MONEY TOWN 2
John Ross popped open an ice cold can of Budweiser and took a big drink. He looked straight into the April wind and cast his fishing line into the murky brown water of Beech Fork Lake. Using a soft touch, he let the breeze take his line into the distance.
“No sense trying to force things. Can’t fight the wind. Go with the flow. Nothing beats an ice cold beer. Haha. I love clichés.” John Ross laughed to himself. He had learned a lot the last few years and he has realized that it is not always necessary to try to overpower a strong force. Sometimes you just have to take what you get and put all of your energy into moving on from
there. “Don’t have to get it all in the first grab.” He smiled as he chugged down the near frozen suds.
He looked around at the wilderness that surrounded him. It seemed to him that Spring was a little late in arriving. He kind of figured everything would be in full bloom by now. Many of the trees were still half-barren. Beech Fork had yet to blossom into the green lushness that would accompany the arrival of Summer. In a few short weeks, Beech Fork would be wrapped in green. The water would be more blue than brown. Now, the lake resembled a glass of chocolate milk more than the glittering blue lake that was on the cover of brochures touting the natural beauty of one of West Virginia’s finest lakes.
The rain had been falling for weeks and at times John wondered if he should build an ark instead of buying a boat. The water crept over the shore and brought back a load of trash that was bobbing up and down just off the banks of the lake. Park employees were scurrying around desperately attempting to get the resort back into shape before the Summer sun would bring boaters, picnickers, and swimmers out to Wayne County. The winter had been hard on the marina and carpenters were rebuilding parts of the docks and working on the walkways leading to the Beech Fork Lake Marina.
John Ross was ready for Summer this year. Instead of patrolling his police car through the streets of Huntington like he did for years, he would be drifting through beautiful Beech Fork Lake on a steamy July evening. Of course, he would be in the presence of a cooler full of beer and a nice young blonde. Or brunette, John Ross was not picky. He just knew he would not have to worry about drug addicted punks taking shots at him as he drove through town. He may have to battle off mosquitoes out on the lake and maybe a jealous husband or boyfriend, if him and his date of the evening were followed. But, he would never have to endure another firefight like the one at The New Warehouse where he killed two gangsters in self-defense.
The only death John Ross planned on dealing was killing a copperhead that may try to steal his beer or transforming a huge bass into dinner. Without a badge, John Ross would not be encountering drug dealers with automatic weapons. John Ross was ready to date Mother Nature for a while. There had been enough drama in his life over the last few years. He needed the peace of the wild to bring back some piece of mind.
The shootout at The New Warehouse was never something he regretted. It was his moment of glory. It transformed him from a civil servant into a super hero. The men who died were soldiers on the wrong side of the war. That night was not the night that drove him from The Huntington Police Department.
Actually, that night drove him to become a soldier. He became a soldier for what he thought was right. He became a charter member of The Huntington Southside Protectors. John did not see himself as a vigilante. He had envisioned himself as a superhero like Batman or Spiderman. The only superpower he seemed to have was the power of getting cheap bar whores to go home with him.
When the Huntington Southside Protectors were being talked about on television or he saw a hot girl wearing a HSP t-shirt, John truly felt like Superman. But, when he stood helplessly and watched his six fellow officers turned vigilantes die, that super hero inside of him died as well.
John Ross was lucky to have escaped that evening with his life. He was also lucky that only one person knew that he was one of the vigilantes. His long-time friend Rick Perry had chased him from the scene and tackled him a few blocks away. Rick was astonished as he removed the vigilante’s mask to reveal the face of his fellow police officer. Rick promised he would not arrest him as long as he did not return to the force.
Watching his fellow officers die in a firefight with drug dealers had more influence in his decision not to return from his administrative leave of absence then his friend’s request that he turn in his badge. Returning to action after killing two thugs would not have been a problem but to watch his teammates die in a brutal battle that they did not have to fight, was too much for him.
Of course, everyone thought he was quitting because of the shooting at The New Warehouse. He left as a hero. A dinner was given in his honor. He got laid by a buxom redhead the evening of the dinner. His decision not to return landed him on the front page of The Herald-dispatch and the paper wrote an editorial on how the city could not afford to lose a valuable public servant. John Ross the police officer would always be hailed as the hero that saved lives at The New Warehouse instead of being remembered as the flawed whore-mongering alcoholic that he feared that he was becoming.
It had now been nearly three years since the incidents that caused him to quit the police department. He immediately bought a bar in Altizer, a little district on the outskirts of town. It was a rough hole in the wall but he was so popular when he bought it, it became a goldmine. The bar was proudly named JR’s. It quickly became a late night hotspot. John took advantage of his familiarity of the police department and kept the bar open a couple of hours later than it was supposed to be open. Many partiers would leave other bars at two or three and head to JR’s until around five.
The bar was full of John Ross’s two favorite things: cold beer and easy women. He spent way more time in his new place of employment than he ever did in his squad car. John Ross lived the life of a total playboy for about a year before he realized he needed something more.
He missed being part of the law. He did not miss certain aspects of his job such as long hours in his police car or pulling over speeders. He missed the authority. He missed the respect the badge brought to him. He missed the power of a loaded gun at his side.
It was not long until the perfect idea struck him. John Ross, hero cop of Huntington would run for Magistrate of Huntington. It was a brilliant but natural idea. By being a Magistrate he would regain the power he was withdrawing from and he would actually have more respect than ever.
John Ross did not have any trouble in being elected Magistrate. After his heroics at The New Warehouse, Huntington loved him. The Herald-Dispatch gave him a glowing endorsement. They wrote multiple editorials about how he ‘was just what Huntington needed. A symbol that the law will not back down.’
The democratic party was more than happy to lend their support. After all of the city officials knew him. He had the star power that the local Democratic Party craved. He also had the support of all the East Side thugs that frequented his bar. Of course, he had to sell his bar before he ran for office, but his regular customers figured that if they supported him there was a good chance they could receive a get out of jail free card. John Ross had support from every angle.
Plus, in the year plus that he had not been a police officer, drug dealers led by gang leader Heavy, began to stake their claim to Huntington. People associated the name ‘John Ross’ with the temporary vacation from drug dealers that they had. They blamed the return of the drug dealers on the fact that John Ross was not there anymore to keep the drug dealers at bay.
John Ross pulled his fishing line out of the water. He really was not in the mood to fish today. He was simply fishing because he could. He had Saturday off of work and a new toy to play with in the boat he had just bought.
He had christened his new boat “The Law”. It was a twenty-four foot beauty. It was red, just like the red-headed women he loved. Then again, he loved blondes, brunettes, and black-haired women as well. He even did a purple-haired girl after a long night of drinking at his bar. In fact, he did her on the bar.
The Law’s engine was only a 9.9 but nothing more than a ten horsepower was allowed on Beech Fork Lake. The boat was merely a status symbol to John and another tool in his arsenal to pick up girls. “A hotel room on the water,” John thought to himself.
John was proud of his 2008 Sweetwater Tuscany and even hated to bring it out in the muddy water but he was anxious to try it out. The CD player played loud and strong and would come in handy on those moonlit nights when his dates were craving romantic music. In fact, he made a mental note to himself to pick up some old Motown cds. Motown music such as vintage Marvin Gaye helped get his dates in the romantic mood that would lead to the kinky sex he loved. He may even have to have a toy box aboard his boat. He laughed at the thought of paddling sounds and loud moans coming off of the lake. Campers would think that either a raccoon was stuck in a trap or that Bigfoot was lurking somewhere in the woods making beastly sounds.
On the back of the boat he had “The Law” written in big white letters against the red background. Hanging from the side was a Marshall flag in honor of his beloved Marshall University Thundering Herd. He had a Marshall green cooler to keep his Budweiser cold. “Red and green,” he thought. “It’s gonna look like Christmas on the water.”
The wind was getting colder. It was still a couple of weeks away from idea boating weather. He could not wait. After a hard day of punishing criminals, he could escape to Beech Fork and unwind with a few beers and Mother Nature.
He turned The Law around and headed toward the dock. This was going to be a great Summer. Life was good. Nothing could get John excited like thinking about his favorite beer and women he had never had. The lushly wooded hills of Wayne County that surrounded him was full of deer, rabbit, raccoons, and other various wildlife, but the only animal he was interested in hunting was the two-legged female.
After he had tied the boat up at the dock, he carried his cooler of beer out to his brand new Marshall green Camaro. A pickup truck like he used to have would better accommodate his boating supplies, but John Ross was not a lowly police officer or common bar owner anymore, John Ross was The Law and he needed to look important. With a new boat and new car, he was now accumulating the type of toys that a man of his stature was expected to have.
The stocky new boat owner had just climbed into his shiny new ride, when his expensive new Droid smart phone started ringing. He did not recognize ther number and said casually into the phone “John Ross, Magistrate, speaking.”
The female voice on the other end said,” John. This is Amy. Amy Burdette. Remember me?”
“Why, yes. Amy, it’s been a while. How are you?” John smiled to himself he remembered Amy quite well. He had picked her up at AJ’s Bar a few years ago. She was quite a wild experience if his memory served him correctly.
“Oh, I was doing pretty well until last night. Then, I think I had a little too much to drink.”
“Hmmmm, that was never a bad thing in my book.”
“Well, it wasn’t until I got pulled over by the Huntington police.”
“Yeah, I can see where that would ruin an evening. Them new cops they have since I left the force just don’t know how to party.”
“Tell me about it! The guy that pulled me over last night didn’t have a sense of humor at all. But, well there was another problem as well.”
“Oh really? That doesn’t sound good. What problem was that?’
“Well, I lost my license last year and never went to the trouble of getting them back.’
“Uh-oh. You may be looking at about six months.”
“That much? I can’t do that John. I’ve got two two kids I have to take care of. Plus, my job. Oh My God! They would fire me right off!”
