The Suffering Podcast

Episode 81: The Suffering of an Undercover with Mike Codella

July 03, 2022 Kevin Donaldson & Mike Failace Season 2 Episode 81
The Suffering Podcast
Episode 81: The Suffering of an Undercover with Mike Codella
Show Notes Transcript

From a childhood in a neighborhood where the ending story could go either way, Mike Codella chose to take a career path to enforce the law rather than break it.  Needing a change, Mike joined the NYPD in 1983 and never looked back.  Truly believing in his life’s mission, to make a difference, he matriculated up the ladder in the dangerous world of undercover work in Alphabet City and Red Hook, Mike took to the street to leave them much safer than he left them.  Working on high profile cases such as Eton Paetz to the infamous Son of Sam the true love for Law Enforcement shines through with every soft spoken word. 

Now through his Brazillian Jui-Jitsu school, the Codella Academy to his book Alphaville 1988, Mike continues to make a difference in lives into his retirement.

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Kevin Donaldson:

Sit your ass down down. Sit your ass down, down. Let's talk about suffering. It's time to start Sit down sit your ass down this is gonna hurt let's talk about suffering suffering. It's time to start the pain, the pain. This is gone. It's time for the sufferings podcast podcast. We put a mask on and play a part. Making people believe that we're something that we're not. Our character needs to be strong, steadfast, stoic, and believable. It's a role of a lifetime lifetime. Most people live their lives just this way with very little consequence. If they're uncovered, there may be some brief embarrassment or loss of a relationship. Imagine being cast in a role that relies on your authenticity to survive. There is no retake. There's no second act if you fail. You have one shot to perform, and the ramifications of a poor performance means your acting career is over, permanently permanent. I'm Kevin Donaldson here with Mike Felice and on this episode of the suffering podcast, we sit down with very special guests. That's Mike Gadelha, former retired not former retired NYPD sergeant and author of Alphaville 1988, Mike has done some Oscar worthy performances that he never got recognition for for the Academy. Mike, thank you so much for coming in today.

Mike Codella:

Thank you for having me.

Kevin Donaldson:

I really do appreciate it. Before we get started, I want to give a big shout out to Toyota of Hackensack, they always take care of us. When you're looking for a car, go to Toyota hackensack.com. And they're going to find a car for you. And also don't forget to check out Bella dama cigars go to Belle dama cigars.com Put in suffering 10 for a special discount. Mike, you've traveled all this way to sit here with us. You tried to get out of the police department and come and sit down with two other cops. Your quiet unassuming guy, thank you very much.

Mike Codella:

No problem. Thank you.

Kevin Donaldson:

Thank you how long it took you to get here.

Mike Codella:

Just a little bit over an hour

Kevin Donaldson:

from from Staten Island. Yeah. Once you retired didn't get out of the city. Yet.

Mike Failace:

Once you're the blood, the city's in your blood. You're gonna stay there. Yeah, like my father's from Jersey City. And he'll never leave. I don't know. I don't get it. It's too many people understand how it's not like really New York City? Don't you know? I mean, it's a borough of a but it's not. You know, it's not Manhattan. You're not Manhattan. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

So before we get into anything, we always take a question from our guests or from not from our guests from our audience. This week, social media question comes from Charlie and it says, How has law enforcement taken a toll on your family? I don't even know if you're married. You have kids. Tell us a little bit about that.

Mike Codella:

Yeah, I'm married. 31 years. I have I'm so sorry.

Mike Failace:

So see, I was gonna say God bless you.

Mike Codella:

Not one not one fight ever. Yeah. Oh,

Kevin Donaldson:

it was the mentally ill one in the relationship. And forget about writing books about alphabet. Write a book about that. There really? So how did did it ever take a toll? Do you ever bring it home with you?

Mike Codella:

Um, well, my wife's a retired cop. Really. She invested 15 years. She, we had the three kids. And after 15 years, she was

Kevin Donaldson:

really good. She sort of understood what you're doing and what you're getting into?

Mike Codella:

Yeah, yeah, she was, uh, she worked in some really tough places in on patrol in uniform. And then she retired out of the Driving Academy.

Mike Failace:

It's gonna be tough because you've you go home and a problem and you're feeling down, she was hit, like, suck it up. You've been there, done that just suck it up.

Kevin Donaldson:

But she also knows she probably could identify when you were really hurt. You know, that's a place that Mike and I is our home life didn't have that because they weren't cops. They didn't understand. Right? They didn't understand that we're trying to shield them from the horrors that we see. But, you know, at the same time, we're hurting. We're human beings. Right? Was it was it like that? And you know, I'm interested to find out being married to a cop another cop. Was there any type of understanding?

Mike Codella:

Um, you know, so I did a lot of undercover work. And it's obviously like, you guys know what's different from from patrol.

Mike Failace:

A world of a difference, a world of a difference. Yeah.

Mike Codella:

And she actually understood it. And she knew when to give me space and when you know, when there was something going on, and we needed we needed to address it. Why

Mike Failace:

So I was gonna say, you know, you come home with that look on your face. You know, your wife knows that look. So she was just like, right now

Kevin Donaldson:

you went undercover at the mental institutions. And look at you,

Mike Failace:

and the cover at the massage parlor.

Kevin Donaldson:

Mike, what do you think? How did how did your law enforcement career affect your family? You

Mike Failace:

know, I know it affected them on a daily basis, you know, just the look, you know, that my wife and kids would give me when I got home, you know, and ultimately, it's not the only reason, but it pretty much cost me my marriage. And that's because they, she didn't really understand

Kevin Donaldson:

that seems to be the way of the world with a lot of officers divorce rate in law enforcement is just like through the roof. Yeah, I think it's as high as one point it got as high as about 70%. And average divorce rates, 50, right, something like that. So it does take a toll on you. Because, you know, we again, we try to shield our spouses and our kids from what we see, but I'm not so sure that's really the right answer.

Mike Failace:

Let's see, like, like I said, my thing was, I was a cop in a town that I lived in. So my kids were young back then, and they knew, you know, when when shit was going down, right, you know, and they'd be nervous all the time.

Kevin Donaldson:

My kids still pay the price for it. And my wife definitely does pay the price for it. But my kids, they know, when dad's in a mood, and I still get in my moods, I'm nine years gone. And I'm still I still get my moods they know to just leave me alone. Let me go, sit. I don't want them growing up with that. That same thing, it because they're too young, my kids are too young to really understand. They know, they know I was in a shooting. They know I was in a shooting but they don't know really the details about it. After my shooting, the one way affected. I think it affected me more than my son. My son had pointed a toy gun at me. And I lost it. I lost I took the toy gun out of his hand I snapped it into and I throw it in the garbage. And I saw that look. You know that look, your kids get this blank look. Yeah. You ever ever experienced anything like that with your kids?

Mike Codella:

You know, you gotta remember I'm retired 2003. Summer Long time. So they were young. While I was active in a while I was working. So not really they. And to be honest, it's kind of funny, or at least I think it's strange. They only there's no like interest of what I did. They knew I was a cop. And they were older. My big ones 2526 RYLA. My daughter's 24. And my youngest is 23. So now they're older.

