She was trained and mentored by some legends and she soon worked her way up to Lieutenant of Homicide and now Lieutenant of Homicide, Major Crimes and Special Victims Unit.
This was even before the two detectives from Internal Affairs arrived...
Second was his partner..Detective Angie Belton..
I knew her only in passing ,I had never worked with her, but Sissy had... She had once worked Homicide...A good detective...Nice looking...She had caught me staring at her once... She had been wearing a tight figure hugging black skirt...She had great legs and a nice body..She had smiled, but had never said anything to me about it..I think she liked it...But that was a year ago...This was now and she barely looked my way as the investigation begun.
They took out dockets on the personal lives and the work lives of Detective Tyriq Abdul Pile, Detective James Elliot Barlow, Detective Edwin"Duke" Baylor, Detective Carlotta Anna Maria Rodriguez, Lt. Siselia "Sissy" Van Buren and Myself....Keith Porterhouse Wallace. They were thorough...and they left no stone unturned...
For the next two weeks, every single thing on record and even off the record that was known about us was investigated thoroughly....Our bank accounts, credit, school records...you name it...It was all out there and they were ruthless, but fair and thorough.
We all were called into the interrogation room....ADA Soloman Foster was present...He was checking Detective Belton out...not even paying attention to the report..
"Sissy...we checked you out the hardest..you know that right?" said Detective Aaron Pace....
"I know that..I expected it.." she said.
''And you came through with flying colors!!.. So did Detectives Tyriq Pile and Detective Jimmy Barlow..They're all square... Carlotta, you are good as gold, but I knew you would be...Your relationship with Mickey Lolo was when you were in high school and a year afterwords..before he began working for the Diaz Brothers and then eventually Minolo Sentterro." he continued..
"Yes...I grew up in the neighborhood with all of them...They know me, and they know I'm a cop and I've busted some of them...but Mickey was my informant...He'd talk to me, give me people from time to time. He kind of had a thing for me." she said.
''A guy as high up in the Sentterro crime family as Mickey Lolo would give you information? Knowing that could be sudden death???"asked Angie Belton. "Damn girl...you got that good good." she said...
Carlotta blushed...Something I had never seen her do before...Neither had anyone else!!
Sissy and Detective Pace laughed...Detectives Pile, Baylor and Barlow looked at me and cracked up laughing...So Did ADA Foster...I was kind of embarrassed...
"Low level playas...Never anybody big...That might be why he is currently missing...Presumed dead." explained Carlotta trying to avert the attention away from her.
I felt kind of bad for her..She was really embarrassed..She had no need to be..If she was giving Mickey Lolo the kind of good loving she had been giving me, I perfectly understood why he was willing to risk his life to tell her anything....I wasn't mad at Mickey Lolo...I perfectly understood..
Detective Angie Belton smiled when she looked at me ,but said nothing...Detective Pace smiled too......
"This guy here, ADA Keith Wallace??? Square as can be....L7 like a mug...If he's your mole...I'd quit my job." he laughed....
"Oh and we did work ups on the uniformed cops that you took with you...All clean as a whistle."said Angie Belton....
"So my house is clean?" asked Sissy.
"As far as we can see....And we went over all of the phone records you compiled for us and video tape...I don't know how Sentterro got his information unless he got it before Detective Rodriguez got that letter.." said Angie Belton..
"Maybe he got it from whoever sent it." offered ADA Soloman Foster.
"Then why send it?" asked Detective Pace...
I glared at Soloman side eyed...
"There was one of your detectives we did have a slight problem with?" said Angie Belton..
"Who?" asked Sissy...
"Edwin "Duke" Baylor...We found three deposits in his bank account for 30K...One made in June of last year, one made in September of last year and one made in December of last year....They were made eletronically from a computer in this building into your savings account." said Detective Belton..
"What? You crazy? Ninety thousand dollars...I aint got that kind of dough..Are you kiddin? That's more than I make in a year...Come onnnnn now...I drive a 2006 Altima...If I had that kind of dough do you think I'd be drivin a used car?Come on Angie...You know me better than that!" he asked incredulously...We were all stunned...
''Duke...I know...I've known you since we were both in the Academy....You 've never had any money...This was a surprise to me... But I saw it in your account." said Detective Belton.
"Hey...I was on the stakeout with you guys!!" he said.
"Well Duke, Just tell us where th`e money came from?" I asked.
"Hey Keith, ADA Wallace!!!...you're crazy.....You were drinkin with me the other night...I owe you twenty dollars for my tab, remember.???.I aint got that kind of money.." said Detective Duke Baylor..