“Hmmm definitely not good. Maybe we can get together tonight and see if we can come up with a plan for getting you out of trouble.”
“Do you really think we can?” Amy sound desperate which sounded sexy to John.
“Oh, I’m pretty sure if we put our heads together we can come up with something.” John winked at himself as he looked in his rear view mirror.
“John, you just don’t know how much I would appreciate that. I was thinking about you the other day. It’s been years and I was just thinking how nice it would be to see you.”
“Guess God works in strange ways,” John laughed.
“Still live in the same house?”
“Yep. How about coming over around ten?”
“Sure. I really appreciate this John. I’m looking forward to tonight. Just bought a new black nightie.” Amy purred. She knew that would get his engine roaring and she would have her get out of jail free card in her hand by morning.
“Sounds great. See you then.” John could already picture Amy in her new black night gown.
John Ross soared threw the curvy Wayne County Roads. His mind went back to thoughts of a toy box. “Amy was quite wild if I remember right. I think I may need some new toys for my toybox.”
Matt James stood over a desk shuffling threw a stack of papers. He was 6 foot 3 and around 260 pounds and his hulking figure made David Watson look like a dwarf. Watson was only 5 foot 9 and around 150 pounds. He always felt self-conscious about his size and standing next to Matt James did not help matters.
After the ‘Battle of Huntington’ about three years earlier, Matt’s life changed drastically. He took an active role in trying to force out and keep out drugs in The Tri-State area (west Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio) that surrounded Huntington. He became a generic version of John Walsh. He formed Tri-State Crimestoppers Unit (TCU) and tried to get citizens to send in crime tips. He would then work with local authorities and try to get the crimes solved. He worked with local media and helped setup crime tip hotlines. David Watson was his top assistant.
Matt meant well but he lacked the competence to make the project a success. He had other events going on in his life as well that sometimes hindered his involvement with TCU. He left his job selling dog food and opened up an insurance agency in his hometown of Huntington. Not being on the road did give Matt more free time. His wife Brenda quit using drugs so Matt did not have the need to work a second job.
His daughter Britney made a full recovery though it did take a well. She married Donte Carter and they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where Donte is an x ray tech and Britney is attending nursing school.
Matt and Brenda became much closer after she quit taking drugs. Though, some people may say she traded one addiction for another. In order to fill the gap in her life once Britney left and the to take up the extra time she used to spend stoned, Brenda became religious. In fact, she became a ‘Jesus junkie.’ She spent most of the day watching religious programs and reading the Bible. She ran ran several programs and did volunteer work at West Moreland Baptist church. Matt was grateful she was off of drugs but sometimes she felt like talking to a miniature Jerry Falwell was as annoying as talking to Stonesy. Matt believed in religion but he was a ‘social Christian’.
Matt was very proud of TCU but he never imagined that it would consume so much of his time. As he got more successful with his insurance agency (due largely to his involvement in The Battle of Huntington), he found he did not have as much time as he would of liked to have for TCU. He also became very involved in church activities as he strived to be a positive influence on Brenda.
Everything was easy right after the war with drug dealers ended. Crime and drug usage dropped drastically in Huntington. But several months afterward, Huntington got lazy. Police chief Mike Beal took a similar job in South Carolina. His buddy Major Samples overspent too much money on the police situation and drug prevention programs. He also donated too much money to TCU. All of this created financial problems for Huntington.
In order to compensate for the deficits, Samples raised the taxes. This got him elected out of office and a virtual unknown David Fenton became Mayor of Huntington. Fenton promoted Rick Perry to police chief.
Perry was an effective detective but lacked the management skills to be police chief. Like the Peter Principle (a popular management book written in 1969 by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull) stated, “in a hierarchy every employee rises to their level of incompetence.” In which, Perry gave credence to that theory. Perry instead of becoming bald or more gray, seemed to grow ‘blonder’ as he got older.
Heavy had killed Deandre Washington in Detroit and took over his drug franchise. The drug trade in Detroit became more competitive and the economy weakened, so Heavy had begun to increase his activities in Huntington. It seemed like ‘Money town’ never ran out of money. Huntington grew lazy when crime and the drug usage decreased and then before they knew it, the drug problem was back as big as ever.
Now, Matt James was determined to raise TCU out of its’ dormant stage and into peak efficiency. He and David Watson were pouring over tips and crime reports and trying to get a plan together.
Matt stood straight up and stretched. He looked at David and said, “We got to get TCU running again. Drugs are right back on the doorsteps. We’ve got to find a good starting place. Look at these messages we received on the tip line about Proctorville, Ohio. We are getting multiple complaints about police corruption in Southern Ohio. Is that something we want to go poking our head into?”
“Let me see those,” David took the papers from Matt and began reading. “Interesting. There’s several here about one Lawrence County deputy and of course, the usual complaints about the Proctorville police department.”
“Usual complaints?’ Matt gave David a puzzling look.
“Yeah,” David laughed. “People have been complaining about the Proctorville police since the beginning of time. Haven’t you ever heard of their version of the 501 Blues.”
Matt gave David a funny look. “No, what the hell are the 501 Blues. The Blue Jean commercials from the eighties?”
“Not quite”, David laughed again. “The cops used to sit on the edge of Proctorville and pull over everyone they thought was drinking. This was about twenty-five years ago. If you were drunk and failed the breathalyzer they would fine you $501. You would get your license back the next day and wouldn’t even have to go to court let alone jail. The problem is that the $501 would just disappear. It never seemed to find its’ way to the state.”
“And they got away with that?” Matt asked incredulously.
“For years they did. They finally got caught but nothing really happened besides they had to start turning the money in. As you know Proctorville is dry and the cops used to randomly pull over everyone. But after the new bypass was opened, people started going around Gambleville so there isn’t much revenue now. They used to have twenty-four hour a day police protection. Gambleville isn’t much over a mile long.”
“I just don’t know if we should get involved in police corruption. Of course, if the sheriff isn’t aware of the problem then that could be another thing altogether. We could research this and then report it to the sheriff and maybe he can do something about it. But if it is too widespread then it is probably beyond us. We’d just be making trouble for ourselves.” Matt knew that by getting into the crime business there was always a chance there would be trouble but he did not want trouble with legal authorities.
“Well, if we ever want to make an impact, then by stamping out police corruption, if there is any, would be a way to make an impact. As far as I’m aware Proctorville has been clean for awhile until now. So maybe we should’ nip this in the bud.’
“Okay, Barney Fife, we’ll nip this in the bud if it makes you feel any better,’”Matt laughed at the Andy Griffith Show reference.
“I mean they have had some real characters wearing badges over there through the years. We need to stop any clowns over there before it takes root and spreads. I remember when I was a kid thirty years ago that a cop over there stopped someone and arrested them for possession of marijuania but then smoked up the evidence and didn’t have any evidence for trial so the guy got off.”
Matt laughed, “Well, hell…I don’t know. What can I say after that. I can have Sharon make a few phone calls and check into a few things. If it pans out, we can set up an appointment with the sheriff.”
“There having some real problems in Ohio. Judge Carter of Lawrence County is an honest man but he runs kind of a cash and carry business, in a way. I guess what I’m saying is that the county just cares about revenue. They don’t want to lock these guys up over there because to imprison someone costs money. So the end result is that you have these guys get arrested, pay a fine, and do six months tops and they are back on the street. Nothing deters them because they know how the system works. I don’t blame the sheriff and his men for getting discouraged because this catch and release system just makes their jobs harder. They chase these guys around the county and when they do catch them Carter slaps their hands and puts them in time and out. Then, the cycle continues.”
“So what you are saying that it is the same bunch of guys over there doing the same crimes over and over?” Matt questioned.
David was just an accountant but he always wanted to be in law enforcement, TCU was his chance to play cops and robbers. “That’s it. A pill zombie craves pills and can’t afford them. So instead of getting sick, he just breaks in somewhere. Nine out of ten times he is successful. Say he gets caught the tenth time, likely he is not in custody. So they put a warrant out on him and that buys him more free time until they catch him. Then, he does his six months to a year and he’s back out on the streets. They say they can’t afford to keep them in prison.”
“I thought they had home confinement over there?’ Matt asked.
“They do but instead of just giving it to drunks they try it with repeat offenders and violent offenders. They had this one guy, Jim Van Leer who killed this boy in a fistfight. Supposedly an accident but they charged him with manslaughter. Well Van Lear does ten years and then gets out starts a career as a petty thief. Well, this boy gets arrested a few times and gets messed up dealing drugs. Carter knows this guy’s history and gives him home confinement. Why? Because it’s like $150 to start and fifty bucks a week. So they give a guy that can’t get out of trouble another chance and what happens? He cuts off the bracelet and takes off. They catch him in Huntington a while later, but you never know what can happen until they catch him. As worried as Ohio is about money they should worry about how much they would get sued for if something happens while that boy is on the run.”
Matt thought for a second and asked, “There using it over here in West Virginia more and more aren’t they?”
“Yes,” David answered. “It is a good solution for the right case like a dui or driving without a license. They convicted Mathew Brown for knocking down an elderly lady and taking her purse. They gave him home confinement for a while and then started getting complaints that there were cars at his house and he was selling drugs. Before they could drug test him, he cut off the ankle bracelet and ran to South Carolina for a while before they caught him.”
“Well,” Matt scratched his chin before he spoke again. “We need authorities help if we are going to make a difference so we really can’t afford to make enemies in high places. So it may be best if we concentrate where we can make a difference on little things like tips on drug houses.”
“Well, Matt, I kind of disagree. Why do something a little old lady can do. If we are going to do this, let’s not half-ass this like we have been. I don’t have time to waste, let’s do this right or just don’t do this.”
