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Chris’s house is burglarized while he’s at a music festival. When police arrive they see that his outdoor security camera lines have been cut. Turns out the crime was committed by his former roommate because Chris stole his former roommate’s girlfriend. We later find out that the suspect is also wanted in conjunction with a home invasion where his DNA ends up at the scene of the crime because he got hit in the head with the muzzle-end of a shotgun and it took out a chunk of his skull.

Guest: Det. Dan

Dan was formerly a K9 handler and Violent Crimes detective at the same Small Town police department as his brother. Dan regards his years as a K9 handler to be the most rewarding of his career. He is now retired.

Read Transcript

Dan [00:00:04] We’ve got four guns missing, that worries me. When there are guns out there, and whoever gets their hands on that gun, we have to encounter that gun on the street.

Yeardley [00:00:18] When a serious crime is committed in a small town, a handful of detectives are charged with solving the case. I’m Yeardley, and I’m fascinated by these stories. So, I invited my friends, Detectives Dan and Dave, to help me gather the best true crime cases from around the country and have the men and women who investigated them, tell us how it happened.

Dan [00:00:44] I’m Dan.

Dave [00:00:45] I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town, USA.

Dan [00:00:48] Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant at his police department.

Dave [00:00:55] Dan investigated violent crimes. He’s now retired. Together, we have more than two decades’ experience and have worked hundreds of cases. We’ve altered names, places, relationships, and certain details in these cases to maintain the privacy of the victims and their families.

Dan [00:01:10] We ask you to join us in protecting their true identities, as well as the locations of these crimes out of respect for everyone involved. Thank you.


Dave [00:01:32] This is a case that has a lot of threads, but it’s really a crime of revenge. And it all begins with a house burglary. But the circumstances immediately indicate to us that something else is going on here. Something far more sinister.

Yeardley [00:01:52] Today on Small Town Dicks, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dave.

Dave [00:01:58] Good morning.

Yeardley [00:01:59] Good morning. We have Detective Dan.

Dan [00:02:02] Good morning.

Yeardley [00:02:03] I’m very excited that it’s just us chickens today.

Dan [00:02:07] Me too, although to my right here.

Yeardley [00:02:09] What? The Fabulous Dave?

Dan [00:02:11] I don’t know, there’s an odor.

Dave [00:02:13] I’m prepared to go all day. All right.

Yeardley [00:02:15] (laughs) Dan, you have an interesting case for us today. Tell us how this case came to you.

Dan [00:02:24] I was a detective, fairly new. And this burglary case occurred over the weekend. I typically get those cases on the Monday when I come in. This burglary occurred overnight at a residence not too far from our police station. We think that it occurred Friday or Saturday night. But it wasn’t discovered until Sunday evening, because the homeowner, Chris, had been out of town. Chris, when he reports the burglary, he talks to a patrol officer, and the patrol officer takes the report and some interesting things come to light in this report.

[00:03:00] In our area, we have a couple music festivals that occur during the summer. Chris, the resident here, he was out of town at one of these festivals. He had actually advertised that on his social media that he was going to be out of town at this festival. Chris has three working surveillance cameras at his house. He says that from 10:30 until midnight, the cameras were not working. His cameras are on the outside of his residence and he notices that the cables have been clipped. Somebody was aware of where these cameras were. Unfortunately, the way he wired these cameras, it went up the outside of his house not through the eaves, directly into the back of the cameras, so people had access to those lines and they just clipped the cables. There’s still a camera there. They didn’t take the cameras down, but there’s no feed.

[00:03:55] One of the cameras in this house is actually located inside and the wires are all inside. That camera has also been deactivated. We’re thinking that it happened during the burglary. To me, it speaks to somebody knows Chris and has been inside this house before. Our patrol officer talks to his roommate. His roommate says he arrives home around 9:00 that night. That roommate’s girlfriend comes over, they Netflix and chill.

During their Netflix and chill session, this burglary occurs, but this roommate, he does not hear anything amiss. They’re in separate parts of the house. So, if this burglary is occurring on one side of the house, he won’t necessarily hear what’s going on in the other part of the house.

[00:04:40] I get assigned this report. The thing that perks my attention is, the property that is stolen. At first, it’s some designer jeans, like 7 jeans, Rock & Republic. This is several years ago, you can tell. Some fairly expensive watches, Bulova, Citizen, Eco-Drive. Some expensive jewelry. Then what really troubles me is the other items that are stolen are military style rifle. The brand is Plum Crazy and the reason why that’s significant is Plum Crazy is not a well-known brand to a lot of people. If it’s not a really common rifle, it’s going to stick out a little bit. Just file that away. Plum Crazy rifle. There is also an SKS, and that is a foreign made. A lot of people call them assault rifles.

The definition of assault rifle is one trigger pull, multiple bullets. We’ve talked about it on this podcast. It’s a semiautomatic rifle with nice furniture on it. It looks really cool. You see them in the movies, people call them assault rifles. They are not.

Yeardley [00:05:46] So, are you saying then this SKS, it’s one trigger pull, one bullet?

Dan [00:05:52] Yes.

Yeardley [00:05:53] Okay.

Dave [00:05:53] Semiautomatic.

Dan [00:05:55] It looks like a military weapon.

Yeardley [00:05:57] It looks like an assault rifle, but it does not fire multiple bullets with one trigger pull?

Dan [00:06:02] Correct.

Yeardley [00:06:02] Got it.

Dan [00:06:03] But it fires a devastating round. It’s the round that does a lot of damage.

Yeardley [00:06:07] Why aren’t these guns locked up?

Dan [00:06:09] Good question. And I always ask that question of these people. Again, at this point, I haven’t even talked to Chris. I’m reading the patrol officer’s report. Some other things are taken, a Mossberg shotgun.

Yeardley [00:06:22] That’s a lot of firearms.

Dan [00:06:24] Yeah. The other item that is stolen is a Glock handgun.

Yeardley [00:06:28] Is he ex-military or something? What’s with the–

Dan [00:06:31] No, he just likes guns. He may have hunted with the Mossberg shotgun. It’s a pretty common bird-hunting shotgun. We’ve got four guns missing. That worries me, because when there are guns out there, I’m guessing whoever stole these guns has probably had a prior history with the police. I’m not saying that whoever my suspect or suspects are, are going to use these guns to commit a crime. They’re probably going to sell them for dope. Whoever gets their hands on that gun, they could use one of these guns against me, my brother, my other brothers and sisters in blue. That’s what bothers me. People, when they leave guns in their car and their center console, and their car gets broken into, and that gun gets taken.

