Our wife beater decided that he would rather do a few weeks on the county farm than a few years in the state pen. I personally thought that it was a good choice. He came quietly once he made the decision to come along. He was cuffed and leaning against the car before my backup arrived. Webster had not been kidding when he said back up was a long way off.
Most of my time was spent just riding down country roads looking for things that were out of place. With all that land mass, the bad guys could have hidden a small town, let alone a trailer selling Oxycodone. Still we had to look, either that or take up a hobby.
I had been on the job about a month and was breaking in pretty well, when I found the kid shoplifting. I had gone into a convenience store in one of the smaller communities to get a cup of bad coffee when I saw him blatantly pick up a bottle of bleach and just walk out the door with it.
Of course I put the coffee down and retrieved him and the bleach. “Okay kid what’s your name?” I asked.
“Tommy Simmons,” he said but he did not elaborate.
“So Tommy Simmons what were you doing stealing bleach. It hardly seems like something you would steel.” I suggested.
“My mom sent me down to get it,” he said.
“Did she give you money, or tell you to steel it?” I asked.
“She gave me the money. I planned to keep the money,” he said.
“Oh course you did,” I said in agreement. “So what did you want the money for?”
“Just for sodas, that kind of thing,” he said.
“Kid you commit a crime to get money, then want to tell me it’s for soft drinks, I know I am a blond, but I ain’t buying that one. Kid you are going to the station and your mom is going to have to come for you. That is not going to be good thing.
“What can I do?” he asked.
“Man up kid, tell me why you need money,” I demanded.
“I take Oxy. Most of my time is spent scrambling for money.” he said.
“Where do you buy it?” I asked.
“There a camper on a back road. The man who owns the campers sells it.” The kid went on to give me detailed directions to the camper.
“Kid, if you warn these mooches you are going back into the system with no way out. So go home and forget about this and clean yourself up. You just had maybe your only wake up call.”
I drove to the parking lot outside courthouse where I requested a meeting with Sergeant Michaels. “Sarge I caught a teenager shoplifting. He told me he was shoplifting for money to buy Oxy. Then he told me where the camper, who was selling it, is parked. I think we need to go down there and buy some oxy.” I said with a grin.
“I don’t know,” Michaels said. “You stand out like the only woman in a room full of men.” He was at least smiling.
“Duh,” I said. “Well you tell me what we are going to do?”
“Send in your informant he is known to them.” Michaels suggested.
“The kid is about fifteen. He would be too scared I think.” Truth is I didn’t want to risk his life. I would bet my ass the guys in the camper were armed and likely had no problem using their weapons. The were most likely from Detroit or somewhere like it.
“Alright put on your housewife clothes and we will buy some Oxy. We will need to get you wired.” Michaels said.
I dressed just a little on the slutty side for my big acting debut. I also wore a microphone which would keep me from saying too much I didn’t want in court. Then me, Michaels and two other deputies went to the camper. If there was a real emergency dispatch had been told to call the highway patrol.
In the meantime I drove the Toyota to the camper. It looked deserted except for the fact that the front door was open. “Hello in the camper,” I shouted from the yard. “Anybody home in there?”
“Yeah what you want lady,” one of the two men asked.
“Friend tells me you got Oxy,” I said slurring my words a little.
“How much you want?” the older one asked.
“I got twenty bucks what can I get?” I asked.
“Ten 300 Mg tabs is the best I can do,” he said.
“Okay, it is what it is,” I said that handing over the marked money. His younger friend went inside and brought me an envelop with the pills.
When I had the pills in my hand I said, “Nice doing business with you.” It was the signal for the calvary and they came running. When the two drug dealers noticed what was happening they tried to react but I had my S&W under my sweat shirt. That arrest was a big deal in the area. Every rural county was having a problem with drugs and drug dealers invading their areas.
Even though out operation was blind luck, it became text book. I was thrilled even if they didn’t mention my name. The joy lasted about two weeks until the druggies lawyer got around to me. The DA let him interview me in advance. He brought our some things I would just have soon left alone. He had not done a lot of research, but he knew the most common problems of returning vets.
In his pretrial interview he asked how I slept. If I had a boyfriend. If I woke in the night with cold sweats and shaking. He was pushing for a PTSD diagnosis. I felt like I dodged most of his questions. He might have scored with one or two but he would have a hard time building a defense on that I felt sure.