“Well, let’s have Sharon make a few calls. You can check out any angle of you want since you seem to know a lot about Ohio. If it turns out there is something there then I’ll set up a meeting with the proper authorities. And we can count on the media for support if we need it.” Matt said. He was not quite sure what direction this was all heading in. Business was good and he did not have a lot of time to devote to TCU but it was his forming of TCU that allowed him to rake in lots of insurance customers.
David turned the subject back to West Virginia, “Something does need to be done about Fairfield. The drug dealers are everywhere again. Some dude named Heavy is sending them down from Detroit.”
“Well, that’s exactly why we need to get things moving here. The problem is the problem went away at first and it was all just public relations work. Now, the drugs are back so if we are going to have TSU and accept donations for it, we are going to have to show results or the whole thing will bite us in the ass. I totally believe in Crimestoppers and we need it more than ever.” Matt paused for a moment and then continued. “The problem is we’ve had this for two years and now that it is really needed, I’m not sure what exactly we need to do.”
David smiled. “We just need to do what we can. Find out the problems and make sure the proper authorities do their jobs. If not, then we simply report the problem to the media. We are here to help but if it turns out to be an accountability problem or someone not doing what they are paid to, then we simply act like watchdogs and bark.”
Matt laughed and added, “And if we have to, we bite.”
David grinned and nodded, “Exactly.”
Randy Parker shook his head and tapped his toes and his wife Susie’s shrill voice exploded over the phone lines into his ear. “You’re the law, Randy. Do what you gotta do. My back is killing me! How do you expect me to take care of kids and keep this house clean. If you want supper and clean clothes.”
“Blah, blah, blah,” He thought as he suffered through yet another ass ripping at the hands of his drug addicted wife. He may be a Larry County Deputy Sheriff but he still had to pay the electric bill and the rent. Even though, he’d trade $50 dollars worth of pills for $100 worth of food stamps, he still had to put food on the table for him and his wife and two kids. The more Susie got addicted on pain pills the more his ears and ass would hurt. He was doing the best he could.
Randy Parker did not feel guilty at all for the affair he had with an ex-prisoner. His wife was addicted to pills and she never got off of his back and the county expected him to live on $28,000 a year. Randy had to do something to relieve the stress. The ultrams he was taking helped a little and since they were not narcotic he did not have to worry about failing a drug test. His back hurt from riding in the police car all day so he did need a little pain medication.
“Susie, I’ll do what I can. I promise, I’ll do something. Just calm down. Vacuum the carpet or something. Just give me a chance. I’ll have something when I get home.” Randy was did not have any idea of how he was going to come up with the money but he knew if he went home without any drugs then he would be getting any sleep tonight. As far as sex, that went out the door a long time ago. Then, Susie wondered why he slept with someone when he got the chance.
“Vacuum something? How in the hell am I supposed to do that with my back on fire! You better get your mind off of your girlfriend and get me some medicine or you can have her do your laundry.” Susie was proud of herself for being hard on Randy. As far as she knew, he never had slept with the prisoner, she had found a letter the girl had written to Randy and used that as a weapon to get whatever she wanted. Besides, Randy did not know it, but she would step out with his best friend and fellow deputy, Jimmy, every now and then.
Randy walked out and sat in his cruiser for a few minutes. He already owed everyone in town. Just last week, he sold $200 worth of food stamps to his aunt for $100. His aunt got a big surprise when she went to the register with a huge buggy full of groceries only to find out there was not any money on the card.
Randy was not sure how he got caught up in the downward spiral that was his life. One moment, it seemed he had a wife, family, and job that he loved and then the next moment he was being chased by bill collectors and was selling drugs out of his police car.
The phone rang again as he pulled out onto Route 93 to take him back into Ironton, Ohio. It was Susie calling back. He ignored the call and stepped on the gas pedal.
The Lawrence County police car came to rest in front of Moose’s Pawn shop in Ironton. Randy looked both ways to make sure he did not see anyone he knew before he walked inside the pawn shop.
“Randall! What’s going on?” Moose boomed as his friend approached his counter. Moose was a monster of a man at 6 foot 5 320 pounds. Randy stopped in quite a bit while making the rounds. As a local business owner, Moose felt sort of obligated to help public servants when he could. After all,he felt like police officers put their lives on the line for their communities.
“Moose, I need to talk to you in private when you get a chance. It’s very important.” Randy spoke with a serious look on his face.
“Sure, Buddy, let’s go in the back.” Randy was about a half a foot shorter and over a hundred pounds smaller than the store owner. As they headed toward the backroom door, a clerk was coming out of the back and did not see the smaller deputy behind her huge boss and almost ran into Randy.
Laughing at the near accident, Moose opened up the backroom door and the men stepped through into Moose’s office. “What can I do you for, Deputy?’ Moose asked.
“Moose, I hate to ask you this but can you spot me a hundred?” Randy asked waiting to look him in the eyes until his last two words.
“Randy, I can’t, we’ve been through this before. You never paid me back from last time and I’m a business man. If you want to pawn something, I’ll do that, but I can’t just give money away. I know times are hard but they are hard on me, too.” Moose tried to sound sympathetic and stern at the same time.
“Well, I really don’t have anything to pawn. My electric bill is due and my kids have been sick. The truck has a busted radiator. Everything is happening at once.” Randy tried to look as pitiful as man could while he was wearing a badge and gun.
“I know, Randy. I wish I could help but I’ve got electric bill to pay here and at home. I like you but I’ve got my own problems. Surely you have something I can hold until you get paid.”
Randy thought for a moment and pulled out his revolver. “Here, Moose, take this. I get paid in a few days. I’ll be back on payday.”
Moose’s eyes flew wide open “What? I can’t take your gun. The sheriff finds out we’d both be in the pokey.”
“It’s all I got, Moose. You know I’ve got to have it. I’m off tomorrow so I’ll only have to go without it a couple of shifts. I’ll lay low. I’ve got to have the money.” Randy’s voice reeked with desperation.
“I hate to do this. But if you insist. You are the only cop I’d do this for and I better not have Sheriff Porter knocking on my door.” Moose almost felt like he was being robbed.
“It’ll be alright Moose. It’s just a few days and no one will know. Can you give me a hundred? You know I’ll be back to get this.” Randy felt uncomfortable doing this but he knew he had to do what he had to do.
Randy got back in his car and made a couple of phone calls as he headed to Proctorville. His first call was to Richie Fox to let him know he was on the way to buy four oxycodone thirty milligram tablets. The second call was to inform his wife Susie that she will not be in pain for the next few days.
The Lawrence County patrol car stopped in front of Richie Fox’s house. Randy walked into Richie’s garage where Richie was standing. The drug dealer wiped the sweat from his blond beard and handed Randy four pills with his other hand.
“Thanks, Richie, I appreciate it,” Randy smiled as he gave him the $100 bill.
“Whoa, where’s my other twenty? I know you’re a state employee but your math skills have to be better than that. Four times thirty equals one hundred and twenty.” Richie had a trace of humor and a trace of anger in his voice.
“That’s the price of doing business. My cut for not busting your hairy ass!” Randy laughed and had a big smile on his face.
“Your big ass would be right there with me.” Richie protested.
“Who they gonna believe, Hoss? A man with a badge or a convicted felon? Think ‘bout it, Big Boy.”
“Just this time, man. This ain’t right. But not again.”
“I keep your big ass out of jail. I’m your guardian angel. Consider it your business license or a state tax.” Randy started laughing to hide his nervousness. He knew he was pulling a power play but he did not want the word to get around that he was doing it.”
“You better have my back if I need it!” Richie yelled as Randy walked toward the police car.
“Count on it, Brother, count on it!” Randy turned and yelled back, knowing good and well he was lying. If any of these drug dealing punks went down , they were going to be on their own. He was serious that the money was the drug dealer’s cost of doing business.
Heavy steered his Harley-Davidson “Triglide” down Hal Greer Boulevard on a cool Monday evening. His Triglide was his pride and joy. His was now three years old. He could well afford a new one but this was one his “Silver” or “Trigger.” This was not just a “bike” to him but was his partner. The Triglide was now part of Detroit legend. This was the famed beast that Heavy was riding when he ran over rival gangleader Deandre Washington. As Heavy liked to joke, Deandre’s unfortunate accident led to Heavy’s “inheriting” the Huntington drug franchise from Deandre.
The Triglide did not look three years old. Heavy took better care of the bike than he did any of his women. In fact, he even made his women take care of his beloved partner. The cycle just did not look good, though. With a 103 cubic inch, fuel injected stage 1 motor, Heavy’s ‘chariot’ ruled the streets of Huntington. The steel horse had a “crackin’ ass Rheinhart” exhaust system.
Heavy had invested over $50,000 into his ‘ride.’ But when you are a big time drugdealer, “you need a chariot to prove to everyone you are a king.” When Heavy rode down the street, everyone stopped and watched. Everyone in Huntington knew the King was in town when the Triglide passed through their neighborhood.
Heavy replaced most of the H-D chrome covers with the "diamond ice" line of H-D accessory covers and the Rheinhart exhausts were very expensive. H-D produces the most beautiful paint available on a factory motorcycle and Heavy's was "Vivid Black". But a factory paint job, no matter how beautiful was not enough for Heavy. Heavy bought a motorcycle trailer and took the trike and trailer to a custom painter who laid beautiful purple "ghost flames" on the trike and the trailer. This was another $5,500. This was an expensive setup but Heavy always goes top shelf and first class, that is just the way Heavy rolls.
Several things had changed about Hal Greer Boulevard over the years. The skyline of The Cabell-Huntington Hospital got wider. The old shopping centers which housed Big Bear and Foodland supermarkets were now part of the hospital’s parking lot. The medical center has spread out and literally gobbled up retail shopping areas. The problem was that the people in the Fairfield area no longer had a grocery store to buy their groceries. Many of the residents did not own vehicles and thus had trouble getting to a grocery store. The sad thing was that there were now more drug dealers than ever. This created the fact that is was easier to buy illegal drugs than it was easier to buy groceries.
