A military general from a Southeast Asian country gets arrested in the United States, along with his bodyguard, for orchestrating a million-dollar heroin deal. However, not content to sit and wait for their trial to begin, the two men plan a jailbreak. They just need two other participants to pull it off, which is how one of our favorite guests, Sgt. David becomes the Fourth Man.
Special Guest: Sgt. David
Sgt. David is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement. As a detective, he has lead investigations into murder, child abuse, robbery, narcotics, auto theft, burglary, and sexual assault. He has worked patrol, is currently the SWAT team commander, and is in charge of his agency’s detective bureau.Read Transcript
Sergeant David [00:00:05] The plan that DA put together at the time was that they were going to do a million-dollar drug deal, and the drug deal was to happen in the city right next to us. General Lee and his bodyguard just figured some sleepy little town and we’ll just come and meet. No one will think anything of it. We’ll be a million dollars richer.
Yeardley [00:00:23] 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 [00:00:49] I’m Dan.
Dave [00:00:50] And I’m Dave. We’re identical twins from Small Town, USA.
Dan [00:00:54] Dave investigated sex crimes and crimes against children. He’s now a patrol sergeant in his police department.
Dave [00:01:00] 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 [00:01:15] So, 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.
Yeardley [00:01:35] Today on Small Town Dicks, this is very exciting, we have the usual suspects. We have Detective Dan.
Dan [00:01:41] Hello.
Yeardley [00:01:43] Hello. [chuckles]
Dan [00:01:45] Good to be here.
Yeardley [00:01:46] Good to have you. And we have Detective Dave.
Dan [00:01:49] Back again.
Yeardley [00:01:50] Back again. And this is a really big day. We have one of our original guests from multiple seasons, but who really helped kick off this podcast, we have Sergeant David.
Sergeant David [00:02:03] Hello. Thank you for having me back.
Yeardley [00:02:04] Thank you for coming. We’re so pleased to see you.
Sergeant David [00:02:08] Well, good. I’m glad to be here.
Yeardley [00:02:10] Sergeant David, you always bring us these incredible cases, first of all, because your career is long and storied, and you’ve worked the stuff that makes all of our jaws just dropped to the ground. So with that introduction, I’m just going to hand it off to you and tell us how this case came to you.
Sergeant David [00:02:30] Okay, this case came to me before I was promoted to sergeant, and I was working narcotics at the time undercover. In the course of working narcotics and when you’re doing undercover stuff, you develop a lot of informants, and you also develop a lot of working relationships with other agencies such as the DEA, or sister cities’ detectives, because the drug cases traverse a lot of lines and a lot of our cases cross over with each other. So, we all know each other in the business.
Well, while I was working my cases, the DEA in this area did a really big drug case involving an international informant and a general from a Southeast Asian country army, over a million-dollar heroin deal. In the country where this general came from, General Lee was his name, they finance their units or pay their soldiers through the drug trade.
Yeardley [00:03:22] When you say that General Lee was financing his army with this drug trade, are they a rebel army kind of thing?
Sergeant David [00:03:30] No.
Yeardley [00:03:31] No, like the regular army?
Sergeant David [00:03:33] In the country he was from, he was a regular army. From what I understand of this, the generals build their own little units with whatever money they can get. There’s probably not a big tax base to some of these places. So, they do it through illicit drug trade, or whatever else they can do to make money for their unit, for equipment and whatever else they want.
Yeardley [00:03:50] I feel like when I learn stuff like that, it makes me feel naïve because I would take to myself, “Well, wait, you can’t run an army like that.” And then the people who live there would be like, “It’s not all neat and tidy all the time, Yeardley. Wake up!”
Sergeant David [00:04:07] Yeah. General Lee had a lot of access to heroin from where he was from and the DEA got wind of it through a professional international informant. The plan the DEA put together at the time was that they were going to do a million-dollar drug deal, and the drug deal was to happen in the city right next to us. General Lee, and his bodyguard just figured some sleepy little town and we’ll just come and meet, no one will think anything of it. We’ll be a million dollars richer and my little unit will be good, and I’ll go home.
