If you’ve seen the startling documentary “Killadelphia,” you are probably familiar with Alex “Reds” Rivera. The alleged Kensington kingpin, who “housed” farm animals that definitely weren’t meant to dissemble a cockfighting ring, became somewhat well known after the documentary aired. And now it seems the police have noticed him as well.
The alleged drug dealer was arrested earlier this year along with his wife and mother-in-law. On Monday, he was convicted on drug trafficking charges. Facing mandatory life in prison, Rivera’s sentencing is scheduled for February 2012. I guess I can stop using the word “alleged” now.
Although a drug dealer getting convicted in Philadelphia is about as news-worthy as spotting pair of white Airforces on Comly, Rivera’s appearance in the documentary provides an eye-opening look into the often shocking reality that is North Philly crime. But in between the various arrests, interrogations and near-riots depicted in the film are some hilarious exchanges between the BBC reporter, Louis Theroux, and hardened Philly street toughs.
Take for instance when Rivera shows off his stable of wild farm animals, stating that he “… let’s them graze” in an abandoned lot filled with tires, old roof shingles and other farm food staples.
To top it off, the reporter travails some of the worst parts of Philly all while wearing a bulletproof vest and looking like he may poop his corduroys at any moment. Yes, it’s pretty clear that North Philly might as well be downtown Baghdad for Louis and the rest of the outside world; I’m just not sure if that makes me proud or disgusted to have lived there.
View Rivera’s interview below and be sure to watch the entire documentary on YouTube.