The Go Mart on Hal Greer now locked it’s doors at midnight and did all of it’s overnight business through a window. This was because the clerks grew tired of staring down the barrels of a gun. The Hal Greer road was laced with potholes. The Hal Greer exit was one of three exits off of Interstate 64 leading into Huntington. That meant there was a pretty good chance that the first thing visitors to Huntington saw was a pot-hole filled street lined with drug dealers and occasional prostitutes scampering in and out of the deteriorating buildings.
Police cruisers would regularly travel up and down Hal Greer Boulevard. On the southside of the viaduct, the drug dealers would just wave to the police as they drove through. There was not very many secrets on Hal Greer Boulevard. No one needed a scorecard to keep track of who delt drugs and who did not. Just like Heavy did not need a sign to say who he was. Everyone knew that Heavy was the king of Hal Greer Boulevard.
Heavy turned onto Artisan Avenue and pulled into the driveway of a crumpled two-story house that was badly in need of a new paint job. In fact, Heavy’s bike was worth way more than the dwelling. As he revved up his Triglide, two black males in their early twenties, came out to greet their king.
“Heavy my man, when did you get into town?” Gravy, a skinny six footer with a Cincinnati Reds baseball hat covering his shaved head, said as he walked toward Heavy with his hand extended to give him a high five.
“Just blew in off of the highway, Dawg.” Heavy gave him a high five and then smiled. “This is my new home, Dawg. Gonna find a permanent crib down and quit bouncin’ back and forth.”
“Gonna move down from Detroit for good?” Crawler asked as he toked on a joint in the middle of his front yard.
“Yep, I like my Money Town. The girls are cuter and I don’t have gangstas trying to put a cap up my ass all the time. No comp down here but just a bunch of freelancing rednecks. I can increase my margins as long as I can keep watch of my investments.”
“Cool, Dude. Come inside”, Crawler smiled revealing two missing teeth on the top of his grill. “Got some killer smoke in here.”
“Could use a few good hits,” Heavy smiled. “Long ride down that lil’ road.”
The trio moved inside and Crawler chased two of his kids off of the sofa and switched off the video games back onto the television. The three burned a bowl and was talking shop as Channel 13 News played. Matt James was being interviewed about the reemergence of Huntington’s drug problems.
“I admit the Tristate Crimestopper’s Unit has been kind of laying low. But the time is now to get our brooms back out and clean up the streets of Huntington again,” Matt James smiled as he made the broom analogy referring to Huntington’s drug problem.
Daria Madison, the cute brunette reporter tried to look serious as she interviewed the head of The Tri-state Crimestoppers Unit. “Mr. James, what exactly is The TCU?”
Matt smiled nervously then switched to a serious face, “The Tri-State Crimestoppers Unit is a group of volunteers that follow-up on tips to our hotline. We do not try to do the police department’s job but we try to be of assistance to them. We try to talk to people and find out what is going on in our area. We are a hotline and neighborhood watchdog group rolled in to one working to prevent crime and mainly but not limited to, drug trafficking.”
Daria looked into the camera as she spoke, “There certainly has been an increase in crime as of late, has the TCU been busy?”
“Well, things were going well for a while and I think people forgot about us and we got lazy.” Matt was looking at Daria and then looked into the camera. “We are trying to raise awareness of TCU and as we do we are getting calls from all over the tri-state.”
Daria looked back at Matt, “What type of calls have you been getting lately?”
Matt looked very grim, “We’ve been getting a variety of calls again. A lot of complaints about the increasing drug activity taking place in the Fairfield District and we’ve been getting tips of break-ins from the Kentucky area and even allegations of police corruption in Ohio.”
“Really?” Daria became interested as Matt realized he may of said something that he should not of said. “Mr. James, what kind of allegations are those?”
“Sorry, I really cannot say yet. What we aim to do is to meet with officials that are over the particular area the complaints are in and give them the info and discuss possible solutions. It’s all part of getting the community involved. Sometimes neighbors do not want to get involved with the police so we are hoping to become the middle man between the victims and the police if it is necessary. Everyone needs to have a voice but if a victim or witness is afraid to use theirs, then we will speak for them.”
“So can you say anything more about the police corruption case?”
“I can’t right now.” Matt looked nervous and tried to joke, “This is my first interview and I guess I need more practice. I kind of said something I shouldn’t of said.”
Heavy’s laughter boomed through Crawler’s house, “Who is that local yokel? That pup is gonna get himself hurt trying to play McGruff the Crime Dog.”
Gravy laughed, “That’s ol’ Britney James’ dad. She’s the bitch Remy raped to get all of that trouble started a few years ago.”
Heavy cackled again, “So now he’s John Walsh and gonna clean up Huntington. Being the father of a victim doesn’t make you an expert and if this idiot goes around trying to play cops and robbers he ain’t gonna like the consequences of being a shit-stirrer.”
“That’s ‘bout all he is,” Crawler stated. “A shit-stirrer is exactly what he is. He can’t even give a good interview.”
He pounded his chest while laughing, “He better keep his white ass over in Ohio and out of Heavy’s jungle. There’s gorillas and there’s banana carriers. That boy is a banana carrier if I’ve ever seen one. And Heavy…ol’ Heavy ain’t just a go-rilla! He’s King Kong! Any banana carrier that messes with King Kong is gonna get himself peeled!”
Matt James put the can of Coke down on his desk and wiped his forehead. His cell phone and business phone rang all Tuesday afternoon. Clients, friends, and family had called to discuss the interview he gave the previous evening. Every time he got ready to work, one of his phones would ring.
When he checked the TCU hotline, he was amazed to find it stuffed full of tips of crack houses, pill mills, and meth labs. There were several calls complaining of police officers. One call pertained to Hanging Rock , Ohio police taking fines from out of state speeders and pocketing them.
One call totally perplexed Matt. It was an older woman. She paused at first like she was very unsure. “I-I’m calling for Matt James.” There was a pause. She continued, “Matt, you were on TV last night. I’ve thought about this for a while.” There was a pause again.
Matt was getting curious as to what could be so painful for the lady. She started to talk again and then the line went dead. “Oh well,” Matt thought to himself. “It must not have been that important.” He took another drink and readied himself for the next call.
The next call was the same lady. This time she was ready and blurted out quickly. “Matt, I was married to one of the Huntington Policemen that was killed in the Tri-State Crimestoppers Unit. My husband was killed when he tried to raid a drug house. I thought about going to the police but I am sure they would ignore me. I don’t want to cause trouble but I just have to get this off of my chest. I am tired of seeing John Ross act like a celebrity. He was in TCU. He was there when my husband died. He shouldn’t be a magistrate he should be dead or in jail. He was the leader.”
Matt was dumbfounded. He was familiar with John Ross and had met him on occasion. There had never been any talk about there being any other TCU members. It was just assumed that they all perished in the final battle. He took another drink.
The next call was the same lady. Her voice was now brave and bold as she was almost ranting as she tried to get all she had to say on the message. “He organized TCU. I was against it from the start but my husband cared about what happened to the city. John just wanted the attention. He loved that they were on television. He thought he was a hero. Now my husband is dead and that pompous bastard Ross is skirt chasing everywhere. It’s not fair. It’s just not fair.” The message ended and Matt was sure he heard crying as she quit talking. He hoped she left a further message with contact information but she did not.
Matt sat at his desk and just stared at the wall. There was several calls on the line with the typical run of the mill information. Neighbors telling on other neighbors about selling drugs and weird behavior. One caller swore that her neighbor buried his wife in the back yard. A few hours later she called to say the wife just pulled up in the driveway.
None of the calls were as interesting as the call about John Ross. Because of the seriousness in the caller’s voice, Matt was inclined to believe her. She started out nervous and then fought herself for composure. Once, she got confidence she became angry. If John Ross was not part of TCU, then at least, the woman was convinced he was. Matt did not think she was lying. She could possibly be misled or plain wrong, but she was not lying.
Matt played it back again and again. He was not prepared for this. He was not sure Huntington was ready for this. Was their hero a vigilante killer? Was a man who decide who was guilty or innocent, actually guilty of murder?
Matt did not know what to do about this. He could not understand why the woman did not go to the police or media. He did not have any idea of what to do. He just sat there. He sat there until it got dark. Then, he sat in the dark.
Matt was beginning to believe he was possibly in over his head. He really wanted Tri-State Crimestoppers to work. He believed it could help and he believed in his hometown. He just did not know what to do next. Vigilante cops? Drug dealers from Detroit? Corrupt small town Ohio policemen? The only thing he was certain about was that he had bitten off more than he could chew.
Belinda Beck looked in the mirror one last time as she readied herself for the evening shift. “Not too bad for an old lady,” She giggled to herself. Belinda had just turned forty-three. After twenty years on the Huntington Police Department, she still looked like the fresh-faced black haired beauty who joined the force in her father’s footsteps.
While most who on been on the squad for twenty years were getting dumpy looking and fighting a receding hairline, Belinda still had her ‘rookie’ body and youthful look. The men on the force had grown used to her and regarded her as ‘one of the guys’ but when a male citizen noticed her for the first time, it usually resulted in a second look. Dressed in her HPD uniform, she had given many men fantasies over the years. She had her endless remarks like “you can cuff me anytime.” But the truth is, she was proud to still have that youthful glow that fueled by a beautiful smile made up of straight pearly white teeth. Her long black hair meshed with her black police uniform to give her a sexy look and made one think of a stripper in a police uniform.