And it all went down, I wasn’t involved with it originally, but I knew all about it. It was pretty hush-hush because of the international consequences with it. General Lee and his bodyguard showed up in a neighboring town with the heroin and all the money and were arrested by the DEA.
So, they were subsequently put on federal holds and put in our county jail. Word had not got out at all about it. We were all told to be little quiet about it, obviously since it was a government official who got arrested. And General Lee, he’d been in our custody for about three weeks, when I got a call from an informant, who was in jail.
One of the things about informants, you develop these people, and they call you about all kinds of things. When they’re in jail or when they’re out of jail, some to get out of charges, some to make money, and somebody just because they end up having a relationship with you that they like you and they want to tell you about some of the criminal activity going on the street. So, my informant calls me from the jail, I haven’t heard from him a while, he’d get in trouble all the time. And he goes, “Hey, what do you know about this general that’s in jail over here?” And I go, “What are you talking about?” Then he said, “It’s a general over here, and he’s got his little bodyguard with him. And I’m housed with them right now.” And I go, “Oh, really? Well, why don’t you tell me what you know about him?” He goes, “I know they have a lot of money. And I know that they’re going to plan an escape, and they want me to help them.”
Yeardley [00:05:55] Of course, they’re planning an escape! Of course, they are!
Sergeant David [00:05:58] [laughs] So, I’m thinking like, “How are you going to escape from the jail?” But this particular informant, I worked with him long time and I really trusted him, he told me the truth all the time. He told me that they had a guy on the outside named Peter who they had met when they first got booked into jail and he has since been released. My informant was able to provide his full name. He said, “They’ve already given him money to start their plan in place, but they’re looking for somebody else who has access to a tow truck and another car.” And so, I said, “Well, why don’t you tell me their whole plan?” And he said, “I can’t right now because I’m using the common phone.”
Yeardley [00:06:38] And in a jail, they record the calls, so he doesn’t want people listening in, right?
Sergeant David [00:06:44] Exactly. So, I went over and saw him the next day. My informant laid out a plan that Peter, who was on the outside, had already been paid a sum of money, wired to him by friends of General Lee’s to purchase two cars, and what they were looking for was a tow truck. The plan was that they would have one car put about six blocks away from the jail near a park, and in the trunk were provisions to last for two days, water and some bread and some things like that. And that the day before the jailbreak was to happen, there’s going to be another car planted on the street that’s visible from the viewing area of the jail where visiting is and that car was to be left unlocked with a key in it, and the keys to the other car were all supposed to be in that car.
The idea was they were trying to get somebody who had a tow truck, because during visiting, they’re all in what they call the annex over at the jail, and there’s no fence by the annex, and you can drive right up to it and parked by it. There is about a two-foot window, probably about 12-feet [unintelligible] and covered in bars, but people can see out of them. So, what they wanted to do was have someone with the tow truck back up, hook the cable to the bars, pull it off, they were going to jump out and they were going to run to this car that was 100 yards away, get in it, get the keys, drive it to the park, park it in the common area of the park, walk across the park and get into the trunk of the other car and wait for two days.
Yeardley [00:08:18] Oh my God. First of all, attaching something to the bars of a jailhouse window is like a cartoon.
Sergeant David [00:08:24] It is like a cartoon.
Yeardley [00:08:26] And I’m guessing there’s glass on the window, the two feet window that’s covered by bars. Is that not hard to shatter glass?
Sergeant David [00:08:35] No. But they’re encased in the frame, this big metal frame. And I think the whole thing would come out as one piece. That’s how they’re put in there. They had done some research about it, it looked like. And his story was incredible, but it was credible at the same time. The more I thought about this, the more I thought this might work, like this could actually work.
Yeardley [00:08:55] Really?
