The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2) (12 page)

BOOK: The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2)
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Calderon spit at Kovach’s feet and kicked the head across the dirt lot before getting in his car and speeding away.

Well that went well
, thought Kovach. He retrieved the head, placed it in the burlap sack, and put the sack in a cardboard box. The box was pre-labeled by Kovach and addressed to Calderon’s restaurant,
El Diablo
.
It’s time to blow the cover on Jose’s restaurant
, thought Kovach,
and if he somehow survives what I’m about to do him, a human head showing up at El Diablo should shut him down.

 

 

Chapter 22

Felipe Calderon was born into the cartel life. From age six he carried a semi-automatic handgun on his hip and was being groomed to take over the family business. His older brother, Jose, would train him how to shoot and how to make smart decisions. Jose would also teach Felipe how to kill a man, woman, or child if they got in the way. Felipe was ten years old when he got his first real “job.”A cousin of his was suspected of providing cartel information to a Border Patrol agent. He was tasked to learn the truth by any means necessary. If the cousin talked, he needed to die. He talked to his cousin and learned the man had in fact provided information to the enemy. The look of shock on his cousin’s face as he shot him point blank did not scare Felipe, it was amusing to him. The sense of power was overwhelming. His first murder, and subsequent murders, created the foulest monster Bill Dix would meet in his career.

Dix entered the holding cell where Felipe was chained to a bench and tried to get a read on him. He was calm, but appeared as though he would lunge up off the bench and try to strangle Dix at any moment if given the chance. He scanned the room as eagerly as Dix did. Dix noticed he was also trying to get a read on him.
Uh
oh
, thought Dix.

Dix chose to meet force with force, one of many ways to interrogate someone.

“Felipe, my name is Bill Dix. I’m not the man you should want dead.”

Felipe smirked and said, “Are you a cop?”

“Yes I am.”

“Then I want you dead.”

Dix had met a lot of people who talked about killing cops. He believed Felipe would kill a cop at the blink of an eye and had probably killed one or more in the past.

Dix didn’t flinch or do anything to appear weak when Felipe told him he wanted him dead. The calmness caught Felipe off-guard as he was used to getting into the minds of people. He wondered if he underestimated the cop sitting in front of him.

Dix said, “We can stay here or move to a more comfortable interview room. Which do you prefer?”

“I’d prefer not to say anything. You have no idea who I am, who my family is, and how many people we have working for us. Some of the people walking around this building right now are on our payroll.”

“I have no doubt you’re telling the truth, but I’m not on your payroll. My goal is to stop all the killings.”

Felipe shook his head and laughed. He had a perturbed look on his face.

Felipe responded, “The killings will not stop. Ever. We’re programmed from a very early age to make money and kill anyone who tries to prevent us from doing so. It’s in our blood. The fact it has spilled over to your country is your own fault.”

“How the hell is that my fault?” asked Dix as he thought about how articulate the man spoke. He was curious to see where Felipe was going with this. Dix assumed he was a power hungry killer, but his last comment caused him to reconsider his assumption.

“It’s simple. You intercepted thirty million dollars, put it in a warehouse instead of a secure location, and kept a snitch alive,” said Felipe, “By the way, how is Pedro?”
Dang, he even knows about
Pedro
, thought Dix.

“Look, I’m pretty sure you already determined your words won’t rile me up. As far as Pedro goes, I have no idea of his status,” replied Dix. He saw no reason to hide what he or Felipe knew about Pedro since it was obvious he was well aware of the situation already.

Felipe sneered at Dix. “Well, I know his status. He’s dead. You guys tried your best, but my people found him, tortured him, and burned him in the safe house while he was still alive.”

Dix scribbled some notes, handed them to Petersen who had been standing by and said, “Go see if this is good or not.”

As Petersen turned to leave the holding cell, Felipe said, “Try Highway 78, Ocotillo Wells. The safe house on Mariposa Drive isn’t so safe. Four Homeland Security Investigations agents unfortunately died trying to protect the snitch.”

Petersen crumpled the paper in his hand and turned around to face Felipe. Three HSI agents barreled into the cell about the same time Petersen made his turn and they all raced toward Felipe with anger in their eyes. Before Dix could shield him from the onslaught, several punches and kicks were brought down on Felipe. He moaned and writhed in pain.

“Stop it!” screamed Dix, “Get the hell out of here!” He did his best to rip the men off of Felipe.

Petersen gathered himself and started helping Dix. Dix shot a glance at Petersen that caused him to grimace. Petersen knew he had put the whole investigation into jeopardy by losing his cool.

Dix yelled at the men as they were leaving, “We don’t even know the shit he said is real. Attempt to verify it and bring me back some ice and water.”

He was furious. He’d never seen Petersen go off the handle like that. During the scuffle he’d noticed the holding cell had surveillance equipment.
Good to know
, he thought,
but I wonder if it’s actually recording
. Things had gone from bad to worse. He was already pretty sure he’d get nothing useful out of Felipe, after what just happened, he figured it would be a waste of time to question him further.

Two men, from very different sides of the law, sat in

the cold dark holding cell just looking at each other with wheels turning in their heads, each needing something completely different from the other.

After a few more minutes Felipe broke the silence. “You see Dix, men can be controlled simply by words alone. I’m a defenseless man and was attacked by four men, not based on my actions, but merely words alone. This is nothing new to me, but I sense you’re having difficulty wrapping your mind around it.”

“I’m having difficulty trying to figure out why you provoked them,” Dix replied.

“I wanted to see what kind of man you were,” said Felipe.

Dix said, “I’m a person who stands up for what’s right. What they did was not right, and I could not sit by and watch without doing something.”