Belinda was single. Earlier in her career, she tried dating other officers but she found out that did not work well. One officer, she learned that fact from was John Ross. Ross wined and dined her and then told stories about her behind his back. That incident caused her then thin skin to hardened quite a bit. She forgave Ross and even credited him with teaching her a valuable lesson. Nowadays, his sleaziness made her skin crawl, but she was thankful to be able to see him for what he really was. She had a couple of other failed departmental affairs but the beginning and ending of those affairs were all her choice. She dated around with a few other guys she met through friends or in bars but she was still single.
Being single was her choice. At forty-three she was still athletic and played softball in the summertime. On her days off, she would put on a pair of white shorts and a red Cincinnati Red shirt. She knot her black hair into a pony tail and put on a red Reds baseball hat. This look drove guys as crazy as the police uniform. When she had a suntan, the look was as lethal as the drugs that flowed through Huntington. Belinda was familiar with those drugs because most of her collars these days involved some sort of drug, be it meth, crack, or the ever popular pill. Belinda Beck was as tired of prescription drugs as the neighbors of the pill houses as the neighbors of those houses were.
She longed for the boring days early in her career when the night shift was mainly composed of writing speeding tickets and occasional domestic violence calls. Nowadays, the calls were either about drug deals or druggies breaking into places to roundup enough money to score their next high.
Another Saturday night in Huntington, Belinda loved being a cop though. It was in her blood. Some cops do it because it is a job but for Belinda, it was in her blood. Saturday night in a squad car just came natural to her.
Jeremy Wheeler was by all accounts a very well-behaved teenager a few years ago. He and his brother Josh were prize students of karate teacher Mike Sanchez. They both embraced the obedient nature of martial arts. While they engaged their bodies in rough physical workouts, they nurtured their spiritual side by regularly attending church and youth group meetings.
Somewhere down the line, he strayed a little a bit here and there until he had ended up in a place where never intended to be. Now it was his twenty-fourth birthday and he was sick. No birthday cake for him tonight. He would not be able to keep it down. He was not sure if he could keep vomit out of his throat long enough to complete his plan.
Jeremy and Josh were standing out in Jody’s Lounge parking lot with their friend Mike Burton. Burton at twenty-one was the same age as Josh. The road had taken Jeremy far away from his humble church beginnings. He certainly did not look like an altar boy. At six foot one and one hundred sixty five pounds, he was still in good fighting shape. He was very dangerous with his hand and feet and really did not need the long sharp knife in his pocket. His muscular arms were covered with tattoos. They were mostly jailhouse tattoos from his stay last year in Moundsville for breaking and entering. All three of the young men had shaved heads.
“All right, man. Let’s get this right so I don’t have to kill anyone. Get as much cash as you can. I’ll get the easiest one with the knife and you make that cunt empty the machines.” Jeremy felt the adrenalin in him temporarily overwhelm the vomit that kept attempting to climb out of his stomach.
Mike, whose face was frozen in a permanent smirk, was the biggest one of the guys at six foot four and two hundred and thirty pounds. He did not know martial arts like the brothers but he had use arms that were displayed by his tank tops. The three did not wear masks and with goatees and tattoos they look menacing. Jeremy’s pill sickness gave him a definite sense of urgency.
“Let’s go, Boss. We’re ready,” Mike smirked. Mike was never a church-goer and there was not any inner turmoil between good and evil going on in him. He simply wanted money because he liked oxycotins a hell of lot more than he liked to work.
The inner evil inside of Jeremy had long defeated any angels that were hiding inside of him. Josh had followed his brother into the life of drugs and crime. Good kids going bad was becoming an ever popular theme in Huntington. Once the kids started using drugs, God was not anywhere to save them. They were on their own running with the devil. They were on Satan’s team now.
Belinda Beck pulled the cruiser up into the parking lot of Speedway on Third Avenue. “Hey, Mark,” She emitted her trademark huge smile, while passing an acquaintance. Walking through the door, she greeted the cashier. “Hello Karis.” She walked over to the coffee bar and made a cup of coffee. “Kind of hot for coffee but it feels like a long night coming,” She grinned to Karis.
“Gonna be a full moon,” Karis, a pretty freckled blonde quipped.
“Yep, that’s why I’m picking coffee tonight. Kind of figure I’ll need all of the energy I can get.”
“You can always help us if you’ve got too much energy,” Karis flashed a smile of her own that was just as potent as the older cop’s.
At the time Belinda took her first drink of coffee, the Wheeler brothers and Burton had enter Jody’s Lounge in Guyandotte. Jeremy mired his face into a twisted grimace and yanked a fifty year old gray haired lady out of her chair right in the middle of her computer poker game. Before Susan Salyers even know what hit her the chunky woman found herself in the grasp of a stranglehold with a sharp knife pressing against her neck and her glasses on the floor. The girl working turned around and seen Jeremy clinching her customer and screamed.
The chunky blonde in the cutoff shorts and Disturbed t-shirt did not get the scream fully out of her mouth before Mark Burton slammed into her like a defensive end crunching a quarterback. The impact slammed her onto a machine and almost knocked her unconscious.
“Woooo, don’t kill her yet,” Josh laughed. “We need the money first.”
Mark smirked at the shaking lounge employee and yelled in her face, “You heard him, Bitch! Give me the damned money.”
Josh rounded up the other three customers and had them lined against the wall. “Now, we don’t want to kill anyone. Hurt…well, maybe. But give your money and purses and we might let you live.” Josh enjoyed the sound of his threatening comments and was trying not to laugh. Jeremy continued to apply pressure through Susan’s limp body as adrenalin coursed through his veins. The older lady could barely breathe and was on the verge of passing out.
Belinda Beck had pulled out of Speedway and was heading up to Fifth Avenue to cruise the east side of Huntington as Todd Owens walked through Jody’s parking lot. The twenty-one year old was going in to see his girlfriend Laura, who worked there. In the spur of the moment of planning the crime, the boys forgot one small detail. No one was keeping guard outside the parking lot.
Todd walked through the door and saw Susan being held hostage and Laura putting money in a bag while the Josh was going through wallets. He turned and shot out of the parking lot as fast as a man can while dialing 911 on a cellphone.
Belinda got the call as she was approaching Guyandotte and whipped on her lights. She yanked her cruiser into the parking lot as the three criminals walked out of the door carrying the stolen money. She threw open the car and started to give chase as the boys started to scatter. Mike Burton and Josh Wheeler crossed legs and fell to the ground. Belinda broke into a pose with her gun out and commanded, “Stop! Police!”
Jeremy scrambled off into the woods behind the lounge but the other two knew they were caught. “Damn!” Mike yelled from the ground. He reached his hand out like he was disgusted and in the process picked up a hand full of gravel.
“Don’t do it!” Belinda yelled. “Freeze. Big guy, drop the rocks and stay flat on your face.” She motioned to Josh. “You! Over there slowly next to him with you face and hands down in the gravel.”
The two complied. As Belinda approached them backup arrived. Jason Kipp jumped out of the car. “Here we go,” Belinda quipped. “The full moon is barely out and we are starting already.”
Jason had his eyes on the criminals, “Don’t blame it on the moon, Belinda. Blame it on drugs.”
Randy Parker stood confidently in Kroger’s parking lot in Proctorville, Ohio waiting on his next meeting. He had just talked to Matt James and was confident that he convinced the head of The Tri-State Crimestoppers that he did not have anything at all to do with the allegations of corruption by Lawrence County law enforcement. Then again, James was just an ignorant outsider trying to poke his head into the complicated world of law enforcement and he could sense that Matt James himself was ready to admit that he did not have any idea of what he was doing.
Randy Porter was pretty proud of his persuasiveness but he knew his next meeting would be tougher. A big man pulled up on a huge motorcycle and walked toward him.
“I suppose you are Randy Parker?” The big man asked.
“Yes. I am. You must be the great Heavy I have heard so much about?” Randy asked with a smile while extending his hand.
Heavy refused to take the hand. “Listen, I don’t know what kind of amateur you think I am but do you really think I came here to do business with a cop?”
Randy laughed, “Calm down, Dawg. I got more to lose than you do.”
What the hell? I ain’t your damn dog! Damn right you got more to lose. I’ll cut your balls off and feed them to catfish over there in the Ohio River. Heavy ain’t playing any games and Heavy don’t play with cops.”
“Man, I have enough intell to bust you if I was trying to do that. I already to know you got the best Heroin in Detroit and you are bringing it down here to Money Town. I already know all about your plans.”
“Dude, if you know anything about me at all you oughta know I’d cut up a punk small town cop like you and use you as fish bait and not even think twice about it.”
“I know all about you. I know you what you did to De Andre Washington? Do you think I really want any of that? There’s no way I’d mess with you if I was trying to do you harm. Do you really think the thirty grand a year I make is worth messing with a big time gang leader. Hell no it ain’t.”
“Then what the hell you blowin’ up my phone for, Dude?”
“Business, man. Pure business. I can help you take over Ohio as well as Huntington. I mean you can’t tell me it’d hurt having a cop on the payroll.”
“Are you kiddin’ me Dude? I mean are you really standing right here asking me for a job? You one idiot white boy!”
“I’m a businessman, Heavy. I’m blunt. I get to the point. I can help you or I wouldn’t be out here right now.”
“How in the hell can you possibly help me? I can’t believe this shit!” Heavy could not believe this small town cop had the nerve to approach him about doing business.
“I’ll give you a free pass in Ohio. I’ll set you up with a house in my name to do business. I’ll supply you with buyers and sellers.”
Heavy was did not know if he should laugh or knock the guy out, he shook his head and said, “I don’t believe you, Dude. You got big ass balls that’s for sure. I almost… and I mean almost respect you for your balls, but you are such a damn amateur. I don’t do business like that Dude. I don’t need you. I damn sure ain’t gonna be afraid of you. If you think that some Proctorville police officer is gonna bring Heavy down than you must already be on some good shit.”
