Monday, November 17, 2008
By JOE GREEN - firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGETON - For kids on Cumberland County streets, drugs and gangs can seem to be a ticket to the good life.
The staff and mentors of FED-UP 4 U feel they can kill that myth, especially when the fatal blow comes from someone who lived the life to its fullest and fell to the depths of its consequences.
FED-UP 4U is a group started by former drug kingpins James Cooper and Robert Kirby to draw kids away from the lure of the gang life and drug trade, starting at a young age.
The group is hosting activities and dialogue each Saturday night through Dec. 20 for kids aged 7 to 18 from Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland.
The children are bused from each of the cities to Union Baptist Temple's Alms Center here.
Former Atlantic City drug kingpin Robert "Midget" Molley, so named because of his small stature, was Saturday night's guest.
Molley led a cocaine ring in the 1980s that authorities said raked in $1 million a month. His story was featured on the BET television series "American Gangster on Nov. 6. "I was addicted to the lifestyle," Molley told his audience. "I was living a lie.
"The illusion of power," he said, "made me feel that I was untouchable. The government showed me otherwise."
Having served in a federal penitentiary with the badest of the bad, he said, "Nobody cares who you are" there. Kingpins and gangsters are fair game to those with a grudge, for whatever reason.
"Be careful of the friends you choose to be with," he warned. They can easily lead one to a life of crime and tragedy.
"It only leads to one of two things - prison or death," Molley said. He also warned the young ladies against becoming involved with men immersed in a life of gangs and drug dealing....