George “Boy George” Rivera

Boy George was a multi-millionaire by the age of 21. A brilliant and powerfully ambitious drug entrepreneur who saw an opportunity and seized it. It’s alleged he made over $15 million in his two year run. Government sources say that Boy George and his Bronx, NY based heroin organization grossed $250,000 a week. Boy George, barely out of his teens, built himself a reputation of being one of the wealthiest druglords to come out of New York and one of the youngest to be charged with the kingpin statute. At the end of the 80’s while America concerned itself with the crack epidemic, Boy George was running one of the most lucrative and aggressive heroin organizations in the city. Flamboyant and charismatic, the Puerto Rican drug baron was one of a kind. Equal parts gangster, CEO and gentleman who juxtaposed street smarts, innovative marketing and ruthless efficiency to create a heroin empire, while other kids his age were still worrying about what clothes to wear or what girls to date. Boy George and the Obsession case are street legend-the exotic James Bond cars, the Christmas Eve yacht party, the harem of girls tattooing his name on their bodies, the glamour, the jewels, the stacks of money, Boy George had it all. And he had it all as a teenager. He was definitely one of the best to ever do it in the drug game.

Part 5- The Legend

Boy George was the master of the Bronx universe. Using a management style that might have been honed in a corporate boardroom and a brand of violence common to drug dealers, Boy George carved out an empire and flooded the streets of Manhattan and the South Bronx with a brand of high quality heroin with the brand names Obsession and Sledgehammer. He was ruthless and powerful, federal authorities said and they linked him to a dozen homicides that marked his climb to the top. The 20-year-old CEO allegedly ran a $9 million a year heroin ring. “Boy George was making crazy money,” Sports says. “Everybody knows that.” He was known for having a temper and had been involved in several shootouts to cement his reputation in the streets yet he never missed an opportunity to intimidate. Boy George didn’t fuck around when it came time to get paid either. “Don’t fall for tricks about ‘Oh, I’ll see you tomorrow, blah, blah,’ when you are dealing with someone who owes me money. You say, ‘Listen homie, I want to eat today. So I’m not going to wait until tomorrow to eat. I want to eat today. I’m hungry. Pay up dude.’ That’s it.” He said.

The authorities alleged George killed mercilessly with hired hit men, killing anyone who crossed his path, workers who came up short, anyone who stole- Boy George was merciless. The murderous and smart dealer was so young that his own lieutenants called him a prodigy. “He kept loyalty strong in this organization,” Sergeant Billy Cook of the NYPD said. “By distributing cash bonuses, gifts and free vacations- the identical incentives that the head of a legitimate company would lavish on star performers.” But investigators maintained that behind the generosity there was a deadly face. At least a dozen homicides, investigators said, could be directly linked to George’s rise to the top, which earned him a reputation that encouraged loyalty by force of death. “If you weren’t with that clique they didn’t really fuck with you,” Sport says. And the one thing Boy George was known for, besides being calculating and violent was his cars. “The first shit was the Benz. The 190, kitted up, music blaring.” Sport says. And Boy George was on some white boy shit too he liked rock and roll, jamming to Guns-n-Roses in the hood. “The first time I saw his shit I was over there on Brook Avenue. On a drive-by too. He was just passing by. Everybody knew him off the rip.” Sport remembers. Boy George didn’t play when it came to cars. He bought Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and a Bentley. All this only added to his legend. “He pulled up in a Lincoln Town car to show us,” Flaco says. “He had the Porsche pressing buttons showing how the license plate moved and the lights changed.”

Barely out of his teens, Boy George built an organization so lucrative that he registered a fleet of Mercedes, BMW’s and customized Porsches to one of his corporate fronts, Tuxedo Enterprises. “The press called me the Puerto Rican James Bond because of the gadgets in my car. I was on foot when I was arrested. If I could have gotten to my car they’d still be chasing me.” Boy George said. James Bond, one of George’s heroes, inspired 50 grand worth of special features added to the 190 Mercedes he had. Radar detectors manned the cars front and rear, the license plate slid into a side compartment and a strobe light blinded anyone following him. Secret compartments in the door panels and the floor hid weapons and cash. One device squirted bogs of oil from the tail while a hidden switch flipped a box in the trunk that sprayed nail-like tacks. Boy George also had a Ferrari, a Lamborghini, a Bentley and a Porsche in his garage.

His $140,000 customized black Porsche had a trunk full of stereo equipment, a telephone system, a VCR, a color TV, ebony finish, thick custom rugs, gun compartments that slid open at a touch and a host of other exotic goodies. A button in his customized BMW would cause loaded handguns to pop out of concealed apartments. Boy George spared no expense customizing his favorite cars with $12,000 ostrich-skin interiors, 630 watt stereos, 10-track CD players, televisions, VCRS and cell phones. Several of his cars were straight out of a James Bond flick with all types of features to assist in escaping in car chases. “The biggest influences in his life were probably Gleason’s Gym and James Bond.” Sport says.

At 21, he owned shopping malls and commercial real estate. He flaunted a lifestyle as lavish as a New York socialite or those portrayed on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But his passion was boxing. “They used to be saying that he was into boxing,” Sport says. “His whole crew was all real nice with their hands. They would give you a fair one if that’s what it was. But they would beat dudes down too.” Boy George’s favorite charm was two tiny gold boxing gloves which symbolized the Golden Gloves boxing competition he’d trained so hard for. He trained at boxing and worked out religiously. “He’d always eat healthy food.” One of his girlfriends said. “He cycled and jogged.” And his trusted Lieutenant, Will “Love” Claussen, was the son of a professional boxer and helped to train George.