“Heavy, I am not a stupid man. I am the law on this side of the river. There’s no way I’m meeting somebody like you if I think it wouldn’t work out. Just being seen with you would get me fired. I’m just tired of busted my ass for nothing. It’s now or never for me. I know you are the man and I can help you. It’s that simple. Just the fact that I know your plans should be enough to show you that I know how to dig up information.”
“I’m Heavy. Everybody from here to Detroit knows me. They also know they can’t stop me. Your blowing my mind, White Boy. What’s your name again?”
“Randy Parker. Deputy Randy Parker.”
“No, Dude. Your name is WF now. That’s short for White Fool. You got my curiosity though. I can’t believe your actually for real. Listen, WF, don’t call me again, if I’m interested, I’ll get ahold of you.”
“Want my number?”
“WF, if Heavy wants you, best believe he’ll get you. Heavy gets what he wants. What you want, ain’t even got nothin’ to do with it. Heavy does what he wants when he wants.”
John Ross opened the door and walked into AJ’s Bar. The bar had the same name of the neighborhood tavern that Ross frequented when he was a cop. But the bar had been renovated in the past year. AJ’s is now modern with bright lights and loud dance music. The old bar had a comfortable broken-in atmosphere that was snug and familiar like an old, favorite pair of tennis shoes. But the new changes bought a modern atmosphere that attracted younger girls.
Although Ross missed the old homey environment, he did enjoy watching the young girls bounce through the bar in tight skimpy clothes. He particularly loved the ‘Coyote Ugly’ styled bartenders prancing and dancing behind the bar.
A long black-haired girl in her late twenties and stuffed into a white Green Day shirt bumped into the short magistrate that many say resembled an older Barney Rubble.
“Why Officer Ross,” the girl said dramatically, “I haven’t seen you in forever.”
“You’re a sight for sore eyes, Nancy Mayes. You’re looking good as ever,” Ross grinned as he turned on the charm.
“You’re not a policeman any more so I guess you can’t handcuff me anymore,” she said sounding disappointed.
“Yeah, but I’m a magistrate now which means I can punish you. Are you still a bad girl, Nancy?”
Nancy batted her eyes, “You know it!”
John laughed and made his way through the crowded club to the bar. While John was always in the mood for hot women , he was in a weird mood tonight. Matt James had paid him a visit earlier in the evening, and the visit put a sour taste in Ross’s mouth. Matt did not say anything in particular but he was definitely a man with something on his mind. It was as if he had something to say but just did not know how to say it.
James was talking about the Money Town battles when Deandre Washington’s Detroit gang declared war on Huntington. He would occasionally sneak in a question about the vigilantes that attacked Washington’s men.
Ross sensed that James had suspected that he was one of the vigilantes. This angered Ross. John Ross was a hero cop and elected as magistrate of Cabell County. He resented this idiot playing cop.
In Ross’s eyes, Matt James was a loser. The only reason anyone even knew who Matt James was, was because his daughter was raped by Washington’s men.
John Ross saved lives in the drug war. Matt James almost lost his daughter because he was too preoccupied to realize that his daughter was running with dangerous drug dealers. James’s wife was a drug addict who overdosed numerous times and James was too stupid to see that. But somehow Matt James thought he was intelligent enough and important enough to play cops and robbers with a real-live hero ex-cop.
Ross humored his ignorant questions but the whole time Ross was wishing he could grab the bigger man by his scruffy goatee and yank his head to his level and give him a real taste of the streets. This dope did not deserve to ask Ross one question. Ross earned his street cred. He had patrolled the streets for years. He had shot and killed drug dealers. He had been shot himself. He lived the hard lifestyle of a cop for twenty years. Everything James knew about detective work he had learned by watching CSI Miami on television.
So what that John Ross was a vigilante? He saved lives. His attacks on Detroit drug dealers ended the Money Town wars. Matt James should thank him for taking dealers off of the streets. People like Matt James just did not understand that there was a war going on. The vigilante cops were the reason that the streets of Huntington were safe again. Not only did John Ross not regret his activity in the vigilante group, he was outright proud of his actions. His only regret was that if he bragged about his heroics he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
John Ross hung around AJ’s for about a hour as he downed six ice cold Budweisers. There were prospective lays in the bar but Ross was not in the mood for small talk. Tonight he was looking for easy prey. He left AJ’s and headed for Sixth Avenue. It only took him a few minutes before he found his favorite streetwalker Katrina.
Ross had first met Katrina long before she started walking Sixth Avenue to support her drug addict. Like many addicts in Huntington, Katrina had crossed the gates from Oxycontin to Heroin. John Ross was never one to worry much about diseases though so he followed her right through the gates. She slept with hundreds and used dirty needles but John Ross trusted Trojans.
John had some animosity tonight and Katrina was just the woman to take it out of him. He’d pay the extra money that she would demand. She was fair to ask for the money as well because tonight’s activities would likely keep her off of the streets a while.
John took the aging prostitute into his basement. Suddenly, the charm was gone. He angrily grabbed her by the back of her neck. Driving her into the corner he chained her against the wall. She knew what was coming but it was all happening very fast to her. Ross thrust a ball gag into the mouth of the chained girl. In what happened so fast it seemed like one move, he had ripped off her shirt and replaced it with nipple clamps that dug into her bare skin.
Katrina had just felt the first clamp dig into her skin when her naked back was seared by a hard black whip. The whip pierced her skin and she screamed into the ball gag which drastically muted her yell.
Sometimes this was fun for Katrina but tonight Ross was so angry this was actually work for her. She wondered what the hell pissed the ex-cop off so much tonight. The whipped cracked again. Then again. In the past this type of pain quickly turned into a twisted pleasure for Katrina, but not tonight. Pain was followed by more pain.
There were no safe words for Katrina to scream. Even if she did, Ross would not hear them. He was in his own world. This was clearly not kinky sex, this pure anger creating abuse. Katrina could literally feel Ross’s pain as much as she felt her own. Before she passed out she felt thought that something was causing Ross more pain than he was causing her.
Matt James shuffled through the papers on his desk. Setting the papers down, he stretched his kneck as far as he could and then let loose with a loud and almost painful yawn. He sat straight up and closed his eyes as to meditate. Then, he picked up the phone and dialed his wife Brenda.
"Hello?" Brenda sounded cheerful on the other line.
"Honey, I don't think I'm going to make it to church tonight. Guess you're going solo," Matt said trying to sound even more tired than what he was.
"Is everything okay?" Brenda sounded concerned.
"Just the booming insurance business. I tell you, the Crimestoppers thing is a lot of work but it is really boosting the insurance business. Being on TV the other day was free advertising. The phone's been ringing off of the hook and then... there's the whole Crimestopper's thing."
"Honey, that is wonderful about the business side of things but I'm really worried about this whole Crimestopper thing."
"I tell you Brenda, it is kind of scary. I'm not sure I have what it takes to handle this whole Crimestopper's thing. I didn't realize things were getting so bad again. I'm getting calls from all over the place. Trouble is brewing everywhere."
"I know you feel obligated, Matt, but are you sure this whole project is a good idea. Your insurance business is doing well and we have plenty of activities going on through church, do you think you could be extending yourself too far. Then, the whole danger factor."
Matt thought then kind of chuckled and said, "I don't know, Dear, maybe I need a little excitement in my life. After falling into such a rut in the last job, maybe the excitement will keep the ol' blood flowing. It just kind of upsets me that I'm not sure what to do. I mean, I obviously am not a policeman. I'm getting more reaction from the public than I expected but the whole teamwork aspect I hoped for from the local authorities is not there."
"You know how that goes though, Matt. Maybe in time trust will grow. Once they see what a team player you are and such a hard worker maybe they will be willing to work with you more."
"I talked to the sheriff over in Lawrence County, Ohio today and he was kinda of rude. I have been getting all kind of calls about this Deputy of his and he just doesn't want to hear it. He said he appreciates my concern but it is confidential police business and he cannot discuss it with me. Surely, he must be getting some of the same calls I am about his Deputy."
"Well, Matt, maybe they are doing an investigation and they don't want anything getting leaked out."
"That's possible I guess. But, actually I got kind of mad and went over and approached the cop myself."
"Isn't that kind of dangerous?"
"I guess it may be because the punk got pissed. He had guilt written all over his face. I started out just intending on being a public relations guy to get everyone inspired and working together. I wanted to be some kind of public support or public liaison. Now, somehow I've ended up playing detective."
"Matt, I'm not too sure that's such a good idea."
"I know maybe I'm getting carried away. But, there is so much going on. There's some big gangster bringing Herion down from Detroit. Kids are overdosing all over the place. I knew pills were still around but I didn't realize Heroin was spreading so fast but the emergency rooms are starting to get overdose cases on a regular basis. I mean there really looks like there is a potential for the problem to get as bad as it was."
"Well, Honey, maybe you should just leave this up to the cops."
"Then, there is something else very major going on, but it is so big that I don't even want to talk about it over the phone."
"Now, Matt, that plain scares me."
"It's a big story and it is way too big for me but I'm one of the few people who may know about it and I have no clue how to handle it. It involves corruption in the police department and it's far worse than the Ohio Deputy. But, I don't want to get you involved in this in any way."
"Matt, you know I trust your judgment but the more you talk about all of this I think you need to stop it. Things are going great for us, we do not need any kind of trouble."
"I know, Honey, I just want to do my part. Now after the interview everyone seems to be counting on me. It's a lot to think about. That's why I'm not going to make it tonight."
"Well, Honey, just be careful. I've got some Meatloaf in the oven. Just please be careful."
"I will. I love you, Brenda."
"I love you too, Matt. Just be careful."