Sergeant David [00:08:56] Yep. Because Wednesday night visiting, there was never a deputy down there because they were always shuttling people back and forth to visiting. And so, they would have time to get out and before the deputies could even react, they’d be out and into the car. And the deputies couldn’t leave because they had all the other people out in the common area for visiting. So, it would have been really difficult for the deputies to do anything about it other than call.
Yeardley [00:09:18] So is Wednesday night, a big visiting night?
Sergeant David [00:09:21] Yeah. The whole idea of their plan was they’re going to wait two days for all the heat to be off and then Peter was going to drive them in the trunk to another city that had a port where they were going to get on a ship that was bound back for Southeast Asia and get them home. The only problem was they didn’t have access to a tow truck.
Yeardley [00:09:39] [laughs]
Sergeant David [00:09:40] And so, once I got this original information, I went to the US Marshals’ office to tell them what was going on. And I told him what the plan was to go forward, to actually try to find this Peter guy and arrest him for the conspiracy to help these guys escaped also. They were on board at that point. My informant had Peter’s phone number, and he was supposed to try to find someone, I said, “Well, go back and tell them you know somebody who has to tow truck.” And he went and did that, called me back and that somebody was me.
Yeardley [00:10:09] [laughs]
Sergeant David [00:10:10] And I had another informant who actually did have a tow truck. So, his tow truck was basically a one-ton pickup. He was kind of a seedy character who hung in that repo kind of stealing cars, running drugs crowd, so he knew everybody in that whole crowd. So, I went and asked him if I could borrow his tow truck because what they wanted me to do was prove to Peter outside that I had a tow truck and I was on board with this whole thing.
So, I got the tow truck. We arranged originally to meet Peter and I was wired up. And we met in the parking lot of supermarket in the area. That’s the first time I met Peter, who was a convicted sex offender and not my kind of guy, really. But we sat down and talked for a while. And he told me that he had already been given $10,000 wired to him to start this process. He had one car, but not the other car.
Yeardley [00:11:06] The one for the grand getaway.
Sergeant David [00:11:08] Yeah. And at that point, I realized he’s probably stealing the money because he said, “I don’t have enough for another car.” And I go, “Well, how much money do you need for another car?” And he said, “Well, I’m trying to get another $5000 out of them.” I said, “Well, I have a car,” which was going to be one of our undercover cars. And I also have a tow truck, but I need money for that stuff. And so, I negotiated with Peter, who negotiated with General Lee to wire $15,000 more dollars.
Yeardley [00:11:38] If General Lee is in jail, how is he allowed to wire money to a guy like Peter?
Sergeant David [00:11:45] He’s not actually wiring it. He’s setting it all up.
Yeardley [00:11:47] Oh, okay.
Sergeant David [00:11:48] They listen to people’s phone calls over there, but I bet you nobody spoke the dialect, the language he was speaking. And then, if they’re speaking to so-called legal advice, they can’t listen to it. So, it’s really easy to talk to people when you’re as connected as a general.
Sergeant David [00:14:30] So, my informant showed me how to run the boom on the tow truck and get all the cable off and everything. I met with Peter the first time and he showed up with some money and he said, “You’ll get the rest when I get the tow truck.” I said, “No, I need the money for the tow truck and my trouble because I’m going to have to drive it and then I’m going to have to get away. You can’t hire somebody else and they’ll know about it.” So, he agreed with this. And we separated and two days later, I had all the money. All the money was there.
Yeardley [00:14:59] But where exactly does General Lee wire the money to because it can’t go to an account that’s tied to your police department, because that would be obvious and dumb, right?
Dan [00:15:11] No, you just send it to your normal personal account. No. In a case like this, we will set up a phony account where they can wire the money, kind of a front.
Yeardley [00:15:21] But to the suspect, it looks like it’s a regular– obviously not a law enforcement account.
Dan [00:15:28] Correct.