Mike Failace:

I was gonna say Did your kids want to get into law enforcement or? Not my

Mike Codella:

youngest, he's going to do something with the federal government. Yeah. But I don't know if not necessarily because of me. They don't really have like a dying interest in what I did. They know the book. They haven't read the, for the most part. They haven't read the book, which I don't know if it's good or bad. You know, when they were young, they were dying. When it first came out. They were dying to read it. And they were too young. You know, this is years several years ago. And since then they really haven't broken my chops about reading it or looking through it or dad

Kevin Donaldson:

tell us some more stories. You know, you know I might get I do get that from my kids. I get Hey, you know what hit my my oldest one loves watching cops. And he'll tell me Dad, will you ever in a police chase? I'm like, Yeah, I was in I was in several police days back when you could chase chase cars. And so what was it like? And I said, well, the desk knew I was doing 70 miles an hour but in reality it was probably closer to about 110

Mike Failace:

now with GPS in the cars I can tell fares are going at any point.

Kevin Donaldson:

They you know the town I work in now I'm a government employee, and they just had a chase last night. I just heard it today. And the rules are so different. It's just a different job than when we were on. But Mike you know this this episode, we're we're naming this episode the suffering of an undercover because you go through certain things that are foreign to me. I never worked undercover. I was a street guy. I was I was an accident investigator. I saw you know, I saw dead bodies and stuff, but I didn't deal with it from you growing up was was was that like always your goal to be a cop? Is it something you always work towards?

Mike Codella:

You know, it really wasn't to be honest. I was just knocking around, you know, I got into trouble. You know, my friends weren't the greatest guy, you know. And then, um, I actually knocked around with some Wiseguy songs and did some stupid stuff. And then I realized I was going nowhere, literally, Hmong guy got one guy got arrested. Another guy was shot and I was like, I did some, I think in I've talked about in my book a little bit with any Leno, who's, you know, kind of a popular, Wiseguy. Anyway, and after doing that, I was like, You know what, this is not a good life, man. And then the cupcake cup test is gonna come up. I took the test. And when they called me then I was like, You know what, I'm gonna I'm not really gonna pursue it once I got called. And once I got on the job, I was like, you know, then I really wanted to make a difference, so to speak.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now what time what year? Did you take the test?

Mike Codella:

I took the chat the test probably in a while I came on at three. So I took in probably like

Kevin Donaldson:

8182. And what precinct were you assigned to? And I was

Mike Codella:

initially assigned as I was a housing cop, and I was assigned to Corey Allen. Okay. Yeah. Which COVID The sixth precinct? And I was just there a short time I was there about six or eight months.

Kevin Donaldson:

How long after you got on? Did you realize that you had this ideal picture of what a cop is and what it cops should be? And then reality sets?

Mike Failace:

What a cop really is? Yeah,

Kevin Donaldson:

yeah. You know, we're talking at so all you had mustaches, everyone

Mike Failace:

at gay porn must have been Tom Selleck.

Kevin Donaldson:

It was it was probably real cool back then.

Mike Codella:

Yeah, it was cool.

Kevin Donaldson:

So how long did it take you to really get your feet wet in the job?

Mike Codella:

You know, I had a really cool or really accomplished field training officer who was an older guy, obviously. He was probably in his late 50s. And he had, you know, you have to get up by 62. But he showed us the job woken up, like in the project, walk up the steps, walk down the steps looking for a collar. He was a real hands on guy. He was like, You're gonna retire and maybe like two years. And he wasn't looking to retire while he was working. You know, he worked. And he told us, you know, he really told us the job, which, you know, that's what the FTO field training officers supposed to do. And, and I talked about in my book, my first caller, I'll tell you my first caller. So we're walking on. I don't know if you're familiar with Coney Island at all, but little bit. Yeah, it's not, you know, for the people that don't know. Some people think they think of Coney Island, they think of the Ferris wheel, the beach and

Mike Failace:

hotdogs, Nathan's hot dogs. Got this.

Mike Codella:

And then you get people that are communist specifically for that. And they'll be driving through the projects, which is a ghetto, really low income in a bad neighborhood. And they roll the windows down and they'll say where's Coney Island, and they're only a block away. You're in Korea, this is it. And close your windows and go. But saw first call was on 23rd Street a moment Avenue. We walk up to the front of a building. It's a bunch of guys out there smoking pot drinking loud. Dogs hanging out front of a building. And as we walk up to the front of the building, the guy saw my FTL and all the guys disperse. Except one guy. He doesn't move. Sell turns. We survived Mike lock them up. I didn't say anything. Yeah, exactly. I put the guy against the wall. He doesn't fight hands behind his back. Cut them up. He had a bicycle outside. Sell, sell, sell. Yeah. But yeah, it's my bike. Somebody come take this case by some guy, another metal guy hanging out, took his bike. Put the guy in a car bring to the station house. I said, Sal, what? What do I got here? He says you got a disorderly conduct. I said what? He said, Well, he knows the way everybody knows when we approach especially him Sal, because he had done it. He had seen this guy, this guy know who he was. They know when I come to that building. They have to move. They're not supposed to be in front of the building. The old people are afraid to come out of the building. wives, mothers with their little kids were afraid to come out of the building. They know they're not supposed to be there. When they see me. They got to move. He don't move. He didn't move. He gets arrested. We did a Warren check on him. He had all kinds of warrants for robbery and burglary and assault and everything. And he was apart. You know, he was a perp.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, that's a good field training officer. I was I was very fortunate to have one of the best field training officers. And Mike's gonna listen, you might hear a Boeing in the background because I've heard this about Mike as a field training officer. That was an excellent field training officer. You want a guy with experience? You don't want that old grizzled veteran who doesn't want to do anything? Because you're a new guy. You're full of Vincent vinegar.

Mike Failace:

So you got some field training officers that show the guys where to sleep on midnight? Yeah, no, bring.

Kevin Donaldson:

Do this stuff. Take your shoes off, right? Hey, kid,

Mike Failace:

a kid. We don't lock anybody up after 10 o'clock here, right?

Kevin Donaldson:

I remember one older guy. I pulled a car over I think it was like 2am. And it was some drizzle. But the guy was drunk. And the guy who was a sergeant pulls up next to me. He goes, you just let everybody in the surrounding town know that you're a rookie. That's exactly what he said to me. But my field training officer used to come on Midnight's with me and say this to me. It's like, hey, and I'm still good friends with him to this day. He's like, Hey, how you feel? I said, I feel pretty good because you want to work or you want to relax. Right? Right. I said I really want to work. I didn't take this job to go sleep. I took it to work right? Okay, let's go find something and he was good. Just like your field training officer where he was able to make something you know, you're looking, you're not just looking for a disorderly con. that you were looking for that stuff. And I liked how he protected the neighborhood because contrary to popular belief, not everybody in the projects is a bad guy. Right? Absolutely. There's some hard working people. And I mean,

Mike Failace:

one of the people I really learned from Believe it or not, was me. No, yeah, I learned what not to do. My chief of police, I mean, my my department is only 5050 men. So my Chief of Police was on the road 24 hours a day, made a motor vehicle stop at like, two o'clock in the morning. And he comes in, backs me up in a motor vehicle stop from like, the health center, and he wasn't there to like, look over your shoulder, you know, what do you got? You know, do you think we can get in the glove compartment? You think we did as well? And I mean, I learned like that day. That's how I want to be.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, you always want to be proactive and stuff. It sounds like you've had a whole career of being proactive. It sounds I know, you've seen a lot. I know you've seen a lot. So do you have anything that stands out is some real suffering that you want to you want to point out to us?

