The Dope Deal Comes Together, Part 2

Updated: Nov 13

A lot of balls in the air


Poor lock management!

One more 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.


In Part Two, the deal comes together. Complex and surprising.





This is a three-part blog post; you can link to the Parts One, Two & Three here:


Part One: Click Here

Part Three: Click Here


“Let Me Make This Right” Part 2

We arranged to meet again at “our hotel” at which time Mitch would bring us four ounces of coke. Before we told him we weren’t going to front any money, Mitch says, “Hey, I trust you guys, just pay me when I get there.” One of two scenarios was in play in our minds.  Either the college dope game was a lot looser than everywhere else, or Mitch was dangerously ignorant and callow. TripleThick confirmed it was the latter.


Because we got along so well with Mitch, we’d designed TripleThick out of the picture for our deal (he was supposedly home visiting with mom and dad). It was good for him, and it was good for us. 


One week later at the El Rancho Hotel, troops swooped in and arrested Mitch, Mookie and myself and confiscated four and a half ounces of cocaine. Once “in custody” we were all separated and it was the last we saw of Mitch, but not for long.


As it turns out, TripleThick, who seemed pure as the driven snow on paper, was in fact connected to at least two major players in our neck of the woods. We decided we’d meet and plan a strategy for the next buy with one of these two.


About a week later, Mookie, TripleThick, and I settled into a nice room at a Lake Olena casino to do some serious planning. During the first hours, TripleThick advised that he’d received a call from Mitch that morning looking for my phone number. He was frantic to talk to me. TripleThick was smart enough not to give him a number and told him he’d relay the message. It was a bit odd, but we were friends after all and we’d done an hour of jail-time together.


I was more than cold-shouldering him, and giving him my best menacing drug dealer voice when he said “Hey man, seriously, let me make this up to you”. I told him I wanted nothing to do with him, though I most seriously did. He sounded desperate to make things right. I continued to push back, though not as strenuously, giving him a little rope. Mitch said, “I will get this right, I can make this happen in a big way.” I told him I’d call him back in a couple of days, and then I hung-up on him. I could almost hear the whimpering. 


In my mind, Mitch was offering up because he was scared. He wasn’t smart enough to know what he was scared about, but he knew that dope deals gone wrong were supposed to be really bad. He wanted nothing to do with being dead. We worried him. We might be friends, but with all that TV dope dealer killing and shit, he just needed to be scared. We decided to play on that a bit. 


It’s probably a good time to note that for whatever reason, crooks sometimes just naturally gravitate to certain people, I guess just like the rest of us. Brodie for whatever reason took a liking to me. It might've been because Mookie was playing the role of the harder of our twosome. Perhaps he may have thought he was an enforcer type or who the fuck knows. One of my best friends on the job, a guy we called Melmon, used to say “Mookie could chill your shit with just a look”. Maybe he just didn’t like the way he walked. Anyway, we recognized that early on and tried to play to it. Mookie would participate throughout, however, that was a given.


Our planning session lasted late into the night, and then we cut TripleThick loose. Mookie and I had an engagement with the state’s Gaming Commission in the morning relative to a case we were working on. You don’t share fuck all with those guys, but once in a great while you can get some intel that’s worth the trip.


I did call Mitch that following Monday, and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He was still apologizing, I might add, and it was now becoming annoying. 


When we met, this time at the local Mr. Steak, we didn’t go quite so Joe College. We went with a hint of malice. Mitch was nervous and at one point he dropped his knife in his water glass and dumped the load across the table. It was perfect.


He said he’d done pound level deals with a guy who he knows was doing kilos all the time. He said he knew he could make things right, we could get quantity, and he’d get to make up for all the trouble he’d caused. 


Mitch had just slipped across the line into the “crook snitch” zone. He didn’t know that. He would be our snitch, but he didn’t know we were the police, hence the crook snitch appellation. A case like this could be a lot of fun, but you had to manage them in a whole different way.