Sergeant David [00:15:29] So Tuesday, the day before the thing was going to go down, Peter and I met, we went and we placed the car where it was supposed to be. I had notified the jail about what was happening, and they were in on the whole thing. So, they set cameras up to watch General Lee and his bodyguard hoist each other up to these windows so they could see it happening. See us putting the car where we were supposed to, and it was all on. So, Peter and I placed the car where it was supposed to be, and actually waved to General Lee as we walked by that that’s the car. He’s all happy. They’ve got it all on film with him looking at it through the window. And it was sitting there overnight, which really concerned me because we had to sneak back later and steal the keys out of it because I wasn’t going to leave the car overnight there because in the morning, it might be gone.
Yeardley [00:16:15] You mean your people, your police department people?
Sergeant David [00:16:19] Yeah, our people. We locked the car up and took the keys out. So, nobody would actually take it. But the other car, Peter took and planted by the park, and it had all this water and bread and little bleach bottles for them to pee, I guess, I don’t know. He had all this planned for them, and they were going to sit there for two days, then people wouldn’t be looking for him around there anymore and they could just drive out of there.
Peter plants the other car and I drive him back to his little shack outside town. At that point, I’m like, “You’re driving them down to this other city?” And he said, “Yeah, but I’m not taking them to that city.” And I go, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “You realize how much money these people have?” And I go, “Well, they seem to be able to get whatever you want.” And then, Peter says to me, “I’ve already arranged it. I’ve got a buddy, who’s got a ranch in another state. I’m going to take them out there and we’re going to hold them for more money.”
Yeardley [00:17:10] Oh my God!
Sergeant David [00:17:12] This is all on tape, by the way, when he’s talking to me, I’m wired.
Dave [00:17:16] And I’m guessing, they’re going to be stuck in the trunk for this road trip.
Sergeant David [00:17:20] They’re never going to get out of the trunk until the money gets there, probably.
Dan [00:17:23] Just going to be a long drive, but “Ta-da, surprise! we’re not near a port. We’re at a ranch and I need this amount of money to cut you loose.”
Sergeant David [00:17:31] Yep.
Yeardley [00:17:32] That’s right. If you’re even still alive in the truck there.
Dave [00:17:35] [laughs] They just be, “Hey, how long is it supposed to take to get to this port?” “Well, it was supposed to be like eight or nine hours. Dude, we’ve been in this car for 30 hours, man.”
Sergeant David [00:17:44] And they’re going through a desert state which would have been a little toasty. But I go, “You’re taking a big chance. This guy’s probably pretty connected. And that little bodyguard is might take care of you.” He’s, “I’m not worried all about it.” This guy was a dope boy. I don’t know what he was thinking he was going to do but he’s thinking he’s going to get rich off this whole scheme.
Yeardley [00:18:04] Peter did.
Sergeant David [00:18:05] Peter did, yes. And he asked me if I wanted in on it. I said, “No, I want my cut and I want out of it. I don’t want to lose my tow truck and I don’t want to get arrested.” He goes, “I understand.”
Yeardley [00:18:16] I keep thinking Peter knows that you’re a cop, like the jailhouse informant knows, but he doesn’t know that. He thinks you’re just a common criminal like he is.
Sergeant David [00:18:26] Correct. Wednesday rolls around, and our plan was that the jail knew about it, I was going to pull him at the tow truck, back up, actually hook the cable up to the window and at that point, deputies were going to come out and take me down at gunpoint and arrest me.
Yeardley [00:18:42] [giggles]
Sergeant David [00:18:43] So, I rolled up and they had the cameras on and General Lee and his bodyguard, they got some benches, some other people to help him up against the window and they were already to do their jump out. They were up against the window when I was hooking the chain up and they look so happy and so close to getting free. And then, the sheriffs came out and arrested me in the parking lot. They handcuffed me and took me away. They went straight in and the marshals separated General Lee and his bodyguard and handcuffed them, and they were like, “Oh.”
Dave [00:19:17] “Oh, shit, we really screwed this up.”
Sergeant David [00:19:21] Exactly.
Yeardley [00:19:23] When you as the tow truck driver are hooking the hook up to the bars, is nobody going, “Why is that dude hooking a hook up two bars on the jail?”
