After the calls, I went back to looking at the progress reports that were coming in. The campsite at Apple 1 was nearly complete. The bulldozer made quick work getting rid of the small trees and bramble between the runway and the pipeline.
The converted buses were easily parked in a row back far enough not to be seen and the food, shower and bathroom trucks were in the middle with ten buses on each side.
Poles, barbed wire and Concertina razor wire made several small compounds for prisoners – as they needed them. A small tent and army cots for ten in each compound. A 40 pound steel ball – courtesy of Texas Steel – with chain and ankle shackle ensured they would not go far or fast. A porta-potty was as good as they were going to get.
I didn’t think we would capture that many prisoners but each site now had ten. Tomorrow I would start trying to extract information from them.
Jim Jordan was pleased with the setup at Apple 1 and sent the bulldozer to Baker 2. The extra one hundred miles further away was making them run late on setup. Baker 2 was completed at dusk.
Things were on for an uneasy night. Andy, Paul Drake and Albert Simms were going to split the night up monitoring in the command center. I tried to force myself into the mix but they would not hear of it.
The girls left for the motor home at 2100. I stayed until 2300 and went to join them. Six could sleep comfortably in the big motor home and I did sleep.
At 0600 we were making breakfast. When I finished I went to the command center to see how many were there. I texted Marcy that I needed three more meals with eggs, ham, bacon and toast.
The night had turned out interesting. The bulldozer had made the parking site for the buses and logistics far from the runway and close to the pipeline at Baker 2. There was woods separating the camp from the runway.
Three drug planes had made their last landings at Baker 2. We had more drugs, pilots, the planes and money. They had just gotten one cleared away and an hour later another would show up on Brownsville military Doppler radar, thought to inbound.
The command center was called and the camp alerted. We had learned from our earlier ventures in Mexico that the cartel planes wanted to see headlights flash on the flyover and then illuminate the runway with their headlights in the direction they were to land. We also knew that someone was to come and meet each plane to make the exchange of drugs for money. Larry was waiting.
Larry had six beat-up Toyota pickups and jeeps that came to make the exchange with cell phones, more money and more prisoners.
Lorrie wanted to look at the planes before we allowed the DEA to take them. That was OK but not going to be worth her effort. The planes would have been stripped, no seating, only one radio, the rest of the electronics gone so they could carry more drugs and no records. Getting ownership would be challenge, even if they were worth it.
The girls and I rode to Apple 1 in a MRAP. I quickly remembered just how damn rough these things rode. Going to Apple 1 would be enough.
We had just arrived at Apple 1 when a new nuisance showed up – small drones. I suspected they were various news services. They were the new news scoop tools. For us they could be deadly, first we were flying aircraft in and out of Apple 1 and Baker 2. If one of these were to hit a plane or helicopter at a critical moment, they could down either of them.
The other issue was they could be the cartel looking for their planes, drugs or missing people or else looking at the layout of our camps for attack.
In the US it was illegal to fly a drone near an airport. There were no such laws in Mexico. If there were, there was no one to enforce them. It was also illegal to destroy and damage a drone in the US even if it was involved in illegal activity.
But this was not the US! ”Jim, I think there were some 10 gauge Browning automatic goose special shotguns packed with the spare hardware. Shoot down every drone you see as soon as you see it, starting now,” I said.
”Yes there were – we have been using them on the rattlesnakes and the copperheads,” Jim said.
A couple minutes later there were no drones flying – only junk on the ground.
”See if they have any identifying information on them,” I instructed.
We left in two Blackhawks for Baker 2. I had called Eric again to send agents to pick up the drugs seized last night. I wanted to get there before they did to see for myself the drugs, money and prisoners. Lorrie wanted to look at the planes.
I was told they would be at the camp at 13:00. We were there at 11:00.
The planes were out of sight, pushed into the edge of the tree line. The drugs were still stacked in boxes where the seats should have been. Grocery store bags full of money were from the previous stops. With the amount of money, it was apparent that this was the last stop.
The same was true in the other two planes. We were still looking through the planes when the DEA arrived. I was surprised to see Eric and Marty Coeburn were with them.
The agents started loading the drugs into two helicopters as I dumped the bags of money on the ground then re-bagged it. There were stacks of twenty’s, fifties and one hundred dollar bills all banded together.