Matt hung up the phone and sat motionless at his desk for at least five minutes just replaying in his mind the recent events concerning Tri-State Crimestoppers. A text came across his cell phone from a number Matt did not recognize. The message said "MEET ME TONIGHT AT GUYANDOTTE BOAT RAMP AT 10 VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT MAJOR CRIME YOU WON'T B SORRY"
Belinda Beck walked from the ambulance in disbelief. She looked at fellow officer Tim Calhoun and shook her head. “That’s the third Heroin overdose death this week. What’s going on, Timmy?”
Tim shrugged his shoulders, “Well, Belinda, what everyone is pretty much assuming is that’s Heavy’s Heroin. And supposedly it's too heavy for these kids. These kids are used to Oxies and the crap Heroin they get around here. The Heroin they usually get is garbage compared to Heavy’s. Heavy doesn’t cut his as much and it’s stronger and deadlier. The kids aren’t prepared for the strength and it’s killing them.”
Belinda looked Tim in the eye and with a serious expression said, “There’s a big storm brewing , Timmy. Everyone is thinking our drug problems are a thing of the past but it’s going to hit us head on again. This Heavy sounds like a killer and his poison is already killing people.”
Belinda got into her car and her radio crackled. She jumped out of the car and yelled back to Tim. “A body has just been found at the Guyandotte boat docks. She hit the lights and pulled out of the Guyandotte residence where Heroin claimed its’ latest victim. Belinda was a few blocks away from the next crime scene.
Belinda was the first cop to arrive at the crime scene and Tim Calhoun was right behind her. They backed off the small group of bystanders that was standing around the body that was found in the weeds to the left of the parking lot.
Brenda gagged and for a moment she thought she was going to vomit. The victims face and part of his head was partially blown off. “Someone did a number on this guy,” Belinda gasped. “Looks like short range most likely execution style.”
Tim Calhoun pulled out a wallet from the man’s pants pocket. “Well, he still has his wallet with a few twenties in it so it must not of been a robbery. Says the man’s name is Matt James. Going to be hard to identify him by this picture though because he doesn’t have much of a face left.”
Belinda braved another look at the victim’s face and said, “I know who Matt James is. He was on television the other night. He’s the one starting that local neighborhood watch group. Hard to say for sure, but yeah, that looks like who this guy is.”
Police and detectives quickly began to pour onto the crime scene. Curious bystanders and news crews began crowding the boat docks. Veteran detective Rick Perry, who aided in the investigation of the Money Town wars arrived on the scene. The balding quickly expanding detective waddled across the lot. Rick Perry became a hero after the drug wars in Huntington but as he basked in his newfound notoriety, his health and looks suffered. He had put on about fifty pounds in the last few years and as quickly as the weight was coming, his hair was leaving.
Rick spotted Ron Lamont, a fellow detective coming in his direction. Lamont was around thirty years old and the African-American detective was almost the polar opposite as Perry. Lamont was in perfect shape. He was an ex-Marshall football player who never quit working out after his career ended. While Perry was rough around the edges, Lamont was super smooth.
Rick looked at Lamont and asked, “What we going down here?”
Lamont shook Rick’s hand and responded, “Got a real mess here, Rick. It looks like the victim is that Crimestopper’s leader Matt James. His face is missing but he has identification on him and his car is in the lot. Look’s like a close range hit. Probably execution style.”
Rick Perry raised his eyebrow and spoke, “Yeah, I saw him on TV the other night and he didn’t make any friends with his little speech. Quite probably a Detroit drug hit but he has a little psycho addict wife and you know most of these type of investigations has to start there.”
“We are still in the process of getting clues and interviewing witnesses. Doesn’t look like anyone saw it. Probably happened through the night. Some guys were down here partying and went into the weeds to piss and found the body.”
“Well, with his activity in the Crimestoppers there probably are going to be several suspects. We will have to access all of his records if he kept any including phone records. And like I said, it all starts with his wife. Is she here yet?”
“No, she has been contacted and is on her way down here though. Obviously, it is going to be a shock to her,” Ron noted.
“That is, if she didn’t do it herself,” Rick added.
When Brenda James arrived on the scene about fifteen minutes later she was accompanied by Reverend James Tate. Brenda was on the edge of shock. Her legs were buckling. Another member of her church Monty Davis was on the other side of her and he helped Tate hold her up. She was visibly shaken and her hands were twitching uncontrollably. The cries coming from her did not sound human.
Rick Perry looked at the approaching woman and whispered to Ron Lamont, “One less suspect, she couldn’t be that good of an actor.”
Lamont shot his fellow detective a puzzled look and rushed to greet Mrs. James. As word spread, Matt James’s friends and acquaintances showed up and tempers began to flare. Rick Simmons, a prominent Guyandotte businessman, member of Huntington City Council, and friend of Matt James was extremely angry. Rick yelled toward the media, “We’ve got to take our town back. This is obviously a result of the drug culture. This is our town, we have to fight for it.”
The media ran with the story. The local television stations broke into their regular programming. The Herald-Dispatch made it their headline stories. Local talk radio shows blamed the drug culture for the murder. Huntington was preparing for round two of a drug war with Detroit drug dealers.
Thousands lined up on the street in front of Beard Mortuary to attend the closed casket showing of Matt James. The Tri-State was uniting behind Matt James’s death to join forces to fight off the returning Detroit drug dealers. It was the loving hand of The Tri-State that helped Brenda and Britney James through this horrible period of their lives. They were reunited with old friends and met hundreds of new friends. Huntington was truly coming together.
Meanwhile the Huntington Police Department was diligently searching for any clues that may lead to the killer. Matt’s top assistant David Watson had vowed to continue The Tri-State Crimestoppers and he was working with Rick Perry and the HPD.
Rick Perry played back all of the messages that the Tri-State Crimestoppers’ hotline had received. He came across the message about John Ross being involved with the vigilantes. Ross knew this was true because he had actually witnessed this and let Ross escape the scene.
(From the book Money Town) – Perry remembered that fateful night that the vigilantes were slaughtered in their final war with Detroit drug dealers. It had been a few years but he replayed it in his mind every night:
“Meanwhile, the six remaining vigilantes fought valiantly to the end. They stood their ground and never retreated. They died as the rest of Perry’s team came charging down the street. Two of the drug dealers were killed and one was on the ground seriously wounded. The only drug dealer that was unscathed escaped out the back door and into the night.
Two patrol cars whirled up to the house as Perry’s men secured the building. The next big question was where was Rick Perry.
Perry had just brought the man down hard. As he landed on top of him he brought his weapon to the vigilante’s face. He ripped the mask off of the vigilante and his heart about stopped.
Rick Perry was looking straight into the eyes of John Ross. Perry did not have any idea of what to say. It never crossed his minfd that the vigilantes could be cops.
“You got to let me outta here. Do you hear the sirens? They’ll get me for murder. Let me go or just shoot me.”
Rick could not believe one of his best friends had stepped across the line. He tried to talk but words just were not coming out.
John Ross looked at him, “C’mon man, they are going to find us. Let me up.”
“Are the other guys cops?” Perry asked visibly stunned.
“Of course they are. Who else could pull this up. What else could we do, Rick. It’s our town. It was our parent’s town. They took our town, Rick. The law wouldn’t let us do anything. We had to read them rights. They are invaders, Rick. They have no rights. They are terrorists! They paralyzed the town. We are sworn to protect and serve. We only did what we should be allowed to do, Rick. We protected and served!”
“You are not the judge and jury! You do not have the right to take a man’s life. What have you done, John? What happened to you?”
“You see it every night Rick. You either become numb or you do something about it. I became numb to the point I lost all feeling. Then I did something Rick. I protected and served.”
“Well, okay Rick, be the hero. After all you’ve been through. Cuff me and go claim your front headlines.”
Rick Perry could not believe he was in this situation. He did not know what to do. The sirens were at the house and soon his men would be scouring the neighborhood looking for him. He had to take his friend in. It was hard. They were rookies together. They rode together many times. They drank beer together. He admired John’s spunk and dedication. John was proud to be a police officer, but he stepped over the line. He had changed. He was not the same. It was time to cuff him and take him to the station. It was not Rick’s job to judge him. His friend would be judged by his peers.
He looked his friend straight in the eyes. He jerked him up to the ground. He yanked out his handcuffs and pulled John’s hands behind his back.
He shoved his friend in the back and pushed him forward. “Get out of here, man. Retire. You couldn’t get over the shooting. You tried but you were traumatized. Retire or I’ll take you down! I promise. You will never be a police officer in this town again.”
John turned to thank him but Rick cut him off. “Hurry, before you get us both in trouble.” Rick was sick to his stomach. He walked a few steps and vomited. He was still in shock. He needed to get to the crime scene. He was terrified what he may find there.
Rick’s team had just started to search for him when he came walking down the street. “What happened?” Julian ran up to him and asked.
Rick shook his head and answered, “I saw a gangster run out of the back and chased him a few blocks until I twisted my leg in a pothole.” Rick was limping.”
Rick Perry knew John Ross was a vigilante cop. Someone had alerted Matt James to this and Matt James confronted John Ross. Rick Perry was in a state of disbelief. Could his longtime friend have murdered Matt James? He understood John Ross killing drug dealers to defend the city he loved, but was he capable of murdering an innocent well-meaning citizen like Matt James? Rick got a sick feeling deep in his stomach.
The night that he let Ross go had haunted Rick Perry for years. It had ruined his health and his appearance. This was his chance to right the wrongs of his past. He marched into Ross’s office. Whipping out a pair of handcuffs, he slung them down on Ross’s desk. “Put these on”, Perry commanded.
“What the hell?” Ross blurted as coffee shot out of his mouth.
“I can’t live with the guilt anymore, I’m taking you in as the vigilante cop you were and probably still are.” Perry was trembling as he spoke.
