The infamous Irish American “mafia” gang, “The Westies” have resurfaced with a sophisticated scheme smuggling high-quality marijuana using a private jet. At the head of this operation is John Bokun.
Bokun’s uncles, Bill and, his namesake, John were “Westies” before the neighborhood, Clinton, in Manhattan, became gentrified. The gang once operated loan-sharking and extortion rackets out of the Hell’s Kitchen tenements during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Speaking to the New York Post about “The Westies” latest smuggling scheme, one law enforcement officer said, “It’s rare to run into an organization that’s wealthy enough and sophisticated enough to pull it off.”
The young Bokun has been accused of teaming up with a Californian drug organization to use his Dassault Falcon private jet to deliver high-grade hydroponic marijuana crossed the United States. Bokun was recently indicted by Long Island federal prosecutors on marijuana-trafficking charges.
His lawyer, Joseph Conway, said, “Mr. Bokun has entered a not-guilty plea, and he looks forward to addressing all of the charges in court.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents observed Bokun loading his jet at the airport near the “Emerald Triangle”, a green region in California’s Coast Mountains, 100 miles north of San Francisco.
Agents were waiting for him at the other end when he arrived in his private jet at Farmingdale, Long Island. Assistant US Attorney Christopher Ott told a federal judge that the agents watched him unload the jet. They seized $500,000 worth of drugs.
The Post reports that investigators found their methods ingenious. One source said, “Every time you drive a tractor-trailer through the country, there are state troopers and local cops looking for a lane-change [violation], a busted tail light, speeding. They added “reduces their exposure to law enforcement.”
The fact that the drug arrives by jet means that it loses less of its potency than it would during a long truck journey. Most wealthy buyers would be willing to pay more for the more potent drugs.
Decades ago, “The Westies” were one of the most feared gangs in New York. Reports from the time say the family was responsible for up to 100 murders over 20 years.
It is said that they made a deal with the Italian Gambino family to allow them to split profits on their kidnapping, loan-sharking, extortion, gambling, and drug dealing in exchange for protection from the mob.
One of the more menacing rumors about the gang is that they one rolled the head of a man who crossed them across the bar at 596 Club. It’s said the fingers of others who went against them were kept by the drinks.
Over the past 20 years, until now, “The Westies” have been relatively quiet after the area became gentrified and the gang’s leaders were given long jail terms.
Here’s part of a documentary on “The Westies” by TJ English: