“Twenty Bucks Says…”

I’ve never done meth but the look on this guy’s face is exactly what I would expect once he realized what he had tweaked himself into.

According to the Smoking Gun referenced below, Mr. Kelly, Doug to his friends, called the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Florida (of course) because he thought his methamphetamine dealer, lets call him Kevin, sold him some bad shit. He called the cops after having a bad reaction to his score and wanted his stash tested to make sure it wasn’t something dangerous…that’s something more dangerous than methamphetamines… Kelly is forty-nine years old. At his age, a strong cup of coffee could make his heart explode…

I doubt this is in any way how the real story went down but if it were me; this is how I would want to tell it once we started sharing war stories at the bar.

Detectives Penhall and Hanson (Names changed to protect the innocent) were in the office cleaning up some reports when the phone rang. Penhall picked it up,

“Narcotics, Penhall?” the call was from dispatch. Penhall listened for almost thirty seconds before laughing, “Oh absolutely put him through,” He picked up a paper clip and threw it at Hanson.

Hanson looked up about to say, “What the fuck?” but Penhall had his index finger to his lips.

Penhall put the desk phone on speaker, “This is Detective Doug Penhall, how can I help you?”

The caller’s breath was clipped and heavy in the phone, “Uhh, yeah, uhh, can you guys help me? I’m not feelin too good, I think my guy screwed me,”

“What do you mean Sir?”

“I bought some crank from him last week, I think he gave me some bad shit, Flacca maybe. My freakin heart is beating like crazy,”

Penhall bounces his eyebrows toward Hanson who immediately threw crossed forearms over his chest. Penhall’s eyebrows scrunched as he put the guy on mute, “What?”

Hanson jabbed his finger at the phone, “Twenty bucks says you can’t talk that guy into bringing his shit to us,” he slid back in his chair to relish in the challenge.

“Fifty says I can,” Penhall shot back, grinning. He took the phone off mute, “That’s not good Sir, that Flacca is nothing to mess with. How much have you done?”

“Umm, only one quick hit. I knew it was off, now I can’t freaking keep my hands from shaking,”

“How much you got left?”

“Couple ounces,”

“It’s a good thing you called; we’ve been having trouble with some bad reactions lately. You should really get that stuff checked out. I got a test right here. I don’t mind doing it, better safe than sorry,”

The caller sighed, “That’d be real cool of you man,”

“Yeah, I’m right downtown, you know how to get here?”

“I do,” the caller sounded excited to answer the question correctly.

“Great, what’s your name so I can come down and meet you,”

The caller paused, “Uh, well, I don’t know if I should give you my name,”

“Why not?”

“Cause I’m talking about drugs with you…um,”

Hanson was grinning, flapping his hands together like he was making it rain.

Penhall shot him the finger.

“Oh that,” he said, “Don’t worry about that I don’t need your name, just ask for me when you get here,”

Another pause, “Uh-okay,”

“Ok, you good to drive?”

“My mom said she’d drive me,” Penhall had to gulp air to keep from losing it, “That’s a great lady right there, Sir,”

“She is,”

“Ok, you on your way,”

“Be there in a little while,”

When the line went dead Penhall stood and took a bow before holding out his waiting hand palm up.

“He’s not here yet,” warned Hanson.

“Money in the bank,” said Penhall.

“You really think some dipshit, even that one, or his mom is going to deliver us a couple of ounces of meth?”

Penhall interlocked his fingers behind his head and leaned back in his chair, “I do, he will,” he said confidently.

“Better be good for it,”

They had paperwork to finish but all the expectant, and or suspicious, cops did for the next twenty-five minutes was watch the cheap clock hanging over the door to the squad bay. When the phone rang Hanson leaped at it, but Penhall was faster, “Just not your day bro,” he quipped, “this is Penhall,” he listened, “Yeah Sarge, I’ll be right down,” Penhall hung up the phone then spun gracefully in his chair to face his partner, “You need to stop at the ATM on the way down?” he asked.

Hanson was smiling now too, “Let’s see what we got,”

In the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office Penhall and Hanson found a middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair and shifty feet looking around like a prairie dog popping out of his hole to check for hawks.

“He’s gonna bolt,” said Hanson.

“He still brought it,”

“Deals not done until it’s in your hands,”

“Deals done,” Penhall smiled broadly, “Sir, you the one that needed our help?” he asked.

