Sheriff Porter 141
I figured that he might be ready to call a truce, but I was still going to go around tooled up and looking in the shadows. When I got the box to the room, I used a wash cloth from the bathroom to clean the blood from the box. Since it was junkie blood, I should have been a little concerned, but since I already had a mouthful of junkie blood, I didn’t bother to wear gloves.
I did use an antiseptic mouth rinse several times. I even drank some of it. Maybe it will kill something the stomach acid didn’t, I thought. I knew that oral sex wasn’t as risky as vaginal or anal sex for HIV transmission, but still there was the chance. I made a note to get tested in a week or so.
I opened the box and laid out my fancy stuff. I sat at the table and read Wilson’s instructions. Because of my desire not to have a computer filled with trace evidence, Wilson had sent me one of the burner laptops with Lenox Puppy on it. He also included a 50gb thumb drive to store the information. Almost nothing went onto the hard drive while using that arrangement. He also had the website listed which hosted the cameras. I had no idea how it all worked, but I did know that Wilson used to go to the site to review the files.
The GPS was setup on my larger laptop. I had no idea how it worked either but I followed some fancy directions and I had the maps and blips ready to go. Better yet his file of the twenty license plate numbers was on the thumb drive.
Of the plate owners most didn’t have any digital footprint at all. A couple had some burglary charges. My guess was those were the source of Evan’s thefts. I still had no idea how the phantom operation worked. But I was pretty sure I would know before too much longer.
I went back to reading files and background information on everyone involved. Wilson’s background said Evans didn’t exist until five years ago. Not that he wasn’t in any file but that he didn’t exist. His social security number and drivers license were both issued five years previously. That was strange even for a scam artist. At least the fact that Wilson couldn’t link him back to anything else was strange. Wilson was very good at that shit.
“It’s like he was born five years ago at age fifty,” Wilson said when I got him on the phone.
“I know it’s a lot to ask, but go back about a year before he showed up on the records. Then run the facial recognition software against the newspaper trial pictures,” I suggested.
“You thinking he is the victim or the perpetrator?” Wilson asked.
“Witness protection,” I replied.
“Then it would have to be high profile. Shouldn’t take too long,” Wilson said.
“Don’t take that for granted you know they may have altered his appearance,” I suggested. “Email me the results. Yes I know emails can be recovered forever.”
After midnight that night I drove by the plant. I found the gate guard shack empty. I drove down the road a hundred yards then returned to the plant with a backpack stuffed with two web cameras. I placed one with a view of the dock and one with a view of the gate.
After I set the camo solar panel I walked back to my car and drove it home. I slept very little that night as I kept returning to the site that monitored my cameras. Finally about 3 AM I fell asleep.
I rode the bike at seven the next morning. I rode it over to the plant to check the day shift in. There were about the same number of cars as before. Without confirmation that Evans was in the witness protection program, I have very little to go on. I decided that it might be time I met one of the two guys who had a brush with the law. Both were burglars which in itself seemed strange.
I wondered if maybe they had done time with Evans under a different name. I sent Wilson an email requesting a check on their prisons and then facial recognition on Evans.
Meantime I went to meet the smaller of the two. I followed him to a bar where he had a drink. Just to keep it above suspicion, I hung out in the bar, but left alone. I made sure he noticed me before I left. I might return someday and make myself available. But only if I tailed him to the same bar again. I knew it would have to look like his idea or it might all come tumbling down.
I had time to slip into the chat room again. I had been there about ten minutes when I saw the window pop up.
GS: Well hello lady in blue. How was your day?
Me: boring…How about yours?
GS: also boring.
Me: well tonight I have some work to do, so I won’t be here very long.
GS: well that’s too bad. Are you going to be doing anything fun?
Me: no just paperwork, but it has to be done.
GS: I’ll bet you write a wicked update. I expect people are just dying to read them.
Me: Yeah I probably should be working on one of those. Well got to run. Details wait for no one.
Girl Scout: whether or not she was Happy reminded me the senator expected updates regularly. I wrote a report detailing all the things I had done, but not explaining exactly how I did them. I had to keep Wilson out of the jackpot, if they managed to nail me for something.
“In reviewing the files from the night and day since the cameras went into the grass outside the fence it looked as thought the Electric Car Company received equipment during the daylight hours. Then a truck about half the size of a tractor trailer came in at night empty and left loaded. The driver did the loading, so I had a feeling he was an employee.
I was interested to see the next twenty four hours of file footage. What would happen I could only guess. I guessed that nothing much would happen for a few days. I also wanted to know what went on inside the plant. That meant I was going to have to break into the plant and leave some shit behind. Before I broke in, I wanted to find a floor plan of the plant.
What the hell I decided to let Happy do something for me. “Hello Happy,” I said when she came on the phone.
“Yes Sylvia,” she replied.
“I need copies of the ECC floor plans for the plant,” I said.
“Why?” she asked. “Wait never mind, I don’t want to know, do I?”
“No you don’t, but I need them really quick. I’m hoping there maybe some with the loan application,” I suggested.
“I have no idea, but I can find out and call you back,” she said.
“As soon as possible,” I suggested. While I waited for Happy to get on board, I watched the video feed from outside the plant. I left ten minutes before the shift ended at the plant. While the plant emptied out I sat in a parking lot down the street. I quickly followed the small former burglar named Simon.
I followed him into a small residential neighborhood, where he was met at the car by a preteen girl. I pulled his bio up on my smart phone and found that he had never married.
I sent Wilson a request for the information for the residents of the address where Simon parked his car. I sat outside the house just long enough to see Simon open the door, then put a black dog on a chain. The dog ran out into the yard and I used the distraction to get away from the neighborhood.
I went home to study the larger of the two burglars. He should have been my last choice of people to con. His picture made him look like a retired biker. Maybe the car business had something to do with drugs. He could easily be in the Meth business. I know it was a cliche, but there is a reason for cliches. People who looked like this dude were just plain bad 90% of the time. I planned to stay as far away from him as possible.
I spent days just monitoring the video and trying to work out ways to meet the workers without seeming to be looking for information. I found the bar were several of them met. It was pretty easy to pick them out since Wilson’s bios had photos. I had ordered bios on all the workers. At least those we could identify by their license number. If I could get in that parking lot, I could mark a few cars with the GPS thing. I really wanted to get the burglars so I followed them till I could slip a marker on the cars. The big guy worried me just a little, but I managed to find him at the club where I trailed the smaller burglar. I marked his car and went inside to see them sitting together with a woman. I shot a camera phone image of the three of them so I could try to match her to one of the employees.
I left after I had pictures of most of the patrons of the bar. When I got back to the motel, I took a look through the files Wilson sent. The woman was in the files okay, now the question is what the hell was going on inside the plant. I checked for the blueprint and it was in my in box.
The plant was nothing more than a big aircraft hanger with concrete block walls. The massive amount of space with few interior supports made it a perfect manufacturing facility. It could be configure anyway the tenant wanted. I quickly found what I needed, an entrance into the building that would not be visible from the front gate.
The plan was simple, at 2 AM I would walk up to the fence and climb over with a backpack. I would go to the building and pull one of the many storage barrels to the window in the bathroom. It was the only window in the temperature controlled building. Cutting the lock, if necessary, would be no problem at all since it was most likely a roll out window.
Another option were the overhead doors on the dock, but they were in view of the guard shack. Once inside the bathroom I could make my way anywhere in the building.
The thing that took the longest about the operation was deciding where to place the cameras. I could have checked out the office while I was inside, but decided to install the cameras first. I didn’t think there would be anything incriminating in the desks, just in case there was a raid. Since there weren’t any interior walls in the production area of the plant, it had plenty of power along the outside walls. Since the cameras I used only had to be active a few days, to record the day to day operation of the plant, I didn’t worry about hiding them all that well. The cameras were labeled emergency power monitor. That little misdirection might work if a worker saw them hanging in the power outlet.
Next I placed a camera at the other end of the plant, so I had a good view of the production floor. After I had them both installed I went into the office and put a microphone in a plug there. Again I only needed it to last a few days without being detected and to be untraceable. The last thing to do inside the plant was to place the wireless relay near an outside wall. After I left the plant I installed a satellite uplink within the 20 yard range of the wifi repeater. The only visible thing was the dish. Even so it fit nicely in a dead tree nearby within range of the relay. Yeah there was $10,000 worth of gear that could be lost but it was a case of spend the $10,000 to save millions. Besides the most expensive thing was the Satellite uplink and it was all outside the plant. It should be easy to recover. The camera bugs and relay were just a few hundred bucks.
So over the next week I sat around collecting information.
Edited by Walt