Dave [00:07:13] Whoever stole that gun, eventually, we’re going to encounter them on the street. They’re either going to be trying to victimize an innocent person, or they’re going to try to use it on us when we arrest them.

Dan [00:07:25] I’m reading this report, I start on it. I really don’t have any leads at this point.

Yeardley [00:07:30] Obviously, they’ve done it for fingerprints and stuff, but–

Dan [00:07:33] No evidence found at the scene. We don’t have any video. Where this house is, our patrol officer looks for neighboring houses, see if they have video. There’s none. We’re kind of at a dead end.

Dave [00:07:46] This isn’t forced entry. It’s somebody walked right in?

Dan [00:07:49] It is forced entry. They entered through a window, and they used a pallet up against this window to help them climb up the wall. There was a pallet on the side of the house, and it’s kind of like a ladder. So, they leaned it up against the house and walked up the pallet, so they could stand on the pallet and be able to remove this property from the window. Which makes me think that maybe there’s two people involved. Otherwise, you’d probably just be chucking the stuff out of the window.

Yeardley [00:08:16] You’d make noise. I’m stunned that this guy who’s having his Netflix and chill with his girlfriend, hears nothing.

Dan [00:08:24] This roommate, he wakes up in the morning. I think his girlfriend left at 9:00 the next morning and he left for work at 1:00. He didn’t even notice the house been burglarized.

Yeardley [00:08:35] I’m guessing the house is so divided that they don’t–

Dan [00:08:39] They live separate lives and they each have their own room. It makes me think that whoever burglarized this place, specifically wanted to get into one room and they didn’t even venture into any other part of the house.

Yeardley [00:08:50] All of these items were stolen only from Chris’ room.

Dan [00:08:54] Correct. So, if you’re profiling this criminal, what do you think of this criminal at this point?

Yeardley [00:09:00] He must know him intimately, know that his closet and bedroom contain these things, and that the door is probably closed.

Dan [00:09:08] Yes. When I finally make contact with Chris, “Well, who’s got it out for you? Who’d you piss off?”

Yeardley [00:09:16] Is he at a loss when you ask him that question?

Dan [00:09:18] He kind of is, and it makes me wonder if maybe he’s pissed off multiple people and he’s trying to narrow it down that way. A few days later, I’m still working on this case, but it’s open and kind of suspended at this point. I’m waiting for something, like give me something that I can chase down. I’ve already checked pawnshops to see if these guns have been pawned off or the jewelry.

Dave [00:09:40] Did he have the serial numbers for these weapons?

Dan [00:09:42] He did.

Yeardley [00:09:43] Okay.

Dan [00:09:44] Very important to us that you keep serial numbers. If a gun’s stolen, the serial number kind of gives it away for us.

Yeardley [00:09:52] Is there a tracking index?

Dan [00:09:54] NCIC and LEDS.

Yeardley [00:09:57] What are those stand for?

Dan [00:09:58] LEDS is Law Enforcement Data System.

Yeardley [00:10:00] And it tracks firearms.

Dan [00:10:03] We’ll enter the serial number, make and model, caliber-

Dave [00:10:07] Color.

Dan [00:10:07] Color, description, we can run a serial number and it’ll come back and then we cross reference and make sure that the make and model and all that stuff are correct.

Dave [00:10:15] We do that with bicycles, TVs, laptops, iPhones. Anything that’s got a serial number, and it’s stolen, if we’ve got that serial number, and a description of the item, we will list it as stolen in nationwide. If somebody came across that across the country, they run that serial number for this gun or this bicycle, it’ll return as stolen out of this agency on this date. This is the case number and–

Dan [00:10:42] Who to contact.

Dave [00:10:43] Right.

Yeardley [00:10:43] That’s fantastic. What’s NCIC?

Dan [00:10:47] NCIC, National Crime Information Center, it’s the same thing. They’re just two databases that we can access. I also go to secondhand stores around here, and we have a few around town where they will take clothing.

Yeardley [00:11:02] Because you’re looking for the designer jeans.

Dan [00:11:05] Yeah. There’s nothing that really matches. So, that’s a dead end for me too. I’m kind of dead in the water at this point. I’m waiting around. One afternoon, I get a phone call from our neighboring agency, and it’s one of their patrol officers. This guy’s an all-star over there. I can’t say his name, obviously, because we change the names. But if you’re listening, you’re awesome, bud. He gives me a call and says, “Hey, man, I just arrested somebody outside a certain address that I’d actually served a search warrant on before. We were all kind of aware of this house and this cop in the neighboring agency stopped somebody, and that person had a warrant, and he also had dope on him, meth. He started talking. He wanted to get out of his charges. So, he’s going to start giving people up.”

[00:11:54] One of the things that he’s offering to this police officer is, “Hey, I know about a burglary that happened a few days ago, that a bunch of guns were stolen. Do you guys want to know about that?”

Yeardley [00:12:07] Oh, shit!

Dan [00:12:09] Yeah. All cops want to hear about that.

Yeardley [00:12:13] Yeah!

Dan [00:12:14] He says, “Yes.” He looks up the information that this informant is giving, and it’s pretty obvious that he’s talking about the burglary where Chris lost his guns, and his jewelry, and his jeans. I drive over to the neighboring agency, and I have a sit-down with this man that’s been arrested who’s offering this information. He’s got some fairly good details. He gives me an exact address, and he gives me an actual suspect name. I walk back out, I print off a picture of this suspect, and our suspect name is Adam.

I haven’t even presented the photo of Adam to this informant. I’m just walking with it in my hand, and he sees it and goes, “That’s him.”

Yeardley [00:12:57] Oh, wow!

Dan [00:12:58] Since Adam is known to my informant, I don’t have to do a photo array, like a lineup with eight photos. Because they’re known to each other, he can just confirm like, “Yep, that’s the guy I’m talking about.” I do a little background on this gentleman, Adam. He’s got priors for some petty theft and everything, but it’s pretty obvious that Adam is getting worse. He’s on his way to becoming a regular. He’s dabbling in dope dealing. He’s on a dark road. That’s for sure.

