DEA Agent Arianne Walker has set up a room at the precinct. It's one of the interview rooms, but she's had all the cameras and microphones physically disconnected. Even the mirrored glass has a bit sheet of black... is that trash bags? ..plastic is taped up over it. It's designed for pure secrecy. Nobody was told about the meeting until ten minutes before it happened and nobody knows who they are meeting. Just an e-mail from the Detective Lieutenant to show up.
When they show up in the room, there are the bags over the window plus the wires dangling from the ceiling. The woman meeting them is a blone in her mid forties wearing jeans and a Aeropostale t-shirt with a stylish leather jacket over it. She's wearing one of the PD entrance badges for a clearance in and out, too. The dot on the corner identifies her as law enforcement. She's sitting at the table with a stack of folders.
Oh the fun she has. Thorne is working on one case when another is dropped in her lap. More or less. It's at least a 'meet and discuss' a case. The detective was just on break, waiting for coffee to brew. Thus, she might be a moment or two late. It didn't seem like a rush deal. Oooh, accident on the bridge. Likely someone's mommy or daddy is tryin to get the media involved. It's as she steps through the door -- in jeans and a plain tee herself -- and taking a sip from a chipped mug, that Audrey begins to realize something might be a touch... off about her initial theory.
The door to the meeting room flies open, admitting the blindfolded form of Detective Dash Smith. Well-timed, like he was a time mage or something, his phone begins playing Cuban Pete just as he begins shaking maracas. He does indeed do the strut straight into the room, briefly knocking against the table, only to turn around and play it off rather well.
Stopping somewhat centrally to the table, when he shakes his maracas, his bottom goes chick-chiki-boom, chick-chiki-boom chick-chiki-boom. He continues shaking left to right to the rhythm of the music, finally reaching up to rip the blindfold off and turn around with a flourish. Only to come face-to-face with the DEA.
With a scream, Dash tosses the blindfold and pockets the maracas as quickly as possible. He begins talking really fast, working out a somewhat plausible scenario, "Sorry, the Detective Lieutenant... umm.. bet... co-workers... thingy." He adjusts his jacket quickly, raising his eyebrows, "Who are you?"
The song still plays on...
Audrey chokes on her coffee.
Tucker's day had started out well. First a wrong order at Starbucks, then he gets another case tossed his way. Oh look, a meeting. Stepping into the room, Tucker takes a moment to glance around, a little surprised by all the cloak and dagger bullshit that was going on. There were secret meetings and then there was this. Still, he gives a faint not at the broad in the stylish leather jacket. He tosses Thorne a nod, and Dash? Well, he certainly had to make an entrance didn't he? Shaking his head, Tucker takes a seat and gets himself ready for whatever it was that was about to ruin his week.
As they all enter the room, Walker stands. When she see's Dash, her brows raise. She keeps her eyes on him while he puts everything away. There's nothing approaching 'impressed' on her face. That's a serious face. She just gives a soft sound in acknowledgement. She looks at the three of them after a moment and gestures for chairs. "I'm Agent Arianne Walker, Drug Enforcement Agency." The woman waits for them to sit before taking her own seat. "Apologies about the secrecy, but when we start talking? The reasons why will be apparent. What we're going to talk about has nothing to do with the mafia girl busted on the bypass last week. This has everything to do with the major cocaine bust made the month prior." Her hands clasp. "You're all aware of the coke shipment that came blasting in on the roads, yeah?"
A basic portfolio, tucked beneath Thorne's arm, is shifted to the table as she takes her seat. There's a nod for Tucker, in turn, once the woman has settled in and recovered herself in the wake of Dash's... display. The portfolio is opened, pen slid free, and she leans forward on both elbows as the woman introduces herself. Eyebrows arch at the title, but shift into a more neutral position as she continues. "High end vehicles, cocaine, yes. I'm guessing it's bigger than some kids who happened into a windfall they couldn't handle?"
Portfolioless, Dash never-the-less at least seems on the ball about that, nodding his head quickly, "Yeah." He then blinks, "Wait, sorry. Secrecy." He takes a deep breath, his eyes narrowing, and his voice becoming comic bookishly secretive, "We don't not know about it, Agent Walker." He takes the seat left available to him, clearing his throat, "It's a bit bigger. I read the file Major Crimes has on it. Several key players in the whole incident have files that carry a...." He looks towards Tucker, "Drum roll please?" He then finally looks back towards Walker, "A DEA lock on it!"
o/~ ...If you like the beat, take a lesson from Cuban Pete... o/~
DEA huh? That only meant one thing. Drugs. Not some minor stuff either. Tucker takes in a deep breath and exhales it slowly. Looks like the three of them were getting a crack at something big time. This was the sort of thing someone could get a bump up in pay for and more pay would be quite nice. "Yea, we had a meeting about it, a bit of a heads up on what was going on and to keep our eyes out for any suspicious stuff sort of meeting." Which is why Mafia girl had found herself going up against far more cops than she could have ever imagined. A look is given over at Dash. Goddamn, he was going to have a hard time trying to keep a straight face.
