Retired Florida Law Enforcement Officer Releases New Book “As the Crow Flies” – True Story of Drug Smuggler’s Journey Toward Redemption

Author and storyteller Ed Hudson spent 34 years in law enforcement with a focus on narcotics investigations, including international drug smuggling. As the Crow Flies is his debut book. Photo credit: Facebook page of Ed Hudson.

PENSACOLA, FL – Freddie Crow grew up in a small town in northwest Florida and developed a taste for excitement at an early age. He learned to fly when he was just a teenager and parlayed that talent into a lucrative career, piloting planeloads of marijuana from Central America into North Florida. He had the highly sought-out ability to navigate a plane so low over the Gulf of Mexico that he could actually fly under the radar. But that didn’t mean his penchant for ferrying drugs went completely unnoticed.

Ed Hudson was a law enforcement officer tasked with putting the brakes on smuggling operations like Crow’s. The two men had chosen paths that were initially pointed in opposite directions, but they were about to intersect.

As the Crow Flies: The Redemption of an International Drug Smuggler is the captivating true story of Freddie Crow, told with compelling authenticity by the officer himself, Ed Hudson.

While Crow busied himself flying in loads of contraband, the team of determined law enforcement officers along with a prosecutor worked diligently to build the case against Crow. Their perseverance paid off, and the walls around Crow crumbled. Facing a life sentence, he opted to cooperate with officials in exchange for a reduced sentence, and an unlikely bond between Hudson and Crow formed.


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Upon his release, Crow sought forgiveness from his friends, his family, his country and God. He found redemption, and he met the love of his life. Then the bottom dropped out.

As the Crow Flies is a real story about real people and how their choices impacted those around them. It’s a story about family. It’s a story about forgiveness. It’s a story about two people, once on opposing sides of the law, who came together and became friends — as if directed by God — just in time for a life sentence of a different kind.

Author Ed Hudson grew up in rural Northwest Florida, where he spent his youth working on farms, toting bricks and blocks, making mortar for his father’s masonry business and attending school. He later earned an associate of science degree in law enforcement and a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice administration. He worked with the Century Police Department and as a deputy at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, where he patrolled the highways for nine years. In 1990, he transferred to the narcotics unit and became a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in 1993.

Hudson worked a variety of cases with his fellow FDLE agents along with agents from the DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and Secret Service. He was promoted to Special Agent Supervisor in 2004 and remained in this position until retirement on October 1, 2014.

Today, Hudson spends his retirement gardening and fishing whenever possible. He enjoys time with his granddaughters, especially when fishing, and with friends if they’re going fishing. He serves his community through the Walnut Hill Baptist Church and as a member of the Walnut Hill Ruritan Club, an organization that lends a hand to those in need. Then he goes fishing. As the Crow Flies is his first book

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