Mike Failace:

I have one call that still sticks with you, after all these

Kevin Donaldson:

years hit a 30 year career. So

Mike Codella:

yeah, so um, well, I'll tell you one that sticks out. Actually, I have a few Excuse me.

Mike Failace:

We got an hour now.

Mike Codella:

So when that was really upsetting, we get a call of a difficulty breathing. Anyway, it turns out I'm running out fall I run up the steps it was I don't know if it came over as a kid difficulty breathing or what it came over as. But I remember running up the steps. Oh, it was probably came over some kind of tile and shows how I get there. The mother in the projects, of course, is cradling this infant. No, no. The baby's Doa for babies cold. But I still try. You know, I was really kind of, I don't know if I was that much of a rookie. I had a couple months on but I mean, I was Rookie, but I tried to give up mouth to mouth anyway. They can, you know, he hears stories mouth mouth brings a mug and brings it back. And of course it did. So I took the kid I didn't matter mouth, I'm on down the steps, EMS takes a baby for me. And they told me on the scene basically EMS at the baby's garden, you know. But the mother, the POM was full of junk. She was, you know, a dope addict who knows how long this baby was that or maybe stopped? Who knows what the whole story was? And you know, anytime you deal with a kid, I'm sure you know, you guys.

Mike Failace:

Especially when you see a kid like that, that pretty much had no shot,

Kevin Donaldson:

no shot, but you did. You did everything you're supposed to do, which is everything you can write in that situation. It's a horrible situation. Unfortunately, it's stuff that we deal with all the time. But I used to see kids packed in cars coming out of nowhere, going to the mall or whatever. And you know, half of them, they got their their dirty clothes, snot running down their nose. And you're looking at the kids and like, Man, you guys don't even have a chance. Right? It's true. It's a shame to think yeah, no, it's true.

Mike Failace:

But you know, I mean, in that situation with the call you were just telling us about you get that like feeling of failure, don't you? You know, it's like, could I have done you drive around the rest of night? Could I have done more? Could I have done this? Should I have done that? Should I've seen the signs of that once before? You know? It's tough. Yeah, always, you're always gonna second guess yourself. And that's the tough part about law enforcement that nobody sees right? Now. They just see the cop driving around in the shiny police car. You don't have nice uniform on, they don't see that. The hidden hurt that we have right now from going into all those different goals.

Mike Codella:

Sure. I mean, literally, and not to be overdramatic, but you can still feel the baby with the baby felt like yeah, like I said it was cold. Well, you know, you think you're gonna bring it, you don't think you're gonna bring it back, but you give it a shot. But if you think about it, like the baby was actually like a doll like a toy. And the mothers cradling it. The mothers jumped up, you know, it's, the whole thing is,

Kevin Donaldson:

yeah, there's just no, there's no upside to that, especially when the baby dies. But the you know, what the after effects were because you said the mother was was not not a junkie junkie is I've been recently schooled that it's somebody with an addiction problem. Do you know what the After Effects was? Was the mother charged?

Mike Codella:

Well, you know, things like that they have to the baby has to get on the baby and see if it could have been SIDS that could have like I said, who knows what happened could have been suffocated? Who knows. So when they by the time they come back with results that detectives have, either make a call and not make a call a BC Bureau Child Welfare obviously gets notified. So no, I don't I don't know.

Mike Failace:

See, that's the other thing about being like in patrol. We never figured we never heard what happened. You know, we never got an outcome with something. You know, it always went to the detectives. They figured out the case. If they solved it. They were the heroes.

Kevin Donaldson:

But as a patrolman I always checked up on especially that when I'm sure you checked up on it, just because of personal interests more than anything else, not like you could do anything. But it sounds like you had an interesting career. And that's just the beginning. And I know you get further into Police working on a level that I'm very interested in. But you had mentioned something earlier. You grew up around a lot, a lot of wise guys. And you saw what the other side was? How did that how do you think that fared in your police career? Having that burden of knowledge, I guess, be the right word?

Mike Codella:

I think it actually, I think it was a big asset, whether it was on patrol, or just plain clothes and like our anti crime unit or as an undercover, because you get to think, what would I do? If I was an active if I was this bad guy? What is? What would I be thinking? What would I be doing? And a lot of people don't have that perspective, they only have the perspective of being a cop, looking at a perp or a bad guy, as opposed to I know what I would be thinking about was him. You know,

Mike Failace:

I seen it all the time. You know, now they put such a premium on college to become a cop, you're gonna get the book smart guy now, right? I want the street smart guy to be my partner. You know, I'm not saying someone who broke the law growing up, but the good I think, dabbled along that line, you know, back and forth over the line between good and bad and because you have to be able to think like a criminal, right to be a cop. Right?

Kevin Donaldson:

You have it unfortunately, the books that you read, you had to use crayons to color moon.

Mike Failace:

They didn't I didn't read them. They didn't have words, pop ups.

Kevin Donaldson:

But that's what we do as police officers, we break

Mike Failace:

it that was a suffering story. I got a like a paper cut from one of those pop up was on my trigger finger.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you learned a lot from the people you hang around because I did the same thing. I learned a lot from the people I grew up with. I grew up with some bad like you I grew up around a lot of wise guys in Atlantic City area, but now to the detriment of my kids. I already know what they're gonna do. And these poor kids, man, I know when they're lying. You know, you know, you, you I'm sure you did this. You look at somebody's face. And you know whether they're telling the truth or whether the line it doesn't fare well for my kids. They really can't get away with the same shit I got away with. Yeah, yeah. So

Mike Failace:

even if I wasn't lying, I still get smacked. My father used to hit me all the time. Say, that's because you did nothing wrong. He said, Imagine what you'd get if you did something wrong.

Kevin Donaldson:

Your father and my father must have known each other. But you do on the streets as a kid? Did you ever see any true violence out of these guys? Or do they keep that hidden?

Mike Codella:

You mean from the from the adults from the wise guys? No, not really. No. I mean, I dealt with them. On a very rare occasion. I knew what they were capable of, because I knew who they were. I knew the stories behind them. But no. Well, the one incident they I shouldn't say no. We had an incident with Bruno Fauci. Allah. That one I don't know. So he was he was a Lucchese guy. His brother was a Gambino guy and the other guys are brought Tommy De Simone in Goodfellas towards that. One of them I think the brother because of their relate because they were brothers, one was with the Gambian nose and one was with law cases, two cases, actually wack or killed Tommy De Simone on behalf of Gambino family, so they kind of like a well known family, the photo balls and his daughter is nice. Color was in my boys.

Kevin Donaldson:

Oh, okay. Now I know who it is right now. I know who it is. Right? Yeah.