Yeardley [00:13:27] How old is Adam?

Dan [00:13:28] Adam’s in his mid-20s.

Yeardley [00:13:30] Does he have a job?

Dan [00:13:31] No. I asked this informant if he’s able to go over to Adam’s house and do a dope deal. He says, “Absolutely, I can go over there and I can do a dope deal. I can go buy dope from that house.”

Dave [00:13:51] He wants out of his charges really bad.

Dan [00:13:53] He does.

Yeardley [00:13:53] And this guy who wants out of his charges, was not actually part of this burglary. He just is close enough to all these ne’er-do-wells to know what happened.

Dan [00:14:04] That’s a good question. I don’t have information that he’s a part of it. I don’t have information that he’s not a part of it.

Yeardley [00:14:12] Oh.

Dan [00:14:12] Maybe he’s just thrown his co-conspirator under the bus, and he’s going to try to distance himself from it. I don’t know that. But I do know that I want to talk to Adam.


Dan [00:17:37] We send our informant in, it’s detective Kyle and I who’s been on the podcast before. He works dope for our agency. I want to say it was late on a Friday night, and it’s real late. We’re talking 10:00, and I have to call Kyle in, and I’ve been working on this thing all day. Kyle comes in. We set up this controlled by– our informant starts texting Adam, and says, “Hey, I’m about 30 minutes away from your house, I could use some dope, some meth. Do you have any?” They talk in code. I don’t remember the exact words, but it’s pretty clear that, “Yes, I can accommodate you, and you should come over right now.”

Yeardley [00:18:19] Does the informant have a name?

Dan [00:18:21] I am not going to assign him a name or anything. I do know his name. I promised him that I would keep him anonymous, and even changing his name to me is violating that trust. I’ll just call him the informant.

Yeardley [00:18:34] Okay.

Dan [00:18:35] So, our informant, they arranged to go over, so Kyle and I drive him over. We have protocols that we have to do before our controlled buy. We will search his pockets to make sure he doesn’t have any dope on him.

Yeardley [00:18:47] That makes sense, because you would want to make sure he’s not going to say word.

Dave [00:18:52] Yeah, we’ve got to be able to say that these drugs came from that house, and this guy didn’t leave our site, or he didn’t have enough time to go somewhere else to get these drugs.

Dan [00:19:02] I also gave the informant some pretty clear instructions. “Hey, if you see these guns in his house, I need really good descriptions of them.” If you see the serial number, if you start taking pictures of it, that’s going to be a problem because Adam’s going to say, “What are you doing right now?” He’s going to use some street sense when he’s in this room.

Yeardley [00:19:23] Does he seem street savvy?

Dan [00:19:24] Yes, he does, and he’s very good. He goes in there and says, “Hey, I was also hoping to maybe get my hands on a piece. A gun. Do you have any?” “Well, yeah. What are you looking for?” “I don’t know, maybe a rifle or maybe a shotgun or something. Do you have any handguns?” He’s laid out the whole menu now at this point. Adam goes and gets the guns out. The first gun that he hands over to my informant is a Plum Crazy military-style rifle.

Yeardley [00:19:57] That’s insane!

Dan [00:19:58] That’s a good thing. He doesn’t get the serial numbers on these things, but he gets a user amount of dope, meth, from Adam. He comes back out, he basically leaves it off with Adam and says, “Hey, I might be back tomorrow to grab one of these. I just don’t have the cash for it right now. But let me go see if I can get some cash and I’ll come back and I’ll buy one of these guns.”

When he gets back to the car, we get the dope from him, and he breaks it down for us and says he’s got a Plum Crazy rifle in there. He’s got an SKS. He’s got a Mossberg shotgun, and he’s got a Glock handgun.

Yeardley [00:20:35] Jackpot.

Dave [00:20:36] It could be a complete coincidence.

Yeardley [00:20:39] (laughs)

Dan [00:20:41] And he also saw a Bulova watch box on a shelf by Adam’s bed, which I’m also looking for a Bulova watch, and one of the watches was still secured in its box when it was stolen. A lot of things are adding up. What we’re trying to do for a search warrant is, we’re trying to get to probable cause. I think I’ve got probable cause at this point. So, I go back to the station, I start writing a search warrant. Our informant is let off, we don’t take him to jail. We give him a citation to appear in court on the charges that the other agency had on him.

Yeardley [00:21:17] Why is that?

Dan [00:21:19] I cleared this with the DA. He did not have serious or persons crimes that he was being charged with. He had a failure to appear. We had to get that signed off by the court, like we’ll just assign him a new court date. A lot of things were going on behind the scenes that we were able to take care of, and he didn’t go to jail that day. He got a citation to appear in court, like two weeks out.

Yeardley [00:21:42] So, he’s trying to clear his charges of buying dope?

Dave [00:21:47] It just sets this out, so we can work behind the scenes. Basically, he’s working for consideration, “Hey, I’ll do this for you if you guys will help me out over here.” The caveat is, “While this thing that you’re doing for us better pay off. You better be giving us good information.” When it is good information, and you’re catching a bigger fish over here, this petty stuff over here that he’s on the hook for, we can take care of it. It can go away or he can get a really light slap on the wrist. It’s a deal for him.

Yeardley [00:22:18] I see, but you’re delaying that ultimate decision for two weeks.

Dan [00:22:22] Right. Yeah, it’s an arrest on paper. It’s basically a promise to appear in court. It’s not a custodial arrest.

Yeardley [00:22:29] Meaning you’re not actually in a jail.

Dave [00:22:32] Yeah, I’m not taking him to jail and booking him in.

Dan [00:22:35] It’s a promise to appear in court on a certain date.

Yeardley [00:22:38] Okay.

Dan [00:22:39] I write this search warrant. I write this search warrant based on the dope deal, and the DA doesn’t like it that much. I’m dealing with this one DA and they don’t like it that I’m looking for guns, but I’m trying to get into the house based on a dope deal. I wrote it for the guns too, but the DA was somebody who doesn’t do a lot of drug cases. Kyle does these dope deals all the time. He’s like, “Dude, I’m telling you, man, you’re money, you’re gold. We did everything right.”

Finally, get the search warrant blessed, so now we’re into Saturday now. Now, I’ve got a rally my team, my other detectives. Dave was one of them. George, all my guys.