I was scheduled to be off the day the Alcoholic Beverage Control board investigator came to lecture us. He came every year but it was my first one. The lecture took all morning, but I learned a lot about moonshining.
“In a county the size of this one you can bet your ass there are stills. The only question is how many and how big.” the instructor said.
Since no one had ever mentioned still to me in my three months on the job, I had to wonder if we were even concerned with them. I would not have been surprised to find that we ignored stills. They were part of the tradition of the county where we were working. If I was told to bust them I would. If I was told to look the other way, I would do that as well.
It was an interesting thought, but most of what I did was settle arguments between neighbors. Now and then there were blows passed, but usually it was who could talk the toughest. I tried to avoid getting involved in settling the dispute. I tried to concentrate on stopping it before it got out of hand. I very quickly learned that they sprang right back up again, sometimes before I was out of sight.
I jointed the Warren Sheriff’s office at the end of summer. It was Christmas before I got in a shoot out. I was told by the shrink afterward that it was much too soon. Most people go years without firing their gun in a combat shoot.
I stopped into a convenience store on the side of a mountain a week before Christmas. I needed coffee to prevent a traffic accident. So I stopped the car on the side of the building, then walked inside. The convenience store made terrible coffee, but it would wake me awake, I knew that for sure. I walked directly to the self serve coffee bar. I was about to pour a cup, when I noticed that the clerk was crawling out of her skin.
There was no question something was amiss just what I wasn’t sure. I knew that whatever it was couldn’t be good for the clerk or me. There were two men in the store, so I figured they were together. I had no earthly idea what to do. Odds were good that I would get a least one of us killed, but I wasn’t going to let them walk out of that store.
“Are you in line?” I asked as I approached the register.
“No, I’m waiting on my friend he is still shopping,” The man said staring at the clerk.
“Sweetie, could you go outside and pump me two gallons of gas in that gas can beside my car.” I expected the reaction it got, so I yelled, “Get down now.” Then I threw the coffee on the closest one to me.
I heard the shot from the second one as I tried to free my own pistol. It seemed to take forever. The heavy nylon tanker coat didn’t help any either. I managed to get the pistol out just as the two of them headed for the door. I really wanted to shoot them in the back, but I resisted. Instead I got a full description of their car and headed after them. Yes I left the clerk alone in the store, but she wasn’t injured. The one shot went wild.
We were headed down a mountain road and moving toward the interstate highway. I did not want them to get out of my jurisdiction. Okay, it didn’t belong to me, but I wanted them occupying our jail, so that we would be the onces to find out anything they had to say.
The highway patrol cornered them heading onto the highway. We, meaning the Sheriff’s department, arrested them in full view of everyone. I never lost contact with them so they were mine.
“We were just trying to get the money to give our families a good Christmas,” the younger of them said.
“You never know, since you will be gone for Christmas they might have a great time with other family.” I said it smiling sweetly.
“So what are you doing for Christmas Sylvia,” one of the jailers asked.
“I’m going to eat turkey with my mom then drive ten miles and go hunt rabbits with my daddy,” I said.
“Do you have Christmas off?” the jailer asked.
“I might as well I have the midnight tour,” I replied.
“And who is the lucky devil with you?” The jailer just kept pushing.
“Reynolds, is the poor wag stuck working Christmas,” I said “Reynolds and I got the tour because I am low man on the totem pole and Reynolds is retired and works part time.”
“That kind of figures,” the jailer said.
“Yeah, I’m not bitching. It could be worse. I could have the afternoon tour. At least with midnight nothing will disturb my rest.” I laughed when I said it.
“You gonna talk to your prisoners?” the jailer asked.
“No,” they called Simpson in. He should be here any minute. While he talks to the them I’m headed back out to patrol. I’m not doing any good in here.”
“You want to stay and watch?” the tall thin Simpson asked.
“No thanks, I have seen how interrogations go. Too bad you can’t just fast forward when you walk in the room.” I said.
“That is true but there is a lot of technique to get them to that final point where they give it up,” Simpson said.
“No matter what you think they never give it all up. What they hold back might mean nothing or it might mean a great deal. You just never know for sure because they are holding it back and you have no idea what it is.” the jailer said.
“Sounds frustrating and I have to go back to work. Good luck with our bad boys.” I said.
“I can always tie them to something else.” Simpson said with a smile.