Sergeant David [00:19:32] There was nobody there. That’s why I tell you this might have worked because there was nobody in the parking lot. And it was really easy to walk up onto the boom of the tow truck and wrap the cable around, and you’d have to get some speed up to pull it off. But there wasn’t anybody out there. Not one person. There was surveillance from inside the jail, but by the time they would have got anybody out there because it was visiting, they’d already had the thing off and been running along with them.
Dan [00:20:00] I’m just picturing you climbing up the boom of this and being just a few inches from them on the other side of the bars and windows, and this look of a puppy in the dog pound that’s like, “Take me, please.”
Sergeant David [00:20:12] You’ll be free soon, yeah. We were almost face to face when I got up there. They looked so happy. Meanwhile, Peter is sitting over at the park waiting for his meal ticket to show up and the police were watching him. Once we got released, we drove over to the park, and Peter sees it’s me and two other guys who are undercover police officers. They’re from the US Marshals’ office actually, and we take him into custody. And he is flabbergasted that I was ever a police officer.
Peter ends up getting conspiracy to help these guys escape. General Lee and his bodyguard got federal escape charges put on them. They got separated in the federal system and taken away on their drug charges and their escape charges. I know the general got sent to a federal prison and I don’t know where his bodyguard got sent. It was all just a really stupid plan that may have worked actually, and they went to a lot of trouble planning it. The unfortunate thing, they planned it with someone who was a police informant. But while this was all going down, my informant got out of jail. And we had all this money that I had been given, like $9,000 still that I hadn’t used up of their money. And I gave it over to the marshal’s office, and I called the marshal’s office and I said, “Hey, what do you guys going to do with that money?” It’s obviously criminal evidence of this thing and that thing’s got to be adjudicated fast. I go, “You’ve got to cut a reward to mine informant because if he hadn’t called this, they might have tried this and they might have did it.” And he said, “Sure. It doesn’t mean anything to us.” He basically the next day comes down, gives me a check for $9,000 in the name of my informant.
Yeardley [00:22:00] The whole thing.
Sergeant David [00:22:00] The whole thing. And $9,000 to an informant is like winning the lottery. So, my informant, he’s like, more than happy. He’s not even named in this thing. So even if they came after anybody, no one even really knows who he is because once I introduced myself to Peter, he was out of it. And Peter knows probably but Peters got his own problems because he was going to kidnap General Lee and his bodyguard. So, I gave the money to the informant, everyone’s happy, great case all over with. Well, the next two days after I gave my informant, I get a phone call from the marshal’s office and he goes, “Hey, um, Dave, you still got that money?” I said, “No, I gave it to my informant.” “Well, does he still got it?” I was like, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “I wasn’t supposed to give it to him just yet.”
Sergeant David [00:22:52] And he goes, “Could you go get it back for him?” And I did what you did, I laughed. I said, “That money’s gone. I guarantee you. $9,000 in the hands of someone like him was gone before he even–”
Yeardley [00:23:05] Left the bank.
Sergeant David [00:23:06] Yeah. And so, I called my informant. I said, “How much money you got left?” He goes, “Why are you asking me?” I said, “Just how much money you got left?” He goes, “Well, I don’t know.” And I said, “You know, the marshal that we have talked to? He wants it back.” He started laughing. He goes, “Are you kidding me?” He goes, “It’s all gone.”
Yeardley [00:23:25] It’s been two days!
Sergeant David [00:23:26] It’s been two days, but he probably had a new ’68 Nova and something else. But I don’t know what they ended up doing about all that. I know that it was trouble on the marshal’s end, but on our end, it was all good.
Yeardley [00:26:05] So, General Lee goes to a prison across the country, his bodyguard goes somewhere else. Are they then extradited to their Southeast Asian country?
Sergeant David [00:26:15] They do their time here, which they’re still doing, I’m sure. I guess you never know what happens to a case like that. It could go somewhere and end up giving information to anyone, all up to CIA, I suppose, about the operations. The story is about all these people and how they’re so far apart, yet so close when they end up in the same boat.
