge with Andrew Gold podcast: Ed Hudson.

After serving time, an unlikely friendship developed between the two, before things took a tragic turn. I’ll leave it there for now. I came across Ed’s fantastic book, As The Crow Flies: The Redemption of an International Drug Smuggler, which you can find on Amazon and in selected stores. Look up his Facebook page Ed Hudson Author – there’ll be a link on my blog - for photos of him and Freddie, and Freddie’s family.

Couple things to note. One, a huge part of the story is, to Ed, religious. I’m not a religious person – in fact, I’d describe myself as a proud and open atheist. But it’s impossible not to make a link between Freddie’s redemption and punishment tale and religious stories…which to me, are just that: stories. But to Ed, they’re something more, and it means he speaks with a genuine enthusiasm and passion that elevates the story both in this interview and in his book.

Two, Ed has a quite marvellous way of talking. It’s a real traditional Deep South accent that we in the UK can only dream of encountering in real life, so if nothing else, I hope you enjoy listening to the musicality of his voice. As regular listeners will know, I always attempt an impression of the disparate accents on the show, so it didn’t escape notice that he says things like ‘that’s done been done’.

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