|Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 24, 2009||Chapters:||...60 61 -62- 63...|
The Federal Government joins the investigation
A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind
God Help Us, It's The Feds!
by S. Pumpkin
Sexually abused as a child Valerie grows into an adult with severe psychologial problems. Diagnosed with breast cancer she is forced to move in with her mother. Working for the police as a CI she fi
"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Within a week, Mike introduced me to Dale, a Special Agent with the U.S. Treasury Department. Apparently, I had gathered so much evidence that the local police showed it to the Feds, who were more than impressed with my work. The information I gathered was enough to create a solid federal case of racketeering against Jack and Sue, and Al and Mary.
Acting like he had just met Princes Diana, Dale grabbed my hand and holding it like a vise, shook it for several seconds, literally cutting off the circulation. Grinning from ear to ear, Dale giggled and told me I was amazing.
Despite the compliment, I took an instant dislike to Dale. Something about him made me nervous. He clearly liked to hear himself talk and made a point of telling me in great detail how important he was. After listening to him brag about every case he had ever worked on, I came to the conclusion he was nothing more than a glorified accountant with a badge. I simply could not warm up to him. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to pick and choose whom I worked with.
Despite my dislike of Dale, there were advantages to working with the Feds. They had more resources, a larger budget, and, most important of all, they had all the fun little gadgets an undercover operative gets to use.
Mike got a temporary promotion to U.S. Marshall, giving him greater authority. As a Vice Detective, he only had authority within Seattle city limits, but, as a U.S. Marshall, he could arrest anyone anywhere and he could work with other agencies without going through the usual bureaucratic red tape. He was like a little kid at Christmas. He couldn’t wait to get his new gold badge.
Mike and Dale began wiring me before I went to work. Unlike Sue, who was secretive and cautious, Mary loved to talk. Within the first week, she unwittingly gave me important information on Jack and Sue’s financial dealings, where they banked and how much money they sent them every week. I wasn’t able to get her to tell me precisely where in Florida they lived, but I was able to get the number and address of Jack and Sue’s post office box from a FedEx envelope lying on the coffee table.
Whenever I was wired, both Mike and Dale were never far away. My tapes were useless and could never be used in court without their monitoring me the entire time I was wired.
One night, Mary and I were talking when she suddenly stopped in mid sentence and, pointing to my right shoulder, asked, “What the hell is that?”
The adhesive tape that held the microphone in place beneath my blouse had come loose and was poking up several inches above my collar. My heart skipped a beat, but without hesitating, I casually tucked the microphone back down where it belonged and said, “That’s part of the heart monitor I have to wear. It’s a pain in the ass. and I can’t even take it off at night when I go to bed.”
Mary accepted my absurd explanation without question. Later, when I met with Mike and Dale to give them the tape, they told me of their panic when they realized Mary had discovered the the microphone. Fearing for my safety, they had apparently grabbed their guns and got ready to come to my rescue.
Mike laughed and, pointing to Dale, said, "Dumbo here nearly shot me in the foot!"
Dale clearly did not find the remark amusing. I did and laughed uproariously along with Mike.
* * *
When I told Mike and Dale that Mary had scheduled a meeting at a local hotel with all the girls who worked for the service, they were ecstatic. The plan was for the police to photograph the girls as they entered the hotel and hopefully get their car license numbers too. We met thirty-minutes before the meeting and I was again wired for sound. After confirming the hotel and room number, I left and headed for the meeting.
When I arrived, Mary greeted me in the lobby. She handed me her camera and said, "I want you to take photographs of all the girls. This will help you when describing them to the client."
With considerable difficulty, I hid my excitement over my good fortune behind a nonchalant, "Sure. Sounds good to me."
The meeting went very well. Mary and the girls openly talked about sex and money. Some of the girls told stories about their favorite and most frightening calls. My heart was beating so hard I was afraid it would drown out the valuable information I was supposed to be recording. I took the photographs and at the end of the meeting was surprised when Mary removed the film from the camera and handed it to me.
"Could you have this developed for me and bring it to work with you tonight?"
Hiding my excitement, I smiled and said, "Sure. No problem."
When the meeting was over we all hugged and said goodbye. I drove to our designated meeting place but was surprised to discover no one was there. I waited thirty-minutes before finally paging Mike.
The pay phone rang once. Without bothering with formalities, I said, "Where the hell are you?"
Mike sounded upset. In the background I could hear Dale yelling.
Again, I asked him where he was.
"You are not going to believe this, but Dale ... Dumbo ... took us to the wrong hotel. We have 6 rolls of film of little old ladies going to a flower convention. I am so pissed I could shoot the idiot!"
I laughed and said, "Settle down. I have the pictures."
I told him about Mary asking me to photograph the girls and told him I would have duplicates made for the police.
As I hung up I could still hear Dale and Mike yelling at each other.
* * *
A few days later, I arrived at our designated meeting place and instead of wiring me as he had done before, Dale handed me a pager and said, “This is a recording device. All you have to do is turn it on and it will record everything for up to three hours.”
He handed me four batteries and said, “Here’s enough to keep the pager going for twelve hours.”
When I arrived at work that evening, I switched the pager on and placed it on the table beside my notepad.
Mary was in the middle of telling me about how she had met Jack and Sue when the pager suddenly went off. I looked at the read-out, but it was just a jumble of meaningless numbers. I quickly erased the call and told Sue it was probably Sarah calling to check on me.
With Sue sitting only inches from, me I couldn’t call Mike to ask why the pager had gone off. Instead, I dialed my home number and as soon as Mom answered I pressed the disconnect button. Holding the phone against my ear, I pretended to be waiting for someone to answer and after a few seconds hung up the phone.
Laughingly I told Sue, “Sarah must be calling from a pay phone that doesn’t allow incoming calls.”
A few minutes later, the pager began to beep again. I erased the number and told Sue, “Give her a few minutes and she’ll figure out I can’t call her at that number.”
The pager went off again. Seriously irritated I yelled, “Damn it, Sarah! Go to a different phone!”
Mary laughed and made a joke about the joy of motherhood.
Suddenly the phone rang. It was Mike.
“Turn the God Damn pager off. Apparently, Dumbo didn’t read the instructions properly and set the damn thing for automatic page. Clearly tonight is a bust so we are packing up and going home. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I hung up the phone and told Sue it was just a crank call. I turned off the pager and put it into my purse.
After Sue left the room, I called Mike on his cell phone and told him, “Dale is an idiot! You guys are going to get me shot if you don’t get your act together!”
“You right, he’s an idiot,” Mike concurred sheepishly.
Earned A Seal Of Quality
I had high praise for the Seattle Vice Department but to this day find the Fed's seriously lacking in professionalism. Dale was an idiot and on more than one occasion put me in serious jeopardy. No one liked him. Not even his co-workers.Pays one point and 2 member cents.
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