Mookie still playing the offended badass, leaned in close and whispered “We do this right mother fucker or I’ll tear your head off and shit in your neck!” There was not a single molecule of Mitch’s body that did not believe every word of it. He was scared shitless. It was the least Mookie could do.


We explained we were not going to jail again, lose our money on some bullshit drug deal. Oh, and we had a legitimate business to keep intact, motherfucker. We wanted details. We wanted to know who we would do business with so that in our own way we could figure out if this guy was righteous. 


There is almost no chance that any seasoned dope dealer would go along with that, but then Mitch was definitely under-seasoned. Way out of his depth. Unfortunately for him, the rube knew people. 


Mitch told us he met the guy a couple of times at an airport hangar where they did their deals. When I asked how he was connected with the guy whom he was now calling Brodie, Mitch said he had a pager number to reach him, but there was no way he could give that up. I told him “all right I get it, Mitch, then what airport, what hanger?” He seemed relieved we caved on the phone number but he was willing to make an airport run to show us where he met Brodie. He was more than happy to describe him, which of course we appreciated very much. He also told us that each time he saw Brodie he was in a black Mercedes, he didn’t know which model, but it was a sports car. 


We ended up surveilling the General Aviation Terminal of the Bristol City International Airport, focusing on a hanger with huge white block letters that showed T-16-A. Over the course of a week, a 1978 Mercedes 450SL, black as the ace of spades with Indiana plates, showed up twice. Both times a white male in his 40’s and an exact match to Mitch’s description drove it. DMV gave us the information we most wanted.


It turns out Michael Brodie Gottardi, was last selling used cars out of a dealership in Armestead. He had no plane registered at T-16-A but he had access. It took a quick NCIC/CJIS check for us to understand a lot about Brodie. He had in fact done six years in the federal slam in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, for dope sales of the pound and kilo variety. DEA was all over this guy a few years back. That was good for us.  


We started our background on Brodie and the more we dug up, the more we were excited at the possibility of turning this guy back to the joint. In the early 70s, he’d been popped after three significant buys, pounds to kilos, with DEA. Although he’d been armed at the time of his eventual arrest, the federal arming clauses had been thrown out of court due to particularly good work by some piece of shit lawyer.


Mookie and I immediately started spinning a plan in motion to take down Brodie. If the deal was successful for a hand to hand buy of a kilo or more of coke, we would buy/bust him and Mitch. The plan developed into one in which we’d allow our brothers in blue to kick the door, take down Brodie, and secure the dope. We decided, once again, that Mookie and I would “get arrested” along with the crooks as part of the plan. The idea being if we were hauled off to jail along with them, perhaps neither of us would be burned and we could keep our scam alive. In some cases, this might allow us to continue to work the crook amongst his contacts. In all likelihood, Mitch would be done. Triple Thick, however, was so distanced from this, we were hopeful he’d still be in play.


If a deal designed like this does go as planned, it opens up options for narco law enforcement. In this case, option one and the best option, include the primary target, in this case, Brodie, getting arrested and flipping on his supplier and you follow the dope upstream as far as you can. Option two Brodie says nothing, but you have the dope off the street and perhaps you’ve collected new intel via evidence and/or interrogation that also lets you move upstream. Option three the deal goes sideways and while we planned for that, you put most of your eggs in the first two baskets. 


Buy the time we next met with Mitch, we’d already talked with a couple of DEA contacts. Pleasantly they were in the middle of a huge case locally, so ours was only mildly interesting to them, but they were more than happy to educate us about Brodie. After exploring the options, we decided we’d order up a kilo of coke “as a starter”. Mitch was all in and was going “talk to his guy”.


Spin forward about ten days. Sitting in my undercover car, Mitch explained that Brodie was willing to meet us, we’d have to see where it went from there. This was typical stuff, and it’d be good for us to collect more intel on this crook.


