Former Drug Kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross Hustling Biopic

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By: Vibe / December 14, 2009

Freeway Ricky Ross, the infamous Los Angeles drug dealer who was released from prison in May after a 20-year-plus prison stint, is taking his story to the big screen.

The former drug kingpin is teaming up with Emmy Award winning actor-director Nick Cassavetes (John Q, Alpha Dog, My Sister’s Keeper), who has signed on to co-write and co-produce Ross’ screenplay, which will detail his humble beginnings in Los Angeles to his ascent in the drug world and subsequent downfall and incarceration.

“Freeway Ricky Ross is a living American legend. A modern day street genius,” Cassavetes said in a recent interview about Ross. “To not know his story is to not understand our country–how it works, what it needs, and what it will do to get it. From his modest Los Angeles beginnings to his meteoric rise to the top of the drug world, Rick’s ‘hustle’ was unparalleled in modern history … but when that government was done with him, it locked him up and left him as the fall guy responsible for the destruction of an entire community.”

Freeway Ricky was officially released from prison earlier this year after serving over 20 years for orchestrating the purchase of over 100 kilos of cocaine from an undercover federal agent. Ross, who many believe was the man rapper Rick Ross took his name from, oversaw a Los Angeles based multi-state drug operation in the early 1980s, which earned upwards of $2 million per day during its peak.

In a statement last month, Ross expressed his excitement of the upcoming film project and working with Nick.

“I love working with Nick, I think he’s great, I love his films,” Ross said. “He and I really vibed the first time we met and I think he truly understands the story. Not only has he been following my life for 25 years, but he’s also someone I can kick it with!”

A press time, a timeline for the project was not revealed.

Ricky Ross is currently traveling around the United States speaking to young men and women about his life story.