ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Meet a man who went from being a drug kingpin to best selling author. It is a fascinating glimpse into a life that took a drastic turn from the suburbs to prison.
A Fairfax Virginia teen had a bright future in front of him. Seth Ferranti was an honor roll student and had the perfect life in a perfect neighborhood. He never quite made it to college. Instead he wound up behind bars with a 25 year sentence.
Ferranti started doing drugs at the age of 13. Soon he became really good at it.
“I found out that I can be the number one bad boy. Within a year I had completely reversed myself from who I was and immersed myself in drug culture.” said Seth Ferranti.
In five short years Seth was moving stash and cash across state lines. He was supplying 15 colleges with marijuana and LSD by the time he was 19-years-old. He started to make $20,000 to $30,000 a month.
The drug dealer’s arrogance eventually led to his downfall, he thought he was too smart to get caught. After a sting by the DEA he faced up to 25-years in prison from a first time offense.
Ferranti came up with a plan, “I’m not going to deal with this. I’m going to take off. I faked my death at a national park outside of DC. I planned it all out. I wrote up a suicide note and staged the whole event.”
Seth tossed his clothes and wallet into a river. He told tourists walking nearby that he saw someone plunge into the icy depths. He planned everything perfectly except for the place he was supposed to have jumped.
“It turns out that I faked my suicide on the wrong side of the dam.” said Seth Ferranti.
Authorities dredged the river and didn’t find a body. They declared the suicide a hoax.
Seth took off for California and ended up on the US Marshall’s most wanted list. He ended up in Texas trafficking drugs again. Two years later his luck ran dry and cops busted him again and there was nowhere to run.
At 22-years-old he faced over 20 years in prison and another decade for running.
Seth learned to survive in prison by doing what he did best, smuggling drugs.
“I would get girls to put weed in a balloon. When the kissed you, they would pass the weed into your mouth an swallow it. You would get it out later.” said Seth Ferranti.
He also learned how to make the right kind of friends.
“I was hanging out with mafia dudes and Mexican gang-bangers. I was known as someone who can make stuff happen.”said Seth Ferranti.
It took him ten years to figure out that he could “make stuff happen” for himself. He began taking college courses, earning his masters degree, and writing about life behind bars.
“That became my new addiction” said Seth Ferranti.
Instead of dealing drugs, he started selling stories for The Daily Beast, The Fix and Vice. His stories were about how drugs get into prison. The inside scoop got him thrown into solitary.
Seth served 21-years. He credits a woman who became his wife as the reason he made a successful transition from prison life. She stood by his side, helping to publish over 20 books. They have sold over 25,000 copies.
“She made that all possible, so I had a career from the penitentiary.” said Seth Ferranti.
From criminal drug king-pin to publishing powerhouse, Seth Ferranti has lived many lives. He says that he wants to do even more with his life.
Diane Ferranti wrote FOX 2. She says that she and Seth live in St. Peters. Diane grew up in St. Louis. “He is doing all this after serving 21 years in federal prison for a first time, nonviolent drug offense. We live together in St. Peter’s and Crime Watch Daily just did a segment on him.”
More information: Sethferranti.com