Chapter 29 The Hunt
It was late Afternoon in Chicago when we landed at Midway. We had the crew park on the southside on the National Guard ramp to unload.
When we got off the plane, there they were waiting for us. Though they weren't exactly the vehicles we had asked for. We had asked for non descript vehicles from Rockford motor pool. They had brought us four brand new Crown Vic.'s.
"Kenny! When did you transfer to Rockford?" Serena suddenly asked one of the motor pool drivers.
"I didn't," Kenney told her. "These were dropped off yesterday by the folks from Rockford."
"Who exactly?" I asked him.
"I was told their motor pool chief, Russel Simpson," Kenny told us. "He was pissed off to see we had the vehicles you guys needed here."
"Who knows we're here Kenny?" Jessie asked the driver.
"Hell Marshal Holmes, it's all over the Federal Building," Kenny replied. "Our boss even called D.C. to get some 411."
"But he didn't get a thing," another driver told us.
"How about telling us what's going on?" Kenny asked. But look on Serena's face and the sharp "NO!" told him all he was going to get.
"By the way boys," Serena added. "We are not here." Getting some grumbles.
"Is that understood gentlemen?" I asked them.
They all nodded or replied yes. Then they climbed aboard the van to take them back to the Federal Bldg. But I noticed Kenny had pulled out his phone.
"Jessie," I said. But I didn't need to.
"I'm on it Boss," Jessie told me. He had his laptop on the roof of one of the cars.
"Hickok do you think we're sunk?" Jim Tucker of the FBI asked me.
"We won't know for a while," I told him honestly. "But maybe we can lay down a false trail to miss lead everyone."
"That way Kenny and who was calling hopefully end up in jail," I finished.
"I haven't seen you like this in a long time Marshal Hickok," Serena said with a smile. "But I will charge them if we need to."
"She's right Billy," Bob added. "You are sounding real cut throat."
"Yeah Boss," Jessie put in. "And I have who he called. He called the U.S. Attorney of Chicago."
"Well let's finish loading," I told them as I threw my bags in the trunk of one car. "Eddy you take everyone else to the house. Get set up and started."
"You want the address?" Eddy asked. Eddy Duffy was one of the DEA agents assigned.
"You gave it to everyone already," I told him. "And before you ask. Miss Baker and and Jessie are familiar with Chicago." Eddy just laughed.
Just then Serena's phone rang. It was her old Boss. The U.S. Attorney of Chicago Emril Dantonio Serena told us.
"Well that's who Kenny called," Jessie said. I had the FBI and DEA team members go to the house we were using. While I took my team and Serena to the Federal Bldg. and Mr. Dantonio's office.
Serena told us that Mr. Dantonio wanted us in his office ASAP to answer some questions. It seems he felt that he had a right to know. I took the time to call Attorney General Ashworth. He hit the roof after I told him what all that had happened.
A.G. Ashworth told me to call Linzie and let her know. I would handle the investigation and get the Director of the FBI to send people to Rockford. I asked him to keep me in the loop for that investigation. Linzie wasn't much better than the Attorney General.
When we got to the Federal Bldg. we went straight up to Mr. Dantonio's office. As we walked into his outer office. The Secretary stopped us just outside.
"We don't have time for this," Serena barked at her. "We need to see Mr. Dantonio now!"
"Miss Baker. Mr. Dantonio is on the phone with the Attorney General at the moment," the secretary informed us. "he called Mr. Dantonio on an important matter."
"Let Mr. Dantonio know that we're here," I told her. "The Attorney General will want to have us in on this call."
"Mr. Dantonio," she said, keying the intercom. "Marshal Hickok and Miss Baker are here."
"Send them in please Debbie," Mr. Dantonio told her immediately. So Serena and I walked right in. I left Bob to guard the door. We had left Jessie downstairs to snoop around.
"Serena could you or Marshal tell me what's going on?" he asked us as the door latched.
"Need to know Dantonio," the A.G. barked at him. "Right now you don't need to know."
"What is important is how did it get out?" the A.G. asked us.
"Someone at the Rockford Motor Pool is either stupid or or dirty," I told him honestly. "They brought the wrong cars down to us early. That's how the Chicago grapevine found out about us."
"We have the FBI started on it Sir," Serena told him.
"And I personally called the Motor Pool Supervisor and gave him specific instructions," the A.G. told us. If he's involved. I want him arrested."
"Let us handle this sir," Serena said. "If it's found out that you're involved in this investigation. It could cause us to loose them."
"She's right sir," I added. You acting on this could give us away."
"And I want these bastards." Mr. Dantanio looked at me puzzled.
"Mr. Dantanio!" the A.G. barked, causing Dantonio to jump.
"Sir!," Mr. Dantonio chirped. "This Task Force is none of your business at this time."
"But if they need help with a warrant. You help."
"Yes sir," Dantonio answered. "Do you suspect someone in my office?"
"We suspect everyone in this office," Serena told him. "Now more than ever."
"Your actions may have put my Task Force on the grapevine," I told him. "Don't you think you would have been notified if you needed to know."
"Let's hope it doesn't cause us to loose our suspects," Serena added.
"Either way. We can deal with this later," Mr. Ashworth told us.
"We need to go," I said. "We have a lot to do tomorrow."