“You and I are not much different. We were just born into different families. Our roles could have been easily reversed. I understand that, do you?”

Dix had lamented on the exact same thing Felipe was talking about to his wife a few weeks prior. He concluded the reason he had been so successful throughout his career with suspects was because he treated them like human beings. Even when it seemed impossible, Dix found a way to extract information from despicable men.

“You’re exactly right. Based on your upbringing, you had no shot at being legitimate.”

“Ah, but to me, I am legitimate, and you, and people like you, simply get in my way. My life is about making money,” Felipe replied as he searched his lip with his tongue for the taste of his own blood.

Dix arguably knew more about narcotics than most people. Yet every time he heard large scale narcotic distributors talk about how they brutally killed for money, it never made much sense to him. Nevertheless, he saw an opening and decided to snap at it.

“Is that why you’re in the US?”

“For the thirty-million? No, that isn’t my debt. I’m here to repay a different type of debt.”

Dix was confused. He had no idea how Felipe could easily pass on thirty million dollars. The fact the amount of money found in Pedro’s car was never released to the public, yet Felipe knew the exact amount, suggested he did in fact have eyes and ears working in law enforcement. Dix began to wonder if his people were also the same people helping Jose Calderon. It was not clear to him if the brothers worked together or not. His intuition told him they very well might be.

“I’ll be honest with you; I’m not from around here. I work narcotics in Florida. I came here on vacation and ended up getting into a shootout while saving Pedro. Thirty million bucks was found in his car after the fact and now everyone is running around trying to figure out who’s really in charge. I’m thinking that man may be you.”

Felipe was as cool as the other side of a pillow. He sat motionless and his face and eyes showed no sign of weakness or fear. Felipe made no comments.
For facing several murder and attempted murder charges, this guy sure is confident,
Dix thought.

While grinning Felipe finally replied. “Is that so?”

“Well, I don’t see any other high ranking cartel fellas locked up in front of me facing numerous murder and attempted murder charges. You certainly have the resources to make all this happen.”

Felipe still showed no hint of deception as he replied, “Not me. I have the resources and my family is, as you say, a ‘cartel.’”

“I’m not buying it. Convince me this has nothing to do with you,” said Dix.

“I may actually give you a name, but I want to see in writing what the Federal prosecutor is willing to provide me in return,” replied Felipe.

Dix mulled the idea around in his head and knew he really didn’t have a clue what the prosecutor would offer if Felipe cooperated.

“I’ll check, but I can’t promise you anything and I really have no idea what deal, if any, may be put on the table. I know this though; you’re going to have to convince them and me that your information is legitimate and spot on.”

“I didn’t kill Shorty,” the suspect responded. That, I presume, was your excellent shooting. I would wager that you have had military training prior to working in law enforcement.”

“My rounds may have taken out Shorty, but he made the mistake of shooting at us. Nevertheless, you continued firing. In the United States, you’re looking at a ton of time in prison, maybe even the death penalty. Plus, word on the street is the Mexican authorities would love to talk to you.”

Felipe still did not appear worried about his situation. Dix had seen a lot of people crack under pressure during interrogation. They cracked for different reasons, but Felipe didn’t seem to care about his current predicament which made it difficult for him to find any type of leverage. He had previously asked Sullivan to check with the District Attorney’s Office to see if they, in fact, would put a deal on the table in exchange for Felipe’s cooperation.
Well, you just may
have finally met your match,
Dix thought.

Dix had all but given up. He had no leverage and the guy was obviously intelligent and wouldn’t give up information without a price. Then he heard a knock on the cell door just prior to the door bursting open.

A tall slender man with a visitors badge and three piece suit shook Dix’s hand and said, “Hello, my name is Tim Spencer with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, you mind if I

sit down while you guys talk?”

Dix looked at Felipe and Felipe looked at Spencer.

Felipe seemed okay with it so Dix replied, “Hey Tim, nice to meet you, my name is Bill Dix” while pointing over at Felipe he continued, “and this is Felipe Calderon.”

Dix noticed Spencer appeared to be in awe of Felipe and wondered why?

Before Dix had a chance to speak to Spencer privately, Spencer turned to Felipe, “I understand you’re looking for consideration of lesser charges if you provide information to an unrelated matter that Homeland Security Investigations and the Sheriff’s Office are investigating. I’m afraid people far higher than my pay grade,” he stopped and pointed at Dix, “and his pay grade, have already made up their minds about what should be done with you. President Nieto spoke to my boss already and they want you sent to Mexico immediately for formal charging of over thirty-seven homicides. In addition, based on the preliminary investigation with regard to Mr. Pedro Munguia’s situation, two agents were murdered at the hospital while trying to protect him. My office will be seeking indictments against you for two murders of federal agents in the United States. Therefore, Mr. Calderon, you’ll be offered no deals.”

Before anyone had a chance to respond to the bombshell presented by Spencer, Spencer again shook Dix’s hand and excused himself from the holding cell. Felipe looked smug and nonchalant appearing as though none of what the prosecutor said bothered him.

Dix looked at Felipe with disgust. He calmly gave Dix a small shrug of the shoulder like the information from Spencer meant nothing to him and was likely true.

While the two continued to look at each other, Petersen entered the holding cell and got Dix’s attention. The two exited the holding cell leaving a stone cold killer to his devious thoughts.

Petersen said, “Sorry buddy, that Spencer guy was telling it like it is. Mexico will do whatever it takes to get their hands on Felipe. As far as Pedro goes, no one honestly seems to know where he is. There’s a safe house in Ocotillo Wells but no one has been out to it yet. Near as I can tell, no one knows if Pedro is there or not. Basically, we got nothing worthwhile to use against Felipe.”

BOOK: The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2)
7.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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