Sinking the presidential

A dramatic feature film about two innocent and naive Jewish young men, influenced by the cultural stimulation and freedom offered in the 70’s, continuously make wrong decisions, lose their family and love ones and suffer a life time of regret and incarceration. The movie is based on the true story about Robert Meinster and his boyhood friend Robert Platshorn who together created “The Black Tuna Gang”, the largest marijuana cartel in the US during the 70’s,  grossing 30 million dollars a month.  Growing up in the garment area in the Jewish Quarter of Philadelphia in the early 50’s (South Street in Philadelphia), they were like any other Jewish kids in South Philly, looking ahead to follow in their parents footsteps, becoming rich, successful and respected.  But as many young people during that time they were caught up looking for a faster means to a bigger life.  So, their lives were slowly “sinking” by the gradual attraction of greed just as the slow sinking of their prize vessel named the Presidential. The whole point of the story is to show how easy it is for a young person to become a career criminal.  It can happen to any good boy anywhere in this country once they make that first bad decision.

This heart felt movie contains lots of personal and family drama.  In addition, the film overflows with several action thrilled scenes including the near death incident when Robert Platshorn was kidnapped by the Colombian cartel, a high seas shootout between the Black Tuna gang and the Bahamian navy, the arrests of the entire gang with a 2:00 AM break-in at their headquarters in the presidential suite on the top floor of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami as gang members were severely beaten by DEA agents, and the uncovering of the plot to murder the Federal judge presiding over their drug dealing trial. This assassination plan turns out to be a ruse by the DEA using a jailhouse informant, but this is just another example of the escalating bad luck the two amigos experience. 

In the 1970s, the Black Tuna Gang was responsible for importing (or smuggling if you prefer) an estimated 500 tons of cannabis into the United States from Colombia.

“Black Tuna” was a code word often used by these smugglers who were pretty savvy about staying under the radar.