Monday was the last full day of training we were going to be able to give this group. While we were at the gun range practicing on the shoot don’t shoot range the two C130s flew over on the way back to Morton Field I loved to hear the sound of four engine turbo props. They had been gone five days instead of four I hoped that this did not cause problems because they were scheduled for maintenance.
Because of the extra day they were going to have just two days off before leaving on the next agency flight. This one was also scheduled for four days. During those two days off, the planes were going to get a maintenance check since they had been flying for 5 days straight and this had been the first real extended flights in service.
Lorrie had hired sight unseen two former air force mechanics who were C130 specialists from a list that Frank supplied. He vouched for their integrity and performance. They were on probation the same as any other new hire.
They had started work this morning and were going through all the C130 parts that had come with the planes. Working off their experience, they were going to give Frank and Lorrie a more detailed list of spare parts that they thought we needed to maintain. Frank was going to rattle the system to get any C130 parts that they thought we needed. His response was that all kinds of mislabeled things showed up on the auction site.
Jamie, Ching Lee and I ran the fifteen through the shoot don’t shoot range twice. I just wanted them to have a feel for it. It would be a mess if one of them accidentally were to shoot members of their own team.
Jamie, Ching Lee and I rotated as we walked them through the course. I learned a lot while we were waiting for one to finish before starting through with another.
I found out that they were hand picked throughout the agency for this job. Several were computer techs. Three were specialized equipment access techs. I asked what that meant, although I did not figure I would get an answer. “Safe cracker,” one of the guys laughed.
I learned that a strike team in disguise was going to get them inside the compound and they were all fluent in the local Spanish Central American slang where they were going.
As I put the pieces together with what I learned from them and the tidbits from Frank, it came to me what they were going to do. They were going on a heist at a drug cartel headquarters.
That was why they wanted them to be skilled in the close quarter hand to hand. Not only were they after data, they wanted the people that recorded the data to fill in the blanks and they wanted them alive. Bookkeepers and communications people would not be allowed to have weapons.
The heavy fighting and dying was to be done by easily expendable goons and whoever was in charge thought the location and the goon squad was enough to protect the cartel’s bank compound.
I would bet the compound security had been infiltrated over time with agency or agency connected people.
Why had the date been moved up I wondered? One possible answer may be that big transactions had taken place or were going to, either way the money was going to be stashed in the compound. That was why the safecrackers were along.
The next question was why would the agency be involved in a drug cartel operation? That was normally a DEA stint. The possible answer was the DEA was going to intercept the drugs as they came to the border and the agency the money and the people that knew all the international connections. The cartel would lose two ways, the drugs to the feds and the money and money counters to the agency.
If there had been a series of big drug transactions in the last few weeks and there had been some huge busts in the last three weeks, there could be several hundred million dollars there.
We all knew the cartels were getting smarter by the day. The drug kingpins were staying away from the operations now. A few drone strikes was all it took to convince them they needed to live in highly populated areas that made collateral damage just too risky in the age of social media.
As for the manufacturing and processing it was spread out so one strike did not put them out of business. There were even news stories that the cartels were buying prescription meds by the shipping container full from China, Thailand, India, and Pakistan and having them off loaded in Central America for repacking and distribution.
The agency was the only federal group that I knew of that could seize funds anywhere in the world from international criminal activity and keep them under all kinds of secret agreements. It had been rumored for years that money was a slush fund to finance off the book operations.
After we finished at the gun club then went through the training once more back at the gym. It was 9 when we finished. I wasn’t surprised to see Frank was there to watch the final run through. When we had finished with them tonight and I wished them good luck as they left. Tuesday morning they were getting the last logistics update and shipping out for the mission at noon.
Marcy and Jason both were waiting for me after the group had left. Marcy told me she had purchased two retired 30 passenger county ride busses today.
The county sold its old cars, trucks and equipment a couple of different ways. Some was sold on the government auctions web site and some was sold on e-Bay. Jason was friends with the county transportation boss.
Marcy had found the two busses on e-Bay were in good shape, diesel and low mileage. They had been acquired with a grant and replaced with another grant. Today was the last day of the auction. Marcy had run the bids high enough at closing to get them and she did at a bargain. Instead of running dozens of cars back and forth for the next two months, we would use the busses.
They were going to the state truck inspection station tomorrow and we would get tags Wednesday.
It was Jason’s turn, “Curtis Warren called. The grand jury released the charges tonight; Murphy Cox was charged with the murder of the girl last year, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of rape, and two counts of violent assault with intent to rape and murder. His DNA also matched on a rape and murder in West Virginia from two years ago. West Virginia wants him badly and they still have the death penalty.”
“The grand jury was dismissed; there are no other charges or investigations pending. The sheriff and Captain Welch said to stop by the next time you are out there. They want to take you out to lunch.”
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Joe H.