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It was then that the Kansas Attorney General's Office came knocking. They'd heard about Glazer's exploits in Arizona and wanted his help as an undercover narcotics agent. (This part of the story checks out; Glazer worked under Kansas Attorney General Vern Miller, who at the time was ramping up drug busts to build his résumé before a run for governor.) Glazer, 20 years old at the time, has claimed that he was the nation's youngest special agent.
In typical action-movie fashion, Glazer recruited his old partner, Woodbeck, to assist him. Quickly, the lines of legality blurred, dubious tactics were employed, and Glazer and Woodbeck were eventually arrested for trying to frame two men on a coke buy at a motel in Merriam. Glazer has always insisted that he and Woodbeck were the ones who got framed, but they were both convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Glazer appealed and was eventually given probation instead of jail time.
Around this time, Glazer began working at his father's restaurant, Stanford and Sons. The place had become one of KC's hot spots, and Glazer liked the glamour. He didn't like the grunt work, though.
"In the late '70s, I was the Kansas City Tony Manero, John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever," he writes in The King of Sting. "By day working seventy hours a week at a dead-end job at my father's restaurant, by night enjoying a life of rotating disco balls and rotating girlfriends."
When his probation ended, Glazer decided that it was time to make a movie based on his adventures. He put together a treatment for his life story — he was 28 at the time — and fired it off to hundreds of Hollywood agents. One agent bit, and in 1981 Glazer successfully optioned his story to CBS Theatrical Films for $300,000. He tracked down Woodbeck, and the two went off to conquer Hollywood.
"I first crossed paths with Craig sometime in the early '80s," said Sal Manna, a former journalist who later co-wrote The King of Sting.
"He was trying to be a Hollywood player, is how I'd describe Craig in those years. He was really going for it. He was involved with writers, producers, directors, actors — trying to get into the movie industry just like many thousands of others."
Not everyone found his story charming. In a 1981 Kansas City Times editorial, Arthur Brisbane criticized Glazer's sting tales: "However entertaining this Robin Hood movie might be, though, it might be a better idea to make a movie about Glazer's exploits after the Robin Hood period. Wouldn't it be more interesting to learn how Glazer, working as an undercover officer for the state of Kansas in 1974, managed to frame two black men even as his sidekick Woodbeck was caught literally holding the bag? That's a much more interesting story, and it's certifiably true, as numerous court hearings will attest."
Dan York, a vice president of production at Universal Pictures during Glazer's swashbuckling Hollywood days, said, "Craig pitched me this Outlaws story, which I related to because I grew up in South Texas and was familiar with the strange phenomenon of high school buddies getting involved in the pot-smuggling trade in Mexico. ... I had a friend in high school who was shotgunned on the road for getting involved in Mexican gang stuff. So I knew this type of stuff happened, that there was still this kind of Wild West in America. But these New York and L.A. guys just weren't buying it."