As a child, Eddie Santiago grows up on the mean streets of his Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago, where he witnesses his father's murder. Now in his thirties, after serving ten years in a state penitentiary, Eddie is coming home. With prison behind him, Eddie plans to seek refuge in Miami Beach. But new trouble begins when Eddie and his old friend/gangster Little Tony are pulled over by two cops, who rob Eddie of his money belt, which contains his life savings. Convinced it was a set-up, Eddie is determined to recover what is rightfully his, all the while trying to reform his childhood friend.
Along the way, Eddie falls for a Mexican beauty with a past she is trying to escape. But his romance is almost cut short when he is dragged into a drug war, becomes a murder suspect, and is forced to participate in an ill-conceived casino heist.