The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2) (7 page)

BOOK: The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2)
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He nodded and looked at El Hefe. “Ok. I understand what needs to be done. I will begin working people close to the warehouse, develop a plan, execute the plan, and get your money back.” As he made the statement, he was not entirely sure how this would actually get done, but he was pretty sure he needed to make it happen or it would be his head on the next silver platter.

 

 

 

Chapter 14

Dix asked Sullivan for lunch suggestions. She picked out a little burger shop not too far from the office that was superb. It was an old trick Dix had learned many years ago, if you keep people fed, they tend to be much happier and work better. However, the body language Dix picked up between Sullivan and Romero was obviously going to be a problem. Instead of beating around the bush, Dix decided to nip the problem now.

“Listen you two, there’s obviously a problem between you. You want to put it on the table now?” Dix anticipated the issue being large and personal and felt this might not work. He nibbled on his fingernails waiting for one of them to answer. However, Sullivan and Romero just looked at each other and said nothing.

Dix continued, “Ok, Petersen and I are lead on this. If you two don’t want to hash this out right now, I’ll call the brass and you both will get removed, simple as that.” Dix was sure this would get the conversation going, he noticed Petersen point at his fingers and he quickly stopped chewing his nails and was slightly embarrassed.

Sullivan said, “I can remain professional and do a good job. Romero and I were engaged, but he decided to have sex with one of the District Attorney’s down town a month before we got married.”

Dix was not prepared for her comments and actually wasn’t quite sure what to say next.

He was saved as Romero replied, “I totally deserved that. She’s right fellas, I messed up big time.” Romero looked over toward Sullivan, “I never got over how I hurt her and how I ruined the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Petersen looked over at Dix and gave him the what-the-hell-are-you-doing look. Dix was actually thinking the same thing. Skeletons like these needed to be treated delicately or all types of fallout could be expected.

A tinge of jealousy forced Petersen to comment. “You two obviously have a rough past. If you think you can move past it to deal with this case, you’re both in. If not, grab your stuff and leave. We won’t have any hard feelings.” He really hoped Sullivan would stay. He was intrigued by her and wanted to learn more about her.

Sullivan looked at Romero and they both looked at Dix and Petersen and said, “We’re in.”

Dix chuckled. “Ok, we have work to do. Romero, you come with me to check out what we can see at Pedro’s hospital room. Steve, you and Sullivan get with the local cartel experts and see if they can point us in the right direction as to whom they think is calling the shots.” Dix had a feeling he and his team were headed for a very long day.

The group split up and headed out to their cars. Romero said he needed to make a call prior to leaving.

“I’m going to use the head real quick, I’ll be right out.”

“Don’t get lost in there,” replied Dix.

Romero made his way to the restroom and ensured everyone was out of the room before calling Jose Calderon.

Calderon felt his cell phone vibrating in his pocket as he crossed back into the United States. He retrieved it and noticed it was Romero.

Calderon entered the pass code on the phone and answered, “What’s the update?”

“I’m assigned to a small team trying to figure out who keeps trying to kill Pedro. The two guys helping with the case are better than most cops. We may have to deal with them as well as killing Pedro.”

After digesting the statement, Calderon said, “The hit on Pedro is off right now per El Hefe. If the local cops become a nuisance, kill them. The number one priority is to get El Hefe’s money back.”

“That may not be possible. The money was in Pedro’s car and it has been seized. In a few days it will be moved by a heavily armed convoy to First National bank. If we’re going to get it back, it has to be before it’s moved,” Romero replied. He was curious as to why El Hefe wouldn’t want Pedro dead and how in the hell he would get the money back.

Calderon simply said, “Get me the intel, we’ll take care of the rest. Also, figure out where they moved Pedro and let me know.”

“I thought Pedro was no longer of interest to El Hefe?”

Calderon laughed and said, “Pedro is no longer of interest to El Hefe, but he is to me. You have four hours to figure this out and advise me.”

Romero could feel himself getting flustered again. He cursed himself for ever taking money and selling out to the devil. Either his family would be murdered or he could live very well while compromising investigations and leaving people out to dry. Sometimes these people ended up dead. He became desensitized to it after awhile.

“I’ll do what I can. I have a friend working at the warehouse where the money is and since I’m on this task force to catch you, I should know soon where Pedro is,” replied Romero.

Calderon flatly replied, “For your sake and mine, I hope you do.”

 

 

 

Chapter 15

Romero exited the building and walked over to the car he could see Dix sitting in. He steadied his nerves and took a deep breath before getting in.

Dix noticed the young agent was trying to calm himself. He thought maybe Romero was just trying to save a little face since he admitted his affair while engaged to Sullivan. He watched as Romero reached for the door handle to enter the car and noticed he was talking to himself.

Dix said, “Hey buddy, everything okay?”

Romero laughed and shrugged, “Yeah, why?”

“Oh nothing, you seemed a bit on edge.”

Romero was rattled by how well Dix read him. He decided he was a major problem. He considered being upfront with Dix since he assumed he wouldn’t be able to fool him anyway.

“Oh that, I was just feeling sorry for myself. Sullivan never did anything wrong and she has done well for herself. I, on the other hand, screwed everything up.”

Dix mulled the statement. He was impressed with Romero’s ability to reflect on his own actions and sort of felt bad for the guy, just a little. Sure Romero was a jerk and earned the cold shoulder from Sullivan, but he seemed like he wanted to apologize and should be forgiven. Plus, he needed Romero’s connections and understanding of the situation to help solve this case. Dix decided to lie a little to keep him happy.

He said in a fatherly tone, “Look, you messed up. But you have great potential. As soon as you get past the past, you’ll be fine. Now, let’s go wrangle up some murderous cartel members.”