The Agent nods her head slowly to Thorne. There's not verbal reply yet. She just gives affirmation before looking to the others. Her eyes focus on Dash and leaves them there during his words. She just keeps looking at him. "Yeah, I was warned about dealing with local PD," she says, words dry. "I still have hope for passing this case off. Some." Agent Walker looks at him another moment before focusing on Tucker. "Yeah, that was prompted by us. The Detective did good work. So let's get down to brass tacks." She clears her throat and opens a file in front of her before pushing it out to the others.
"Antonio Morales. We've been trying to bust this guy since he killed a DEA Agent in Tijuana last year." The file has a long arrest record, but everything they should have. "He was a key player in the Juarez Cartel. The public file on the guy is pretty simple but the one we have paints a much more broad picture. Morales was a major enforcer for the cartel. The problem is this: The Juarez cartel doesn't leave the border states. They've hit a serious slump since we started putting agents out on their own with strike teams on call. So this presents a problem, as I'm sure you can tell."
The file is passed over and Audrey snags it near first. The boys get to wait. She flips through, skimming pages. A few notes are made before it's passed down the line. As the Agent continues, Thorne listens. She makes a few more notes, leaning back in her chair a measure. There's a bit of a frown, thoughtful. "Their product turned up quite far from home, sounds like. Who's running it for them? And why the... joyriding?"
Dash leans forward casually as he is eyed and his profession is keelhauled, a daring smile on his face. He shakes his head as he adds joyfully, "Something doesn't add up though!" He takes the file as it is passed down, thumbing through it quickly, "The coke we found tested as 90% pure, which is still pretty high up on the food chain. It must have only just came in. My guess is from Canada, which is why the fast cars. Gives them a better chance at running." He passes the folder down, looking back towards the agent with a shake of his head and a shrug of his shoulders, "Just a guess though."
Tucker ignores Thorne as she grabs the file and skims through it, instead reaching into his coat pocket and bringing out a small container. Popping it open, he slips out a cinna-mint flavored toothpick and puts it in his mouth. It was that damn lawyer guy's fault. Flavored toothpicks were such a nice idea, especially the bourbon flavored ones he had back at his desk. He listens to Thorne and Dash and then adds his own bit of commentary, "Could be product shipped to Canada to distribute in the Northeast... Sure, strange that Morales was up here but maybe he seeing how the operations were going."
He gives the Agent a look and asks, "Where do you think they are basing their operations from? If States-side, I'd guess Boston, but if they are going in Canada, I would guess Montreal. Access to the ocean and the Great Lakes, a nice hub for distributing product in the Northeastern US and the eastern part of Canada."
"This isn't joyriding," Agent Walker tells Thorne. "You recovered a substantial quantity of a drug transport. One-quarter of it, if the other cars were loaded all the same. So while you all may have stopped two-fifty large, seven-fifty still went to market." She then looks to Dash and nods slowly. "That's our feel on it. The coke was essentially pre-cut for a distributor. Most of what you see on the street is about eighty percent. The cartels know this and account for it. The only people who see ninety are the wealthy." She then looks to Tucker and gives an iffy shrug. "We think you're probably right. Think. We aren't sure. We've got some traffic that they are taking the southern route. The problem with the Boston theory is that nobody we've identified with the case have any ties to Boston." She taps a finger to the table. "We think most of the drivers are local to you." She pauses. "See, smugglers like this can afford something like that bust one time. Maybe two or three. The issue is this: That was likely a test run. They are probably checking to see the best way to move product, fast, into Fallcoast. Where they went to? They could go anywhere from there."
There's a small, thoughtful sound from Audrey. She taps her pen likely against the pad, glancing up at the other two. "Fallcoast is certainly a large enough region to support someone moving in. Especially if what they have is a high enough grade." The pen is dropped to the paper and she reaches for her coffee. There's a long sip of it. "So, you're expecting more to come through, but perhaps by a different means?"
Dash shakes his head, "No. It'd come through by the same means." He leans back in the chair, contemplating, "No, the overland route to Fallcoast from Canada is too juicy. They'll try with the sports cars again, just to make sure it wasn't a lucky bust. Then they'll cut loses and start looking into another route if it turns out we're not soft." He looks towards Walker, leaning forward, "The cars we got had evidence of off-road travel, probably as a result of crossing the boarder away from patrolled routes. What resources can you throw at that?"
o/~ Si senorita I know that would to chicky-book-chick. It's very nice, so full of spice. o/~
"That makes sense, right? Hire local guys who know the area and can help set up operations under the table?" Tucker rubs his chin for a moment, glancing over at Thorne. She was right, the city was capable of handling someone moving in. "I agree with Dash, they'll likely try it agian. Still, probably for the best to keep a heads up on other possibilities. Either another type of vehicle, less conspicuous, or by air or sea."
