It’s hot.  It’s hot like only St. Louis is hot in mid July.  Shoes actually melted and stuck to the sidewalk.  Humidity, let me tell ya about the humidity.  A person can walk out of their house, apartment, condo or lean to right after taking a shower.  Within a few seconds, you feel like a limp dishrag.

St. Louis, MO, one of the hottest, inhospitable places on earth when it comes to the discomfort level.  This includes Panama and Viet Nam.

Murph and I are in the Drug Enforcement Task Force that covers the metro area.  Cops from departments around the city and county send detectives to work big cases.  Even the Highway patrol…except they always want to write the bad guys a speeding ticket!!

DEA, ATF and the FBI all have representatives assigned.  Of course the I wanted the OK to use our stats when they compiled cases worked, thus giving an inflated number to the end of quarter, 6 month and annual stats.

That’s OK most of us just wanted to work dope cases.

We have a snitch, DeVon, plugged into the black dope scene.  He provided us with valuable information resulting in a number of search warrants yielding extremely large quantizes of heroin, powder cocaine and the drug that grabs brain and body and turns the user into a stark raving maniac…crack cocaine.

Great social thinkers feel that the penalties for crack cocaine, possession of 5 or more grams is unfair.  It is unfair because the penalties for 5 grams of crack cocaine are the same as for 30 grams of powder cocaine.

Great debates about this stupid issue just wear me down.  The answer is simple.


Devon, as with any good snitch, is difficult to locate whilst trying to find out about a group that popped up on the radar.  He is always available upon being arrested on a gun, dope or shoplifting pinch.

He came back in pocket after his latest brush with the TAC boys who caught him with a couple heroin “buttons.”

DeVon possessed info on a big heroin crib in the fine suburb of Pine Lawn.  A shitty little town overrun with drugs and crime.

Murph and I headed out the door to cove a team making an undercover buy of crack and a couple sawed-off shotguns.  The ATF boys salivated over that one.

Ms. Rohan, our unit secretary and all around good egg, said, “Ken, you might want to take this call…it’s Devon.”

I asked Murph to handle the call.  DeVon related a story about a big heroin stash, just hit town.  The bad guys in the process of breaking it down into ounces, half’s, quarters and eight balls.  This occurring, of course, after the product had been stepped on at least three times.  The additive being a Mexican laxative called Bombieta.  The Bombieta meant to counteract the constipating effect of the opium poppy and its derivatives.

Being in a big hurry, Murph told DeVon to drive past the local, obtain the numerics, color, size, shape and other distinguishing characteristics of the dope house.  Murph told DeVon we were in a big hurry…call us in a couple hours.

We both thought he must have gotten jammed up and needed to work off his case.  A thought process that is entirely correct.

We covered the team making the buy.  As is usually the case the only thing predictable about a dope, deal is that it’s unpredictable.  It’s supposed to go down at 3:15.  The seller only had one shotgun and the crack man hasn’t shown up yet.

After a number of calls between the dealers, the operation came to fruition.  The narc’s walked away with two ounces of brown heroin, three sawed off shotgun and a boatload of intelligence information.  This info would later prove invaluable in thwarting the ambush of two narc’s.

When Murph and I got back to the office, it’s 6:30, we hadn’t eaten, it’s hot out, and I had to take a monster leak.  I stopped off at the john, Murph went to his desk.  Before he could plant his ass in the raggley ass government chair, he picked up the phone.  That’s right DeVon.

Devon dutifully gave information about the house, where the dope could be found, the color, size and shape of the residence.  OK fine.

The last line on a search warrant is “Affiant prays that a warrant be issued for the structure known and numbered as 4356 La La street, front facing east rear facing west.”

Having this in mind Murph asked DeVon “Which way does the house set.”  As soon as the words were out of Murph’s mouth he realized what a stupid question to ask a street cat.

DeVon, in his feeble, drug addled mind said, “Ah, UMMM, er-ah, ya know I been thinkin’ ‘bout that man.  I believe that muthafucher sits sideways.”



To read about Ken’s latest novel, go to his website.

About Ken Dye

Having grown up in Missouri, Ken Dye graduated from Northeastern Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and served his country. When he returned to St. Louis, he joined the St. Louis County Police Department and served in the tactical operations unit, as an undercover narcotics and homicide detective, and with the intelligence bureaus. After 13 years, he moved to Chicago to work with the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority. He is the author of three books: two crime novels, Shadow of the Arch and Beyond the Shadow of the Arch and his new release Michael Brown, Jr. didn’t have to die, a non-fiction narrative. For more information about the author, visit www.KenJDye.com.
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  1. You could always count on something profound coming out of the mouff of one of brothers.
    There was a Black Panthers meeting hall on Grand Avenue years ago where folks was always getting hurt on the broken down folding chairs or falling down the stairs while half in the bag.
    I suggested to the owner that they post the premises to avoid getting sued. Next time I visited, there was a sign on a piece of cardboard on the staircase landing that said:
    I had told them what to say in a disclaimer of liability, but not how to spell the words…not bad tho…everybody know what NUFFIN means…

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