Cutting Room Excerpts #2
Another in our series of chapters that didn't make THE NIGHT POLICE final cut. This may have been round filed, but like all the rest, it's a true account fictionalized, only names and places have been changed to protect identities. Sometimes these excerpts aren't "publish-ready" as they were drafts, but you'll get the drift.
A Case of Regrettable Misfortune
What is bad luck? According to the dictionary, it’s described as an “unnecessary and unforeseen trouble resulting from an unfortunate event”.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip to Hiroshima in August of ’45. He was stepping off a train when an atomic bomb blew up just a couple of miles away. Soooo, that was pretty fucked up. He spent the next night in an air-raid shelter, then decided to work his way back home. You guessed it, he lived in Nagasaki. I think you know the rest of that story. I’m going to suggest this was some seriously bad luck, I’m pretty confident Tsutomu (who’s still alive at this writing) would agree with me.
Evan Dellinger might take the silver behind Yamaguchi. Either that or his place in the pantheon of imbeciles is cemented at the top.
After a typical narco day of any early buy-bust for a couple of ounces of crank, followed by a door kicking, ass-kicking search warrant, it was time to wander off into the night. Going home to the girlfriend was no option, I didn’t want to. And I’d been writing reports for hours, so the rest of the lads had long before found fruitful amusements.
I found myself on my home turf in the parking lot of MoMax’s Comedy Shop. I thought I’d stop by, have a couple of greyhounds, and who knows, I might fall in love, again. I parked my undercover car, a ratty but quick, quick, quick Z28 out in the lot, near the exit.
Minutes before the witching hour, I strolled towards the front door. I could see a small group, a couple of bouncers and a few other guys illuminated by the blue neon glow. Before I could make it that far, I saw a scrawny, long-haired dude slip out from between a couple of parked cars and walk in my direction. My radar wasn’t up and spinning. He was just some guy heading out into the lot. As we passed, I heard him mutter something, but it was unrecognizable. Why I turned and said “say what?” I don’t know.
Evan Deloit Dellenger, turns and takes a step towards me. Again with his volume switch down around two he almost whispers, “You wanna buy some acid man?”. This I understood! “I dunno, maybe. What’chu got” I responded. Dellenger tells me he has some “dots”.
At that time, we didn’t routinely see much acid anymore, but there was still a bit around on the street. You could still score, liquid L-25, eye dropped under the tongue, the real orange Sunshine, Clearlight Windowpane that came in 500 to 900 mics per hit, and the not nearly as quality brownish windowpane. And of course there was still a lot of blotter, all kinds of blue- barrel, yellow-barrel, but what I hadn’t seen much of was dots.
A couple of minutes later we were sitting in my car, the door open to keep the dome light on. Dellenger pulls a small pill bottle from his pocket and spills a few hits out on the center console. I’m looking at grayish-purple tablets often referred to as “microdots” maybe the size of an old saccharin tablet. I asked him what he wanted for them and how many he had. He said they were six bucks unless I was interested in “in a lot more”.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t see Dellenger as a “quantity” guy. I’d paid a lot of attention and he wasn’t obviously armed, he was very casual and didn’t really seem very dope sophisticated. But the whole quantity thing had my interest. I suggested that if his dope was any good, I might just be interested in more. I told him, “why don’t you hop in, we’ll go grab a six-pack and shoot the shit”. Well, that was just fine with Mr. Dellenger.
So we drove for about an hour, drinking a sixer of Old Style (his choice, the swine) and chatting about all sorts of shit. Women, music (Loverboy, Foreigner and Pat Benatar and her butt), hell we were becoming best of friends and getting a mild buzz. When the conversation turned back to his lysergic acid diethylamide, this time he went straight to the quantity discussion again. He suggested he could get it in larger amounts and when I pressed him he stated “ounces, pounds, whatever man”. Not very sophisticated.
So for this night, we left it at my purchase of 5 dots, for 30 bucks. I gave him my “hello- phone” number, telling him I’d try this purchase and if any good, maybe we’d talk about more. I added I was going to go skiing on the delta on the weekend and would give his dope a try…he should call me on Monday or so. He was in, it seemed.
I dropped him at his car, which gave me the opportunity to grab the license plate and hopefully ID him. I’d only spent 30 dollars of the county’s funds. If I didn’t ID him and he didn’t call, it wouldn’t be a huge loss. There was a lot more work to do.
The next morning I took the evidence to the lab myself and asked for a “rush”. Every cop was always looking for a “rush”. I had the distinct advantage that one of the county’s more senior lab-techs had been found in the company of a hooker a few months back.
Monteese Randall-Monair, a pimp who’d been sacked by the vice guys with two of his girls was dejectedly slumped in a shitty little room in the St. Prince Motel. Through a comrade-in-arms, I knew they were going to try to pinch this guy, and he was tied into a meth cook I was working. I asked and got permission to go along for the fun, then have the first crack at talking with him.