Yeardley [00:26:34] Sort of cut from the same cloth.
Sergeant David [00:26:36] Yeah, they’re same type of people. And they will double-cross you in a second if it furthers their cause, and it doesn’t really matter. So, when you’re locked up and you have to put your trust in people you’ve just met, chances are it’s not going to work out.
Dan [00:26:50] What kind of time did Peter get?
Sergeant David [00:26:52] Peter got nine years for his part in this, and it was funny because we wrote up the whole thing about the attempted kidnapping. So, General Lee and his bodyguard, they would have got that in their discovery that, “Hey, by the way, this guy was going to help you out was going to keep you for– see how much more money he can milk out of your people to get you back.”
Dan [00:27:12] Careful who you do business with.
Sergeant David [00:27:13] That’s right. Exactly right.
Dan [00:27:15] What was the original plan to get back? So, if the original heroin deal would have gone well and they wouldn’t have got hooked up by the DEA, were they going to fly back? Were they going to hop on a boat?
Sergeant David [00:27:26] They were going to fly back. They flew into town and they were going to fly back.
Yeardley [00:27:30] So, for our listeners, who can’t see you, Sergeant David sitting across from me is very clean cut. He’s in great shape. He’s clean-shaven. So, when you’re a drug cop, what do you look like?
Sergeant David [00:27:44] I was a little scruffier at that time. People would mistake me for a biker, I think. I had people tell me when I did in undercover things before that they never thought I was a cop, but they were afraid I was going to rob them.
Yeardley [00:27:57] Oh, wow, that’s some clout!
Sergeant David [00:28:02] That is the most fun I had as a police officer when I worked that stuff. It was absolutely the best job I’ve had in this job.
Yeardley [00:28:08] Interesting. And then you got promoted and just boo. [chuckles]
Sergeant David [00:28:12] Yeah. Well, the thing of it is, when you’re working those kind of cases and you have informants, you are as close as you’ll ever get to being part of the criminal world. And knowing what’s going on and knowing how they react, you learn so much about how they think and how they do things and it really helps you in your career down the line, especially when you’re interviewing people, you know what they’re thinking and how they come to the decisions that they do a lot of times.
Dan [00:28:37] I would imagine that you’ve been in situations– flash money.
Yeardley [00:28:42] What’s that?
Sergeant David [00:28:43] Flash money is when you’re making a big drug deal, and you’re getting introduced to somebody who’s going to buy drugs, and these people want to believe you have the money before they bring the drugs. A lot of times you have to show them money before they go get the drugs. The biggest thing you have to worry about, there’s a robbery at that time. They’ll show you money, and there was never going to be any drugs. There’s always going to be just a robbery. And so, you really have to be careful about that kind of stuff. Those things have to be really set up well, for the safety of the officer doing it and everybody else around. And so, every time you do these deals, when you’re doing undercover stuff, there’s always a big threat because that happens all the time in that world, and it doesn’t get reported. You don’t go tell the cops, “I was going to do a $100,000 drug deal and they stole my money and didn’t give me my drugs.” That happens all the time, though. You can see how they’re going sometimes with the way they plan it, if they’re trying to get you away from a public place or something like that. That’s why you always would do it in a public place. So, there’s less likely that something like that will happen.
Dan [00:29:37] I’ve told Yeardley before that I think a lot of just regular people out there would be surprised where big drug deals happen, where big plans are hatched, supermarket, parking lots, where you’re actually meeting up and people who are unaware of what’s actually going on right under their nose.
Yeardley [00:29:54] Can you give us an example?
Dan [00:29:56] Well, for instance, Bait and Switch, that episode we did a couple seasons ago.
Yeardley [00:30:01] That’s right, with Detective Justin.
Dan [00:30:03] That was a drug deal that was going down on a weekend afternoon at a packed Walmart parking lot. Nobody had a clue of what was going on until the shot was fired.
