A Tap Room Tale

July 11, 2018

all stories, Cheese Whiz

A Tap Room Tale

I’m sitting in an ice cold bar next to a guy I don’t know. Every minute or so the neon sign in the front window blinks. I’m on a business trip. We are at the end of street called Jansen Avenue.

He knows me, sort of. He knows what guys call me. I make a point of not knowing his name. He glares at a guy who sits down on the other side of him. We move to a booth with torn upholstery. He doesn’t whisper. It is more like a growl. We are talking about an old murder that was recently solved by a crusading district attorney and a brilliant, unrelenting investigator.

“The doctor was running a couple of pill mills. Cash only. New Jersey. Maryland. DC. There was a Pagan, a weightlifter, in a chapter in New Jersey, who worked security at one of the pill mills in exchange for Oxy. He’s out bad now.”

“You need security at a place like that. Stick ups. People trying to buy in the parking lot. You’ve got undercovers trying to act like they’re dope addicts trying to make a buy.”

“Then you have another Pagan who was a transfer from Florida. His brothers transferred him up north to get him away from the pills mills down south. He wanted to go to work doing security for the doctor, too. He wound up getting his head split open with a Stratocaster because he was an addict and then he was out bad.”

The problem was, the guy from Florida introduced two other morons to the doctor. One of them is a major dope fiend and he is now the FBI’s star witness. At the moment he is free as a bird. He even gave an interview to a reporter for the Toronto Star. The other guy has also established a professional relationship with the FBI.”

“Pretty soon, the doctor gets married. Pretty woman. You know who she was. She swore she thought he was completely legitimate. It is tough to keep secrets in a marriage. The doctor told her, ‘We’re married baby. You can’t testify against me.”

“He’s in a cash business. So he has to have a cash counter. He bought a bank grade counter.”

His voice trails off. He has eyes in the back of his head.

The waitress is a local. She knows to stay out of earshot. I say, “Two more.” Nobody says anything for a couple of minutes.

The guy I don’t know growls, “He has to have a good cash counter. One of the quickest ways to lose your bank in the islands is to pass a counterfeit or a marked bill. I don’t know if you heard, but the feds are using this phosphorescent glow crap that just absolutely does not show up unless it is a new generation bill and you’ve got a special counter like a bank.”

“I hadn’t heard.”

“The doctor puts his wife to work running a cash machine. She throws out the bills that come up counterfeit and they burn them. But she is also getting these other bills that the machine is kicking out. She hesitates to burn them because she doesn’t know what might be wrong with them. She bundles them up so she can ask about them later.”

“Know what? They were DEA bills marked with the crap that adheres to the surface. It was a bank counter. What was supposed to happen was the tellers would notify the bank manager who would turn them over to law enforcement.”

“You see where this is going, yet?”

I don’t.

“Most of the rejects get set aside. Soon, there is more than two hundred grand just sitting there. The reject pile gets bigger every day. It is all good money. The machine just doesn’t like it for some reason. And by this point in the marriage, the husband is getting kind of cheap. And the wife likes nice things. So eventually the wife takes some of the rejects and goes on a little spending spree.”

“One, two, three, four. Hay, Bee, Cee. They get traced back to her buying shoes and lingerie. The DEA goes to see her. They play her the video and she agrees to cooperate. They get on her computer with her IP and they find out she has three different e-currency accounts. Which makes the feds think ‘Conspiracy! Beautiful, sexy conspiracy!’”

“Meanwhile, the doctor is having an affair with a medical assistant. Yeah. That’s right. The wife knows. Everybody is very mature. The medical assistant also has a bank counter. She knows that some bills get mysteriously kicked back.”

“Eventually, she goes to the doctor and she tells him, ‘Hey. We got bills to burn. We also got real bills the machines kick out. I don’t know what is wrong with them. We also got money missing from the kick out pile. Your old lady is spending money out of that pile. Divorce her. Marry me. Me love you long time.”