John Ross smiled as he talked, “You haven’t thought this out very well have you. You let me go that night so this is going to ruin your career. You will be brought up on perjury charges and be in prison right next to me.”
“Did you kill Matt James?” Perry demanded.
“Hell no, I didn’t. I figured that’s what this is about. Believe me, Rick, I did not kill Matt James.”
“But he found out about your role as a vigilante. I believe you went and murdered him to keep him quiet.”
“I promise you I did not kill that man. Matt James had quite of a week on in the press, it’s hard telling how many people he pissed off that week. Put the cuffs away, Rick, don’t destroy your career. I’ll help you on this.”
“If I find out you had anything to do with James’s murder, I’ll take you in. I mean if the slightest bit of evidence shows up that you may have killed him then I’ll take you in based on being the lone surviving vigilante cop.”
“Deal,” John Ross agreed as he extended a hand across the desk and the two shook hands in agreement. Ross added, “Just like old times we will solve this thing together. I know you’ve been busting your ass and if you didn’t think someone else was involved then you wouldn’t be so quick to let me go. What have you got?”
“You’re still the top suspect but according to messages left on the hotline and James’s notes, it appears a Lawrence County Ohio Deputy named Randy Parker could be a prime suspect. James received lots of calls about his corruption. “
“I’ll be honest with you, Rick. James did confront me and I denied my involvement so I’m betting that if he approached Parker about the calls.”
“That’s probably the best lead we have and, of course, we have the Detroit drug dealer thing where he shot his mouth off on the TV interview.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know if they would perceive James as that big of a threat, but then again, you never know what is going through people like that’s minds. What about James’s crazy old lady?”
“Not a chance. It’s got to be either Detroit or Parker from what I can tell.” Perry said then thought for a few seconds and added, “Or you.”
Z slipped out of the alley onto Charleston Avenue as he headed to his apartment. It was almost midnight and he had been out pushing his Heroin. He hated to deliver his own stuff but distribution had been a problem lately.
Z came from his hometown of Detroit last year. He had built a business selling Heroin. His girlfriend Teresa did most of the hands on dealing and he stayed behind the scenes. That is the way Z liked to do business – behind the scenes. Teresa started doing a little too much Heroin though breaking the unwritten law of drug dealers – do not use your own product. She tried to hide it from Z and her efforts hurt the business. She would skim off the top of the product and use it herself. She would cut it thin so Z wouldn’t notice. She would also require her regular customers to buy 3 packs at a time so she could skim more.
When Z found out through a few good regular customers what she was doing, he brought down his sister Carla to help out. Carla kept an eye on Teresa and the business seemed to approve. Z did not know Heavy and was unassociated with the other dealers from Detroit. Z was forming what he called a ‘family business’ and included his cousin J.
A few months ago, Z sent Carla, Teresa, and J back to Detroit for more product. Somehow on the way back, they were pulled over by The Ohio Highway Patrol. All three were arrested and Z lost his product. He stayed out of the business for a few weeks but bills had to be paid and drugs was all Z knew. He had tried having a few different girls help him but they all stole from him. Z was now handling as much of his business as he could.
Z was about ten feet from his apartment when he felt his skin rip. Bones and TR’s laughs were drowned out by their gunfire. Bones laughed as Z fell and blew the dead drug dealer a kiss. “Heavy said hello or is that goodbye!” Bones yelled as the pair disappeared into the night.
This violence had Huntington back on the edge of panic. The media ran with the story and warned that different drug factions were ready to fight it out in Huntington. The Mayor tried to keep the city calm and promise patrols would be beefed up.
A strange thing happened though that was different than the last time Huntington had a drug war. The residents said “ENOUGH!”. Neighborhood watch groups sprung up. Membership in the Tri-State Crimestoppers led by David Watson multiplied. Huntington residents were prepared to fight back. Their presence was more noticeable than that of The HPD. They flooded The HPD phone lines with drug tips. This time the residents said they did not need vigilantes; they would handle the problem themselves.
The day after Z was killed, The Herald-Dispatch ran an editorial stating the need for Huntington to pull together behind their police department and fight the war on drugs. Talk radio pleaded for unity. Any panic turned to excitement on the streets of Huntington. It was almost like a championship Marshall football game was set to be played. The city was getting ready and community spirit was in the air. The residents were pledging to watch their fellow citizen’s backs. The old saying “snitches get sttches” was thrown out the window. The police department became heroes again in the eyes of the citizens. The citizens were going to help as much as possible. Everyone wanted Heavy and his thugs and all of the little independent dealers out of town. “Enough’s Enough” was the new city motto and banners in Marshall green and white appeared all over town. Huntington was ready for a fight.
It was Saturday night. Unlike a few years ago when the city was fighting its’ first drug war, the city street’s were crowded. People were not paralyzed with fear like the first time around. They were living their lives as usual but their eyes and mouths were open wide.
The Huntington Police Department was out in full force. They had two officers in each car. Belinda Beck was teamed with Tim Calhoun and were patrolling the Guyandotte district. The two just received call that there was a heavy smell of marijuana coming from an apartment in Guyandotte.
“What do you think Timmy, is there a full moon out tonight?” Belinda quipped.
“Just another weekend in H-Town,” Tim laughed. “Everyone wants to play along tonight. That’s good, at least we know everyone is behind us. At least the wind is at our back if there’s a storm tonight.”
Belinda headed toward the address of the complaint, “At least people know we are out here and finally noticing what we do. It’s great to be appreciated instead of cussed at and talked about behind our backs.”
Tim said, “Yep, going to be a long night there is excitement in the air and everyone’s imagination is running high but at least the public is trying to help.”
At an old apartment on High Street in Guyandotte, Randy Parker was pacing angrily waving a pistol around. Sitting at a kitchen table smoking joints and drinking whiskey, his prisoners were more amused than scared. Even though he had their weapons; Bones, TR, and Goblin were being entertained by their unexpected guest.
“You don’t do much H, do you, Pig?” Goblin asked amused.
“You guys better just shut the hell up. Heavy better get his fat ass over here now!” Randy Parker responded. “This is my gang now. You clowns work for me. I’m tired of being a flunky. I gave Heavy the chance to be my partner. Now I’m taking the gang over!”
“Sure you are, Dawg.” Bones laughed. “I’m sure Heavy is going to surrender to you. Oh, yeah, just why should we work for you?”
“I’m the brains. I have connections. I am the king!”
“You’re a regular badass alright and I’m sure Heavy is going to see things your way,” TR snickered.
“I wasted Matt James!” Randy Parker yelled drunk with power. “No one else had the balls to handle him until I stepped in. I am the king!”
No one had time to respond to the deputy’s admission as suddenly three quick sounds filled the room. First there was the sound of Heavy kicking in the door with one kick. Just mere seconds later there was the sound of Heavy’s automatic weapon blasting away, then, the room was filled with the sound of Randy Parker crashing to the floor on the way to his death.
As luck would have it, Huntington police officers Tim Calhoun and Belinda Beck were making their way up the stairs to investigate a complaint of heavy pot smoke coming from the apartment where the action just went down. They were halfway up the stairs when they heard the crashes. Belinda called for backup and they hurried up the steps.
Tim had gotten up on the second floor when the gangsters came out of the room. Tim yelled for them to stop. TR fired and hit Tim in the leg. As he fell, Tim got off a shot and hit TR in the neck. Belinda fell against the wall as the three other gangsters began firing as they headed the other way down the hall. Tim Calhoun was hit again.
Belinda got to her feet and radioed in that Tim was hit. She ran to the end of the hall. The thugs had gone down the steps and headed into the night. There was a hall window in front of Belinda. The black haired cop busted out the window and fired twice bringing Bones to his knees.
Heavy and Goblin escaped into the darkness as Huntington police cars started streaming in. Another battle in the war on drugs was just fought in Guyandotte, a district of Huntington. This was a battle clearly won by The Huntington Police Department. The rest of the battle would not have much action but would be won by the people of Huntington.
The concerned citizens of Huntington began reporting incidents all around town. Drug dealers both local and from Detroit were being shut down and taken to jail. Heavy slipped out of Huntington and headed back to Detroit. The only words anyone from Huntington heard again from Heavy was, “Them hillbillies are crazy. I don’t need their money that bad.” Heavy actually left that on Belinda Beck’s Facebook page.
Huntington was united by a force of pride and togetherness that this country had not seen since the days after 911. “This was bigger than a Marshall bowl win for these people,” John Ross was heard to say at AJ’s.
The Tri-State Crimestoppers grew under the leadership of David Watson. Brenda James also became involved. The police departments of all of the surrounding communities gave their support.
John Ross and Rick Perry got drunk at AJ’s and vowed to never mention that fateful night years earlier. Then, John set Rick up with Nancy Mayes from AJ’s and Nancy hooked john up with Tammy Sloan, a friend of hers. Katrina was not to make any of John’s money tonight as the four new and old friends partied for days.
Belinda stood by Tim Calhoun’s bedside. Tim looked up and smiled to see his pretty fellow officer standing in front of him in a Cincinnati Reds hat and holding roses. “I never realized how beautiful you looked out of uniform. Not that you aren’t sexy in the uniform, but I prefer unarmed women,” Tim said with a smile.
“Well, I’ll try not to be in uniform when I cook you dinner next week,” Belinda smiled.
“Dinner. Now when did this happen?” Tim asked with a puzzled look on his face.
“I guess I never realized how I felt about you until you went down right in front of me. I guess I tried so hard not to date cops that I blocked out my feelings for you. Then, seeing you on the carpet hurt… I don’t really know…” Belinda stuttered, she was not used to this type of speech. She had kept her feelings under lock and key for too long defending her Huntington. But, now Huntington was free of the drug dealers who had bullied it for so long, and maybe, just maybe, Belinda’s feelings could be free.