Mike Codella:

So when we were young, we happen to stop in front of his pizzeria. And we didn't go there. Often. We didn't hang out there. We were just like 17 years old. And we just happen to stop and knock around in front. And he came up with now we know Bruno was by name, but we didn't know who he was. We didn't know physically what he looked like. But he was a well known guy in our neighborhood. And everybody knew Bruno. And my friend's Father's will connect the guys and the one got one of my friend's father's on the bonnet become usos ba that they hung out anyway. BRUNO comes out and tells us to leave and we don't leave. And he comes out again and tells us to leave. And we're like oh go We don't always see the way old man. Exactly. Go back in your car make up to

Kevin Donaldson:

get your shine back.

Mike Codella:

Yeah. Any. And at this point. I just leave me and one of the other guys we don't put a night. We used to play you know high school football. We have practice the next day. We will leave him we left. Well, we're all comes out again. Because my friends still don't leave with a baseball bat. And now my friends take the bat from him and do a number on them. Well,

Kevin Donaldson:

of course they do. They do a number of Bruno Yes. Holy cow. Ouch.

Mike Codella:

Yeah, they did. They did a number on them. And like I said one of these guys fathers is Vic and musos. Good friend. He owns the ball a big you know, clubhouse or hangs out in and another guys follow up these guys. Anyway. The bottom line is rules. able to find out everybody that was there. And who did it now? We assume that one of these guys, one of us, we know we have, we have an idea who is actually read it. Because his father was Knoppix guy, not that family, the other guy whose father was connected guy, he must have went to them and said, Look, we'll give you everybody that was there. If you you know, you don't hurt my son basically. And that's what happened. And and all my friends, one of them got shot, another one got to play put in his head. The other guy was in a hospital for months. And the other one just took off at Google for a long time. He didn't come back for quite a few months. Holy cow. And if I was there, if I wasn't lucky enough to walk away. My name, I'm sure obviously would have been one of the ones that was given to him

Kevin Donaldson:

talk about a different career trajectory. Yeah, you know, yeah, he might not have been capable of taking my exam. Exactly. Yep. So you let's fast forward again, you get on the job. You seem to have really loved the job. Obviously, you don't you love the job, because nobody stays 30 years in a job they don't like. And at what point did you find out that this is more than just a job?

Mike Failace:

It's a lifestyle. Yeah, why

Mike Codella:

not? When I was I had a kid in my a friend of mine. In my academy class, I was really good friends with his brother. And this particular kid was in my academy class, and his father was an emergency service cop. And every once a while he would drive us to the Academy, which is right in the same building, basically as emergency service, the police academy, and every once in a while he take a shortcut down Alphabet City. So instead of taking the FTL drive to 23rd street, he will take the FTL drive to house and street get off there. And take you know when there's traffic on the highway, he take the streets. And this one particular day or whenever he would take us there whenever he would take us there was lines of people. And I couldn't fathom what they were doing. I'm like what are you doing? What's going on here? And he saw their winter cup. Cup. Cup dope. I'm Michael line up an orderly line. Waiting to come dope. I'm like, wherever we're with the

Mike Failace:

police respectful junkies, you know, you can't get that line. Yeah,

Mike Codella:

it's amazing. And I don't mean like a line of three, four people. I mean, a line like 2030 People like if they were going to a concert. And he was like, well, the NYPD was not really allowed to make narcotics Carlos, because since the map commission because they felt wherever it is drugs as money. So they kept and the city in general, didn't mind the heroin being contained in this area, because the junkies went there to deals went there. And it wasn't all over basically, it was contained in Alphabet City that like the heroin capital, the world they used to call it. So he said so basically, they let them funk. You know, it's a functioning the city let some function make, basically. And I was I couldn't I couldn't get over. And every time we'd go down there I was, I just was amazed at how it worked. Well, I went to Coney Island, initially for six months, seven months, and then I put my papers in because I wanted to go down there. And I really I really want to do a number on them. See what I can do that, you know,

Kevin Donaldson:

well that was the heroin that was probably coming in from bumpy Bumpy Johnson.

Mike Codella:

No was Johnson was I think earlier this was Chinese heroin. Oh, what so yeah, China, from China, China White, usually.

Kevin Donaldson:

But did you ever did you ever make a dent? Or it was just

Mike Codella:

Yeah, no, we did. Man. We took the we in uniform. I hooked up with a guy from my neighborhood. I didn't know I knew him from the police County. And you know when he just said jive with somebody needs to connect, you know, like we thought the same and he was a knock around guy. And so we we worked together on uniform. We've made a lot of dog collars. They put us in a plainclothes unit. It was a federally funded, it was called Operation. And it was for cops in the sergeant and Tula cops we were replacing we're making detective. So we took that spot. And it was just the eight projects in the alphabet soup the worst projects in Alphabet City. That's what I call the operation. And overtime was paid from the federal government and our checks from the federal government because everything was federally funded. And we really got to know these drug dealers couldn't put a brand new heroin out on the street without us knowing whose brand that was. How long it's been out who's dealing for. We had so many informants trying to ingratiate themselves with us. Because they think if I tell you who's dealing over there, would you let me open up today over here? And we would know I mean, it was you know, I'm

Mike Failace:

close to doing business.

Mike Codella:

You know, I talked about in my book, it's not wasn't the ends justify the means. That's the bottom line. You know, it was we

Kevin Donaldson:

let's either you get no heroin off the street or you get as much as you can Somebody's got to slip through the cracks right? That's all you know. I mean, make sense?

Mike Codella:

You know? I mean obviously wasn't legal What were you doing first of all you can't pay informants out of your pocket which we did normally you got to register them none of these guys would want to be registered who wants it they don't want that prints

Mike Failace:

the old registered CI to confidential informant once you once you've they sign their name to paper net aurat. Right. But if they're telling you on the sly,

Mike Codella:

right, and they were afraid to get caught, you know, having their picture taken their ID they didn't want that. And really what they wanted to do is make money you know, and and we did we either pay them cash, we pay him with other people's dope we we did those things we knew we weren't doing but we did it for the bigger

Kevin Donaldson:

picture. Yes. So absolutely. You know, it's there's a term I recently heard is don't trip over a dime to pick up a penny. And that sounds like something that you didn't do. I mean, you got the bigger picture out and not reaching for that small little, little amount. But now you you saw a lot of money. You had to see a lot of money if there's that much drugs, where you're where you're located. Did you ever did it ever cross? I know you did it. He did it. Did you get the temptation is got to be crazy.