While I was interrogating Monteese, who goes walking by the window in cuffs and with a patrol escort, but the senior lab-tech in question. Javier Chilito and I both boinked the same bartendress, though best I remember, never at the same time. We’d had had a few cocktails a time or two and shared mostly potty-mouthed stories. In this instance, I was able to get the vice detectives to cut Javier loose. Though it would ultimately cost me big time…another story…for now, he owed me one and rushed the dope analysis. 915am the next day, Javier left me a message: Dellenger’s dope was the real deal.
I’m going to cut to the chase here. Within about three weeks I’d made two more buys of acid from Dellenger. The first buy for an eighth ounce of a powdered form of acid, the second an ounce. Dellenger was crook-late each and every time we set up a call or a meet. He was two hours late on the ounce deal and got firmly chastised by me for it. It wasn’t uncommon. I don’t think many dope deals have happened by the numbers. After all, these are dopers we’re dealing with. Basic business skills were often lacking.
Another thing that happened during that three-week time frame was that besides the two transactions that included a beer or two and basic chit chat, we had about fifteen phone conversations, some of them about his dope and a couple of times we’d just shoot the shit. He liked me, I knew that. And I didn’t, not like him. He was personable, reasonably intelligent and just didn’t strike me as the typical dope dealer.
At this point, as was the norm for the times, we decided to order up big and see what we could get. We’d buy-bust this guy at the time of the next purchase.
Dellenger and I negotiated on the phone to put the right deal together, and we finally settled on a sale of eight ounces. He asked me if I could cover our agreed-upon price of $150,000. This was an opportunity to tie him down to a time frame we could reasonably cover with the resources at hand.
I had an answer, previously cooked up over several losing liars dice games, at Jonardy’s Tavern. It was decided, I’d tell him that my father had a printing business and he’d routinely accumulate a week’s worth of receipts and make a bank run to deposit the funds on Mondays. I could slip into his office late Friday night, get into the safe and take the receipts. The deal was he’d need to deliver the dope on fucking time so I could off it to the next guy and replace the funds back into the safe by Sunday night. What could possibly go wrong?
We agreed that the surveillance team would hang out at the office until we had word from Dellenger that he was on his way. We suspected he’d be late, most of these assholes were always late and he’d been no different. Since our meet was only about ten minutes from there, we’d set our teams in place once we thought he was on the move. the road and confirm that he had the load and that he’d be there as planned. I added, no call, no deal. It was a risk, but a small one. This was a big score for him and the money was dominating his every thought. I felt it'd put some pressure on him to perform.
During our briefing prior to the transaction, we agreed this was going to be a relatively simple transaction involving six to eight surveillance cops covering the buy. If Dellenger demanded to see the money, I’d have flash money in a backpack, and he could see it, but I wouldn’t let him count it. Mostly because we didn’t have enough flash money to cover the deal. Not unusual at the time.
Once the crook arrived, we’d hold until I had a visual on the dope. When that happened I’d put my hands over my head as a visual bust signal to the surveilling coppers. They’d then swoop in, take Dellenger down, and I’d secure the dope during the arrest.
We agreed that surveillance team would hang out at the office until we had word from Dellenger that he was on his way. We suspected he’d be late, these assholes were always late and he’d been no different. Since our meet was only about ten minutes from there, we’d set our teams in place once we thought he was on the move.
The following Saturday, I was at the office by 10 am, on the off chance he’d call early. He didn’t. The surveillance team drifted in over the next hour or so and we just talked about details, and girls, and fishing and whatever, waiting for the phone to ring. By 3pm, the time the deal was to go down, he hadn’t called. Annoyed and slightly frustrated, we started to discuss at what time would we shut this op down. We were still discussing the time when the hello-phone rang.
When Dellenger started to talk, I knew we had a bit of a problem. What’s new? First, he was all sorts of apologetic. My first thought was this dickhead can’t put this fucking deal together. But we quickly moved past that when he started to explain why he was delayed. And by the way, he was also way fucked up. Slurring his words, repeating himself. I wasn’t sure what he’d gotten into, but whatever it was, it sure as hell was working.
I finally got him to the subject of the freakin call, the dope. Did he have it. Yes, he did. Ok, good start. Was he planning on bringing it to me, I had a fucking timeline to manage. Yes, he would, but it might take him a bit longer than he’d planned. I listened, his car was down and it was raining like a bitch. Now he was coming from Dayton on the River and he’d be on his motorcycle. Oh, this was so fucking much like a dope deal.
He slurred, one last bit of complication. He didn’t have a scale. He didn’t know how to weigh out my eight ounces. Thinking that through a bit, I said “Evan, I have a scale, a really good one. Why don’t you bring the whole load, when you get here, we’ll break it down and you can take the rest back with you?” No dope dealer in his right mind would ever agree to that arrangement but Dellenger didn't bat an eye, “fuck yeah, good idea!”. You can’t tell me that being under the influence is always bad. It also fed into my thinking that he wasn’t a very sophisticated dope dealer. I didn’t care.
I got him to reaffirm about six times that he had the dope and would be bringing it. We set a new time of 530 pm. I told him I’ll be waiting “don’t fuck me over Evan”. He acted hurt that I’d accuse him of such a slight. You only hurt the ones you love.