Handsome and debonair, Boy George wasn’t that big a dude. “He’s like 5-7 or something,” Sport says. In the South Bronx he was remembered wearing a black leather cap that matched his black leather trench coat. He cropped his dark brown hair short and kept his goatee neatly trimmed. His brown eyes were intent. “He had a good reputation,” Sport says. “Ain’t nobody got nothing bad to say about him. If you bubbling you got to respect that because he took that shit there. He was doing it.” Boy George dined at upscale restaurants like Victor’s Cafe in Manhattan. He liked expensive silk shirts and went by many aliases. He once sent a girlfriend to San Francisco on a day trip to fetch a pair of Nikes that weren’t in stock in New York. He was well-mannered, attentive and confident. Boy George had a big, echoing laugh. He loved Andrew Dice Clay, who was his favorite comedian. The in your face humor fit Boy George’s style but he had a generous side too. His workers would lug bags of groceries from the Food Emporium for the families of girlfriends, of which he had many. Most were Puerto Rican girls from the poverty stricken South Bronx. It was said he kept a harem of women in the neighborhood. “He had a lot of girls. He was all over with the broads,” Flaco says. George had all types too.

“One night stand girls who came back for more,” he explained. “Girls who clung to me like a cheap suit. Then there were girls who were my regular jewels of the Nile, more upper class than these regular girls.” Boy George’s girls were bejeweled in leathers and furs, reclining on ostrich-skin passenger seats of his Benzes and BMW’s. A lot of them tattooed ‘Property of Boy George’ on their bodies. To the girls sex was currency and they spent it on Boy George. He liked his girls customized like his cars. He demanded color coordination. He had a 50 dollar rule, nothing under $50 was to be taken off the rack while shopping. He had one girlfriend wear a twenty-two karat gold ‘Boy George’ name plate around her neck. And his women had to be on point. “He always liked everything spotless, house, clothing. He never liked to see anything dirty.” One girlfriend said. “He’d bring home a whole lotta videos and I would just watch TV. I didn’t have to get a job. I was to cook and clean and take care of things and I would get an allowance at the end of the week.”

Boy George would frequent Club 371, where his whole crew hung out. No waiting in line for Boy George. He strode to the front, sat in the VIP section and sipped on a bottle of Moet. Everyone treated George like a king. “They used to pass by the clubs- Riddler, Peoples and Kamikazi on Westchester, two blocks off of White Plains Road. Two opposite each other.” Sport says. “It was called herpes triangle. A lot of fucking was going on. Dudes weren’t going in. The party was outside the club. The bitches used to come to see who was driving up. Boy George and them drove up in all new cars, tricked out, jeweled up. All the broads were trying to get with them.” Boy George hosted several organization wide social events too including a fall 1988 party at a restaurant and dance club and the infamous 1988 Christmas Eve yacht party.

On December 24, 1988, Boy George threw a black tie party for his entire crew aboard a chartered yacht. He rented the Riveranda at World Yacht’s 23rd Street dock. He and about 150 others in black tie attire set out to party while cruising around the New York harbor. George paid $30,000 in cash to rent the Riveranda, which included dinner for all and a disc jockey. He spent 12 grand to have Big Daddy Kane perform for 15 minutes and laid out more cash for Loose Touch and the Jungle Brothers to perform. The menu consisted of steak tartare, skewered lamb, prime rib and 12 grand in champagne. Boy George paid for the tuxedo rentals, dinner, open bar and entertainment, including a raffle with luxury prizes. The party goers were seated at tables organized by spot location.

The men from each spot wore bands of the same color- red for one distribution group, purple for another and gold for a third. Those that arrived together, stayed together. The managers sat among the pitchers and dealers who worked for them. It was like prom night but with an open bar and no chaperons. As the employees waited on the dock at 23rd Street in Manhattan to board the yacht and begin the party cruise, the men adjusted their bow ties and touched their gold belt buckles emblazoned with their names in diamonds. The guests arrived by BMW’s, Mercedes, by rented limousines and by dollar cabs. Boy George arrived fashionably late in a silk tuxedo and Bally shoes as his tuxedo-clad troops cheered and clapped while he strode up the ramp and waved with a girl on his arm. The DJ announced, “Mr. and Mrs. Boy George.” The king had arrived.

“It’s good to bring them together so they know, ‘Listen man you have a family here. If anything goes wrong this is the type of force that’s coming behind you.’” Boy George said. And the highlight of the night was the raffle. A fully loaded Mitsubishi was the grand prize, 20 grand in cash first prize, a Rolex watch second prize, a trip to Hawaii was third prize and a trip to Disneyworld was fourth prize. Boy George gave Walter “Ice” Cook a BMW 750, Six-O a gold Rolex and 50 grand in cash and gold and diamond Obsession belt buckles to his top four men, each appraised at over 8 grand. As the night went on fights erupted and during the course of the party a man was stripped on the main deck, beaten and spit on by Boy George for stealing a necklace from one of the other party goers. As the yacht made for shore at the stroke of midnight a man attempted to dive off the bow and race the boat on a bet. He was restrained. Unknown to George and his guests, there were three off duty New York City detectives aboard as part of the yacht security. However when it came time to talk to the DEA, these detectives were uncooperative and during George’s trial they remained steadfast in their refusal to testify to what they had witnessed. And Sport remembers when the party went down too, it was legend in the South Bronx, “When they had the shit on the boat, niggas was talking about they was giving away BMW’s. They said they had bows on them and shit.”

This is an excerpt from Street Legends. If you want to read the rest order the book right now.