Mike Codella:

You know, it's really funny because I was young. I mean, I came on a job when I was 20 just turning 21

Kevin Donaldson:

making $26,000 a year probably so but I didn't

Mike Codella:

need money. To be honest. You know, I really I first I lived at home for a while and I had a little bullshit apartment. I didn't wasn't like I needed money. You know, I was happy with my salary. It never crossed my end. You know, it wasn't like I wasn't gonna you gotta remember we worked the same area for so many years in uniform and then in plainclothes when I was in plainclothes on there wasn't like I was on the cover. We were like an anti crime so everybody knows. And you can't take money from a guy and expect that guy to respect you tomorrow. Well for the other bear guys to respect you. You know like so they knew they couldn't they couldn't buy us if there was no you know, there was no amount of money that would buy us and so I was never tempted and like we we actually made one or two bribery callers you know, we called IB which we hate to do deal with IB but this guy was He promised us this and that and we just called IB we wired us up and the guy made all these promises and lock them up. That was just a charge on top of the charge. So since your question I was really never again me because I didn't need the money but and honestly, I didn't want to lower myself the way these guys own me.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, I'm trying to put a I'm trying to paint a picture for people listening is you gotta you gotta young guy seeing these criminals living better than you are, you know, driving nice cars wearing fancy clothes, cash always hanging out of their pocket. Just imagine that imagine the the fortitude and resiliency that you had to exhibit in order to not take that temptation. i My hat's off to you for not because I I'm not saying I because I was offered actually, as a cop. I was never offered a bribe in my current job had been offered three. But

Mike Failace:

as you were offered a job as a cop,

Kevin Donaldson:

she's you know, my mother's listening to know my mother. My mother didn't listen to us. So that playing close detailed that that segue was that an easy segue into undercover work. How were you approached in order to do that?

Mike Codella:

Um, well what happened was like I said, we knew everyone down alphabet soup, literally everyone. And the DEA was doing a case they did a case and a couple of main targets walked they had a release and they want the US Attorney one prosecutor. So one of the DEA agents we had done stuff for he would he give us a picture of it. There was a sky little Hector, and he was looking for this connector. He had so much on the sky but they couldn't get and we're like sure we see it all the time he's got and we pick them up and then he had another guy okay, Cesar, who's also friends with Hector. Yeah, we and we picked them up. So the DEA knew who we were whenever he needed a proper noun for the city they came to me and me and my partner. Well, when these guys drop the ball so to speak on that pick case, although they didn't but I don't wanna say they dropped the ball but the US Attorney didn't prosecute those agents so you know, you should reach out to these two guys meaning me and my partner they know everybody

Kevin Donaldson:

you want to give a shout out to your partner you want to leave his name out of it. Um

Mike Codella:

His name is Jeff sia okay, but but he's passed on Oh, that's

Kevin Donaldson:

that's a little less and then definitely mention his name because number one, he can't see you. But number two, it sounds like he was a really good cop was good. I always I always like to highlight the good cops and let his legacy live on I Live. I work next to that make it better not live on. So yeah, oh, yeah, it was a great cop. It sounds like he Yeah, right by ever Yeah,

Mike Codella:

we had a good time. Yeah, a lot of fun. It was actually going to work was like a proven.

Mike Failace:

You don't you don't consider it work? Yeah, no just going out to hang out. I'm sure you built up a relationship with Jeff outside the job also. Yeah, yeah. So we were,

Mike Codella:

we would actually get cold from these guys in the middle of night. And we'd run out and do stuff in the middle of night off duty on our I mean, you know, it was really crazy.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's a really rare occurrence. Now, nowadays you want me to come out? Everybody's got their handout? Yeah, their hand is out first before anything, and they're making five times the amount of money I started out

Mike Codella:

at? Well, we really had I mean, I hate to pat myself on the back. But we really had a vested interest in cleaning the neighborhood up, really. So if somebody said, you know, we got something, you know, can you help us with this, or something's going on, we just go and we try to, you know, off the record, we go, we go on, we wouldn't be on duty, but we just go and see what we can do. But that's how the DEA found us to the other agents. They gave us a bunch of pictures. We knew everybody. So they suck this into the DEA, they literally called the chief The Chief said he was happy about the whole thing. He's like, Yeah, taken they could. And we ended up doing a really big case with the DEA

Mike Failace:

to go like on loan to the DEA or Yeah, yeah.

Mike Codella:

The regular division or even a task force group, a regular group 34. We want loan to them. We did this case, we took 40 out for that city deal was out. And main main, you know, main guys.

Mike Failace:

The street level guys, right?

Kevin Donaldson:

Don't do any jobs with Jerry spezielle.

Mike Codella:

When we were on, we were on the wiretap at the same time, they were actually in the same room, him and Karen Carrie, they were in the same room with us at the same time we were doing one wire, because

Kevin Donaldson:

they're they're both friendly with us. So I was always wondering that, you know, you've you've had this storied career of undercover work. And I know they did a lot of stuff. I know, they wrote the book on cell phone wiretaps, which was probably was is that at the same time now? Yeah. Yeah. Just about yeah, that's, that's some because that was some cutting edge stuff. Everybody thought, hey, listen, if I got a cell phone, they can't track me. But that's not really the case.

Mike Codella:

We actually did a case where not this case, another case, where we may believe we not ideally on the cover, but we may believe we have a cell phone store. And the bad guy came in, we should just take the phone, take it. So you don't even need a warrant. Because it's your smart property. And he was talking on my property. So he had just take the phone and sign off. And the guy will talk is this off on the phone.

Kevin Donaldson:

Wow, that's a great, that's a great little, that little thing there. But I had read somewhere that you have some sort of strange connection to Jay Z. Through your cover. Yeah. Through your undercover work. Yeah. And do you want to get into a little bit of that?

Mike Codella:

Yeah, I don't mind. So when this case finished, the chief had extra well, he asked me to do a Coney Island case. And then I think this came maybe after the Coney Island case. But Red Hook was going crazy Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, Red Hook and GLONASS. And the shootings Well, out of control. So he asked me if I could go there and see if we could start something up. So I couldn't go with surveillance. Because bad enough, they see one white guy, they see 10 white guys in 10 different cars. I will never get anything accomplished. So what I used to do is I used to wear like soft you know, soft clothes a t shirt tanktop. So they will see I didn't have a wire and I didn't have a guy didn't carry a gun. And I'd go in the projects and and use pay phones and just let them slip these bad guys see me, you know. And eventually I ended up meeting a girl donor. And actually, what what happened was first I met one group of guys, on my own, they were fixing a car and I came over so talking to him about the car. And I ended up buying into them. But they weren't the main guys that were doing these shootings. Anyway, I ended up meeting this girl who introduces me to these guys. And they're the guys doing the shootings, and they're really bad guys. He calls himself now he's on YouTube. He's all over YouTube, because himself broken down. And he was one of the main targets that the detectives were looking, looking out for years for doing a lot of shootings and killings and, and he had done some time and he was a bad guy. Anyway, he actually done a shooting with Jay Z. This is according to him. And he supposedly took the rap for Jay Z because he knew Jay Z was going to blow up his career was blowing up on him. I don't know how benevolent he is and how honest he is. But he says he took the rap. So Jay Z's career could blow up. Anyway. He does. He does. This happened. I think not in New York, maybe I don't Massachusetts or something he does. Does a homicide I think or maybe just a shooting he does a few years. He comes out and I mean them. And he thinks I'm like, I have a wise guy and, and he pigs. So I set up a deal, because in the 80s the crack epidemic was so bad 80s and 90s I think it was a few half 40 grams of crack, not Coke, cooked up crack cocaine. It's the same as having like five or 10 kilos of cocaine. Whoa. Yeah, it's because remember, they want to get it off the street. Yeah, I think Bush held up the board cocaine. And they bought it right in the park across the street from the White House, President Bush. That's, and so they made the law. And I forgot the name of the law was what? To deter people from selling crack. They slammed him. So I meet this guy, and I order three ounces of cocaine crack cocaine. Because then I think a man for good. It's over 40 grams. It's quite a few grams over 40

Kevin Donaldson:

I wanted to stop you for one minute. I hate to judge people by their appearance, but there is no way you fit in in the projects. Right now. With not with a valid end your name? No. How did you?

