Sugar Alpha and Charlie Bravo by Roger and Melissa Nelson
Sugar Alpha and Charlie Bravo by Roger and Melissa Nelson is a two book series about Roger Nelson’s life as a drug smuggler, iconic figure in the sport of skydiving, family man, and eventually a convicted felon. Roger wrote these books while serving his 5 year prison sentence and smuggled them out of prison where after his death, his daughter Melissa was able to finish the project and get them published. She had to fill in some gaps through interviews of people involved in Roger’s life to finish up this true story of Roger’s adventures.
I’m a skydiver that met Roger Nelson in the sport after he had served his time in prison. I had always heard bits and pieces of the story through word of mouth so I found these books to be fascinating. They both read like good novels but are the true tales from Roger’s and Melissa’s perspective.
Roger appeared to have talents for organizing and leading smuggling efforts that made him very large amounts of money that he later poured into the skydiving business where he greatly impacted the sport by creating one of the biggest drop zones in the business and in the sport events including the World Parachute Convention that both live on today. He did serve his time and preserved his skydiving businesses only to later die at the age of 47 in a skydiving accident.
Sugar Alpha tells the tales of his smuggling years. Charlie Bravo which was published 4 year later tells the story of how the government caught up with him and all the legal maneuvering that eventually ended up with his conviction and prison sentence. This two book story is quite a true adventure so as usual, Hit The Books They Don’t Hit Back!