“You Penhall,” the guy’s pupils were big as saucers and his eyes darted back and forth between the two detectives like he was watching the fastest ping pong game in history.

“I am, lets go back and see if we can’t figure out what you’ve got,”

Penhall started leading the man back to the office.

“Where’s mom?” asked Hanson drawing a low growl from his partner.

The guy looked at him suspiciously.

Too late for second thoughts now, numnuts, Hanson kept that comment to himself.

“Waiting in the car,” he finally said.

“Smart, I’m Tom,” Hanson stuck out his hand.

Eyes darted again, “Doug,”

The two shook hands and left the lobby for the Narcotics Unit office space. Once inside Penhall motioned for Doug to take a seat. Hanson went to his go-bag and pulled out a box of methamphetamine field kits. Doug watched them closely as he withdrew a crumpled-up wad of tin foil from his pants. He handed it to Penhall and Hanson realized he was fifty bucks poorer, but also extremely entertained. Penhall stared at his partner as he placed the foil on the desk in front of him,

“Detective Hanson will do the honors,” Penhall held an odd, Joker-esque, sneer as he spoke.

Hanson opened the foil to reveal a clear plastic bag with a little less than a cup of white powder. He took a tiny sample and dropped it in the plastic test pouch. One by one he broke three glass ampules releasing chemicals to mix with the dope. The contents of the pouch turned blue as the liquid reacted with the Amines present in the meth.

Penhall couldn’t resist, “It’s a boy,” he cheered.

“Its not Flacca?” asked Doug.

“No, it’s a felony,”

Doug blinked, “A what?” he asked, a tone of sobriety calming his features,”

Hanson pulled his cuffs from his back pocket, and held them out to Doug, “It’s a felony Doug, better call your mom, turns out you’re not going to need a ride home,”

“Fffuuu…” he stuttered.

“Yep,” answered Penhall, smiling as Hanson slid a fifty across his waiting palm.

Reference:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/dumbass/man-seeks-meth-test-563914

The Mature Blue Stilton, Worth Going to Jail for…

This is almost as bad as when a fugitive falls for the old, “You won a radio contest gag,” which, by the way, I am proud to say I pulled off in the far distant past. But that’s another story for probably never so moving on.

When we look at this story there are a couple of things that stand out. The first being complacency. Complacency is a real concern for anyone working in an operational capacity. Whether undercover protecting an alias, a diplomat working abroad, or even yes, a drug dealer.

Operational Security is the same regardless of what side of the game board you’re on. If you’re on the side of government, law enforcement or intelligence, OPSEC is drilled into your thick skull almost before the ink is dry on your appointment letter.

I guess if you’re a dealer you don’t get that kind of formal education, more of an on-the-job training situation. The story here shows Mr. Stewart, that’s the guy, was wise enough to keep his comms out of the public air, via an encrypted chat service, but became so comfortable in the digital shadows that he thought casually discussing his favorite cheeses on the platform wouldn’t put him at risk. That’s where complacency lies, when things get a little too comfortable. Complacency kills, as the saying goes, or at least in this case it costs you, a lot…like a decade of your life lot.

My question in this whole thing isn’t how the authorities got his prints off the photo. That’s been done. A couple of photo filters, adjust the gradient, sprinkle in a little contrast, and BAM! Forensics. My question is context. This was not a solitary, random post about a cheese no one has ever heard of (or maybe I’m not enough of a connoisseur). This strikes me as the secret squirrel equivalent of taking food selfies. Or maybe he was hosting an underworld dinner party that night and wanted to check with Ecstasy Erica, his MDMA source, to make sure she wasn’t averse to the Mature Blue Stilton. Perhaps he had already had so much trouble with Heroin Karen over her gluten allergy that he was sick of it and decided to run the menu by everyone- menu mystery be damned! Problem was Erica had no idea what the Blue Stilton was and when overwhelmed with frustration he sent her a photo.

“Here!” he could be heard bellowing through the grocery, “It’s a God-Damned cheese! Uncultured heathens…I swear!”

That’s probably not how it happened. But the story seemed more fun this way.

Reference:

Liverpool man latest to be jailed as part of national Operation Venetic | Merseyside Police

You Remember to Ditch the Gun, but Forget the Weed Up Your Ass?

You are a thirteen-time felon by the age of twenty-seven.

You shoot yourself in the junk.

Despite the pain and shock you are cognizant enough to have your girl ditch the gun.