Yeardley [00:30:16] That’s so crazy. It’s a little creepy to think that you’re just loading your groceries into your trunk and feet away from you, some bad shit’s going down.
Dan [00:30:26] Yeah, and I think it’s a way for them to hide in plain sight. There’s so much going on. There’s so many people walking around. Nobody’s really paying attention to you. If you’re in an empty parking lot, and you’re the only two cars there and you’re right next to each other, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb a little bit. But if you can blend into a packed Walmart parking lot where nobody’s paying attention, city parks, all kinds of different places, you’re going to blend right in.
Yeardley [00:30:52] Right, hide in plain sight.
Dan [00:30:54] It’s amazing.
Sergeant David [00:30:55] Yeah. And a lot of it will be just there will never be an actual meeting. There will be an exchange of cars is all. I park my car here, they park their car here, we go out, we [unintelligible], switch keys, and off we go. So, there’s no actual meeting a lot of times.
Yeardley [00:31:10] Oh my God.
Sergeant David [00:31:11] It’s pretty clever.
Dan [00:31:13] Back when you were working undercover, you obviously had children.
Sergeant David [00:31:16] Yep.
Dan [00:31:17] Is that something that you’re conscious of when you’re in these situations? You’re sitting in the backseat of a car, you’ve got two bad guys on each side of you, and does that creep into your mind when you’re doing these things?
Sergeant David [00:31:28] It does but it’s no different than being a police officer in any situation. I mean, it’s one of those things where you always worry about what might happen. And if you don’t, you’re crazy, and you think about it, you’re always kind of on your toes no matter what situation. Obviously, if you’re sitting with people you just don’t know when you’re going to do a high dollar drug deal or any kind of drug deal, you’re kind of putting yourself out there more. But I always had a plan. I always had a plan, and I don’t know if it’ll work. But you’ve got to do that. You always had to have a plan if something starts going bad.
Dan [00:31:56] Are these guys doing security on you too? I mean, they’re always checking you out.
Sergeant David [00:31:59] Oh, yeah.
Dan [00:31:59] And wanting to know if you’re a cop.
Sergeant David [00:32:03] Well, one particular case where I was buying heroin from a group of people, I bought a lot of heroin a couple times. And finally, the one time the guy that I was buying from takes me outside and he’s just staring at me. He always brought another guy with him. He always had another guy with him, who always had the dope on him. This is a guy, one of the guys thought I was going to rob him. But he looked at me and he goes, “You don’t use?” And I said, “Neither do you.” I go, “I’m in it for the money, and if you’ve got a problem with that,” you just got to kind of go back at them with it. And they can tell if you don’t use, and you’ll get a situation they will ask you to use with them.
Yeardley [00:32:43] What do you do?
Sergeant David [00:32:44] You can’t. You just say, “Hey, look, I’ve got to see my PO, I’ve got to piss in the cup. I’m not doing it right now.”
Yeardley [00:32:49] PO is parole officer?
Sergeant David [00:32:51] Yeah. Or I don’t do that. You got to talk them out of it. And these shows that you see where they do, not going to work out. We wouldn’t do that. Case isn’t worth it.
Yeardley [00:33:01] Right. And are you carrying a gun when you’re meeting with these people?
Sergeant David [00:33:06] Always.
Yeardley [00:33:07] But they all carry guns, so that’s not unusual?
Sergeant David [00:33:10] No. Most likely. And then, sometimes they want to touch you, they want to see if you’re wired or something like that. “I need to see.” “Don’t touch me.” In prison, you wouldn’t let people touch you like that. But I don’t trust you any more than you trust me. So, you just leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. Let’s just do our thing.
Yeardley [00:33:29] That is just nerves of steel.
Sergeant David [00:33:31] [chuckles] It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun.
Dan [00:33:34] You’ve got to be agile. Think on your feet.
Yeardley [00:33:36] Really nimble. Yeah. Did you always want to be a cop when you were growing up?
