Chapter 2: The Ground Beneath
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 14:10
Yasser Shaikh, a senior majoring in biotechnology, will provide The Spectrum with a chapter from his fiction story that depicts the life of a college senior law student who happens to get involved in a Mexican mafia drug cartel and soon finds himself running from the cops. This is chapter one, “The Rising.”
Chapter 2: The Ground Beneath
New York City, 12 hours ago
“Norris,” the man said in his best American accent. Drug Enforcement Officers usually never used their real names on phone, but the Englishman preferred to avoid the code words when talking to friends, especially if the friend is a police officer calling at 11:30 p.m.
There must be something important, something that could not really wait.
“Hey it’s James,” James said as soon as he could catch his breath. He still felt nauseous. “We need to meet.”
Norris had been long in the field as an agent and realized that the call has to be about a drug related crime. This was not a welfare check. He replied, “I’m on the field. Can’t meet. Talk!”
“I was called in to investigate a dumped body on east 13th St. a while ago. I am here.” He didn’t know how to put it, because he was on an unsecured line and cutting the chain of command. Norris interrupted, “Faster. I haven’t got time for too much info. What do you want?”
“187 with possible north involvement. eMe is back,” this was best James could manage. He just let Norris know that there was a homicide involving Narcotics and the dreaded eMe was back to New York.
“Call me back when you got a name on the John Doe, because I’m assuming you have seen a tattoo on the body, which means there are no personal effects on the guy now, not even clothes I’m guessing. In the meanwhile I will see what I can do.”
With that Special Agent Howard C. Norris hung up. He had been in the DEA 20 years now and turned down two promotions. He loved field job, and nobody was complaining. He was the best DEA agent in town and had taken down the Columbian Cartels single-handedly last year. He was a hero for the DEA. Norris was successful because he had inside information from young officers in NYPD. He always made friends with new recruits in NYPD. “Catch them while they are still fresh and non-corrupt,” he said to his friends.
James Monroe was 28 and been out in the force only three years now. His father was a Navy SEAL. Norris knew this man would go down fighting and not be sold.
It was still an hour until rendezvous time, so Norris decided to do his own personal investigation in the case. He dialed his liaison, “Agent 54708, DEA. I need a name.” The officer on the other end recognized the voice. “I’m listening.”
“It’s a 10-69 north on east 13th St.” The non-specific mention of the crime was to avoid giving out his sources. “Alright, I’ll have it in three hours.”
The field officer Gunther hung up the phone and turned on his police scanner radio in the closet of his safe house. He could hear a lot of chatter and squawking. “11-44 … Need the coroner.”
“Copy that, stand by. They are on their way.”
Gunther knew they would take the body to NYU Medical center on 502 First Avenue for autopsy. He picked up his phone and dialed the short code. The line took a few seconds to encrypt the call.
“This is Carbon 72. Need infiltration for ID extraction at 502 First Avenue. Send ID to code 1917. The subject will be brought in within 20 minutes.” That was all he needed to relay. He knew the coroner would take six minutes to reach and six minutes to be back. And they would load the body in another five minutes. All he had to do was wait for the call.
The infiltrator was an ex-marine, who was drafted into the CIA a couple years ago, but the chain of secrecy had him shuttled through so many departments, he forgot which three-letter organization he worked for. After a while they all blurred to look the same.
Johnny Brown was there on time. He parked in the spot of the officer Mornick, as he knew the guy was already done for the day. He quickly moved up to the elevator and once on the sixth floor, he went into one of the janitorial closets to change. Johnny was wearing scrubs and masks when he got out. He knew that after the body is brought in, the medical examiner usually took an hour to fill the paper work. That was one part of his job he loved. No paperwork, just work.
Johnny grabbed his pouch and started recording fingerprints of the toes and fingers, without even looking at the face of the lad. He finally took off the cloth from the face and took a few pictures. Within no time, he was done and out. No one would ever know he was there.
He got back to his car and turned on the portable scanner. He transmitted the fingerprints and the photo back to HQ and called in to check for reception. His job here was done.
Gunther got a call in an hour, “Subject is Edmundo Perez. 4’10” Hispanic. Illegal immigrant from El Salvador. Small time thug.”
Gunther was taking notes. “Any known family?”
The caller replied, “A brother, Eduardo Perez. Legally married to a citizen. Whereabouts unknown. Possible connection to arms and drugs.”
The caller hung up. Gunther dialed back to Norris. He relayed the information he had heard from the HQ and hung up. Norris knew his rendezvous was not showing up, as it was 30 minutes past his ETA. He decided to abort the mission and return to base.
He called in his recon and while he was waiting, he thought he could do some background on the info he had. He picked up the cell phone and dialed his friend in the FBI, Jeremy Watson.
“Hello, Norris here. I need an all-points on one Eduardo Perez. I need it within 24 hours. And I need an eye on him ASAP.”
Jeremy cut the call without even responding. He had a job to do.