Dave [00:23:18] Easy overtime. How about that?

Yeardley [00:23:20] (laughs)

Dan [00:23:21] I go get the search warrant signed at the judge’s house on a Saturday morning. He says, “Stay safe,” which is pretty standard for the judges whenever we’re serving a search warrant, we appreciate that, and off I go. Adam’s house is in this cul-de-sac in a residential neighborhood. There are kids everywhere.

Dave [00:23:42] There’s a playground right behind this house. A big park and a playground.

Yeardley [00:23:47] So, you sort of have a fatal funnel and you have potential liabilities all around you.

Dave [00:23:52] It’s not ideal.

Dan [00:23:53] Yeah. So, how are we going to handle this? Well, I talk to Sergeant Dave, our supervisor. Sergeant Dave says, “We’re going to handle this like a knock and talk.” And my experience, and if I just go up and knock on the door at Adam’s house and say, “Hey, it’s Detective Dan, you want to have a chat?” He’s going to slam the door in my face and say, “No, I do not.”

Yeardley [00:24:16] (laughs)

Dave [00:24:18] I always wanted my knock and talks to be backed up with a search warrant.

Dan [00:24:21] Yeah. Sergeant Dave, he goes up. We’re all about 100 yards down the road, waiting, out of sight of the house. Sergeant Dave has a radio with him. He knocks on the door. Adam’s mother comes to the door and says, “What’s going on?” Sergeant Dave says, “I need to talk to Adam.” Just to the left of the front door is a stairway going up to the second floor of this duplex. Adam kind of peeks his head down where Sergeant Dave can see him. Sergeant Dave says, “Hey, come on down here.” Thankfully, Adam complies and comes down. Sergeant Dave gets on the radio and says, “I’m talking to Adam right now, you guys can come up.”


[00:25:06] We all come up. I introduce myself to Adam and his mother, I go sit him in the living room in this house. I’ve got a patrol officer, because we like to take a patrol officer with us, just so we have a uniform presence, because a lot of people are look at plainclothes detectives who are in unmarked cars and think that the world is ending.

Dave [00:25:25] Or they think that other guys are robbing them. “You guys aren’t real cops.”

Yeardley [00:25:31] Oh. Interesting.

Dan [00:25:33] We bring a uniformed police officer in a marked patrol car to be kind of like, “Oh, that’s the actual police.” I go and sit down with mom and Adam. I read him the search warrant. The first thing I say to him is, “Where are the guns?” And he kind of motions with his head and his eyes upstairs. Meanwhile, I’ve got my boys, the detectives. When you guys get upstairs, you kind of break up say, “George, and I’ll take this room, so and so take that room.” It’s not a big duplex, maybe what? 900 square feet?

Dave [00:26:07] Right. So, you’ve got living room and kitchen downstairs. Upstairs, you’ve got two bedrooms and a bathroom.

Yeardley [00:26:14] Oh, okay. So pretty compact.

Dan [00:26:16] Yeah. They start searching upstairs. I asked Adam where he got the guns from, and he was pretty quick to say, “I got them from a buddy named Jason.” He gives me Jason’s full name. He got him from Jason a few days prior, and Adam had agreed to store these guns for Jason. He also says, “I don’t know where these guns came from. I don’t know where Jason got the guns from.” I kind of think he’s lying. I tell him so, “Hey, I think you’re lying. You need to do yourself a favor and be honest with me.” At that point, he just paused and he put his head down for about 45 seconds.

Yeardley [00:26:57] Which is a long time, by the way.

Dan [00:26:59] It is. I’m asking for the sale at this point. Whoever talks first, loses. I can tell he’s working through some things in his head. I’m just going to let him work through it.

Yeardley [00:27:09] Don’t be afraid of the silence.

Dan [00:27:11] Yeah. Adam looks up. I could see tears in his eyes. He obviously– I think he knew that he was probably going to be going to prison. He turns to me, and he says, “Can I explain some things to my mom?” I said, “Absolutely.” Adam is on the couch, she’s off the back patio through the rear slider of the house, probably eight feet away from him.

Yeardley [00:27:33] So she’s not listening?

Dan [00:27:34] She’s listening. The door’s open, she’s sitting on the back patio, smoking. The uniform patrol officer and I go stand on the patio to make sure that he’s not going to take off because there’s a park. There’s no fence behind this house. There’s just a park there. He can beat feet. I’m pretty fast, but I don’t know that I’m going to catch Adam. Let’s keep it fairly contained. He has a talk with his mom. He looks up at me and he says, “Okay, I’ll tell you where I got my guns.”

Yeardley [00:28:04] What is the talk with his mom?

Dan [00:28:06] I didn’t hear everything they were saying, he was kind of whispering in her ear. But it was emotional, she was hugging him. I think it was, “Mom, I’m probably going to prison. I’m going to be honest with this guy. What do you think I should do?” And I think she said, “Yeah, you need to be honest with him.”


Dan [00:30:34] Adam’s still emotional. I think he knows that he’s in some pretty big trouble at this point. He tells me the truth of where he got the guns and how he got them. Jason, his friend, gets a hold of him one night and says, “Hey, do you need any money?” Adam, who’s a petty drug dealer, is always looking for a way to make some money. Jason explains to Adam that Chris, our victim, had intercourse with Jason’s girlfriend, and Jason was upset about it. Jason is friends with Chris on social media, and Chris had advertised that he was going to a country music festival outside of town for the weekend. Jason had also lived with Chris in the house and had a working knowledge of how everything worked in the house. He knew that Chris had surveillance cameras up, how you could defeat those cameras. He also knew that Chris had weapons at the house. Weapons are a pretty good currency on the street, especially when you’re trying to buy drugs.

Yeardley [00:31:39] Are Chris and Jason both into drugs, or is Jason really just trying to get revenge?

Dan [00:31:45] Adam has met Jason because Jason has now fallen into heroin use.

Yeardley [00:31:50] Oh, dear!

Dan [00:31:52] Now they’re running in a different circle. Adam tells me that Jason accused Chris, our victim, of being a dope dealer too. I think for Adam, it helps justify, “Well, I’m kind of like Robin Hood now. I can just go steal, and it won’t make me feel guilty. I’m going to come up, I’m going to get guns, I’m going to get jewelry and–”

Dave [00:32:14] Sweet jeans.