This is where things really started to go downhill for Dellenger. He was on his motorcycle, a Honda CG 125, essentially a moped with a larger seat. And it was raining, like a motherfucker. Dellenger in a green military jacket about three sized to big, a t-shirt and pair of jeans, mounted his trusty steed and headed south from Dayton on the River. He hadn’t gone more than about ten miles when he was pulled over by Stateys. I’m sure that trooper must’ve wondered why this bedraggled, sopping wet idiot was riding in a monsoon, and in this case with no license plate on the bike. He somehow got by this copper with just a fix-it ticket. Later he told me, “I was shitting my pants, had all that dope”. Guess the State Trooper didn’t want to lollygag around in the rain either.
Dellinger got most of an hour and a half down the road without a mishap until the Ford Galaxy directly in front of him hydroplaned, slammed on his brakes and absorbed the impact of Dellenger’s Honda with him semi-tethered. The accident trashed the bike but left it operable, sort of. All Dellenger had to do was shift by pulling the shifting cable, since the clutch lever had sheared off at impact. Oh, and that was complicated by a closed fracture of his left forearm.
I don’t know that Dellenger was worried that he was late again. It’s unlikely as he was fairly well distracted. By the time he’d picked himself up, squeegeed himself off and figured out how to operate his bike once again, he was on target to be about an hour late to the biggest dope transaction he’d ever make.
I sat in my undercover car at the Pick-N-Pay as the rain subsided, and fog rolled in. This time I really was pissed, wondering if he’d bagged on the deal, got arrested (which would hugely annoy me, because he was mine) or killed his silly ass driving hammered. The surveillance units in and around my position chit chatted on the radio. There was once again the beginning of a discussion about clearing if the idiot was more than another hour late.
And like a vision out of the mist, who comes putt-putting down the wide avenue, aimed directly at us by one totally hammered Even Dellenger. He pulled into the lot, and cruised the perimeter, looking for surveillance or me, I’m guessing me. He eventually pulled alongside my door, and the poor drowned dope dealer peered at me through his only slightly broken glasses. I let him soak in the moment before I rolled down my window. He didn’t get a word out before I blasted him for being late. He looked so pathetic, I just couldn’t enjoy the moment like I’d planned.
As I stepped out, I asked “you got it”? He replied in the affirmative, adding “it’s in my coat”. I open the hood of my car and pointing, “throw your jacket in there”. Dellenger did not ask to see my money, he just moaned as he tried to get his jacket off. He seemed to be nursing a wound to his arm or hand, I couldn’t tell, I was focused on seeing the acid. Dellenger distracted and in pain, dumped his coat on the engine and turned to his broken motorcycle, piece of shit that it was. I opened the jacket and glanced inside but saw nothing. He said “there’s a zipper on the side”. Finding it, I opened the zipper and saw a paper bag inside that contained the most LSD I’d ever seen in one place.
I stepped back and asked him if he was ok. What had happened? Dellenger told me about the accident and that he was sure he’d broken his arm. While he was unloading his tale of woe, I raised my hands over my head, like a big yawn might produce. Almost immediately you could hear engines roar to life, tires spinning on the wet pavement. Three undercover cars from across the street all hit the same entrance to the lot at the same time, jamming into the small space, delaying entry for few seconds. By this time Dellenger was looking around, “What’s that? What the fuck?”. Not wanting him to bolt, or pull a gun and do something stupid, I stepped behind him, hoisted my arm around his neck and choked him the fuck out.
Moments later, he’s on his belly on the wet pavement, handcuffed. The dope is secured in the trunk of one of the surveillance vehicles. We recovered a loaded .25 auto, some Italian piece of shit, from his pants pocket. Mr. Dellenger, unfortunately for him, had shit his pants. Sometimes getting choked out will do that.
You’d think this would be enough, but no, his bad luck was not over, really, by quite a bit. After a fair bit of medical treatment to cast his broken arm, and suture two long lacerations on one of his legs, he was ready for a stimulating round of interrogation. I’ll give him this, he may not have been a sophisticated dope dealer, but he wouldn’t give up names. He said he’d need to go to jail instead.
Dellenger delivered to me roughly four times the dope I’d ordered up. It was poor dope management for sure. I suggested he should buy a scale first thing after he got out of prison. He didn’t appear to be all that amused.
What he did share was that the dope he sold me, wasn’t his. He’d stolen it from a stash he’d been shown in confidence; of course, he’d broken that confidence. What we found out during our follow up investigation was that he’d stolen the 75,000 tabs of acid from Southern Jim Witness, Secretary-Treasurer for the Oakton chapter. Oakton chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.
Dellenger had no prior felony convictions and just a couple innocuous misdemeanors arrests. He was dealing out of his depth. It caused him to be sentenced to a five-year stint in the Big Muddy River Correctional Center. The value of the dope, depending on who was estimating, was approximately $375,000. Having the gun during our transaction sealed his fate.
Evan Deloit Dellenger had an atrociously lousy day.
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