Prison Life for Michael Dowd, Star of The Seven Five

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A lot of people watching the hit documentary, The Seven Five, might not now that its central character spent over a decade in the Bureau of Prisons for the crimes he committed as a corrupt NYPD officer. The Gr1nd got with Michael Dowd and asked him about the time he did in the feds. As a corrupt cop it couldn’t have been easy, but Dowd says he didn’t really have any problem. We also asked him about his time as a corrupt cop and what it was like working with cops who weren’t on the same type of time that he was on. Check out the exclusive-


How much time did you do?

I did 12 years and 5 month in the feds. I was in Mariana Florida all medium and high security. No breaks for the cop, fuck him. Its not like they say. I went to McKean, I went to Devens Mass. I had my little pitstops hear and there. I’m walking the joints like everyone else. 12 years and five months.

You got any prison war stories?

I actually took a rope off a guys neck in prison. I’m in Mariana Florida, I’ve bene there like two or three years and I’m running the fucking drug program down there. Right in front of my cell theres a guy hanging. Over the balcony right in front of my cell. I don’t know he’s hanging I think the guys are beating him up, throwing him up in the air. I don’t know whats going on. Four or fives guys are trying to hit him or whatever. And its a white guy I gotta go out there. Because he’s white and their spanish if I don’t show up then I’m a punk you know. I mean thats prison law so you got to step in not to be a hero but step in to show faith. So I’m gonna get in there, I’m jacked, no one is gonna push me around and I go out there and get in the middle of all and she is hanging from a buffing code from the balcony. And I was like these guys are trying to help him there not trying to fucking beat him up. Now I’m lifting him up because the spanish dudes are short and I’m taller like 6-foot-1. I push him up and take the pressure off his neck. And pull the buffing cord off his neck. We get him down we save his life. The next day I’m on suicide watch and he wakes up and look at me and he doesn’t know anything yet. He doesn’t know whats going on. He tells me yeah some guys saved my life yesterday. He doesn’t know who I am yet. And he was happy they saved his life because he told me I changed my mind on the way down. I said really thank god because I’m one of the guys that saved you.

Any problems in prison since you were an ex-cop?

Its strange to be honest my only problems came from the Italians in jail. Thats the only problems I really had. Some of the black and spanish guys would shun me but they wouldn’t be angry at me. Because they lived the streets and they knew that the cops had relationships with them. It was very odd because I got the most friendships with black guys playing chess. They were great. We got along famously and we played chess five or six hours a day. I would loose half my money but I learned the game. I passed a lot of time with them. The only guys that were really cool with me were the guys that had a snitch jacket but I didn’t care because 80 percent of the guys in there are rats and snitching on someone to lessen their time. I didn’t know that when I stepped in the joint but you learn, you learn.


What was it like being known as a corrupt cop in the NYPD?

Cops wouldn’t work with me anymore when I tried to do the right thing. Not because they’re doing the wrong thing but because they begin to wonder why are you trying to do the right thing now? Like why are you doing the right thing because you are trying to get us in trouble? Now they think you’re working for internal affairs. It became a slippery slope and once you step on that tile with your foot wet you just keep going. Its almost like I doubled down and surrendered if that makes sense.I did wrong I wanted to come out of doing wrong but I was having a difficult time coming back from that. I really want to be a good cop, I really want to. I admired the fact that I could get a pension and retire at 41 and have another life after that being the middle class guys that we are. We’re raised up to have some kind of security blanket for the rest of your life. Those were the goals that I had because I had kids and I wanted that security rather than the fast life I was living but it was so hard to get out of it.

What was it like coming out of prison after all that time?

The worst day of my life was when I came out and I was in my mothers shower. I am fucking 44 years old. Im looking out the window and theres my brothers kids. I went away and my son went to college . I shook his hand on his way to college. They let me go see him graduate from the halfway house. That was my only contact with my son. I see my brother has these two kids. Little boys and I was like I can’t fucking believe this, there like 6 and 8 at the time. And these kids idolize me but he has a pension and a wife and kids and a home. I got nothing. I’m crying like the shower isn’t wetting me and my tears are. I’m crying like I just let it go. Non stop tears balling. And I was like what did I do? I was 21 when I became a cop. Now Im 44 and I have nothing. I wanted to go back. I actually now had to go and learn a living and I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was scary.

Check out The Seven Five documentary.

Seth Ferranti is a writer, producer, actor and comic creator. He's created and writes Supreme Team, American Grind and Prison Stories. All forthcoming. He also writes for VICE, The Fix, SLAM, Huffington Post and Don Diva and has 8 true crime books on crack era gangsters out on Gorilla Convict.

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  • 19battlehill

    Dowd should have been put in jail for life and so should of his wife and his buddy Kenny and his wife. These people are exactly what is wrong with our society today — WHERE’s MINE. That is all anyone ever thinks about, and it is the reason why this country is going in the wrong direction and has been for a long time. Corrupt pieces of crap like this should be thrown in jail and never let out as a message to others who are hired to help and do the exact opposite. I think their wives who took part in what their husbands where doing should be put in jail too (maybe not for life). The wives are no different than the drug dealers girlfriends who spend the loot and help hide the money. They are all disgusting.

    • PinkyB69

      I agree 100%! Dirty cops get away with crimes civilians spend entire life times in prison for committing the same crimes. He got 12 years and some change! Are you kidding me. He’s bragging throughout the documentary and now he’s a consultant for Internal Affairs? Get out of here!

      • puertorricane

        Yeah but the wall street CEO that stole billions get no jail lol you guys are dumb.

  • How many Cops does it take to push a hand cuffed prisoner down a flight of stairs? None! The asshole slipped and fell! -Joseph Wambaugh, The Black Marble
    I KNEW THIS GUY MICHAEL DOWD AT FCI Marianna in Florida. I got to give it to him, he didn’t PC “Protective custody,” he walked around the compound like the rest of us. They took a lot of money out of his house when he was arrested. When the state courts handed him over to the feds, the state kept the money. When I met him in the law library at FCI Marianna, Florida he wanted my help with post conviction matters, i.e., USC 2255, having lost all his appeals. I think he appealed a USSG sentencing guideline matter because he plead guilty, I don’t remember. Anyway, I looked over his stuff and asked where that money went. He said he didn’t know could I get it back for him? It was maybe thirty-thousand dollars, I forget. I whipped up a generic Petition for Remission modeled after the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure with the same name, claiming the criminal matter was over and the money was never properly forfeited. The State either never responded (they’re favorite response) or conceded. Mike had me draw up a little one-time Power of Attorney for his brother to receive the money and the next thing I know (a week later) I got rolled up and put in the SHU “Special Housing Unit,” commonly known as the “Hole.” #MIKEDOWD #THESEVENFIVE #REALLIFEHEIST #MARKANTHONYGIVEN #ANOTHERHOTGRAND #DOPESICKANGEL #THETEXARKANADONS #PRISON #FEDERALPRISON #PRISONWRITERS #

  • James Holz

    He’s doing alright. Has nothing to cry about. This society and the system has gotten way more punitive especially after 9/11. So which side is really the dark side?
    A world of snitches with cell phones.

  • bobby

    just watched the documentary “the seven five”, very well done, highly recommended, but dowd came across as the same piece of shit he’s always been, even at 55 years old he’s still a stupid, washed up thug who thinks what he did was “cool”… how this pos only got 12 years is beyond me.

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