Yeardley [00:32:15] [giggles] Do you think Chris is taking a turn for the worse and becoming a petty dope dealer as well?

Dan [00:32:22] I don’t have any evidence of that. Chris seemed like a guy who was in his early 20s, who liked to party. I don’t get the sense that he was really involved. Maybe he sold a bag of weed here and there, but I think a lot of people do that if they’ve got a bag of weed and their friend wants some. They’re like, “Give me 20 bucks, and you can have the rest of this.” To me, I don’t think you’re a drug dealer if you’re doing that.

Adam explains to me that he and Jason, they get on their bikes from Jason’s house. It’s at night. Jason only lives about a mile away from Chris’ house. They get on their bikes, they go over to the house, Jason knows exactly where to go, to get around the cameras where the blind spots are to get to Chris’ room. They grab the pallet. They lean it up against the house, and this is corroborating evidence to me.

[00:33:14] Here’s where the stories change. Adam tells me that Jason goes in the house and Adam stays on the outside, and Jason hands him property through the window. I asked him specifically, “Did you go in the house?” “Nope. Nope.” Do I think he’s fooled it? Probably. Yeah. If that’s what you want to say right now, that’s good, because guess what? I’m going to talk to Jason at some point, and we’ll see what Jason has to say, and I tell him that. “Is Jason going to throw you under the bus?” “Well, yeah, of course, he is.” “Well, that’s kind of what you’re doing to Jason too. You’re kind of throwing him under the bus. You’re still involved in the burglary even if you didn’t go inside.” Even if what Adam’s telling me is true, he’s still guilty of burglary. I don’t get wrapped around the axle on him saying that he never went in. That’s fine. I’m going to corroborate that when I talk to Jason.


[00:34:07] These blinds in the house wouldn’t stay up, the little catcher at the top of the blinds, so they would pull the string. When they let it go, they’d come back down. What do they do? They tie the string to the pallet because the pallet is heavy enough to hold the blinds up, which matches up with my crime scene.

Yeardley [00:34:26] So, they never untied it.

Dan [00:34:27] They never untied it. What they do is they get all this property out. They’ve got a lot of guns. They’ve got a bag full of jeans and these watches and everything. That’s pretty easy to get away with but now you got to deal with these guns, especially rifles are hard to hide. They do have a soft carry bag.

Yeardley [00:34:44] But they’re on bicycles.

Dan [00:34:46] They are on bicycles, but it’s at night too. And they know their way around this area pretty well, where they can avoid major intersections, they can avoid streetlights, we have bike paths that are nearby that they can escape on, and that’s exactly what they do.

We also find heroin in Adam’s house, and that’s a separate issue. He says that he was trying to make money, so he could help out his mother with the rent. I think we found $750 in cash in his house, which we seized, because it’s pretty obvious that that’s either proceeds from this burglary because we don’t have the watches in Adam’s house. The watches are not there. We do have a receipt in the house that has Chris’ name on it, and it’s for a watch repair. Chris is our victim.


[00:35:33] This is just another nugget of evidence that obviously, yes, you were involved in this, Adam, because I’m pretty sure nobody’d trade you a receipt for dope. You were there.

Yeardley [00:35:43] (laughs) How come Jason doesn’t keep any of the contraband?

Dan [00:35:49] I asked him that. Adam says, “We were going to split the money. Jason’s dad is nosy, and he didn’t want to keep the guns at his house. So, I agreed to keep them at my house.” But you found the guns, where were the guns at?

Dave [00:36:03] The guns were in Adams mother’s bedroom in her closet.

Yeardley [00:36:07] Do you think she knew that?

Dan [00:36:09] She denies knowing that the guns were in there at first.

Yeardley [00:36:13] I was going to say, I don’t know a woman who doesn’t know what’s in her closet.

Dave [00:36:17] They were hidden under piles of clothes.

Dan [00:36:20] One was in a guitar case.

Dave [00:36:21] Yeah, we found a rifle in a guitar case.

Yeardley [00:36:24] That’s so Al Capone.

Dave [00:36:25] It was a well-organized hoarder’s closet. Just tons of clothing. It took George and I probably two hours to get through this walk-in closet.

Yeardley [00:36:34] Oh, wow!

Dave [00:36:35] That was a pain in the ass.

Dan [00:36:37] We had information that a seven-year-old boy was now living at the house, and it was Adam’s nephew. So, his sister had a kid. This little boy is living with grandmother now and Adam. Sergeant Dave went and talked to the kid. The kid even knew that the guns were hidden in that closet. Some of these guns were loaded, some were not. These guns are not locked up. They’re not secured in the house. This seven-year-old boy who has basically free rein in this house can get into the closets, he can stumble upon one of these guns. Next thing you know, we’ve got tragedy on our hands because kids don’t know how to safely handle these firearms. That was very troublesome to us.

Yeardley [00:37:23] Yeah, it’s not good.

Dan [00:37:24] Adam is saying that they’re going to split the proceeds. Jason says, “You’ve got to hold these guns at your house because my dad’s nosy and he’s going to find them and want to start asking questions.” I take Adam to jail. We seize all this evidence that we found, like a pretty expensive spotting scope, like a hunting spotting scope that was still in the plastic packaging. Adam is not a hunter. We were wondering, “Where’d you get this?” And he says, “Oh, I bought it just because I like to go sightseeing.”

Dave [00:37:56] He’s in the birding– Typical. What’s interesting is, fairly close to Adam’s house is a big box outdoor supply company.

Yeardley [00:38:08] Ah, but why would you steal that?

Dave [00:38:12] They’re worth a lot of money.

Dan [00:38:13] If you think about Craigslist, people love to go to Craigslist. If you’re able to steal something like that, and get it on Craigslist for half the price of what it’s actually worth, people will buy that in a heartbeat, especially if it’s still in the packaging. We couldn’t confirm, actually called this big box store, this outdoor store and they said, “Maybe it was stolen from us, but we don’t have proof that it was, so we can’t press charges on that.” But it was worth a few $100.


[00:38:43] The next day, I grab a patrol officer and we go over to Jason’s house. It’s been a long day. I’ve been up for a lot of hours at this point. It’s like, “Okay, I got the guns, at least. I’m not too worried about the jeans.” It’s obvious to me that Jason is involved in this because Adam doesn’t know Chris. Why would he just throw out this guy’s name? It was obviously targeted, they only hit one room. They knew how to defeat the cameras.

