Via REAL News with Rick Outzen: Hall of Fame trial attorney, jazz musician and bestselling author Mike Papantonio discusses his latest legal thriller “Inhuman Trafficking.”


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Rick Outzen:                          With us this morning, we have Mike Papantonio, hall of fame trial attorney, jazz musician and best-selling author. He’s got a new book out, it is Inhuman Trafficking, bringing back Deke one more time, Pap. Good morning.

Mike Papantonio:             How are you doing Rick?

Rick Outzen:                          I am doing great. The, for our listeners, if you haven’t read the other books, it’s Law and Disorder, Law and, and Vengeance, Law and Addiction and we’ve run outta law titles.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, we got Inhuman. Yeah.

Rick Outzen:                          But you’ve covered so many things that are tied to your, to the, the practice that you have. You’ve looked at environmental issues with big oil with the first book, with Law and Disorder. Vengeance was about the gun industry.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Rick Outzen:                          And opioids was about, you know, I mean, addiction was about opioids, which was ahead of the curve of all the TV shows we now have about.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Everybody’s coming out with one now, aren’t they.

Rick Outzen:                          Yeah they are. The, I feel like going through your books, it is a case study in how you practice, which is, it’s, it’s an interesting challenge of doing a mass torts case when you’re taking on big oil, big pharma, the gun industry. That, for our listeners, what, you know, as you put together a mass tort case, what are the pieces that, that you have to consider when you look at?

Mike Papantonio:             Well, I think the most important, the most important point is need. Okay. Are you doing something, all the way back to tobacco, when we first launched the tobacco case, good God, I, the, people died by the millions and there was no effort to even slow down that process. So you start with the need. The opioids was the same way. You know, you have to start with 150 people a day dying. Was there a need for us to put the kind of attention, the kind of money and effort we put into that? And there certainly was. You know, we’ve handled, I think 40, 47 of the biggest pharmaceutical cases in the country. Every time we analyzed it, there was a need because people were dying from defective products, they were dying because the, the drug industry had lied to ’em about clinical data that they just simply made up. So I think you, and, and with in, with human trafficking right now that we’re, that were involved with, there’s a need for that.

Rick Outzen:                          Mm-hmm.

Mike Papantonio:             And so I think we always, we already, we start, we start there and then we say, how, you know, what is the best way to get our arms around it? Now the books are a reflection of everything. There’s nothing in any of the books that aren’t true.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             That’s not true.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re cases we’ve actually handled and we’ve simply, I, I’ve simply modified it in a way that it’s a, hopefully a good read and you come away thinking, wow, I really learned something about that industry.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, it, the first book introduced what I considered the base characters, you know, Deke and, and his firm. And then in each of the other stories, you, you, you add additional character to drive the narrative a different way. Talk a little bit about Deke, about.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Well, Deke is a composite, you know, people always ask me, or, you know, you, you writing about yourself no, a little bit, but it’s, it’s all a composite. You know, when you practice law for 40 years and you try as many lawsuits as I have all over the country from California to New York, to Miami, I mean, name it, I’ve probably been involved with a lawsuit there. You, you, you, you’re introduced to a lot of different what I think are interesting, sometimes damaged personalities, talented personalities, but personalities that, that really are human. I don’t think the public wants to read or they want to, you know, we’re living when everything is Marvel comic books, everything is DC comic books. It’s like we have a whole generation that can’t understand that, you know, there’s reality. We gotta deal with reality. Every, everybody’s not Superman. And so the characters and all the characters that are created, you know, they’ve got barnacles on ’em man. They’re, they’re not just, they’re not Supermen.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:            They’re people. Deke is a, Deke is a good example of that. You, you read Deke and you go, my God, this guy’s pretty complicated.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, in each of the stories, there’s a different addition, a different attorney that comes in and I think that that, that lets Deke, it allows for different, for different type of personalities to get involved in the case and drive the story. We saw it in Law and Vengeance where you brought in a female protagonist that.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Gina Romano, what a, what a great character, man.

Rick Outzen:                          Really, really.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, you read her and you go, wow, this is, she’s a pretty strange character, but she’s a wonderful trial lawyer. You don’t know if you’d wanna be married to her, but you go, wow, what an incredible trial lawyer.

