The rules stipulated that no competitor or any of their agents could interfere with the racing pigeons. But it also held that birds lost due to “accident, predation, or misadventure” were disqualified from the prize purse.

So the problem facing Rotelli was, basically, how to do a 32-bird hit and make it looks like an accident. He’d had challenges before working for Carmine, but he quickly decided that this job was for the birds. But that six-figure payday was just too much to turn away.

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