I take this patrol officer the next day over to Jason’s house. We’re knocking on the door, nobody answers. While we’re up on the front porch, dad arrives home. I’ve got a uniform patrol officer with me and then me, I’m in my civvies, my just regular clothes. I introduce myself. “I’m Detective Dan. I need to talk to your son. Do you think he’s home?” “Yeah, he’s home. He’s probably sleeping.” It’s like 3:00 in the afternoon. Jason doesn’t work, but I know he’s using heroin, so that kind of explains things to me.


[00:39:41] Dad goes and wakes up Jason. Jason comes out. He looks somewhat surprised to see me, but not totally surprised to see me. I introduce myself. I let him know right off the bat. “Hey, I’m going to be asking you some pretty direct questions and I have to advise you of your Miranda rights.” I give him his rights, say, “You still want to talk to me?” He says, “Yeah.”

Jason was pretty quick to start talking. He didn’t want to give me consent to get in the house at first, but I kept talking to him. He didn’t have really a history. I knew he had some drug arrests, but he wasn’t a bad dude. He’s obviously got substance abuse problems, which is probably driving this and then the revenge part of it.

Yeardley [00:40:24] Would you say that the substance abuse problems were fairly new? He used to be kind of perhaps gainfully employed, and he and Chris ran in the same circles, and then he sort of went a different way, and now he’s doing heroin?

Dan [00:40:40] Yeah. He’d been doing heroin for probably a couple months. Typically, what we run into on the street is, somebody has an injury or an accident where they are prescribed painkillers. Those painkillers are opiates or opioids. At some point, they become addicted to these. Then, the doctor cuts them off, so they buy these pills on the street. They’re really expensive on the street. Which quickly changes into, “Well, I can’t afford the pills anymore. Heroin will give me the same high, and it’s way cheaper.” That’s how you get to heroin and addict that quickly.

Yeardley [00:41:21] Did that happen to Jason?

Dan [00:41:23] Yes, it did. Jason tells me, “Yeah, Chris slept with my girlfriend. I was pissed off. I went to Adam, because I needed help. I thought that Adam would be able to help us get rid of these proceeds pretty quickly, because he’s kind of involved in that circle of people, the drug world,” and Jason’s fairly new to it, and he knows Adam. So, you’ve got the revenge, and also, I’m probably going to get some heroin out of this somehow.”

Jason says that Adam is a little more involved than Adam wanted to tell me. He says they both go in. He repeats the stuff about the pallet and the drawstring for the blinds. They both go in. Once they get out, Adam is pretty clear with Jason,  “The guns are mine. I’m taking the guns.”

Yeardley [00:42:15] Oh!

Dan [00:42:15] “You can take everything else. I get the guns.”

Dave [00:42:19] If Chris had slept with my girlfriend, the last thing I’d want is his jeans.

Yeardley [00:42:24] (laughs)

Dave [00:42:26] Let me try these on, see if I can get my girlfriend back. Whatever.

Yeardley [00:42:31] (laughs) Yeah. Why did he steal the jeans? That is such a strange and specific item to take. What is that?

Dave [00:42:37] Honestly, I don’t know. It’s like stealing someone’s boxer shorts.

Yeardley [00:42:42] It kind of is.

Dave [00:42:43] Maybe he’s just updating his closet and his wardrobe.

Yeardley [00:42:46] (laughs) Maybe so.

Dan [00:42:49] I’m trying to corroborate things. So, I ask Jason specifically, “What did you guys steal?” And he lists off the Plum Crazy, the Mossberg shotgun, the SKS, and the Glock. The watches, the jeans. I say, “Where are the watches and the jeans?” “Uh, I don’t have them here.” “Okay, well, if you don’t have them here, you won’t have a problem with me coming inside, right? And looking in your room?” “Um,” we do the dance a little bit. He says, “You know what? Yeah, you can come in.”

I haven’t signed a consent form. I go into his room and it looks like a bomb went off in his room. It is the messiest room. There are clothes everywhere. You can’t even see the bed. You know there’s a bed in there, but it’s a mountain of stuff. It just shows me that this guy’s life– He’s circling the drain at this point.


[00:43:37] We start digging under clothes. He’s watching us. He’s trying to point us in the general direction. “Well, I think it might be over in that corner somewhere.” But there’s so much stuff in this room. Finally, I find like four pairs of jeans. They’re all the same size. It’s the right brands. I find a watch box for Bulova, it too has a receipt in there with Chris’ name on it. Now, I’ve got both of them for sure. According to Jason, Adam sold the watches for dope, which Adam never told me that. He said that Jason took the watches.

Yeardley [00:44:15] All you have are the boxes.

Dan [00:44:17] Yeah. But I’ve got the guns and that’s what I’m really concerned about, is I’ve got the guns. I arrest Jason. He goes to jail, go over and talk to the district attorney in person, kind of spell out the whole crime and everything. We’re looking at indictments, and with his previous criminal history, things aren’t looking real well for Adam. He’s going to be probably doing some prison time. I think it’s finished, but it’s not.


Dan [00:46:58] A few months later, I get a phone call from a neighboring agency and they say, “Hey, when you arrested Adam, did you know he’s involved in this home invasion?” And I said, “No, I had no idea.” This home invasion occurred several years prior, and it was unsolved.

Dave [00:47:15] When Adam gets sent up to prison for my burglary case, the state collects his DNA and puts it in CODIS. There’s a CODIS match coming back to a home invasion robbery that occurred in my neighboring agency, and it’s a match to Adam. Several years ago, Adam and this unknown assailant go do this home invasion robbery at a marijuana grow, which is pretty typical for us. I would say 99% of the home invasion robberies that we investigate are tied to marijuana.

Yeardley [00:47:49] And this was before marijuana was legal in your state?

Dave [00:47:52] Yeah. And honestly, it continues. If you’ve got large quantities of marijuana, that stuff goes for a lot of money in other states where it’s not so available. So, our home invasion robberies are almost exclusively marijuana related.

