Is Reverend Al Sharpton A Civil Rights Activist, Drug Buyer Or Both?

There are civil rights activists and there are drug-dealing ambulance chasing grandstanders.

Reverend Al Sharpton puts himself forward as a spokesman for the black community, but he mainly looks like a complainer stuck in the past.

Downplaying his role as an undercover snitch, Sharpton likes to be thought of as the civil rights defender who supports all things black, right or wrong.

Unfortunately for Sharpton, former NYPD detective Bo Dietl, speaking in a Fox News interview, let the cat out of the bag, saying that Sharpton was known as “The Fat Rat.”

The story goes that Sharpton was caught on camera attempting to buy kilos of cocaine, in 1983. Big Al had a problem, though, the drug dealer was an undercover FBI agent. The incident was videoed and now we can all see it.

al sharpton cocaine sting
Al Sharpton in 1983 cocaine sting

That incident lead to him helping the FBI is a Mob operation. Earlier this week, “The Fat Rat” admitted he “cooperated with the FBI” in their investigation of the New York Genovese crime (Mafia) family. He denied that was a paid snitch.

Perhaps Sharpton’s memory is failing, so it was lucky that retired NYPD detective Dietl volunteered that it was well known the reverend was helping the FBI. He said, “There was a lot of involvement with the music industry at that time that Al was involved. People I knew from East Harlem, everyone on the streets at that time, knew he was an informant. We used to call him the fat rat.”

The HBO video was shown on Fox TV by Sean Hannity. The former detective said, “The video stands for itself. He was talking about buying kilos of coke with an undercover cop. So who is he representing?”

Will the black community still be proud of him now?

Detective Dietl explained how people can be changed from bad guys to informants. “The majority of the times when we develop informants is when you get them on a felony case, and then you flip them, and they become an informant. When he says he didn’t know he was an informant, that’s a lot of baloney. Al Sharpton knew what he was doing, he was cooperating with the FBI.”

New York media are aware of Dietl’s 1998 book that was made into a film starring Stephen Baldwin.

As Smoking Gun reported, “Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the ‘Genovese squad,’ Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.”

Genovese squad investigators, representing the FBI and NYPD said, Sharpton “deftly extracted information from wiseguys.” One Gambino mobster was so comfortable with the bombastic Sharpton that he spilled his guts through 10 wired meetings about gangster activities extending from “shylocking and extortions to death threats and the sanity of Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante,” the infamous Genovese crime boss who acted insane to fend off scrutiny by the feds.

Al Sharpton admitted his role to the New York Times, but said his activities were “exaggerated.”

Apparently Sharpton’s FBI code name was “CI-7,” but “The Fat Rat” has a better ring to it.

Denying recent involvement with the FBI, Sharpton says he cooperated with them in the 1980s to help record repeat threats made against him over his campaign to help black concert promoters. He said “I wasn’t with the rats. I am a cat. I chase rats.”

Conservative observers believe these revelations may enhance his career at MSNBC.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr.
Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.


Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014," was published in July, 2014. "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Presidential Election in History," was published in April 2017.


Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.