"We aren't sure." The DEA Agent shakes her head a bit. "Cartels like this tend to try and find a niche that works and stick to it. Within that niche, they diversify. The major cartels out of Columbia are mostly Hollywood at this point - its mostly Mexican. I would expect more drivers. They probably not on the main roads after the last fiasco - and the stop with that mafiosa girl." She then turns the ansers to Dash. "Resources? Damned near nothing. The northern border is a joke and nobody takes it seriously. We've got six UAV's out of an Air Force Base in Montana to cover the whole border. That's why we are looking at you all for this." She finishes by looking at Tucker. "Essentially, yes. The people you're looking for probably know the streets well. The problem is this: They're already recruited. Those drivers are out there and probably protected. So you all need to figure out how you're going to do this." She takes a long breath. "The falls under the DEA bigtime, but the problem is that this seems focused a lot within your city limits. We have orders to see what you can do first. But if you all don't pull this out, we are taking it." She pulls over another file and opens it. Yes, that's the Seal of the US Attorney General. "We can grant six officers legal standing in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont with this document. It is a temporary federalization. They would be supervised by the DEA, but only loosely. Activities originating for the primary activities would be performed out of Fallcoast." She puts it forward to them to look at. "If this is not something this department can handle, tell me now."
Another sip of coffee and Thorne sets the mug down. She lifts a hand to run fingers through her hair. The brown locks fall back in place by her cheeks. "So they're doing to continue with the cars, but on different routes. They've recruited, likely locally. And we can't get any support on the border." It's a very quick, succinct version of it, and spoken more to herself than the table as a whole. Leaning forward, Audrey glances over the file. The orders. "From the sounds of it, we have more available resources at the moment than you do, Agent Walker. Give us all the information you have-" there's a glance towards the other file's DEA markings. "...and we can come up with a battleplan."
Dash laughs, "Ha." He looks towards Tucker with a sly grin, "She doesn't know who she's talkin' to, Tuckernuts." He looks back towards Agent Walker, "I arrested Joey 'Beer Gut' McGullicutty just last week." He holds up his hand, fingers spread, "Five B&Es and an attempted assault on a crab shack stand." He reaches forward to take the US Attorney General's document, "I think we can handle your little multi-million dollar drug ring." He looks over the documentation, raising an eyebrow slightly, then nodding his head.
o/~ I've been really trying baby. Trying to hold back this feelin' for so long. And if you feel... o/~
Dash quickly reaches into his pocket, silencing the phone, "Sorry. The only place I had Cuban Pete was on my Undercover Male Stripper Spotify playlist..." He looks up and adds, "Y'know, for birthday parties."
Walker nods slowly. "DEA only has so many resources. Want more? Remember that with who you vote for. What we can get you is a UAV for about six hours out of the day. We only run them at night with IR. That's about all we can do. We have some sources on the inside, but they've been dark for awhile. But we are giving you the keys. For now." She then looks back to Dash, eyes lidded. "Got it. So if Fallcoast PD fucks this up, we should make sure you're testifying in front of Congress about your love of stripper music, not a bust, and how it related to cocaine. Got it." Epic Frown. There's even some frump in there. Grr. Fear the resting bitchfas.
Dash blinks, leaning back just a little bit, "Yeah, no. Congress doesn't need to ask questions about stripper music. I'm sure they get their updates during their partisan get-togethers." He then shakes his head, "Anyway, I have designs to start at the community college. Our only link, currently, back to the source is James Rudy Fleming. He was the driver of the car we brought in. If anyone knows who he's been talking to, that might lead us back to a recruiter." He glances towards Thorne, "We should also have the lab identify the dirt on the tires of the car. If it happens to have a soil content specific to a certain area, that could give us an idea of where to put the drone. Then, doing some math based on when they were spotted by traffic cameras versus the estimated sustainable speeds of those cars, and we'll have a good idea of when and where to put that drone other than outside the bathroom window of Fallcoast's own Miss Maine 1994, Jenny Turner." He looks back towards Walker and pops his eyebrows, "Woof."
There's a sidelong look for Dash and a frown. Someone isn't winning points with the women in the room. "We'll assign someone to those six hours. Perhaps we can begin narrowing over possible crossings, to ramp up surveillance on our end." She jots a few notes, including potential names of who gets the joy of night shift to stare at UAV footage. "I think step one will be increasing patrols on roads outside those we've already seen these guys on. The number of cars of the style they're using in Fallcoast aren't very high. We can do some traffic stops. The uppercrust will likely appreciate any attempts they feel are making them feel safer and likely won't be speeding or behaving erratically anyway."