But you forget about the bag of weed up your ass?

The report said Cam, Cameron Wilson but we’ll call him Cam, shot himself through the testicles. If that is true, Cameron Wilson might be the world champion of pain tolerance. As in, “You’ve suffered enough bud, maybe the judge should let you walk on this one.” If he just put one through the bag though, this is incredibly irresponsible journalism.

Here let’s not worry about trajectory, damage, etc. Let’s consider whether or not Mr. Wilson, knew he had weed up his ass when they were prepping him for surgery. If you’ve ever had surgery, you get all those forms and questions before they put you down. The nurse standing over you,

“When was the last time you ate?”

“When was your last bowel movement?”  and on and on.

I’m no expert on smuggling via asshole, but I have to imagine that at some point before the lights went out Cam realized the bag of weed was up there. Maybe the initial adrenaline, fear, and pain might have let things slip his mind in the moment but at some point Wilson remembered where he put his weed. And he must’ve made the decision: I’ve got this, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. Its already up there anyway.

Then they start pushing the meds and the world turns into cupcakes and unicorns.

“I’ve got this,” he giggles without realizing he spoke out loud.

The nurse administering the medication responds, “Yeah, you’ve got this,” trying to be helpful while thinking, this num nuts sterilizing himself is probably the best thing to happen to Wenatchee in the last year.

Cam realizes just as they push the, anesthesia meds, “Wait, did I say tha…?” Snore.

In the blink of an eye Cameron wakes back up. Everything is blurry but he feels awesome. He slurs, “Knew they’d never find it,”

A guy in a dark blue uniform and a broad mustache leans into his field of view. He’s a little blurry too but Cam can see the badge and a Ziplock bag he’s holding up for him. It contains another smaller, dark colored plastic bag,

“Find what, find this?” he asks. The cop gives the bag a little shake for emphasis, “Don’t worry, you’re all cleaned out kid, found the meth in the car too. Lucky fourteen bud. You sit tight,”

“Fuck,” Cam slurs, again not realizing he’s actually talking.

The cop doesn’t miss a beat, “Not with that junk you’re not,”

Reference:

Trouble snowballs for man who shot himself | News | wenatcheeworld.com

How high do you have to be to steal an ambulance?

There is a guy in Houston, Texas who needed a taco- a Jack in The Box taco no less- so bad he was willing to steal an ambulance to get it.

I ask, how high do you have to be to steal an ambulance because: A-Jack In The Box tacos aren’t that great, B-there’s no upside to stealing an ambulance. They’re not fast, or fun to drive, they’re not fun to hang out in, and they’re really easy to spot when the police come looking. I don’t know if this dude was high or not, I’m making all this up, but an exciting end to a monumental bender seems like a possibility.

So here we are, the ambulance arrives on scene. The report didn’t say what the call was for but I’m going to say it was a life alert call because the ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ commercials are hilarious to me.  The ambulance pulls to the the curb and Renaldo Leonard, that’s him, age 36, is sitting on the porch across the street. Renaldo and two of his friends, Maxie, and Ray have been rotating between playing Xbox and smoking weed since around two o’clock in the afternoon. It’s now almost eleven at night. The guys ran out of weed around nine. They tried to call their boy Brad for a re-up but Brad was out because he’s a junior in high school and tonight was prom. Maxie’s cousin Tieg had an ounce he would sell him but he was on lockdown. Tieg sold to an undercover cop and was under house arrest after pleading to Possession with Intent to Distribute and his mom wouldn’t let him leave the house with the tracker on his ankle. She thought if he went outside they’d come and lock him up for real.

Renaldo was zoning out watching the red, spinning lights on the roof of the ambulance when Maxie slammed his phone down,

“Fuck!” he yelled.

                The expletive shook Renaldo out of his fugue, “What?” he slurred.

                “Fuckin Tieg got some but he won’t leave the house. He’s under house arrest,”

                “Don’t look at me,” Ray said, “My ride got repo’d last week,”

                “I got no ride, and I ain’t ridin a bike all the way to Whitmer,” Whitmer was the street Tieg lived on ten blocks away.

                Renaldo had slipped back into a trance watching the lights on the ambulance. He heard Ray and Maxie talking about Tieg. He knew Tieg, and he wanted some more smoke. He didn’t have a car, and his mom was at work so her car was gone too.

                Renaldo stepped off the porch and had to pause for a minute to keep his legs under him. After a moment he started toward the ambulance.

