Tuesday morning there was a tough mood with the unknown hanging over us. We tried to stay positive, that sequester of all the trial participants would not be necessary. Helping Jenny load her extra bags in the car was an emotional chore. After a tearful goodbye, we headed different directions.
When I pulled out of the driveway, a DHS cruiser pulled out onto Summers Road from several driveways further down the road. They were so easy to spot; I didn’t see how they ever caught anyone.
As Patti and I backed into our parking spot we noticed an out of area police car and 2 local police cars in the visitor parking spots. As we disembarked the vehicle, so did they.
Each of them had two male students in handcuffs and escorted them into the building. I was lady enough to hold the door open for them, although I wondered what the heck was going on.
I separated the six so they would not be talking, until I found out what was going on.
C-town police Chief Dustin Banks introduced police chief Darrel Walls from Rock Heights (a neighboring town 20 miles away) and Chief Sammy Clarke from Kens Grove (another small town about the same distance in the opposite direction).
Each of the three chiefs followed me to my office and tossed 6 Maryland drivers licenses onto the counter, “Bogus – they used these to get into bars and liquor stores in each of our towns last night,” Banks said.
The picture on each one of the cards matched one of the students. I looked at the cards very carefully. They were well made with the pictures under the lamination and bar codes on the back with the state logo – like the real deal.
The thing that had caught my eye was the Centrex number and the way it was organized. They were not in the right order. They were in a code and I had seen it before.
When I was doing the reenactment at the mall in Annapolis – during one of the breaks while I was talking with Eric – one of the agents held one of the IDs taken off of one of the terrorists. He interrupted our conversation to point out the flaw in the ID. It was a Maryland license, just like the one I was holding.
I took my cell, took a close up of each of the licenses and sent them to Eric’s cell. Then I called the number I had for Eric’s office and switched to the speaker phone.
“Department of Homeland Security, Director Robinson’s office; you are speaking to Mable, may I help you?”
“Mable, this is BJ from the Island. I just sent copies of six Maryland licenses to Eric’s phone. They bear the same flaw as the ones at the mall shooting. They were used by underage male students to get into parties with alcohol last night in three different local towns. Is he in?” I replied.
“Good morning BJ, good to hear from you today. That was a great party at your house yesterday. Mike and I really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks so much for inviting us. The agents are still raving about being invited to join in the feast. Yes, Eric is here – I will send you through,” she replied.
“I’m here,” Eric replied “BJ, how did you get these?” I informed Eric he was on speaker, introduced the chiefs to him and let them each tell their story.
“David Smith and Horace Thompson were the tags on you this morning – BJ, did you see them?” Eric asked.
“Yes, I saw their car several times; I do not know where they are right at the moment,” I replied
“They are on the way to your office now. Under-age students – that is going to present a problem in so many ways,” Eric mumbled.
“I might be able to help you with some of that. Are you more interested in prosecution of the students or finding the source of the cards?” I asked.
“The source of the cards” “What do you mean, you can help?”
“I have some leeway under student safety until HR gets involved. Whichever of those guys has the best stone face, put him in charge and tell him to work with me,” I said.
I had used scare tactics with gullible recruits many times. I figured this would work the same.
The two men walked in, “I’m David, Eric said to see you and you would fill me in.”
I gave him the rundown on what I was going to try and the signal as to when he was to go ape-shit bad-cop. Since the three chiefs brought them in I had to let them stay and participate. I asked if anyone had an orange jump suit in their car.
“We have several in the trunk. I will bring them in,” Horace replied.
I opened the file cabinet where I kept all the goodies that came from Mid Atlantic security when the original KCC system was installed. They were the same kit that each of the JBG sites received when we set them up. At the JBG sites they were kept in the gun safe in the director’s office.
I pulled out several sets of ominous looking ankle shackles like the ones you see on the detective shows to control a badass. Then an ankle monitor and several pairs of cuffs as I placed all the gear on the stack of jump suits
I then asked the three chiefs, “Which one of the six seemed most shook up that they had been caught? He will be our first victim.”
Chief Clark pointed to the card of Tommy Hadaway, “This guy lost it; he was a basket case.” Chief Walls pointed to the card of Adam Conroy, “This one too.”
They carried all the gear into the room we used for interviews and interrogations while I moved both of the students in.
KCC may not be happy if they found out I was participating in an interrogation. But, students carrying fake ID cards with a connection to terrorists would be a public relations nightmare. I thought that would offset any concerns the board may have.
I told Tommy and Adam that I was recording the interrogation. Then I placed the newspaper front page of the mall attack in front of them and asked if they had watched any of the coverage of the event?
“No, we don’t watch the news – too many other things to do.” Adam replied with Tommy nodding in agreement.
“Read the article, then I will connect all the dots and tell you how much trouble you are in and how long you are going to spend in jail.” I said.
“We are not going to say anything, we want our lawyer,” Adam stated.
“You may not get one and here is why. These terrorist were carrying a fake Maryland driver’s license exactly like the one you were using, with the same numbers. That connects you with international terrorism. Do you know what the Patriot Act is?” I stated.
“With the international connection you can be held for up to two years before you see a judge to request bail. You may not get access to an attorney for months. You may not get a trial by jury; it may be by a tribunal and could take years to get that far. Have you heard of water boarding?” I asked.
”You are in one deep pile of crap unless you help yourself. These two men are from Homeland Security. Those orange suits are for you to be led away in. Unless you help yourself, I can’t help you. Where did you get the IDs? Who made the arrangements? Time is running out!” I shouted as I slammed the table with my fist.
Slamming my fist on the table was the signal for David to begin. He threw the jump suits and shackles across the table and went into a tirade. When he stopped both of the students were shaking.
“Bobby Blackstone carried us to Dover to the mall and we met a vendor in the rear parking lot. He was in an old library van and he took our pictures to put on the cards. We went back in the afternoon to pick them up. The price was a hundred dollars each. He is a foreigner and only there on Saturdays.” Tommy said almost crying. “We just wanted to party a little and pick up girls.
We repeated the process with the other four and saved Bobby Blackstone for last. He told us everything that DHS needed to know, including a name and a contact number and names of all the other students he had carried to get a fake card.
The three police chiefs agreed not to prosecute and would allow KCC to handle discipline for the six. They got ankle monitors and were told to not mention a word to anyone about the incident – to do so would increase the severity of the punishment ten-fold – and not to leave the college grounds without notifying security until further notice. I gave them a pass for today’s classes they had missed.
David, Horace and I did another conference call to Eric and I sent him a copy of the interrogations video.
The rest of the day was quiet; a good thing because it took the rest of the day to write up folders to go in the files of the six students. By the end of the day I still had not decided whether to inform HR or keep it under wraps for a while longer.
Eric called while I was in the gym; he asked if I could talk Sly and Janice into working for the agency in a sting of the card counterfeiter on Saturday, along with Bobby Blackstone. Bobby would have no choice – participate or prosecution.
Edit by Alfmeister