For the next six months, Coy walked and talked like a gangster, carried Uzis around Orchard Park, and snorted cocaine chased by Valium, as he would later testify in court. He also testified that he shot two local stick-up men in an Orchard Park hallway who mistook him for an average drug customer, and was involved in a near drive-by shooting in the Lenox Street housing development.
Coy's tactics were effective. He bought a total of 16 ounces of cocaine in six weeks from the New York Boys. In one transaction, he purchased two ounces from Whiting's top lieutenant, David (Divine) Waight, as Whiting himself looked on. Coy scored another major victory for the DEA investigation when he walked into Whiting's barber shop wearing a recording device and made a deal to sell Whiting eight guns.
By this time, Coy was cracking up, becoming the character he created. A DEA psychologist diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and depersonalization, the loss of identity. He was hospitalized a month after his supervisors pulled him off the case. He returned successfully, however, to provide the pivotal testimony in the trial against Whiting and the New York Boys.
The trial's star witness may have been Whiting himself. He overruled one of his own lawyer's objections to answer a question, and insisted he was an innocent businessman. He also implicated three of his co-defendants.
"Whiting paralleled [Nino Brown, the fictional drug kingpin played by] Wesley Snipes in the film New Jack City, in that he got on the stand and pointed his finger at his codefendant," Budd says. "I was in court the day he testified, and he pointed his finger at his associates and away from himself. It was a pitiful thing. Just pitiful."
Whiting's mandatory life term was the result of tough new sentencing guidelines passed by Congress after the cocaine-related death of college basketball star and top Celtics draft pick Len Bias.
Budd says that Whiting became visibly upset as federal marshals took him away to prison. "One of the marshals told me that Darryl Whiting, this self-styled God, broke down and cried and pleaded, 'I don't want to go jail, I don't want to go jail.' He was crying and carrying on so much he needed a handkerchief to clean himself up. I always thought that was the perfect postscript to the story of Darryl Whiting."
Jeff Coy sat in the back of the courtroom smiling and watched as Whiting and the New York Boys were marched off to prison. Three years later, he would hang himself in his apartment.
"He was undercover too deep for too long," says George Festa, the region's DEA special agent in charge during the Whiting investigation.
Coy and Whiting inspired the 1999 film In Too Deep, with LL Cool J as the drug lord nicknamed "God," and Omar Epps as "Jeff Cole," the cop sucked into the underworld.
BOSTON AFTER CRACK
Today, 20 years later, Orchard Park looks a lot different than it did in the days when the New York Boys reigned; the dirt path of Bump Road is gone, paved over. But the devastation of the crack era still haunts the city.