Romero shook his head and stared at Dix.
For a guy I might have to kill, he isn’t half bad
, he thought.

“I know, I actually think what you said is right. I’m going to meet with her again if she will let me and apologize. I’ve never actually done that. My head is in the game. Let’s go meet the guys involved with the latest attempt on Pedro. I think we may have some leads there.”

“Ok, sounds like a plan,” Dix replied. He pulled the car out and drove away. Romero wasn’t even paying attention as his mind was working overtime. As Romero finally snapped out of his daydream he looked up and noticed they were already at the hospital.

Romero alertly stated, “See those guys to your right in the beat up Honda Civic?”

“Yes.” Dix assumed they were undercover officers based on their appearance with longer hair and dirty looking clothes.

“Those are a few of the narcotics detectives currently working a wiretap investigation in San Diego. If anyone will know who’s behind all this, it will be them.”

Dix drove the car over near to where the men were sitting in the Honda Civic, but not next to them even though there were open spaces on both sides of their car.

Romero noticed this and had a puzzled look on his face, “Are you trying to get your exercise?”

“I’d want them to do the same for me,” he replied.

They exited the car and casually walked over to the Honda Civic. Two men exited the Civic and began walking toward them. Dix chuckled when he saw one of the men from the Civic exit. He was probably in his early thirties, well built, and wearing the standard goatee most guys wear when they first get into narcotics. He estimated the second man was in his late forties. He had a dip of chewing tobacco in his mouth, and moved with a slight limp. Dix’s own left knee throbbed daily so he could already relate to the stranger.

Romero said, as he pointed to the two men, “Dix, meet DG and Wally. They’re on the local narcotics task force

and knee deep in cartels right now.”

Dix extended his hand to both men and said, “Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” After exchanging brief formalities, Dix was anxious to get going.

Before he could start asking questions DG told Dix, “Appreciate your parking job. Kids these days aren’t as paranoid as us old farts.”

“No problem. I noticed a puzzled look on Romero’s face when I parked and chuckled to myself. I thought the same damn thing you just did. We’re getting too old for this stuff aren’t we?”

While laughing DG replied, “You got that right. I have to use Wally here to chase the bad guys down during our buy-busts,” he slapped Dix on the shoulder, “I like you already Dix.”

Both Romero and Wally exchanged looks to each other like,
oh brother
.

DG suggested the four men start walking over to the hospital lobby area. He began updating Dix and Romero about how he and Wally had contacted several informants regarding the case and learned little. He explained the word on the street was confirmed that someone wanted Pedro dead because he was believed to be a snitch. DG told them he personally believed there was a split a few years ago of members from the Tijuana Cartel. One group worked primarily in Mexico and the other worked in the United States. DG said there was very little known about the second group and he speculated that they may be the group behind the attempted murders on Pedro.

DG said to Wally and Romero, “Why don’t you guys go talk to the Deputies about what they know, Dix and I will catch up.” Without hesitation Wally and Romero continued walking on.

Dix was sure the men he’d just met were shooting him straight. This was important to him because he was an outsider. Nevertheless, he was beginning to feel as though solving the case was more than a long shot. He felt there were too many unknowns and not enough time.

Dix looked at DG. “What’s up?”

“I want to run something by you. I’m thinking the second attempt on Pedro had to include someone working with law enforcement. Someone that knew the schedules of the Sheriff’s Office Deputies, the location of Pedro, the nurse rotation schedule, layout of the hospital, and they had to have an understanding of police procedure.”

Dix agreed entirely with DG and suddenly realized DG was not part of the group meeting when the locals disclosed there was, in fact, a law enforcement leak. Dix quickly got DG up to speed with the information gained from the prior meeting.

Dix said, “I worked a case not too long ago where I actually asked the bad guy for help on how to catch him. These inside jobs are near impossible to figure. With the cartels being so rooted in San Diego, and all the layoffs thanks to the California Governor, I’m sure there are a few guys with ties to the crew running the show here. Some of them may even be on the cartel payroll.”

DG shook his head in disgust. “Money cracks even the strongest will. I’ve heard the cartels are trying to find family members of some of our Hispanic officers to use them against the officers. This war on drugs sure seems to be failing.”

“We have to figure this one out quick. I think the people trying to kill Pedro also want the thirty-million dollars we found in his car. We don’t have enough resources to protect Pedro, figure out who wants him dead, and figure out who and when someone would make a move on the thirty million dollars,” replied Dix. As he said it, he thought it bizarre and a little far-fetched that anyone would try to steal money from a law enforcement facility.

DG thought about all he had learned since meeting Dix. He had accepted the fact that someone working for law enforcement was feeding information to a cartel. The information was being used to hunt down an informant. He wondered if one of the people he supervised were involved. He quickly abandoned the idea, believing he knew his guys and they’d never do something that stupid.

“Agreed. Admin is pissed right now and hasn’t told anyone where Pedro is. Since we don’t know where he is, what do you say we focus on the money? You really think these guys would hit a secure police warehouse?” asked DG.

Dix wanted to believe the thought was outlandish, but the group already demonstrated they had no regard for law enforcement and would kill anyone in their way.

Dix nodded. “Unfortunately, yes. This crew cares about nothing and kills cops. They mean business. I don’t have a lot of cartel experience, but I know everything they do is about money. So what if Pedro survives a few attempts on his life? The bottom line is thirty-million dollars is sitting in a warehouse with the cartel’s name on it. If you ask me, I’m positive they will try to get the money.” Dix was thinking how this case was similar to the last one he and Petersen stumbled upon, except this one was about cash instead of a half-ton of cocaine.

BOOK: The Cartel Enforcers (The Bill Dix Detective Series Book 2)
8.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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