At week’s end, Mookie, Mitch, Brodie, and I met at the bar in the local Shoney’s Inn. We grabbed some quiet seats towards the back. Over about 45 minutes we had a couple of drinks and shot the shit. We were obviously just feeling each other out. Before we called it, Brodie told us, “I might be able to help you out”. As we walked to the sliding glass doors in the lobby, I quietly told him that I’d like to speak with him, just he and I. We all said our goodbyes and Brodie said “Walk with me”.  


As we walked, I suggested I didn’t really want to get involved in anything complicated. “I’d like to sample” with the intent of longer-term business, I didn’t need to say more. We walked through the lot directly to his black Mercedes. I suggested we didn’t really need Mitch in the mix. I think Brodie appreciated that. I handed him a folded bar napkin, with my “hello-phone” number on it, and told him he could reach me that way.


We went our separate ways and our surveillance guys, who already had his car in the parking lot, followed him away.  Several hours later, we learned they’d taken him back to a small apartment in Menhome.


About three days later, I got a call from Brodie. He wanted to meet just he and I, over a beer to which I was more than happy to oblige. Actually, that was he and I and full surveillance team on our part.  Whether he would deploy counter-surveillance or not, we didn’t know.  According to DEA, he hadn’t used that in the past.


It’s probably a good time to note that for whatever reason, crooks sometimes just naturally gravitate to certain people, I guess just like the rest of us. Brodie for whatever reason took a liking to me. It might've been because Mookie was playing the role of the harder of our twosome. Perhaps he may have thought he was an enforcer type or who the fuck knows. One of my best friends on the job, a guy we called Melmon, used to say “Mookie could chill your shit with just a look”. Maybe he just didn’t like the way he walked. Anyway, we recognized that early on and tried to play to it. Mookie would participate throughout, however, that was a given.


We met later in the week for a quick beer. Brodie’s message was essentially, that he was willing to put a deal together. Had he done his own due diligence on Mookie and me or did he just have a comfort level? We didn’t know, and we didn’t care. He wanted to limit the amount of coke he’d be willing to sell us since we hadn’t done business together before. I played along with that that was just the way I wanted it as well. We agreed to a transaction for a single kilo of cocaine for a purchase price of sixty thousand dollars. 


Before we went our separate ways, Brodie gave me an address I recognized as the apartment we identified in Menhome. I pushed back, saying I wasn’t inclined to go to his apartment for this first deal. I let him persuade me it’d be okay and that he’d be more comfortable there. Plus, he’d have the package and there’d be no tripping (essentially, driving anywhere with the crook).


We’d normally pick a more public place, one that was more neutral territory. The difference here was that our surveillance guys had already shared with Mookie and me that the Menohme apartment was easily surveilled, had suitable locations for our cover team, and that if a deal needed to go down there, it’d work okay enough. It gave Brodie a little win and should have added to his comfort level.


Our surveillance team once again picked him up, and tailed him to a very nice villa type home in Upton, just outside of the 588 Borough. It was more good intel.


On a cool crisp October evening, Mookie and I and the buy/bust team met together in the Detective Bureau of the Menhome PD. The team included a couple of Menhome detectives, two from the Sheriff’s Office, about six narcs from my task force, and a small cadre of patrol support.


The plan laid out like this. Mookie and I would meet Brodie at the Menhome apartment. When we spoke, I told him I was willing to go to his apartment, but I didn’t want to meet him and end up walking into a group of his associates. He responded that only his business partner would be with him. This was new info for us, we had no intel at all on an associate. Brodie wanted me to come alone. We danced around the issue a bit, pro forma, and he finally agreed he was okay with Mookie coming with me but no one else. With that said, when these crooks tell you they’ll be alone “or with another guy”, you can be sure it’s a lie. There might be one, but more likely there would be more. We assumed that, and we were ready for it.


END Part Two

To pull this story together, here are links to the full three-part series:


Part One: Click Here

Part Three: Click Here


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