Dan [00:48:06] When word gets out that there’s a marijuana grow somewhere, especially if there’s stuff going on the side, and they know that there’s going to be cash there, it makes you a target. That’s what happened in this case. Adam and this unknown assailant go to this marijuana grow, because they’re going to rip these people for cash. They come inside, there are two or three people inside. They force them on the ground at gunpoint. There was a dog that was trying to defend the family. They shot the dog, killed the dog. When the shot gets fired for the dog, Adam and his conspirator get freaked out,  “Oh shit. Now people are going to know that we’re here.” It’s loud. So, they’re trying to hurry.


[00:48:49] Well, they lose track of one of the people in the house, a female, and that person runs to a side closet grabs a shotgun, and it’s not loaded. But this woman, victim, as Adam and his co-conspirator are running away, swings the barrel of the shotgun and hits Adam in the back of the head and takes a chunk out of his scalp.

Yeardley [00:49:10] Oh shit!

Dan [00:49:11] So, now we’ve got DNA. I believe Adam and his co-conspirator shot one of the other people in the house. It didn’t kill him, but shot one of these victims, which obviously makes this way worse. Several years later, after I busted him, the DNA matches. Adam is in a whole lot of trouble now. Adam had a lawyer at that point. He didn’t give up his co-conspirator.

Yeardley [00:49:38] He didn’t give up his co-conspirator in that home invasion?

Dan [00:49:41] He did not.

Yeardley [00:49:42] So, they never found out who that was?

Dan [00:49:45] Well, about a year after this Adam burglary, there was a World Series going on. Dave and I are big baseball fans, and all we want to do is watch the World Series. A couple days prior, Sergeant Dave had come to Detective Kyle and I, and the previous night there was a pursuit where a guy got away from us. We caught a female, who was in the car. She didn’t give this guy up. She wouldn’t give up his name or anything. This pursuit was pretty harrowing. I think he had run into a couple patrol cars while trying to get away and then he went up into a wooded area and he got away. Nothing pisses off Sergeant Dave more when they get away.


[00:50:31] Sergeant Dave came to us and said, “I want you to find out who this guy is and where he’s at.” Detective Kyle and I started working on that. I went over to the girl’s house. She was really young. I think she was a year out of high school. She was young and innocent, lived in a nice neighborhood. You’re just wondering, “How did you get involved with this dude, over here, whoever this dude is?” And I think they were in a stolen car.

I talk to this girl, and she’s pretty scared at this point. She doesn’t want to be a snitch, but at the same time, she’s like, “I don’t even know what’s going on.” The police are in my house. I’m talking to the mother. The mother is pretty adamant. Like, “You are going to tell him. You’re going to tell this detective exactly what happened and who that guy is.” The girl’s playing dumb. “He told me first name, but he didn’t tell me a last name,” things like that. “Hey, can I get into your phone?” “Yeah.” She’s texting the guys, so we’re able to run this phone number, we’re able to tie it back to a certain person.


[00:51:30] This guy, his name is Byron, and through some other informants, we develop a lead on where Byron is and what Byron is driving. We find out information that he will be carrying a Glock handgun for sure.

Yeardley [00:51:46] Is it the Glock handgun that–? No.

Dan [00:51:48] It’s a different Glock. We run a CCH on him.

Yeardley [00:51:52] A CCH?

Dave [00:51:53] Computerized Criminal History.

Yeardley [00:51:55] Oh, right.

Dan [00:51:56] We find out that he’s a convicted felon, he can’t have a gun.

Dave [00:51:59] This guy, Byron, always runs, always fights. He’s a problem. When you’re dealing with guys like that, you kind of already know what to expect when you come across them. So, you take extra precautions.

Dan [00:52:12] Sergeant Dave, meanwhile, is like texting us and saying, “Have you caught him yet?”

Yeardley [00:52:17] (laughs)

Dan [00:52:18] So, I’m working on this all day with Kyle. Kyle’s also baseball fan, and there’s definitely a game that night. We know where Byron, this guy who ran from the police, is going to be. He’s going to be at a bar. It’s a sports bar. So, there are what, seven of us working this? They decided that detective George and detective Kyle are going to be inside the bar where they get to watch the World Series. Meanwhile, we’re all sitting out in our cars. It’s not warm out that night. It’s raining. It’s miserable.

Dave [00:52:50] I remember Kyle and George kept sending text updates about the game. “Oh, you wouldn’t believe this play.” I’m just like, “Fuck you. Hurry up. Let’s go.”

Yeardley [00:52:58] (laughs)

Dan [00:53:01] Yeah. It was probably the fifth inning when we really first started this, and it’s a really good game, and it’s one of the deciding games in the World Series. Every inning, it’s like, “Oh my God, I’m going to miss the end of this game.”

Dave [00:53:13] We’re on tweaker time.

Yeardley [00:53:14] Sure, which for our listeners, tweaker time is quite imprecise. They don’t show up on time, is what that means.

Dan [00:53:22] Byron eventually shows up, and our informant introduces Byron to Detective Kyle and Detective George–

Yeardley [00:53:30] As police officers?

Dan [00:53:31] No. Just, “Oh, hey, I know these guys.” But we also know that Byron is armed and we’re in a crowded bar.

Yeardley [00:53:39] Can I just say one thing? I know that Kyle can dirty up and look kind of scruffy and street, but George kind of looks like a dad.

Dan [00:53:49] George is a maggot.


Yeardley [00:53:51] Can George dirty up too?

Dan George can play the game. He’ll throw a hat on. It’s probably a Cubs hat. [crosstalk] But George can dirty up a little bit too.

Yeardley [00:54:04] All right, good.

Dan [00:54:04] There’s a quick introduction between Detective George, this informant, and Detective Kyle. And then Byron needs is fix. He’s got to run back out to his car. And this is where we decide we’re going to take him down.

Yeardley [00:54:17] A drug fix?

Dan [00:54:19] Yeah.

Dave [00:54:20] He was a meth guy.

Dan [00:54:21] Yeah. Byron heads back out to his car. We are parked down the road. We’ve got a general location. Somebody has eyes on this parking lot. They say, “I’m pretty sure the car that he’s going to be getting into is faced south on the south side of this lot.” There’s a fence in front of him, so he can’t go forward-

Dave [00:54:41] And a power pole.

Dan [00:54:43] -and a power pole, so he can’t go forward. The only way he can get out of there is to go back, and there are cars on either side of him. He’s out in the car. We pull in. There just happened to be a parking space right on the other opposite row. So, Detective Jeff and I pull in There our takedown team is Jeff and I, and then my brother and his partner, Matt.