Rick Outzen:                          And then when you read Law and Addiction, which it, it really personalizes the struggles that people go with, with opioid addiction, what a horrible drug it is and what it’s done to our society. You, as a suggestion, you had me read Dreamland and when you read that and you go to your book, and then I began interviewing people that were dealing with opioid addictions and the stories in the book, as well as in, in the non-fiction Dreamland are, are here in, in, in the panhandle, and all over the country.

Mike Papantonio:             Why, let me throw this, why were we, you and, and me, why were we the first people talking about opioids? Okay. Now, I want, this, this is just a true story. People may not know this.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             But we were dealing with these stories a year before it ever got on corporate media’s radar.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I was writing this book a year before then. Why is that? It’s because corporate media is dead. If you’re watching the nightly news, you’re one of the most uninformed, maybe even misinformed individuals walking around, because you see, corporate media couldn’t cover the opioid story. You know why? Because all of their advertisers.

Rick Outzen:                          Right, right.

Mike Papantonio:             Were paying $10 million a year, whether it was, whether it was all the distributors, all the manufacturers and Cardinal, Amerisource Bergen, McKesson, you know, these, these are advertisers. You can’t turn on your television and go 10 minutes without a pharmaceutical ad. That’s why the media wasn’t talking about it. So when we brought the lawsuit, you remember, you started writing about this when I brought that lawsuit.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And then all of a sudden, you know, Wall Street Journal’s covering it. The Washington Post is covering it. And we’re supplying the, the information to them because corporate media is dead. It is useless. And if you think you’re getting information from corporate media nowadays, you’re in, you are in LA LA land. Same way with Inhuman Trafficking, the same thing. With trafficking, why is it that the media still is not telling these stories? Why, why do I have to write a fiction book in hopes that somebody’s gonna read the book and understand what’s happening in their backyard? Why is that? Because now, now what do we know? We know trafficking goes all the way to the top of the game, all the way to Wall Street.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And that, this book talks about the money coming from Wall Street. The trucking industry that advertisers, you know, there again, corporate media can’t do it because their advertisers get mad at ’em and they pull the money. So, you know, Rick used to be in 1980, there were 55 independent news sources, just like yours, just like yours. Okay. You know what, you know how there’s three organizations that own all of the media now.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And if they want, if they want Donald Trump to lose, they all pile up on Donald Trump. If they want to, you know, if they want whatever it is, their political accomplishment that they want, they all work together. You never have any meaningful dialogue about what’s really happening around us and Inhuman Trafficking, that book explains what trafficking is, how it works, but it entertains you at the same time.

Rick Outzen:                          Well, and, and the human trafficking issue is one that’s invisible. It’s one on a lot of different levels. We also know that, you know, we’ve, we’ve seen where, where people have called prostitution a victimless crime, and, and they’ve tried to normalize it. But then in, in thanks to you and some of the interviews that I’ve been able to have and, and talk to people that these victims are young girls and young boys, they are integrated into the hospitality industry, casino stories, and hotel stories.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, they recruited, Rick.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             The one, one, one thing that’s happening right now and it involves Wall Street clearly is there’s a company in, in, in Canada. They’re the clearing house for pornography. Okay. All over the world. One of the biggest clearing houses in the world for pornography. All right. They know who all the traffickers are. They have a Rolodex. I mean, you know, call it, let’s call it a Rolodex. They to reach these folks. So they call perv in some LA, so, there’s, there’s more pervs in LA trafficking than, the only other, only other competitive area is New York. So they call Perville in LA and they say, we need you to, to, to film, to do a film of a, a 14 or 15 year old being brutally raped in a hotel room. And then would you do that for us? So they film it, they pay the trafficker money to do it. Then they take that and they send it all over the world. Now they ran outta money for some reason, I don’t know why, but they ran outta money about four years ago. You know who came in to save them? Wall Street.

Rick Outzen:                          Mmm.

Mike Papantonio:             Seven than hundred million to these, these, these pervs. These, I mean, just sociopaths in Canada. And so they chose to do business and they kept that business alive. Or how about the trucking industry? You know, you got people, you got women being trucked from LA to, to New York all the way across the United States. And as there being trucked, these cats are on the, they’re on the truck, on the, on the, you know, the radio saying we’re gonna be at stop number 35 in two, you know, in a day, everybody come in have sex with our truckload of 14 and 15 year old sex slaves. So they come into that truck stop and leave. Why does the truck stop do it? Because it brings in business. It brings, they buy food, they buy gasoline, they stay overnight, they use hotels. And so, so it’s all, it’s all about money, Rick. And we think that human trafficking is some isolated situation like, you know, like that movie Taken, you know, we think, oh, that’s, that’s all there is to, well, it’s not.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s a lot more complicated. They’re recruiting girls in the Ukraine. The book is, that’s part of the story in the Ukraine. How, you, you, you covered the story.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             When it happened.