Mike Failace:

They thought it was all mobbed up so they're afraid of it?

Kevin Donaldson:

Is that what it was? They did? They thought you were mobbed

Mike Codella:

up Yeah. Then they figured that there must be something going on here for this guy to just walk in here with a microphone and not be afraid of

Kevin Donaldson:

that. Have you got balls as the size of cantaloupes?

Mike Codella:

Yeah, yeah, they will. They will little taken aback by me just walking around with a tank top on and, you know, no gun and stuff. So when I meet, when I negotiate this three ounce deal of crack, we meet and he had a a Jeep at the time with blacked out windows. And for one is well, there weren't that many Jeeps on the road in the late 80s or early 90s. They were out there but kind of unusual. And it was all blacked out tinted windows and I get in the car with him and his brother, and he gives me a bag. He says, okay, all right. I'm about to get the money. And he says, are you gonna try it? I'm like, try it. I don't fucking smoke coke crack crack. He said, No, no, that's coke. I'm like, but I don't want coke. I could get coke anywhere. I'm coming to you. Because you guys are. Supposedly the guys are not on track, guys. Yeah. And I give it back to him. I said, Now go make go cook this up. So he goes home. We meet the next I think the next day or later that night. And he brings me back three ounces of cooked cocaine. And he he was sunk.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, that was it. And he knew it probably after he got taken in when he got taken

Mike Codella:

in. And he talks about how he was set up by not set up how he was targeted by the feds. And I don't know if we could say we actually targeted him. But we ended up getting the guy that you know, we want it and he talks about how JD sings about him and JD actually stole his persona on the songs and JD actually mentions him in a couple of songs and talks about some using the McDonald's on 100/42 and Broadway, Broadway to do a deal. That's why the deals with this guy. So yeah, that's this guy is actually like, but that's

Kevin Donaldson:

not the only high profile case you worked on. I guess I've done I've done as much research as I can on you. Am I understand that you worked on the Tom pates? Yes. Okay. So give us that that was real high profile. You

Mike Failace:

didn't get much more high profile than that in New York. Right. Yeah. So still, it's still still out there now.

Kevin Donaldson:

So give us a little background on the town page case. Yeah.

Mike Codella:

So Eaton page was a little boy that was on in 1979. He was going to go to school for the first time by himself. The mother was gonna let him take a walk through the school bus by himself

Kevin Donaldson:

was acidic, right? Was it? Was he acidic? Or was he the Yeah,

Mike Codella:

I don't know if they don't think that acidic. They just religious, religious Jews. And she was was the mother was watching the little boy out the window. And she literally, according to all accounts, turned her head for a minute. When she turned her head back, the kid was gone. And he never was seen again. And he was actually the first

Kevin Donaldson:

milk carton kid right? Exactly. Yeah, he's the first milk carton kid. I don't know how I didn't remember that. But that's that's what I do. Remember,

Mike Failace:

you should have been on milk carton

Kevin Donaldson:

years you're on a sour milk. The but that that right there did you worked on there was that one guy who copped to it? Right?

Mike Codella:

Right. So, um, it went up until just a few years ago unsolved, basically. And of course, I didn't work on it in 1979 I was a kid. But I do remember being on the buses and seeing the the missing person eat on pace. Reagan made may 25. National missing child day because because of the kid. But anyway. It went unsolved, and then they eventually arrested a guy named I don't remember.

Mike Failace:

His name was gudi Arias or Hi, Dan.

Mike Codella:

Yeah. And the first trial was a mistrial. And then they retried him. and they come back to them.

Mike Failace:

They fess it. Didn't he fess up, though, and he still had a miss trial?

Mike Codella:

Well, he's got a lot. That's the thing. So they charge this guy who has a history of mental mental disorder of mental disease. His family says that he's, you know, obviously, it's not all there. And he hasn't been there for his whole life, basically. And after all these years, he came forward saying he's the one who took the kid and killed them in the basement of a bodega, right, not far from where he was missing. And the bottom line is, who knows, if he was actually telling the truth. Now, I had nothing to do with the Hernandez part of it with that guy. My investigation is completely different. And I'm not saying my investigation is correct or incorrect. And I don't know if Hernandez did it. Or if

Kevin Donaldson:

I know there's a lot of controversy whether he did it or not. Right. Did they find the body? They dug up a basement? They dug up? No, they never found that they never found the body. I'm gonna sin. So your your way into that was from a different angle. Right? All right. It was it was through cults. Yeah.

Mike Codella:

So for a short time, I was in a missing person, unit, NYPD. And I get a call from an inmate from Africa. And he, I always, I kind of remember him asking for me by name. But I may be wrong because it was a long time ago. But for some reason, I thought hit the MLS for me, but I may be wrong. But in any event, I get on the phone with this guy. And he tells me that he has information regarding ITAR Pate, but he screws up the name. He doesn't say ITAR and he, I forgot how he says the name. But he screws up the first name. And he puts his the name the last name a little bit. Which kind of led me to think that maybe there is something to this guy, because if he was going to call me up with a bullshit story, it would be correct. He would have his ducks in a row. I mean, that's what I thought anyway, so I kind of perked my ears up a little bit. And he tells me he's got information regarding the kid that he's been holding it for quite a few years. He's due for parole, and he wants to get out. And that's why he wants to talk. So I obviously make the trip up to adequate to talk to this guy. I'm gonna go into it. Absolutely.

Kevin Donaldson:

Okay, absolutely. Because I know it ties into another

Mike Codella:

vacation. So we go to Attica, and he's a big, he's like a 350 400 pound guy. He's a biker, Vice President of biker gang called The Rat Pack, which is a legitimate looked into it. Then I've looked into even after after I retired, I even looked into a mall because I ran into somebody that knew them knew the Rat Pack. And it was a legitimate 1% Bike gang and under I think, the Hells Angels but maybe not maybe on the maybe the pagans, Mongols. But anyway, they're under another big club. Anyway, he now he's in Attica for sodomizing his infant door, oh, cow, and I think he had another kid that he was in for. And the wife was a mob also. The wife flipped on him. But even though it's kind of the whole thing is kind of so coincidental, because I even knew the guy who locked them up. Before I was a cop, and the guy who locked them up, was in was in police academy at the time. And he was told, again, it's a real coincidence, but I know this guy. I haven't spoke to him in years. But apparently, the bikers babysitter, told this friend of mine, that this guy is homosexual, his daughter, the friend of mine actually rode a bike and was a tough guy. He's in the police academy, of course, they don't know that. And he starts to hang around with them. And he actually catches in the act, oh, the guy. So he locks him up, and he locks another biker up. Who is that in the apartment, or in the house, there's