“The doctor finally gets around to reading the instruction manuals that came with the bank counters. The counters are so sophisticated that when you hook them up to a computer they transfer over the money count, record the serial numbers, record the bill denominations, record the bill generations, and they flag the serial numbers of counterfeits and the serial numbers of the bills that have been marked so they get kicked out. Which means the bills that were marked by the DEA. The doctor goes to his safe and gets out the bundles of bills that haven’t yet been burned. When he matches them up with the computer it turns out there are thousands of dollars missing from the bundles.”

“He confronts his wife. She admits she spent some money. She admits she talked to the DEA. ‘But baby, it’s okay. They can’t make me testify against you.’ The part she doesn’t get is that she completed the controlled buy when she spent the money. Plus she was skimming. But that’s another thing.”

“You know this case, right? ABC. It was on ABC. The DEA had nothing until they got the wife. The distributor faked all the purchase orders. They used a list of medical billing associates and patient social security numbers from medical rehab and pain management clinics. Nobody billed insurance. Just cash. They issued real prescriptions for plausible amounts of OxyContin or whatever.”

“The pill mill customers weren’t technically doing anything illegal. They got a prescription. They filled it. They couldn’t put a controlled buy on a junkie because he was a junkie. This was all cash. But as soon as the wife came into the picture and bought some new shoes they had a controlled buy.”

“The doctor gets there pretty fast and he has a conversation with himself about what the smart move might be.”

“And, it just so happens that he knows a couple of morons. One of them is a former Pagan and who has a major drug problem.”

“So he approaches this individual, and being the amazingly intelligent doctor that he is, he decides to kill two birds with one stone. He takes a bunch of pills in a UPS Overnight Secure Delivery box and a square grouper worth of the money the machine has already kicked out and he says, ‘Kill my wife.’”

“Well the two morons say, ‘No problem. Just give us everything up front.’

“The doctor has never had a wife killed before so he says, ‘Sure. Just kill my bitch wife.”

“After that, relations between the doctor and his wife get worse. He had royally chewed her out for talking to anyone without a lawyer. She was pissed at herself because she had been dumber than a pine board, And he is also pissed that his hitmen haven’t killed her yet. And they haven’t killed her yet. And they haven’t killed her yet.”

“He knows some other people who aren’t Pagans. Bangers who sell pills to students. He gets a gun. Finally, one morning he kills her himself. There goes the government’s case.”

“The DEA starts pressuring him. They can’t prove he killed his wife but they threaten to take him to a death penalty state and pin an overdose death on him. His practice is ruined. All the drug money is gone.”

“But the DEA also has a serious problem. The DEA bean counters do an inventory. There is about $300,000 missing. This is DEA money they put in junkies’ pockets to go buy pills. Bills were marked and when they showed up locally, they had them by the balls. Except the doctor’s money went into crypto-currency and into offshore banks. Most of the marked money was burned. Literally burned. Poof. Up in smoke. The wife is dead. The primary witness is dead. What have they got?”

“Fortunately, this occurred in a High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area and a multi-agency jurisdiction. They have that. The FBI, acting as a proxy for the ATF, agrees to take the case over from the DEA. There were actually Pagans, or at least ex-Pagans, involved in the case. Let’s pin the wife’s murder on these guys.”

He writes a headline with his hands. “Pagans! Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Gang! Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Organization. Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Syndicate?”

I ask him, “Can you prove any of that?”

“You mean like with official DEA memos and shit?”



The neon sign in the front window blinks again when I stand up. “I can’t use it.”

“It’s the truth.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

He didn’t make a sound when he laughed. “Think about it. Maybe you’ll find a way.”