Rick Outzen:                          Right. We saw it here in, in Northwest Florida, where we.

Mike Papantonio:             Exactly. Destin, Florida.

Rick Outzen:                          The workers, the workers in, they were bringing in workers for restaurants and hotels. Kept ’em in, you know, pile ’em into one house, keep their visas so they couldn’t go anywhere.

Mike Papantonio:             H2B workers.

Rick Outzen:                          Yeah. Yeah. And they drove them where they went to go. Took their paychecks and, and.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, and, and then what it’s called a step up. They, they go to Ukraine, they interview these girls, hey, how would you like to be in the service industry? They bring them back to the United States. They put them behind a, you know, they let ’em at, they’re a greeter at a hotel for few weeks. And they say, well, how’d you like more money?

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And then, oh, well, we just happen to own a strip club down the road. You can, you can be a greeter in the strip club. And then two weeks later from that, how’d you like to make more money? Well, you can do that by dancing on the pole.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Then two weeks after that, how would you like to make more money? Well, great. I’m gonna introduce you to this cat named Tom. He’s out in the audience, he wants to meet you. At that point, Rick, they disappear.

Rick Outzen:                          Right.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re in the system. They are being officially, they’re being traded as sex slaves, and you know what their life, you know what their life expanse is, five years.

Rick Outzen:                          Wow.

Mike Papantonio:             If they live five years, that it’s extraordinary, because they’re gonna die of drug overdose. They’re gonna die of homicide. They’re gonna die of suicide. They’re gonna die of sexually transmitted diseases and just pure despair, just pure despair. But that’s the system. And you know what? We have a Department of Justice that’s known exactly how this works forever. We, look, home, Homeland Security, you know this thing that’s supposed to, it’s, this is, you know, this is the new thing. This is the new police. Homeland Security is supposed to oversee these types of things. You know, they were just busted the, I dunno if you followed it, Georgia, they busted where they had 20,000 slaves working as slaves, being held captive as slaves over a period of a couple years, digging onions. Act.

Rick Outzen:                          Right, right.

Mike Papantonio:             Literally being held slaves. You know, where they came from, right? They came over the border. Biden’s talking about, oh, we’re, you know, this is all about compassion. We’re bringing these people over the border for compassion. Hell no, they’re bringing these people over the border because US Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor. You know, they don’t wanna send, they don’t wanna send work out over the, you know, throughout the country, overseas anymore. They wanna bring them in because it’s even cheaper and that’s what it’s about. And so those people that were trafficked there in Georgia, that’s exactly what happened. Cartels brought ’em in and they do the same thing with sex slaves. It’s going on all around us, man.

Rick Outzen:                          The book is Inhuman Trafficking. It is a very, very good read. It, it has, it brings you into the issues and understanding what they are as Mike has told you, it is, it, this is a tragedy happening around us every day. That similar to what we saw with opioids and with, with the gun industry and environmental stuff. So this is an opportunity. This is sort of a reboot of the series because it, it’s you’ve, you’ve got a new publisher, a new agent. You’ve, you’ve got a co-writer that you’re working with, that you’ve worked with in the past.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Rick Outzen:                          It’s a real, if you didn’t read the other books, you’re gonna be able to get into this one and take off.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh yeah. You don’t have to, you don’t have to read the other ones to do the, to get to, to this one. This one is just, it’s so timely, Rick, you know, and it’s, I, I feel like it’s important on so many levels. I, I can promise you it’ll be a, a page turner. It moves fast. I’ve created a character you’ll love, his name is Michael. He’s what they call a PJ, a Pararescueman trained right down the road here.

Rick Outzen:                          At Eglin.

Mike Papantonio:             At Eglin, yeah, exactly. And so he’s, he’s been hired by the law firm as a young lawyer and he’s a, he’s a bad cat, so.

Rick Outzen:                          Well it’s, it’s, it’s doing very well and you can buy it on Amazon just about anywhere you wanna buy it. Local bookstores are carrying it. Mike, thank you so much for coming on the show this morning.

Mike Papantonio:             Thank you, Rick.