By Curtis Jackson
On another beautiful day at FPK, with the scent of barbeque permeating the air, Narco contacted us in the Tactical Unit, and ask if we would "keep our eyes open" for a very active heroin dealer and his wife. Their names were Dominguez and they lived in the North End.
A few weeks later we were going through arrest reports and noticed Dominguez had been arrested a few days earlier, for an unrelated charge, and was currently being held at MCJ. On the booking slip he had listed his home phone number as well as his "wife's" name. Being a crack investigative team we contacted Narco and advised them that Dominguez was in custody but his "wife" was still on the streets and apparently continuing on with the heroin business.
Our plan was to simply call up the wife and tell her I had been in the same cell with her "husband". I had just been released and her "old man" had told me I could call her. She would give me some heroin. I would just have to convince her I was a fellow user and in a bad way. Maybe she would fall for it. I knew a little broken Spanish, had a hillbilly accent and was only one step removed from the Cudahy elite social circle. It might work.
Narco laughed and "shoo hooed" the idea. They said they've tried undercover buys and everything else but they hadn't had any success in buying from them. They're to smart. Not being a quieter I ask, "Just tell me the latest terminology used for heroin. I knew all the chiva, smack, etc. words but I needed the latest lingo to add veracity to the call. They agreed and said the latest street term for getting heroin was to say my "baby needs a new pair of shoes". As we left they were still snickering.
I immediately placed the call and as luck would have it the "wife" answered. I told her who I was. How bad of shape I was in and that her "old man" had giving me her number. He said, "you would help me get my baby a new pair of shoes". All this was in my broken Mexican hillbilly accent. The boys in the Tactical unit were laughing aloud as I was carrying on this serious conversation. That didn't help the situation much.
She was irate. She said her "old man" knows better than to give out her phone number. Further more she couldn't and wouldn't help me under any circumstance. She didn't care how bad I was hurting and this was no "xxxxxx" shoe store. After a half hour of trash talking she slowly became receptive and agreed to help me. She did add she didn't want to see or hear from me again after our exchange and had some choice words for her "old man". I don't know why she didn't mention how much the transaction was going to cost. Anyway, she agreed to meet me in front of her house in 30 minutes. I told her I would be driving an old gray Fleetwood Caddy. The deal was done!
Brad Wright would drive the car. I would lay in the rear flood board and jump up and grab her when she neared. Rich Leaming and John Stacy would be in a back up car and a patrol unit would be near by. We're rolling! As we neared the house both Brad and I were laughing so hard it was hard to keep focused. After all, it had been exhausting being a Mexican hillbilly. As Brad slowed she exited the house with the "dope" in a brown bag. Brad says "she's got it!". He had to drive a little past her so she couldn't see him laughing. I don't know why it was so funny but it was. Seems like everything we did at FPK was funny. Back to the story. Brad gave me a step by step playbook description of her movements, e.g. opening the gate fence, walking up the side walk, nearing the car, approaching the car, etc. The more he talked the harder I laughed.
Brad says, "She's here!" I jumped up, pushed the rear door open, and grabbed for her in one smooth motion and fell on my face. She screamed, dropped the dope and bolted back towards the house. I quickly returned to the standing position. Along with Brad, Rich and John we were in hot foot pursuit. Over the fence, through the yard and into the house with her running and screaming at the top of her voice. As we ran into the house people were exiting through doors and windows with the same speed and intensity as we were entering. Kind of like cockroaches exiting when you turn the lights on. It was like fishing at a trout farm with only one hand. After the smoke cleared we were still able to apprehend our main suspect along with another guy who had been wedged in the kitchen window. Needles stuck in walls, cotton balls and caps strewn about the room. It must have been quite a party. We gathered only some of the residue inside of the house, as we knew we had the "mother load" in the sack outside.
As we exited the house with our suspects in tow we retrieved the "dope" package. I believe Rich opened it up to see our bounty. "A pair of baby shoes!" he exclaims. Our suspect said "that's what you wanted, didn't you?" I explained no we really wanted dope. She says” well why didn't you say so. I went to a lot of trouble getting you those shoes. I've never heard of anybody referring to heroin as baby shoes." So much for the latest terminology from Narco.
Our suspect begins to laugh. I look at the other guys. They begin to laugh. I start laughing. I know there were some sad times at FPK but overall could there ever be a happier or funnier place to work? I think not.
Oh as a note I told Narco what had just happened. They start laughing too. They said they had not really heard of a "baby needs a new pair of shoes" deal themselves. They just made it up. It was a good laugh. Seems like everyone was happy. Just another day in the Ghetto.