                “Where you goin?” Ray called from the stoop.

                Renaldo heard him but he was too focused on the flashing red lights. A medic ran out of the house and grabbed a bag out of the back as Renaldo crossed the street. He didn’t break stride as the medic hurried back inside with whatever was in the bag. The ambulance was idling as he jumped in the driver seat. He didn’t even look at the house where the paramedics were treating someone. Nobody was looking his way. No one but Ray and Maxie that is,

                “What the fuck are you doing?” yelled  Maxie.

                Renaldo lowered the window, “I’ll be back,” he told them, he dropped the truck into gear and stood on the gas. The ambulance was a beast and it accelerated with all the verve of a sea slug. He was moving though, and he really wanted another smoke. He headed out of the neighborhood and pulled onto the main thoroughfare. He blended with traffic but everybody on the road slowed down and pulled over as he came up behind them. It was trippy but Renaldo didn’t have to wait for anybody. He was gonna be at Tieg’s and back in only a couple of minutes. Then he saw a Jack in the Box coming up on his right. Suddenly all thoughts of more weed were gone and he was rolling up to the drive thru. Renaldo pulled to a stop at the order box and when he shifted in his seat to lean toward the microphone his elbow bumped the center console and suddenly the ambulance was screaming, it’s high pitched whine filling the air.

                “Shit,” he swore as a voice called from the ordering box,

                “Welcome to Jack In the Box, how can I help you?” a woman asked.

                “Taco,” Renaldo said to himself as he tried to focus on the menu.

                “I’m sorry I didn’t catch that, is that a siren?”

                “A taco, three tacos,” said Renaldo.

                “I’m sorry you cut out,” the girl on the other side of the order box said.

                Renaldo looked for the switch for the siren but only succeeded in finding the button that  made the thing do a, WHOOP! WHOOP!

                “Shit!” Renaldo bellowed.

                The girl on the other end of the call giggled,

                “Come on!” Renaldo was exasperated.

                “He said he wanted a taco!” Renaldo’s head snapped around to find a blinding white light in his face. Beyond the light he saw a silver badge gleaming in the lights of the drive through. The officer lowered his flashlight and Renaldo recognized a wide smile on the cop’s face. Well that and the gun pointed at him. There was another cop on the passenger side of the ambulance too. The policeman held up his free hand. He put three fingers up, “that was three tacos right?” he asked.

                The drive thru girl didn’t miss a beat, “Three J-I-B tacos, anything to drink with that?”

                The responding officers let Renaldo have the tacos, and even let him eat before taking him in (that’s what I would have done anyway), but Renaldo never made it to Tieg’s place.

NOTE: I probably wouldn’t have put myself in front of a multi-ton vehicle when approaching a felony suspect in the drivers seat of a stolen ambulance, but I thought it sounded funnier if I sacrificed tactics for art.

My blog, I can do what I want.

The Great Irish Birdseed Caper

That’s right, a trio of geniuses in Limerick, Ireland knocked off an armored truck and all they had t show for it was a bag of birdseed.

This story brings to mind one immediate question: Who do you think got their ass kicked for this?

According to the article, there were a minimum of three dudes on this job. So, was it the guy who planned this shit show or the guy that mistook birdseed for a cash transport bag that got punched first?

When I walk through this one, I have to start with the stakeout. Let’s give them credit enough to stalk the armored car, learn its routes, maybe time its stops? Clearly, we can’t say that they paid a whole lot of attention to what the money bags looked like. Unless the brand of birdseed was so cool the bags resembled locking, security laden, reinforced cash transport bags (some how I doubt it though).

Anyway, lets put the three of our robbers in the car, a white Skoda sedan, since we’re in Ireland. Thad is the getaway driver, Kev is the bag man, Liam is the leader, and on overwatch. According to the article Kev used an ‘implement’ to subdue the armored car guy. What the hell do they mean by implement? Like a crowbar or something? If it was a crowbar why didn’t the journalist just say they used a crowbar to smack the security guard and make off with the loot? Another stray thought I had on this was how is it after all of Ireland’s ‘troubles’ in the seventies and eighties they don’t have more guns lying around?

Liam is driving Kev and Thad bonkers. He keeps calling out stops and times that he armored car is making along its route.