Dave [00:55:09] We blocked him in the back.

Dan [00:55:11] They come into the parking lot with their lights on, in their unmarked car, and get right up on the bumper, so this guy doesn’t have any room to mash his way out of there. We start giving verbal commands. We tell him that we’re police officers, we identify him by name, “Byron, get your hands up. You are under arrest,” just to make it clear.

Dave [00:55:33] I remember, we opened the door, he had the meth pipe in his lap, he was just about to use. We go hands on, grab him, start to pull him out, and the fight is on right away, right there in between two cars. We dump him on the ground. I remember we could not get a hold of his right hand. It was in his waistband. We all fear the worst, like, “I know where that hand is going.” He kept a gun in his front waistband, but he has kind of saggy jeans. When he went to reach for it, he actually knocked it, and it knocked it down and it was going down his pant leg. He’s reaching for it, and he’s really digging. He’s got his hand all the way down to his right knee. He couldn’t get it. So, we finally wrench his right hand out and the gun falls out of his pant leg, right at his feet.

Yeardley [00:56:23] Thank God!

Dave [00:56:24] Definitely going for the gun.

Dan [00:56:26] Yeah. We get him in handcuffs. I take him back to our station, and I question him. Just the worst attempt to add, “Uh, I’m high and I’m crazy,” that I’ve ever had an interview. I couldn’t even understand what he was saying because he was acting like he was on the nod, even though he’s a meth user, he’s not a heroin user. I would say, “Hey, Byron, I want to talk to you about that chase the other night.” [imitating Byron] “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that, Byron, can you repeat that?” [imitating Byron] It went like that for an hour.

Yeardley [00:57:00] Oh, my God!

Dan [00:57:01] I tried. I tried. I tried every tactic, and he just played that game. The reason I bring up Byron in is because I’m pretty sure that Byron is involved in that home invasion.

Yeardley [00:57:14] Oh, right. That he was Adam’s accomplice.

Dan [00:57:17] I cannot prove it.

Yeardley [00:57:18] Oh, ever?

Dan [00:57:20] Ever. Byron is free, but Adam is in prison until 2029.

Yeardley [00:57:26] Oh, wow!

Dave [00:57:27] He’s there on two cases. Home invasion, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and then you have burglary, the theft charges associated with the firearm.

Dan [00:57:36] When they got his DNA, they charged him for the home invasion.

Yeardley [00:57:41] And they got DNA when you arrested him for the burglary?

Dan [00:57:45] Yeah.

Yeardley [00:57:45] Is that just standard practice, “We’re going to get your DNA now”?

Dan [00:57:50] So, when you get convicted of a felony, they take your DNA in our state. And a lot of states are like that now.

Dave [00:57:56] So, you have these major cases that are unsolved with unknown person’s DNA, the lab will run those on a fairly regular basis just against cold cases, and then they get hit. Once his DNA is now in the bank, now they get hit on it and they’re like, “Oh, hey, we matched this one up.”

Yeardley [00:58:14] I see.

Dave [00:58:15] So, it’s retroactive. They go back after him.

Yeardley [00:58:17] So, it compounded the charges, basically, and you were like, “Oh, this is a massive win. We can charge you for the burglary. But, oh, hello, that chunk she took out of your head when she hit you with the front of the rifle? You’re that guy too.”

Dan [00:58:34] Yeah. One thing I do want to say is, you think about whenever the advent of fingerprinting was and now that is pretty standard procedure. Whenever you get arrested, you get fingerprinted. You’re not even convicted of a crime and you get fingerprinted. Dave and I’s contention is why is it any different with DNA?

Yeardley [00:58:50] Sure.

Dan [00:58:51] That is specific to you. Why are we not using DNA like fingerprinting? So, let’s take your fingerprints, and let’s get your DNA. If you get arrested, you get your DNA lodged too and you’re in CODIS. I think we could solve a lot of crimes that way.

Dave [00:59:04] Oh, it’d be so nice.

Yeardley [00:59:06] It’s so much more precise. When you guys get DNA and you need it for a murder case, you have to wait nine months, if that DNA had already been taken, and now it was there.

Dan [00:59:18] It all comes down to money, but they’ve got to change some ways that things are done for sure.

Yeardley [00:59:23] You’re saying Byron is free?

Dan [00:59:26] Byron is free. I don’t know, maybe I get in trouble for this, but I’m almost positive that he was the co-conspirator with Adam in that home invasion.

Dave [00:59:35] The statute of limitations is probably coming up on that case, too.

Dan [00:59:38] Yeah.

Yeardley [00:59:39] And we’ll never be able to get him because we don’t have enough evidence.

Dan [00:59:44] Correct.

Yeardley [00:59:45] That’s so frustrating.

Dan [00:59:46] Yeah. I think there was a chance to get him on this case, but it didn’t happen.

Yeardley [00:59:51] Did those frustrations stick with you? Or, do you just fold all of that into part of doing the job? Because I have to tell you, it really is sticks with me and I don’t even do your job.

Dan [01:00:03] It does stick with you, and it frustrates you at times. You also realize that some things are out of your control, and that is all part of it. Anytime you get a failure to file or a charging decision that you don’t necessarily agree with, or is not received well, it’s frustrating, but shit happens.

Yeardley [01:00:25] Right. Well, Detective Dan, we always love hearing from you guys, because you guys are the heart and soul and the rock of this podcast. We can’t get enough of what you do and how you do it, so thank you.

Dan [01:00:40] Thank you, appreciate that.

Dave [01:00:42] Felt like a sidekick on this one.

Dan [01:00:44] You want to go fight now?

Dave [01:00:44] Yeah, let’s do it. I’ll get the medic staged out to the east.

Yeardley [01:00:48] (laughs)

Dan [01:00:50] I’m going to give you a (unintelligible)

Dave [01:00:51] Schedule a dentist appointment too.

Dan [01:00:53] Let’s git.

Yeardley [01:00:54] (laughs)


Yeardley: [01:01:07] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and co-produced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Logan Heftel, Gary Scott, and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate producers are Erin Gaynor, the Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. Our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.

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Dan [01:02:16] Thanks for listening, Small Town Fam.

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