14 Responses to “A Tap Room Tale”

  1. Penguin Says:

    Bone Head has a good point there about bars and listening to stories. They say that Papa Hemingway got many of his characters and stories from listening in bars. I know the Vietnamese/American cat ( https://linhdinhphotos.blogspot.com/ ) does precisely that. I do too…

    Just got back from dragraces at Bikes to the Bay at Eureka – (an annual event). There, and at the numerous watering homes en-route over hwy 299 and 36, I heard many stories myself.

    I had not known, for example, the Serbians from the NATO-destroyed Yugoslavia are now in the economy of the North Coast… I camped by a river and woke up to hear these guys cooling off in the river and getting drunk – speaking Serbian, which is like Russian… WTF? I thought. So we all got drunk and they told stories about their time in the Army fighting against NATO…

    You sure won’t read that in the LA Times, eh?

    Nice guys, too…and they both had bikes back home, stories of crashes and Serbian cops, and showed me pictures of their beautiful wives and kids.

    What a world we have now!

    Kudos to Rebel for the work he does. Thanks.

  2. CatfishOCNY Says:

    Goddamn Rebel. Goddamn.

  3. Bone Head Says:

    I couldn’t do Rebel’s job. To sit and listen to this in a bar and have to walk away from it…then wonder about it later.
    We as his guests here should understand what he goes through looking for the truth he can print. Fairly sure it ain’t fun.
    Thank you Rebel

  4. stroker Says:

    Love it Rebel. Your narrative is compelling. The reader will feel like he’s there. The bar smells like all good old bars smell. The neon sign bears witness to a conversation not admitted to. The waitress knows to not linger. A very insightful dialogue in noir. Thanks to your word flavors, I have a better understanding of this travesty.
    We (who read this) are beyond lucky to have the privilege of reading the adventures in your life.

  5. Gordo Says:

    A TV script

    More episodes to come

  6. Hangaround Says:

    The only story better than fiction is a true one!

  7. Igo Says:

    Don’t fuck around, if ya can’t fuck around……..

  8. Penguin Says:

    The croaker got greedy and delusional.

    Also heard in bar:

    “When you sell dope, the money is underground mad money. Always live on your aboveground money – wages. And always pay every cent of your debts. If you live outside the law you must be honest. Never involve females in your illegal activity – they have a different agenda, often.”

    Well, that’s what somebody said…

    I wouldn’t know. Ahdoanwannahknow…

  9. jersey Says:

    nice story – but for accuracy sake – you should write in that the guy with the Stratocaster isn’t out bad – he is retired with his colors…of course before the FBI took them

  10. FF Says:

    Rebel, all that shit in Florida, was it a big, fat idiot name “Vinnie”? because He was having his bike worked on at “dream cycles” MORE LIKE A FUCKING NIGHTMARE in New Port Richey, owner John Leyden. Leydon told me some BS he was a mechanic in NYC for a “famous club” only one that I know of and that he was on location when a firecracker blasted and some blood splattered on his face. Probably total bullshit BUT I MENTION IT barbecue this asshole told me his brother was AOA and that kind of threw me for a loop. Anyway… This all went down when I just got home from Afghanistan and off of active duty; I was a reservist then…. So “Animal” Kenneth DiFranco who I’m pretty sure is from NJ where I grew up was have some work done on is bike at “dream” cycles just like me. Long story short, DiFranco went to Federal prison for 5 years and I’m assuming is outbad from the Pagan’s, but he should be out of prison by now.

    Alot of people can call what I’m doing dry snitching, and thats ok. I could give a fuck. I don’t like being lied too, or ripped off.

  11. Paladin Says:

    Sounds legit.


  12. jrino Says:

    Well it sounds like a long shot or a tale for a movie script, but truth may never come out. Two can keep a secret if they both are dead.

  13. Bones glass 1973 Says:

    Sounds plausible,why not

  14. freebird Says:

    I ask him, “Can you prove any of that?

    At this point in time proof to prove guilt is no longer applicable

    Look at San Antone…. People who confessed to murder are now totally legit when the Govt likes what their saying

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