What Really Happened & What The Rock’s Movie Changes

What Really Happened & What The Rock’s Movie Changes


  • The film Snitch was impressed by the actual experiences of DEA agent James Settembrino however modified many occasions for a extra thrilling story.
  • James Settembrino’s son Joey was really arrange by a pal and didn’t get launched from jail in actual life.
  • The true story didn’t contain drug kingpins or gangs, and James Settembrino didn’t go into witness safety or have an confederate just like the character Daniel within the film.

The Rock’s 2013 movie Snitch was impressed by a real story, however the two tales are removed from comparable, with the film altering fairly a couple of occasions from what actually occurred. Dwayne Johnson performs John Matthews, a father desperately attempting to maintain his son Jason out of jail. With the specter of a ten-year minimal jail sentence, John meets an lawyer who agrees to cut back Jason’s sentence in change for him informing on a drug supplier. This results in an action-packed journey that shines a light-weight on the world of drug dealing and prison morality and ethics. Snitch was rated 57% on Rotten Tomatoes on the time of launch, and was added to Netflix in September 2023, bringing in a brand-new wave of audiences.

The idea for the film happened after the airing of an episode of PBS’ Frontline centered on a dialogue of how federal drug insurance policies inspired these in jail to be informants. This episode featured James Settembrino, who had change into a DEA informant as a way to try to assist get his son Joey a lowered sentence for dealing unlawful substances. The episode aired within the U.S. in 1999, and though used as inspiration for Snitch, the 2 tales performed out in very alternative ways.

Snitch Is Impressed By The Actual Experiences Of DEA Agent James Settembrino

In 1992, James Settembrino was approached by the federal government and struck up a take care of the DEA as a way to obtain a 5K1 discount to Joey’s sentence. Within the documentary, James said that the system was extra involved with processing convictions than really imprisoning the higher-up sellers, and that there was a cycle of snitching between the decrease members of dealing in change for lowered sentences. James agreed to the deal, and labored with the DEA to try to bust a drug supplier. Nevertheless, not like the movie, it was not a thrill-seeking journey, however moderately a tense battle between what is correct and what’s authorized.

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James Settembrino’s Son Joey Was Really Set Up

snitch joey son

Joey Settembrino was arrange by a pal who owed him cash, requested to arrange a drug purchase as a way to set him up. Joey had by no means beforehand bought any medicine and was stunned on the pal’s request at first. Joey then organized to promote his pal over $1000 of LSD, and upon being handed the cash was arrested by authorities. Joey said he was beforehand shut with the pal, having recognized them for a few years and having hung out collectively fishing and snowboarding. Thus, he was shocked by his pal’s actions. The pal who arrange Joey’s arrest didn’t serve any jail time, and was ceaselessly seen by James of their hometown, generally taking and promoting medicine.

Joey Settembrino Was Not Launched From Jail In Actual Life

Dwayne Johnson in Snitch movie

The true story didn’t finish with James managing to launch Joey from jail, not like the a lot happier ending in Snitch. In actual life, Joey took a responsible plea he was provided by the federal government, which gave him a minimal of ten years incarceration. The interview with Frontline came about in 1999, seven years into Joey’s sentence. In his interview, Joey spoke about being convicted at 18, and the way it was troublesome to make buddies in jail.

Regardless of being betrayed by his pal, which resulted in his arrest, Joey said to Frontline that he didn’t “…need to do 10 years in jail, however [I] additionally did not need to hand over one in all my buddies both.” There may be little info on what occurred to Joey Settembrino following his launch from jail, however primarily based on the plea deal he took, he ought to have been launched in some unspecified time in the future between 2003 and 2004.

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James Settembrino Really Failed To Promote Any Medicine

Dwayne Johnson as John Matthews in Snitch

In the identical report, James Settembrino spoke about his time spent attempting to find sellers by way of assembly folks with substance abuse issues. On many events, he would make contact however discovered that no supplier would promote to him as he did not match the profile. It resulted in a number of failures earlier than assembly a former informant in New York who had been in an identical scenario. It was then organized for any person to return from outdoors the nation to promote to James, with the understanding that this particular person knew they might be arrested, placed on bond, after which escape the nation.

Lower than an hour earlier than trial, nevertheless, the deal fell by way of as a consequence of points with filed motions. In a dramatic dialog, James Settembrino was advised that there have been already offers in movement, and that his forcing of paperwork had prompted issues within the course of. This was the final job that he did with the DEA, voicing anger at how he’d been allowed to place himself in such a place by the federal government.

There Have been No Drug Kingpins Or Gangs In The True Story

snitch 2013 dwayne johnson poster

Probably the most outstanding scenes in Snitch is within the closing peak of the film, when the cartel kingpin realizes that John is an informant, main them to an explosive freeway chase and shootout. This scene reveals off a gorgeous piece of cinematography, and The Rock is proven from above within the aftermath of the shootout, injured however alive. Sadly, the ending of Snitch is way completely different from the actual occasion, which was extra of a fizzle than a pop. James Settembrino’s solely expertise of efficiently shopping for medicine was, in reality, a staged act, and there have been no violent acts or weapons concerned. There have been actually no drug cartels or shootouts.

James Settembrino Did not Go Into Witness Safety With His Household

Dwayne Johnson goes undercover in Snitch

The penultimate scenes of Snitch present John Matthews watching the press convention of the DA from the sidelines, on crutches, nonetheless battered and bruised from the shootout. He leaves behind the reward cash for Daniel and is there for Jason’s launch from jail earlier than the household leaves and enters the witness safety program. In actual life, James Settembrino didn’t enter witness safety, nor did his household. In contrast to his fictional counterpart, James didn’t injure or kill anybody, and his interactions with different criminals had been fairly uneventful.

Snitch’s Character Daniel Would not Exist In Actual Life

jon bernthal playing daniel in snitch 2013

In Snitch, John Matthews sources the assistance of an worker of his, Daniel James (Jon Bernthal in one in all his greatest films). Daniel has two prior convictions for distribution and is on his third strike with the regulation. John Matthews presents Daniel $20,000 in change for being launched to a drug supplier, and Daniel introduces him to Malik. Regardless of initially not realizing John was an informant, Daniel works with John all through the movie, helping in getting each of their households into hiding, and fights alongside him within the closing shootout.

In actual life, the character of Daniel didn’t exist. The one confederate James Settembrino had that was just like Daniel was the previous New York contact who helped arrange the deliberate arrest. James additionally solely had common contact with drug customers, as a consequence of his issue with getting drug sellers to belief him. Whereas the actual story of James Settembrino was attention-grabbing in and of itself, Snitch made the proper determination in upping the stakes and making the story extra thrilling for a Hollywood film.

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