Jeff is a journalist by trade and has covered stories around the world including the war in Ukraine, where he reported from the frontline in 2022 in Kharkiv and Mykolaiv under constant Russian shelling.
Previously, he reported in London for the UK national press. Jeff wrote mostly for the Fleet Street tabloids, specialising in areas including politics and crime. He once lived in a council flat in Hackney, where his live-in landlord, a retired gangster, was a good source of stories.
Jeff’s stint in the British capital followed several years in Latin America. He reported across the region from 2008 to 2011 for publications including The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph (UK) and the CS Monitor. He covered stories including a Dirty War trial in Argentina, a supposed plot to assassinate then Bolivian president Evo Morales, presidential elections in Uruguay and the Drug War in Colombia. In the latter country, he interviewed Pablo Escobar’s top assassin the late Jhon Jairo Velásquez, known in the narco world as ‘Popeye’.
Jeff was primarily based in Venezuela, where he reported on the social upheaval in the South American country amid the Hugo Chavez presidency. He covered the crisis as a special correspondent for U.S. publications The Miami Herald and the CS Monitor. Jeff reported on stories including food rationing, street protests and soaring crime.
He also investigated the prison crisis, visiting jails run by warring gangs armed with machine guns and grenades. He turned one story into a book — The Cocaine Diaries: A Venezuelan Prison Nightmare, the true story of an Irish drug smuggler, which has been dramatised for the National Geographic Channel.
Jeff drew on his experiences in Venezuela — which included having a gun pointed at his head in a hold-up in Caracas — to write his debut crime thriller Bad Blood, the first novel in a trilogy.