In this installment of Insights & Influence Dave explores the criminal past of former drug smuggler and current venture capitalist and author Brian O’Dea. Born in Newfoundland, O’Dea worked his way up through the ranks of the drug industry from locally peddling marijuana to importing overseas pot to coordinating cocaine smuggling operations from Colombia to North America. Following the Vietnam War, he imported pot from Southeast Asia using fishing vessels and a trucking company he operated as a front for his smuggling operation, which at its peak employed 120 individuals. After quitting the business, he turned from selling to using, and was jailed by the DEA with a 10-year sentence. In 1993, he was paroled and has since written the bestseller HIGH: Confessions of a Pot Smugger and currently appears as an adviser on the CBC reality show Redemption Inc., where business mogul Kevin O’Leary (Dragons Den, Shark Tank) invests in ex-convicts with business ideas.