We turned to leave.
"So how did it go?" Bob asked as we walked to the elevators.
"We don't know yet," Serena told him because I was in serious thought. "If we play it right. We can still make it work."
"Marshal Hickok. I have a source here that I trust," Serena said once we were alone in the elevator. "How about I go ask her about another cartel member on the hit parade."
"Who did you have in mind Miss Baker?" Bob asked her. Causing me to look up from my thought.
"Lt. Collins has been threatened by several cartel people," I said. "Like Felix Mendoza."
"I was actually thinking his cousin Ignacio Mendoza," Serena told me. "I have heard he may be in town right now. Nina Pena told me."
"Ignacio tends to do his cousin's dirty work," she added. "And they both hate Collins from what I understand."
"Sounds like a good idea councilor," I told her. "If we work it right. We could get them all."
"Then when do we talk to CPD?" Bob asked as we got to the garage.
"Well tomorrow we breakfast with a friend from CPD I trust," I told him.
"Frank?" Bob asked with a knowing smile. I just smiled back in answer.
"He was on the original task force," I told them . "And he saw Sanchez the night he killed Terry." About then we pulled up to the DEA safe house we were using.
Jessie let out a long whistle as we got out. Eddy Duffy had stepped out to greet us.
"Would you look at this place," Jessie said upon ending his whistle.
"How did you guys get this place?" he asked Eddy who just laughed.
"It belonged to a local cartel player," he told us.
"Who was it?" Serena asked.
"Miguel Soto," Eddy told her. "And don't be surprised if you find guns, money or drugs."
"Haven't you guys run dogs through this place?" Bob asked, aghast at the thought.
"Eighteen times at last count," Eddy told us. "Last time we found 20 kilos of coke."
"So if you find anything let Troy know," Eddy told us as Troy walked out. "It was his team that made the bust."
"True," Troy told us. "Rumor has it he mixed a little coke into the paint as he painted the house, himself." We just stared at him.
The house was huge . We each had our own room, with it's own bath room. Serena asked for keys to a car and grabbed Nina Pena from the DEA.
Nina was already calling their source to meet.
Some were already started. Making affidavits, while others were doing various searches.
I had Jessie work with FBI agent Omar Hawa to look into Eric Collins and Gabriel Cabral Sanchez.
I had them look into their friendship from college to now. They turned up some interesting facts.
But Eric had a lot of money. That we knew. Even though he wasn't an investment agent himself. He had substantial investments. They were all made by a Collins agent named Jeff Brown.
We knew some of the money was legitimate. Money had from his father and mother, mostly invested as a teen. But there was some we couldn't be sure of.
"We need someone to tell us what was his originally and what may be bribes," Omar told me when I checked in. Then the doorbell rang.
"I may have an idea how to find out," Jessie said as I turned toward the door. But I turned to see his smile.
"Someone order Pizza or something?" I asked heading back for the door. Several chuckle as if they knew what was up. When I opened the door there was Andrew. Just who we need to answer our questions.
"Andrew! What are you doing here?" I asked him totally surprised.
"Well I had to come to talk Andy," he told me. "And to pick up my Piper."
"But I got a text from Jessie asking about Eric's money. So I told him I was here."
"And he asked you come answer questions," I said.
"Well he could give us a better idea about Eric's Finances," Jessie added with a grin.
"He'll be a big help to us Marshal Hickok," Omar told me with a grin of his own.
About then Serena walked in with Nina. Serena walked over and hugged Andrew. Of course she knew him from her time in Chicago.
So Jessie and Omar sat down with Andrew. While Bob and I got to work on some dinner for everyone. A half hour later they had discovered the first pay off to Eric. And they found the bonus he had received when Terry was killed. Andrew was stunned and devastated by it.
"Billy. I don't know what to say," Andrew said as tears rolled down his cheek. "Where did Kim and I go wrong?"
"You didn't," I told him. "Eric met Sanchez is where he went wrong."
"They were always together," Andrew told us as I held him while he cried.
It took him nearly an hour to get ahold of himself. But finally he did.
"In college they spent almost every weekend at the Bridge or Eros," Andrew told us.
"You know that's where I met Jimmy for the first time," Andrew said finally with a smile again.
"To the left is for ladies," Jessie told us without thinking. "To the right is for guys. And straight ahead is for couples." The Jessie looked up realizing we were all looking at him.
"What?" he asked. "Shawn's from here, and we went a few times."
"Jessie is their type," Andrew told me. "You could say they both have a weakness."
"Like you and Jimmy with Juan?" I asked him with a smile.
"So your saying that Sanchez and your son are..." Bob started to ask.
"Basically yes," Andrew answered his question. "You could say they do have a weakness." We turned to look at Jessie.
"So Jessie are you up to a little undercover work?" I asked him with a smile. Jessie was surprised and then smiled back.
"Well if I have the right playmate," Jessie told me. And I knew who he wanted.
"So you think Shawn would be up to helping us out?" I asked him. He promptly smiled.
"Definitely boss," Jessie said with a smile.
Author's Note: Sorry it has been so long since my last chapter. Due to health issues I lost my way with the story. But I have Two or Three more chapters roughed out. So once they're edited I will get them posted as fast as I can. I do hope to hear from those that want to about my story. If you want to, that is.