Kevin Donaldson:

a special place in hell for these people. And it really is, but

Mike Codella:

it ties into what he tells me is so now when I go up to see him, of course, I know what he's enjoying for. He tells me that him and his biker gang were contracted to do security for the satanic health up in Westchester in Yonkers. And they would go up there wearing their colors, and they'd keep the cops away if the cops were to intervene. And they would keep any pain as civilians away if they were going to try to get into these parties. And he secures the place of so frequently that they all get to they get to know the higher ups in this it's actually a satanic rituals going on in these in these houses, these mansions. They they get to know him by him being in so frequently that he becomes embodied. They let him in and they let the President of the biker club and I think one other guy and I The end is drugs and sex. And, you know, I've always said that the satanic should just a backdrop for the sex and drugs. You know what I mean? It's a front. It's like a front just to get, you know, gullible people involved and all that stuff. But anyway, he's there one day, and according to him, is a makeshift author. They call out the kid and it's this kid. And they measure him with a rope. And as they're going to sacrifice him, he leaves he leaves, because he doesn't want to see it. But Pope's always do that anyway, they take themselves out of their actual privacy, right. But he says that that's what really happened to the kid and they sacrifice him and

Kevin Donaldson:

but that also ties into the next case, right? Which is Son of Sam. Right? And is that the same call?

Mike Codella:

Yes. So according to this guide, that son, Sam, and when Berkowitz was originally arrested, he said that he Burke was killed on behalf of his neighbor's dog, his dog, right. He recanted that a few years later, Sam was the dog was that Sam was the neighbor was the neighbor, the Son of Sam was the deal.

Kevin Donaldson:

I know he's, he's still talking about this portion of his life is as it's all part of a satanic cult. He's been pushing that narrative for a long time. Well, he, when he

Mike Codella:

started to talk about it, they actually got him in jail, and they cut his face. They tried, they dismissed his jugular by, I don't know korbanot. And he hasn't talked in years. And he's born again and all that stuff, but but he refuses to talk one way or the other. And his reasoning is he still has family who's alive. And the way they got him. They could get his family. That's, that's according to him. And again, I don't, but yes, this is the same cult that he was involved with. And according to the guy, the inmate whose nickname is tiny. Yeah, his real name was John Lentini. He he's he had actually seen Berkowitz. In passing.

Kevin Donaldson:

I always wondered about that, because here's a guy looks like a loner. He's got the Andy Kaufman haircut.

Mike Failace:

He had as far away eyes to Yeah, I

Kevin Donaldson:

just I never. I've watched a lot of things on David Berkowitz, just the psychology behind it. I never truly believe that he's the only one who's in the 44 caliber caliber killer or caliber killer. Yeah, I just never believed that. And it's it's pretty. I mean, you're, you got to understand something. You're you're talking about living history. With those two cases alone. That's living history and the people who are intimately involved in those cases, you know, they're going their separate ways. You know, you you decide, after all this stuff, it's time to hang it up. Was that a tough decision for you? Or was just, it was just your time.

Mike Codella:

Um, you know, honestly, I had more problems with bosses on this job. And another boss, FiVER, I don't mean problems were that I did 20 in the I retired out of the West African Task Force and Secret Service, electronic crimes it was there were two task forces in the Secret Service, and I was assaulted. And NYPD the bosses was so afraid that something was something positive was going to make the paper and they weren't going to be NYPD his name was going to be front and center. And this is God's honest truth. We had hit a door now. I was good friends with one of the Secret Service supervisors depending Bob Weaver a really good guy. I mean, a really good guy. All the all the Secret Service age. So how work is with an angel protection we did case, you know, we did investigate? Yeah, yeah. So we hit the door. I don't remember exactly what case it was. But it was going to be a high profile case. I you know, I told the chief prior and what we were doing, we hit the door. As soon as we hit the door, we secured, you know, everybody's hand cup. I go outside to call the chief because I was it was so engrained in my head, that if Secret Service and secret service wasn't going to do that, they they they're not publicity hounds at all, I promise you, they could care less. But if in the event of will made the papers, let's say right there in that, let's just say they kept somebody from the newspaper found out about and our name wasn't front and center. They were gonna hang me. So I walk outside, I call them I call the chief of ice. All right, we got four guys, whatever four guys under. So far, we recovered this and this. I'll let you know. And I hang up and the guy Bob was like, What are you doing? I'm like, How come my chief? He's like, Yeah, but we're not even done yet. I said, I know we're not done. But I had to call them because they're so afraid that we're not going to be

Mike Failace:

someone else is going to take the credit. Yeah.

Mike Codella:

And I was like, well, and he and Bob was like, Well, you know, like I say he could care less about the press. He's like, Alright, I'm like, you know, you're fucking right. What am I doing? I'm worrying about these boys. I have more pounds with bosses. And I'm like, You know what? I did? 20 years and visible so you

Kevin Donaldson:

just want to worked that out.

Mike Failace:

But that wasn't your typical boss. No road boss. You know, I wasn't an administrative guy or anything like that, you know, you should have been I made it up to Lieutenant. I always said you'd never know I was the boss because I wasn't a go do this, go do that. Right. Let's go do this. But you,

Kevin Donaldson:

you end up retiring. And you know, it seems like you've taken care of yourself, which is contrary to a normal retired cop, you know, and that that reminds me

Mike Failace:

so put on a retired 25 Yeah,

Kevin Donaldson:

right. So one of our sponsors is is a company called X body if you go to x bought us.com. And they they specialize. We have a liaison. They specialize in first responders. And it's really body health because body health equates to mental health, which you know, our we focus heavily on mental health. So yeah, just everybody go take a look at x bar to us. You. But you got something interesting going on you. Are you real big into Brazilian jujitsu? I know you're a third degree black belt? How important is it to you to take care of your body for your mental well being?

Mike Codella:

Well, you know, it's just something I've always done, really. And I think if I wasn't doing it, I think I'd have a bit of an issue. I feel it goes pretty much hand in hand. Well, I'm

Mike Failace:

a lot of his stress release also, right? You know, we get so much stress from the job, you eat that stress or you go work it off,

Kevin Donaldson:

right? I'm a big believer and then every cop needs to go through Brazilian jujitsu at least make it to say purple belt, something along those lines because somebody who doesn't know how to use their hands, especially in this modern climate, somebody who doesn't know how to use their hands on might go a little quicker to the weapon and now whether right or wrong, it doesn't matter your your tried in the court of public appeal. Do you Would you agree with that statement? No. But you know,

Mike Codella:

yeah, I mean, first of all, I actually mentioned this a few times in my book, if you pull your gun and a guy tells you go stretch,

Mike Failace:

go fuck off. Now what

Kevin Donaldson:

now? What now? You got to paperweight in your hand.

Mike Codella:

Yeah, what do you do now?

Mike Failace:

The most embarrassing thing would be to reholster and then go hands on right

Kevin Donaldson:

right. But you're also at a deficit now you're you got one hand because you can't let go it is but I was we were taught in the academy throw it as far away as you can. But even there there's dangers in that you absolutely. But you you just create this new life after retirement. But where you got the CODEL Academy which presenting jujitsu? You're right Alphaville 1988. And I know you've been in a couple movies as well. Right. So where can where can our audience find you? Let's let's talk about some of the stuff that you're doing now. Okay.

