Friday, January 06, 2012


IVANO SAYS: Remember Former San Jose Police Officer Russ Jones of "Sprouzzi ala Jounzzi" fame:
well he just published his book.

For those of you interested, I invite you to visit Russ's website at:

(See my comments on the book, after the Article.)

UPDATE 7/16/2012: Russ has just completed a promotional video. Very impressive. "Clicca" on following link to view:

Honorable Intentions is a memoir by Russell Jones. As an army Chief Warrant Officer and combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam, he earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and 16 Air Medals. After his honorable discharge, he became a San Jose police officer, where he worked as a Canine Officer and Field Training Officer, FTO. Promoted to the Detective Bureau, he was assigned to the Narcotics Division where he worked Organized Crime, investigating organizations such as the Nuestra Familia and the Hell's Angels. After law enforcement, Russell Jones served as an intelligence agent in Costa Rica during Iran-Contra in Nicaragua where he infiltrated groups involved in covert operations such as Tipped Kettle. In private practice as a Forensic Consultant, he testified as an expert witness in criminal cases, such as rape and homicide, where drugs and substance abuse played a role. In academia, he developed, wrote, and implemented Drug Rehabilitation courses designed for court-mandated clients. As a guest of the Ministry of Interiors of both the Soviet Union and China, he traveled throughout those countries and worked with their narcotics officers. He has thousands of miles of blue water ocean sailing experience, having sailed to Central America, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas, as well as the east coast of the US, from Florida to Maine. Russell Jones served with honor, but constantly questioned government policies that were taking the lives of those he served with.

IVANO SAYS (CONT'D). I just finished reading Russ's book. A Great Read. I recommend it to everybody who is interested in the "murky world of the police". Russ writes about some of the Police Officers mentioned in my book such as Fallen Officers Richard Huerta, Gene Simpson and Gordon Silva. And by George, he does include some of his famous recipes. Below is a copy of an e-mail I sent to Russ:

Russ: Just finished your book. Excellent work. Next step, make it into a movie.

In my book, I describe the world of the police in the following words. "....the murky world inhabited by police officers." Your book aptly illustrates that description. Lines depicting the "Good, Bad and Ugly" often blend together and are not easily deciphered. To illustrate, Officer Jim Emmons was embedded in the criminal world, much as you were. (I believe he did his work after yours). Although I was not his "boss", nor was I involved in his undercover assignment, we used to meet often at the Rusty Lantern (now Malone's) in Scotts Valley.
Over drinks and/or beer, he would use me as his sounding board. (What did I think of this or that. Do you think I'm doing the right thing.etc.). One day he made the following statement to me (paraphrasing): "You know, I've gotten to the point where I trust the crooks, more than I do the people in our own Department." ( Sound familiar) I realized then and there that he was very near to crossing over. It was time for him to get out and I told him so. It took him a while, but he finally got out (alive).

The survival question you raise (Why am I here and not the others?), is something that I think about from time to time. Maybe it is as (you write) simple as predetermination. (If Richard Huerta hadn't made that traffic stop, at the particular location at that particular time, he probably would still be with us today.) Some of us may be destined to die young, others are destined to live on to tell their story (Like you have.) Also, alcohol (accurately described by you as our most dangerous drug) had a lot to do with it. Many of us died to early because of heavy drinking (and smoking).

I'm glad you decided to include some of your delicious recipes. Unless I missed it, you didn't tell us how you picked up your culinary skills.
Also, I'm sure you did some of your cooking while you were undercover. Did you ever think of disbursing some of your recipes in between the mayhem and killings ala Hannibal Lecter. That would have been something.

Anyways, Russ. Good Job. Maybe we should have a Police book fair at the POA hall. I'm sure your book would take center stage. Sempre Avanti. ivn(0)

1 comment:

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

What appears below is part of a review of Russ's book, written by Bill Mattos, Editor of the 'Farsider' a newsletter for San Jose Retired Police.


San Jose may well hold the record for grooming more heads of law enforcement agencies than any other police department in the nation. By my count, no less than 27 former San Jose cops have moved on to become chiefs of police of other agencies — and I'm quite sure I missed one or two.

Also worthy of note is the fact that the SJPD has turned out a number of published authors. Joe McNamara, Dwight Messimer, Dave Scannell, Ivan Comelli, Bob DeGeorge and Jim Giambrone are a few that come to mind. We can now add another former San Jose cop to the list.

Russell "Jonesy" Jones

Many of you will remember Russ Jones, who spent nearly a decade as a San Jose police officer from late 1970 through 1980. Like all cops, his experience began inside a blue and white handling routine beat patrol duties. He then transferred to the Narcotics Unit, where he excelled in undercover assignments, one of which included close ties to the Hells Angels.

Russ has penned a book detailing his personal journey from US Army helicopter school to a dangerous, heart-pounding combat tour in Vietnam, followed by his tenure as a San Jose cop. In 1980 Russ resigned from the SJPD to work in South America, where his helicopter and fixed wing piloting skills as well as his undercover police experience were put to good use. He had been recruited by the State Department.

I was privileged to have received an early copy of the book and literally found it difficult to put down. Russ' writing skills rival those of well known crime authors who often embellish their true crime stories. But Honorable Intentions is different; it's totally non-fiction and based on his personal experience in Vietnam, as a San Jose cop, and as an undercover agent for the State Department in Costa Rica (think of the "Contras" of Ollie North fame).

While written as a memoir, much of Honorable Intentions reads like a crime novel. Russ details numerous specific incidents in Vietnam where he names many of his fellow airmen with whom he served. Near the beginning of the SJPD section of the book that starts about a third of the way in, the details he provides as a rookie cop working B-10 and being assigned to handle an 11-83 that turns into a fatal makes you feel like you're riding shotgun in the front seat of the patrol car with him. What makes the book so authentic is that he names many of those with whom he worked or had contact, some of whom are no longer with us.