The courier quickly left. Mike Doyle opened the box; I could tell by his expression that it was not good.
I looked in the box; it contained a mass of computer parts, all disassembled. I was pissed but after seeing Ormond Mohammed Patel on the Prince’s payoff list, I was not surprised. That answered why the courier left so quickly.
I took the components out and started placing them on the table. I only had a few pieces left in the box when the light went on. The initial evidence pictures of Balthazar’s items were of a HP laptop; all the big pieces had the Dell logo on them. He didn’t even bother to at least put the same brand parts in the box. On top of that, there was no hard drive included. No matter; his goose was cooked.
I had Bobbie make copies of the file Robert had put together and then made a phone call.
“Troy; are you and the President able to come down here? Bring a General with you that has the authority to have other Generals arrested. By the way, have the Secret Service keep Lewis Hill from leaving until the meeting is over. You may want to lock down his security clearance until then,” I said.
“Kathy; get me an arrest warrant for Ormond Patel; the charges are treason, aiding and complicity in terrorism, along with accepting bribes from a terrorist. Then I need arrest warrants for all Americans here and abroad listed on the report I just gave you,” I said.
Kathy Shellman was the federal prosecutor assigned to the task force. She was getting a name in federal justice circles because of the sheer numbers of federal warrants she was getting and the Justice Department team assigned to her was getting convictions without plea bargaining. She knew I hated plea bargains with a passion.
Kathy and her two assistants were typing out requests for warrants as fast as they could. The process was not easy; each name had to be checked for state of residency and all the other rules that applied. Once the request and warrant went to the federal judge for his approving signature, then a warrant was printed out on the printer on the proper legal forms. When that was done a copy of the warrant was sent to Eric’s group in the DHS. It was sent to all DHS connected outlets to flag that individual, stopping him or her from traveling by air or rail. And to Treasury, any financial transaction by the individual plus the bank cams created an alert at the DHS.
The DHS connected all public information to the warrant, driver’s license, car tag numbers and now the car’s computer GPS and all highway cameras that have tag readers on their system.
Big brother was not only watching, it was following and reporting. The days of being on a federal list and hiding were long gone. The one problem was that there was only a tiny fraction of the manpower needed to monitor the system. Thousands of terabits of data were generated; never to be evaluated in a timely manner, if ever.
Fort Meade was a major storage site on the East Coast for all the data collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence and other agencies. The five story buildings housing storage server farms were under continuous expansion. As soon as one was completed, another was started. There were thousands of analysts that worked around the clock making usable reports from critical data.
“Mike Doyle and I will make that arrest ourselves.” I said.
Everyone was looking at me puzzled as to what was going on.
As soon as the President, Troy and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Frank and Eric) had made it here and were in their chairs, I started to speak.
“The documents before you are similar to the ones captured from the computers at the New Jersey learning complex with a major difference. This list has only hi-level individuals listed; those that received more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollar bribes or payoffs,” I said.
“Mr. President, page twenty four has the entries you need to see. The third one down is Cabinet Secretary Lewis Hill. There are notes that describe the payments and what was expected for them,” I replied.
“The next entries that you need to look at are on page twenty eight, Senators Almost and Clements both have received multiple payments,” I said.
“Page thirty two has payments to five representatives; California’s Morse, South Dakota’s Harris, Delaware’s Boomer, Virginia’s Callaway and Georgia’s Mabry. All are on intelligence or military oversight committees with the highest level of clearance and all have made multiple fact finding junkets to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries that correspond with the dates of the payments,” I said.
“General Ingram; the ones you need to look at are on pages sixty and sixty two. There are three Generals that have been paid. They are assigned to the US military bases in Saudi Arabia,” I said.
“They are Army Lt. General Albert Hoover and Lt. General Howard Custer, along with Air Force General Buzz Arden,“ I added.
“The rest of those in the US are having warrants drawn up to arrest them as we speak; those warrants will not be executed until DHS and the FBI have a chance to investigate them and any possible accomplices,” I said.
The discussion lasted an hour and looked like it would continue several more. Finally I had had enough.
“Bobbie, do you have the warrant for Patel?” I asked.
“Yes,” Bobbie replied.
“Mike, let’s go make an arrest; bring that box of junk. Lets watch a whole department squirm,” I replied.
“Just a minute; where did these files come from?” Troy asked.
I looked at Frank, Eric and Ben; I saw eyes looking to the floor and a very slow shaking of the head from side to side. They were expecting the bomb to explode. Marty Coeburn was staring intently at me; he knew very little of what they knew.
“They came from Crown Prince Sultan al-Zahab’s personal laptop just minutes before he died. That’s what happens when you get interrupted, don’t close programs and don’t log out. Hackers are just waiting to take advantage and they did. A lesson we all need to apply to our computing habits,“ I replied as I motioned to Mike to get the box.
A glance at Frank, Eric and Ben said it all; the massive look of relief, doing their best not to smile and to maintain that serious look. I thought about throwing a wink in that direction but was afraid doing so would have caused them to lose their composure.
The Secret Service with four GSA supplied Suburban’s carried us to the FBI IT lab. The lobby security agent had no problem poking fun at Mike Doyle carrying the box, ‘demoted to a lackey boy’, but he did open the door for us.
There were four Secret Service agents with us who did not see the humor in the comment.
Ormond Patel’s office was a reasonably new office in the corner of the large computer lab. I guessed it was so he could keep a close eye on what was happening in there. There was a long counter where things brought in could be catalogued. As soon as the bell rung that signified that someone had entered, it drew all eyes.
Ormond Patel was out of his office in a flash as Mike put the box on the counter.
“You are not an agent, Ambassador Jones! You are not allowed in here because of the evidence chain of custody rules. But since you are with an agent I will bend the rules. What can I help you with?” he asked.
“I ordered that all of Balthazar’s devices be delivered to the task force; at noon this box of junk arrived. I want all Balthazar’s devices now,” I replied.
“That is his electronics, we had to disassemble them to check them out, there was nothing on it. Sloppy handling wiped it clean,” he replied.
“Herein lies the problem; evidence photos from the scene show Balthazar’s computer to be an HP. This one is a Dell, there is no hard drive to even make this one a computer and there were none of the thumb drives included that were sent in with it. You simply threw junk in the box and sent it. That’s not going to fly,” I replied.
“If you are going to call me a liar you can leave and don’t come back,” he said quite loudly, bringing other techs out of their office.
“Oh, I’m going to call you a lot more than that,” I said as I did the one hand for support and jumped the counter.
He turned to run but not fast enough. I had a hand full of neck and slammed his face down in the counter in a pile of parts. Seconds later his left hand was in an arm lock shoved up to his shoulder blades. With the cuffs installed, I stood him up.
“I could call you a lot of things but I won’t; there may be delicate ears in here. But you are under arrest for treason, aiding and abetting terrorist, accepting bribes from a terrorist, destroying evidence, falsifying evidence, and giving false testimony to federal officials. That should do for starters,” I replied as I handed him over to one of the Secret Service agents.
“Who is the number two person here?” I asked the onlookers.
“I am Ma-am,” a lady replied.
“Get me all of Balthazar’s electronics. NOW. I still have many sets of empty cuffs looking for wrists to fill them,” I said.
There was a scramble looking for it.
Mike was picking up the equipment getting ready to leave when Marty Coeburn and another agent walked up behind us.
“Mike, you are the new interim director of this division. You know what needs to be found and I am sure, how to find it; get this place running like it should be. If you have any questions get with BJ, if she cannot answer them I’m sure she can get you to someone who can. I’ll carry the box for BJ. I have some questions I need to ask her on the way back.”
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.