Mike Codella:

I have a YouTube page, YouTube channel relah. It's Mike huddle up against the wall. And I talk I basically go over a lot of stories like I just told you, and stories as a cop and things that are in my book.

Kevin Donaldson:

Because as much as people like listen, in this day and age to gangster stories, they like hearing these these really good behind the scene cop stories because

Mike Failace:

feel good cops. Yeah, behind the scenes, not the stuff that really hit the paper. You know how it got to the paper, right?

Kevin Donaldson:

And you know, how much how did you go about reinventing yourself?

Mike Codella:

That's a good question. You know,

Mike Failace:

he comes up with one everyone's blind squirrel finds

Kevin Donaldson:

you he loves me. He loves we're gonna go spoon after

Mike Failace:

again.

Mike Codella:

You know, I was training my whole my whole life really my whole career. And then it was just kind of like a natural progression. When I first got out. I did a little PR work and it wasn't really wasn't for me. You know? I wasn't following cheating husbands or cheating wives. So I just the

Mike Failace:

TV show cheaters. Yeah, right. Behind you with a camera,

Kevin Donaldson:

right? That's why you and your wife never fought. You just put it you just put her in a Camorra. And that's it. argument over. Joe COVID show called. That's right. Well, you're you're you we spoken on the on the on the phone and you actually know my instructor, George, Enzo Gracie and Denville. My thoughts, right? Yeah. He's a dangerous guy. Yes. You know, he's just this little unassuming guy. I'll put you in a pretzel. Yeah, and one more time. Yeah, he's good, dude.

Mike Failace:

Now Where's where's your academy is on Staten Island? Staten Island.

Kevin Donaldson:

That seems to be thriving. Yes. I saw that picture you just took you posted all your stuff. That probably wasn't even all your student. No.

Mike Codella:

Yeah, that was recent. And Hensel. Gracie was just there a couple of weeks ago.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you brought Hanzo with you. I know. I just tried to take get him in here. I'll tell him he assaulted me go take them and put them in a pretzel.

Mike Failace:

It's like one of the guys who could just take me down one finger. You know,

Kevin Donaldson:

I wouldn't even I've seen what these guys can do. 150 pound guy um, 230 pounds. They just they lock me up and just make me scream. But they're the most calm guys in the world. They're most calm guys in the world. Because because they're unassuming. They know they can just put Do you want a pretzel and stuff like that?

Mike Failace:

Say look at guys like us and just

Kevin Donaldson:

so what's next for you?

Mike Codella:

Well, actually, they're trying to production company Hollywood is trying to get my book to bought the right, own the right to the book, and trying to get produce into a docu series. I

Mike Failace:

was gonna ask that if you got approached by any Hollywood execs. Yeah,

Mike Codella:

well, it was actually bought option. I want to say three times De Niro. Initially when it first came out De Niro and Spike Lee and Showtime bought it. And they held it for quite about two years, and they never did anything with it. And then Brett Furman he did The Lincoln Lawyer.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah. I know he is. Yeah,

Mike Codella:

Brett from an option that they owned it for about three years, and they couldn't get it done either. And now this production company in LA wants to make a docu series out of it. Well,

Kevin Donaldson:

I had heard to Chazz Palminteri had some of the similar problems that you're having there. People wanted to buy it, and they wanted to hold it and they were telling me this, the movies never gonna get made. And so he sort of, he sort of finagle it in such a way where he was broke, like he didn't have any money. And he held on to this beautiful scrap called the Bronx Tale, which, you know, I'm sure growing up the way you did you can sort of relate to in certain ways. So, where, again, you your audience, I know you're on Instagram, you're on Facebook, you want to give those out? Yeah,

Mike Codella:

the Instagram is. Well, Fidella Academy academic Academy. And it's also I have to and the other one is Alphaville 1988. And again, the YouTube pages Mike huddle up against the wall.

Kevin Donaldson:

We're gonna put all those in our show notes. So make sure you go check those out. I have I have not read off a blog. I've read excerpts because my book Amazon doesn't seem to want to deliver this to me for whatever reason. I tried to read it before you came in there.

Mike Failace:

Did you pay your bill you cheap bastard.

Kevin Donaldson:

So much lovingness. You've seen a lot throughout your career. And you've seen a lot of different suffering the one that you told us with a little kid I mean, heartbreaking in in, in a biker having sex was just I can't imagine what

Mike Failace:

we went through those stories to it. I don't know if you know, Clint McGregor. No, he was he was NYPD he was in the seven, five was in homicide. He was in homicide. He's the homicide sergeant. And he came and told us a couple of stories with children and children. Alright, it's a hard gusting. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

What do you think you've learned from seeing all this trauma throughout all of your life?

Mike Codella:

Oh, that's I you know, I always say just regarding, not only you're not only trauma, but just life in general that, you know, could be any one of us. It's like dead before the grace of God with the mistakes that I've made as a kid and that we bought me well, you know, maybe different degrees of, of ignorance that we had, but like, that'd be for the grace of God, we can easily be one of these guys looking for dope on the street, or raise the kid in such a bad environment where a kid has no chance. You know, I think you have to, you have to have a little sometimes you have to a little common sense. But you have to be a little bit lucky to make the right choices.

Mike Failace:

You know, when we say we're all we're all one step away from indictment, right? You take one wrong step, you're getting indicted for something, right.

Kevin Donaldson:

I enjoyed hearing all these stories because I am a I'm an avid historian of specialty police work because some of these great stories and how they were worked and how from behind the scenes from the people who were there I think they're invaluable stories I think they need to be told more and I know that's what you're doing with your YouTube channel. I'm looking forward to seeing it

Mike Failace:

it's nice to hear from a guy like Mike who you know is a genuine love for law enforcement it's not like he took the job like you paying the benefit Yeah,

Kevin Donaldson:

he's burger was in East Bergen County good don't let him fool you Bergen Bergen County, they get paid. They get paid really, really

Mike Failace:

well. But you know, like I said, you could tell he had a genuine love for the job. You know, and like I said, If you love what you're doing, you never work a day in your life. So you know, I like you said just just going in it was to me it was hanging out with the guys

Kevin Donaldson:

right? And that's what you miss about it. Probably. You missed the clowns, not the circus. Yeah, exactly. Mike, thank you so much for coming in today. Very, very nice. You we I tried to give you the wrong address and you keep showing up here. You like last penny always turn up. But I really do appreciate you coming in here and talking to us. And this has been very special for us, especially coming from our background. We love hearing this stuff. Thank you.

Mike Codella:

Thank you for having me. Thanks, guys. Yeah, definitely. Thanks

Mike Failace:

for coming. I appreciate it. It's great meeting

Kevin Donaldson:

that's gonna do it for this episode of the suffering podcast. Follow Mike it under Mike underscore Falaise. Follow me at real Kevin Donaldson don't forget to follow the suffering podcast. Go to the suffering podcast.com Check out our challenge coins they go to a worthy cause they go to dental development project.com which helps first responders and their families repair dense calls. Buy suffering and that's gonna do it we will see you on the next episode don't forget to hit that subscribe and like if you like what you're saying See you next time