I wanted to make sure there were no drugs in the bags and look for anything that could identify who was going to receive it in the end.
There were notes attached to the bundles identifying who they had come from. I took close up pictures of all of them.
Eric nor Marty said anything as I sent the bags to our Blackhawk.
It looked like a lot of money but this operation was costing a lot more.
”I don’t guess you have been looking at any news from Washington, but Loco Waco has gone ballistic since you crossed the border. She was on you like stink on poop over the France adventure. Now she is slinging the poop in your direction.”
”She finally manipulated, bullied – I should say influenced – the House un-American Affairs Committee to investigate you after you crossed the border into Mexico,” Eric said.
”How does the House un-American Affairs Committee have anything to do with American business and foreign contracts? I thought they were only after internal criminal enterprises detrimental to the US,” I said.
”That’s right; but they have the power to investigate anything they think they can connect to that direction. This is just a nuisance maneuver to go with her media grandstanding for attention,” Marty said.
Juanita Waco was a freshman congress person elected from Paladin County Texas. She claimed to be a descendant of Santa Anna with Spanish, Cherokee, Apache, Sioux and Navaho in her bloodline. She was an extreme liberal.
She entered bills in the house that would have declared any person of the Americas – Central and South America – to be citizens of the United States and entitled to all benefits of a citizen.
Another bill would remove all border security and eliminated all immigration courts.
Yet another bill would give twelve years of free college to all who applied regardless of age or nationality and provide free dorms and food.
College was one thing but to allow someone in their sixties – after retirement – twelve years of free college was insane. It would never make any change in their life – they would die before they used any of it. Plus, they would be taking space in classes a twenty year old desperately needed. The education would definitely make a difference in their life.
Another bill would ban all automobiles and trucks over ten years old from the highway. Old automobiles caused pollution.
And yet another bill would reduce the work week to thirty hours with government employees reduced to twenty four hours – just three days.
She was so radical that her colleagues had given her the nickname Loco Waco. Most Representatives and Senators tried to stay out of any pictures or videos with her. She was the darling of all the latest social media.
She traveled with an entourage, posting everything she did or said on all the social media. A makeup person traveled with her making sure every hair was in place and her makeup was perfect for every picture. She had perfected the art of the million dollar smile, frown or pout with the right amount of teeth and lip.
Every few days she had a new target of her fury to stay active in the social medial circles. I guessed it was my turn now. It didn’t matter as I would do what I had to do.
One thing I had to do was to get back to Fort Smith and make a decision on what to do with the Iranians I had in the Fort Smith jail. My group was leaving Thursday evening to go home; all of us needed to get back.
While I was dealing with Eric and his group, the teams patrolled more of the pipeline. It was no surprise when they reported in that we should come fifty miles south of Baker 2 to inspect what they had captured.
Fifty miles should have put them at the place where what appeared to be a building covering the pipeline.
Since there was no decent landing site, we rode again in the MRAPs to the site.
It was on this trip that I received the second round of bad news. This came from our attorney Curtis Warren, I had to be in Washington to testify before the Senate foreign relations again on Thursday; they refused to change the date or squash the subpoena.
We drove into the entrance covered by tree limbs and green big leafed vines supported by cables. No wonder the satellites couldn’t see anything other than the tents covering the pipeline.
We were looking at three Mexican fuel trucks, one of them a tractor trailer in good shape. The other two trucks were beat up local delivery type. Sitting a few feet away were four Mexicans in flex cuffs with the same on their feet. There were a couple of my men guarding them.
The captain who was in charge of this team met us, ”It’s back here that you need to see. The trucks were backed up close to the pipeline. The pipeline had three taps at this location; one was a small tap, half inch hose. The other two were big three inch valves and hose that were attached to a pipe system over the top of the trucks.”
It was self-explanatory; the small tap was to sample the fluid being sent through the pipe at any given time. When diesel, gasoline or kerosene was in the pipe the trucks would be filled and then sold.
The tractor trailer was marked 30000 liters, the other two trucks 15000 liters.
I took plenty of pictures to send to Juan Pedro Garcia; I was sure they would make his day.
Then I turned my attention to the four men I assumed were drivers.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.