                “Nine oh five, bank on Smythe,”

                Then…

                “Nine ten, petrol station, Glenhadden,”

                And…

                “Nine fifteen, Western Union, Waller street,”

                Liam’s foot is tapping a staccato on the floorboards of the Skoda.

                Thad’s too afraid to say anything to Liam about the toe-tapping. This is his first gig with these guys, and he doesn’t want to mess up his big break. He concentrates instead on checking his mirrors for the cops. Thad jumps in his seat when Kev finally blurts out,

                “For fuck sake Liam. We know the fuckin route, the schedule, the whole things, shut it man!”

                At least Kev got the toe-tapping to stop.

                “You just watch your lip Kev,” Liam snaps back, “This is serious shit, every detail down to the hair on your arse’s gotta be perfect,”

                “Perfect this,” says Kev waving Liam the finger, “I know the job,”

                “You better,” states Liam flatly.

                “Clear off,”

                Thad straightens in his seat, “Boys, boy’s!”

                The armored truck is rounding the corner. The next stop on its route is a bank located in a strip mall. It sits between a discount store and a shoe store.

                “I told ya!” exclaims Liam, “Right on time,”

                Kev doesn’t say anything, he’s focused. He’s got plans for the money, and it’s so close now. The vision of himself rocking a new gold watch with a diamond encrusted face the size of his head. Rolling through Fitzpatrick’s Casino in Limerick like a whale.

                The armored truck rolls to a stop between the discount store and the bank. Thad, Liam, and Kev sitting thirty feet away in the front row of the parking lot.

                “Here we go,” says Liam.

                Liam and Kev exit the Skoda while one of the guards waddles his way from the passenger seat and down to the pavement. He’s older, with a brown mustache. The guard’s blue uniform is oversized, even for his pot belly. The guard straightens his uniform cap before shuffling around the back of the truck. Kev takes the rear while Liam rounds the front to keep an eye on the driver. Kev has a little further to go than Liam and when he makes his way to the rear fender the last person, he expects to find is the mustachioed guard walking right toward him, a canvas bag in his hand. The two almost run into each other.

“Ahhh!” screams Kev with the genuine inflection of a six-year-old girl.

                The excitation takes the old guard by surprise too. He screams the same way, “Ahhh!”

                Kev rips the crowbar from his jacket and bashes the wide-eyed guard over the head. As the guard stumbles back, Kev snatches the bag from his hand,

                “Let’s go!” he yells only a decibel under the scream he let fly a moment before.

                Liam follows and Thad pulls the Skoda out, its tires squealing. Thad pops the boot and Kev throws the bag in the dark compartment before jumping in the back seat.

                “Move!” Liam barks and the three thieves roar out of the parking lot.

                Twenty minutes later the Skoda pulls into a garage on the other side of Limerick.

                “Whew, that was flawless boys. I told ya! I told ya we couldn’t lose!”

                “Yeah, you said it alright,” comments Kev.

                Thad had heard them but was more interest in seeing the money. He curled around the boot and popped the latch with the key fob. His hands shaking as he lifts the lid.

                “Huh?” he utters. The boot is full of…dust? Thad had checked the whole car himself before they took off for the job. The compartment had been spotless. Thad reaches in and grabs some of the…birdseed?

                “What’s that?” Liam pushes passed him and reaches for the bag. He freezes as his hand reaches the bag. Instead of finding strapped bills filling the canvas bag he retracts his hand to reveal a fist full of birdseed.

                Thad, Liam, and Kev watch as a long sad stream of birdseed sifts from Liam’s hand like sand from an hourglass.

As I write this I kind of don’t want to say who his who first. Instead of a beat down, I like to think Kev and Liam just go at it in a rolling throwdown like when Peter fights the giant Chicken in Family Guy. When it’s all over I have to end it with the three of them standing together watching the Skoda go up in flames. These criminal masterminds have seen every episode of CSI (every flavor, even Miami) and know that they have to burn the getaway car to throw the cops off their trail. Kev has a split lip, and one of Liam’s eyes are swollen shut. Thad is holding an empty gas can wondering when he can get away from the other two without it being awkward. From the boot random bits of birdseed pop every now and then like popcorn.

The article notes that the guard had stopped at the discount store next to the bank to buy some birdseed in between stops. Kev apparently stumbled into him after the discount store but before the bank. I can’t say this enough. I love dumb criminals.

We’ll just leave it at that.

Three men arrested in probe into cash-in-transit robbery where bird seed was stolen instead of cash – Independent.ie