Law suits are ten a penny, the US is a pretty litigious place to live in. I am apparently going to be named in a RICO suit. I find it odd that the FBI have not contacted me yet, but it may well be an undercover investigation. Once you get over the silly (and they run rampant) you are left with more serious ones.

These two articles (here and here) are lacking in substance but they certainly got my interest level up. It was time to unravel the story and get to the truth.

I will be honest, usually I have to start from the absolute beginning when getting to the real story. That was not the case here. Sam is an author, and I am a book reviewer, our paths crossed several years ago and we have become friends and Sam is a regular on my Sunday current affairs radio program.

While writing books is fun, the harsh reality of life is that very few authors make enough in sales to keep a roof over their heads by book sales alone. Sam is a go getter, his solution was to own food and drink establishments, I believe that at one time he owned four.

Among them was an establishment called The Coconut Grove. The establishment was one of the oldest continually operating taverns in the Youngstown area. Alas, over the years the neighborhood around the tavern had fallen into some disrepair and from what I gather was not an ideal place to be after dark.

coconut grove 1

In October 2011 Jerome G. Miller (AKA Noodle), 22, of Overland Avenue, died from a single gunshot to the head about 2 a.m. in the parking lot of the Coconut Grove, 3229 South Ave.

coconut grove 2

I do not know much about ‘Noodle’ but I am told that he was a frequent late night patron, not interested in drinking but ordering take out food. Also this was not the first time that Noodle had been on the receiving end of a bullet, in 2010 he was found semiconscious with gun shot wounds to his face and abdomen at a nearby apartment complex.

I do not think it is much of a stretch to say that I suspect that Noodle was not a paragon of virtue.

The search for Noodle’s killer is ongoing, though what priority the case has with the police department is debatable.

The Youngstown authorities needed a scape goat, and decided that Sam Moffie and his Coconut Grove tavern made perfect sense. If Noodle was a regular, then the bar must be guilty of something. The solution was to shut the establishment down, and even managed to throw Sam in the slammer for a couple of days.

I have read the complaint Sam Moffie’s lawyer has filed, it makes for some very interesting reading. I would publish it, however I will wait for the copy with the court seals on it.

You can listen to Sam tell his story on my radio program from yesterday. The link is here, and it begins at the 30 minute mark.

Simon Barrett

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