Lee Pitts: Drug Lords
He walked into the dump of a diner the regulars called “Aphids Place” and quickly surveyed the landscape. There were only six tables with six more seats at a dirty counter. He was there because an anonymous snitch said a major drug deal would be going down. The undercover cop quickly saw the suspected perps sitting in a booth tucked away in the back near the kitchen door.
It was a seedy hole in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the milk and meth capital of the world. The cop had been in hundreds of such places, the kind frequented in early mornings by truck drivers, farmers, ranchers, and heavy equipment operators. He must admit, the druggies fit right in. Sitting on one side of the table was a man in his twenties, wearing a dirty, sweat-stained straw hat, cheap jeans he probably bought off the clearance rack at Target and a tee shirt that was frayed at the collar and on the front showed a funny car at the Famoso Drag strip with flames roaring from its fenders. Colorful tattoos peaked from beneath his shirt.
On the opposite side of the table sat a man and a woman who appeared to be married. Maybe, or maybe not, to each other. He wore a ball cap, long sleeve shirt and boots that had never felt a shoeshine. She was a fairly attractive woman who wore sunglasses rimmed in rhinestones with gaudy turquoise surrounding her wrists. Admittedly, not your typical looking crackhead but the deadly addiction attracts all kinds. Now they were all three trapped in the tight grasp of a worldwide cartel that sold premedicated murder.
The narco cop took a seat at the far end of the counter with his back to the drug buyers. It was as close as he could get without sitting in their laps. He placed an innocent looking pen on the greasy counter, clicked the directional microphone on and aimed it in their direction.
They spoke in hushed tones but he knew he’d hit pay dirt when the talk turned to “how good the grass was” and how they “sure had to have a lot more of it.”
“So when will the guy be here with the drugs?” asked the nervous young man.
“Hopefully any minute,” said the older man. “He’s been acting really strange lately and won’t answer my calls ever since the feds got something called a VFD to clamp down on all the drug dealers.”
“But he’s got the stuff, right? Cause I gotta have it,” said the young dude.
“Yeah, he’s trying to put the arm on me and says this will be the last of the really good stuff because the feds are breathing down the lab’s neck.”
“Right” said the young man, “I bet it was made in some Mexican lab.”
“Or in China,” chimed in the lady buyer, “Isn’t it just like them to get you hooked (inaudible static when the waitress filled their coffee cups… ) when you really need it all of a sudden they don’t have it?”
“This is getting too complicated,” the husband said. “I liked it better before the fed’s started shutting down the small town dealers and the drugs were easier to get.”
Just then the drug dealer walked in, saw his customers and collapsed into a chair. He fit the profile, being about 40, wearing dirty overalls with one sleeve cut off and smelling like decaying flesh. He wore a ball cap with some kind of weird snake and V design on it, probably the insignia of some new gang, thought the undercover cop.
“Got the stuff,” asked the older man.
“Yeah it’s out in the truck,” murmured the dealer.
That’s all the cop needed. He swung on his stool, flashed his gun and his badge at the speechless perps, read them their rights, tied them up with plastic ties that cash strapped police forces are using for handcuffs these days, patted them down, called for backup and started the druggies on the perp walk out to his unmarked unit.
Despite their cries of innocence they were booked into the crossbar hotel and allowed one phone call each. The married man called a bail bondsman, his wife called a lawyer and the young dude called his wife and said, “Honey, you aren’t going to believe where I am.” The drug dealer called a customer to reschedule a drop-off for 100 doses of something known on the street as LA 200.