Sergeant David [00:33:41] No, not always. I wanted to play pro sports, but I wasn’t good enough, so I had to find something to entertain me.
Dan [00:33:48] He’s pretty good, though, I’ll tell you. When we played softball, he’s still driving the ball out of the yard playing softball.
Sergeant David [00:33:54] That’s not happening anymore. Trust me.
Dave [00:33:56] Now it’s his sons. They hit rockets.
Yeardley [00:33:59] That’s true. I’ve heard your sons are really good at baseball.
Sergeant David [00:34:01] Yeah, they’re more athletic than I ever was.
Yeardley [00:34:04] Ah, brilliant. Oh, Sergeant David, it’s so good to see you. What a fantastic like– I don’t know. It seems as though if you wrote that in a movie, people will go like, “That was a great movie. [unintelligible] never happened.”
Sergeant David [00:34:16] It’s a funny story.
Yeardley [00:34:17] It’s so funny!
Sergeant David [00:34:19] It’s like the Keystone Cops except the Keystone criminals.
Yeardley [00:34:22] Yes. It’s quite cinematic. And it’s bumblingness, it has a lightness to it.
Sergeant David [00:34:28] It’s like my dad said, “You would never know those things happen here.” And nobody knows there’s a million-dollar drug deal going down in this little sleepy town with an international figure.
Yeardley [00:34:38] That’s just crazy. Thank you so much. That is just fantastic.
Dan [00:34:44] Thank you, Sarge.
Sergeant David [00:34:45] Mm-hmm.
Dave [00:34:47] Thank you. That story is just entertaining. I’ve heard it before, but it cracks me up.
Yeardley [00:34:53] Is it legendary in this agency?
Sergeant David [00:34:55] I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s legendary. There’s so many stories and half of them are BS, but that really happened. You can trust me on that.
Dave [00:35:04] Sergeant Dave, the biker tow truck driver.
Yeardley [00:35:07] I know. Are there photos somewhere?
Sergeant David [00:35:11] There’s actually– I have a– this is how long ago it happened, there’s VHS tape of me getting arrested out in the parking lot.
Dan [00:35:17] I might pay to watch that.
Yeardley [00:35:18] So good. I would pay. It’s amazing. Thank you.
Sergeant David [00:35:22] You’re welcome.
Yeardley [00:35:27] Well, there it is, Small Town fam. And if you want more of the awesome Sergeant David, just bop on over to our Patreon at patreon.com/smalltowndickspodcast and subscribe for five bucks a month to hear this week’s delicious snackable nugget of specially curated content plus loads of others snackety snacks because that’s where that stuff lives. And when you’re done with that, I have a film I think you guys are going to love. It’s a survival thriller called Alone. Full disclosure. My company Paperclip Limited produced it but that’s not why you should watch it. You should watch it because it’s rated certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. And it’s in the Top 10 New Thrillers on Apple, Amazon, FandangoNOW and Hulu, and I’ll just tell you the story is every woman’s worst nightmare. Enjoy! [giggles]
Yeardley: [00:36:38] Small Town Dicks is produced by Gary Scott and Yeardley Smith, and coproduced by Detectives Dan and Dave. This episode was edited by Logan Heftel, Gary Scott and me, Yeardley Smith. Our associate produces are Erin Gaynor and The Real Nick Smitty. Our music is composed by John Forest. Our editors extraordinaire are Logan Heftel and Soren Begin. And our books are cooked and cats wrangled by Ben Cornwell.
Dan: [00:37:06] If you like what you hear and want to stay up to date with the show, visit us on our website at smalltowndicks.com, and join the Small Town fam by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @smalltowndicks. We love hearing from you.
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Yeardley [00:37:34] That’s right. Your subscription also makes it possible for us to keep going to small towns across the country.
Dan [00:37:40] In search of the finest rare true crime cases told, as always, by the detectives who investigated them.
Dave [00:37:47] So, thanks for listening, Small Town fam.
Yeardley [00:37:49] Nobody’s better than you.