Episode 019: Jesse Coleman – The Sicilian Mob and Undercover Drug Deals


Retired Special Agent Jesse Coleman served in the FBI for nearly 28 years. He spent most of his career working drug investigations targeting organized crime figures and pursuing high-profile, violent drug gang members. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Jesse is interviewed about the two-year period he went undercover as a drug dealer buying cocaine and heroin from made members of the Sicilian mob. During the undercover investigation, he secretly recorded more than 200 conversations between him and the subjects. Jesse’s efforts resulted in the arrest and conviction of 20 members of the mob family operating in the U.S., in addition to the head of the family who lived in Sicily, Italy. Jesse was awarded the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Agent of the Year in 1991 for his undercover role in this investigation.



9/23/1979 – 6/1/2007

HeadShot2 Jesse L Coleman








The following links are to newspaper articles that provide additional details about the Sicilian mob case Jesse worked in the late 1980’s. Also listed below are links to two articles written after Jesse retired.  These articles review his “legendary” status in FBI’s Philadelphia Division and his extensive network of confidential informants.

Tough Talk About Cheap Lives And Costly Highs

FBI agent tells court how he gained trust of mob drug dealers


FBI tip improves on ‘The Legend’

10/7/2003, FBI agent Jesse Coleman (front center, wearing tie ) along with other FBI and IRS agents arrive at 7108 Germantown Ave. in the Mt Airy section of Philadelphia October 7, 2003 to search for evidence in the Shamsud-din Ali investigation. Coleman is the subject of a Kitty Caparella story. Philadelphia Daily News / Alejandro A. Alvarez
Jesse Coleman (front center, wearing tie ) along with other FBI and IRS agents arrive with warrant to search for evidence in a fraud investigation. Photo Credit: ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/Daily News










Jesse captured in a surveillance photo with one of the members of the Sicilian mob he “befriended.”








A surveillance photo of Jesse and one of the Sicilian mob guys he associated with for two years during an undercover drug case worked in New York, Philadelphia and Delaware.

















Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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