When we brought his account up...There it was 90K in his savings account...!!!!!
"Man this is news to me.." he said.
News to me too...Duke always owed somebody money for something...The idea of him sitting on all that cash was incredible....No...This had to be a frame I thought!
" You don't know where the money came from?" asked Sissy.
''Lou...Come on...How long you known me? I've borrowed money from you before." he said...
"I know Duke...I know...but if it was any one of us...What would you think?" she asked.
"Can't you see? This is a frame..Somebody is settin me up!!" he said.
"Well Detective..Until we get to the bottom of this...I need your gun and your badge.Duke, I've known you for years...I hope this isn't true...I've always known you to be a good cop." said Detective Pace.
Detective Baylor handed over his gun and his badge.....He looked like he was close to tears... Sissy put her arms around him...She whispered in his ear...
She would tell me later that she told him...
"I know this is a frame Duke, just give us a chance to prove it...Go home...trust me. Trust me...We are going to get to the bottom of this....Work with us fully..You're a good detective...You've always brought in your suspect...I know you're not dirty. Besides...You owe me ten dollars for lunch last week...I know you wouldn't be sittin on that much dough and not pay me" she said and then winked.
Duke managed a smile......Sissy smiled back at him... I looked at him and smiled too...He was a good cop...I knew Sissy would do all she could to clear his name.
ADA Soloman walked over to Detective Angie Belton....
"Heyyy girl..how you been? I did not know you were working in Internal Affairs...I did not know that." he said.
"Yeah..I've been there two years now." she said.
''Hey,would you mind ,havin a cup of coffee with me?" he asked.
"Uhh, okay...We are done here for today." she said.
"Yessss...I'd like to get internal in your affairs...heh, heh,heh." he laughed.
"Are you serious?? A line like that playa?" she said.
Soloman shrugged his shoulders...
"I had to try." he said smiling sheepishly...Detective Angie Belton blushed a bit,then she turned and rolled her eyes...Detective Pace laughed out loud...
''God....Try harder than that." she said. "I'll meet you in the cafeteria." she said.
"Nahhh, I won't insult you by buying you that swill...Let's walk down the street to Babette's Coffee Shop." he said.
"Babettes eh? That's a pretty ritzy titzy joint." she said.
"The best coffee in town...The best for the best, baby.." he said looking at her cleavage and her legs and sizing her up.
"Uhh okay...I can use a good cup of coffee." she said.
I laughed to my self..
Carlotta had heard a little bit of that exchange and laughed...Sissy just shook her head..She whispered to Carlotta..
"Yesterday he whispered to me that he'd like to take me out to dinner and then see what happens from there." she said ,laughing.
"He is such a hound." laughed Carlotta.
"I told him that I had a boyfriend and he got all sanctimonious, talkin bout...I hear he's an ex-con...You can do better than that Sissy." he says.
"What did you tell him boss lady?" asked Carlotta.
"I told him that I was doing quite well and to go away and let me do my work." she said.
They both laughed their conspiratorial laugh.
While they were laughing...A uniformed officer brought in a guy named Miguel Martinez...He was a low level drug dealer and thief who Tyriq Pile had busted....He was also my confidential informant...While Carlotta and Sissy chatted, Detective Barlow was talking to Duke and Detective Pace gathered his files...Detective Pile and I approached Miguel in a corner...
"Hey man, what are you doing here?" I asked.
"Look, you said you wanted information....I came to give it to you." he said.
"Okay, come on, let's go out of here." I said.
Tyriq and I walked him into the hallway...
"Mickey Lolo had his last meal at Bottom of the C... Last Thursday...He ate with Minolo Sentterro, Micheal Light and Juan Rivera..." said Miguel.
"How do you know this?" asked Detective Pile.
"Because I was there. I was there with one of my girls.I saw em when they left....They ate...They all got in Minolo's Escalade...The white one....Four of em got in, Three of em come back....My guess is they took Mickey somewhere and shot him and put him in a can,punched holes in it and dropped him in the water." he said.
"WHAT?" I asked.
"That's how he does it...Don't you notice how quiet it is in Port Richmond and Fishtown?? You disagree with Minolo Sentterro, you quietly vanish man...That's how he's always done it...No shootouts, No gunplay."
"You got loot like that Miguel?" asked Tyriq Pile.
"Hey...I've had a good streak lately...At the crap tables." he said.
"Ohhhh,okay...at the crap tables." laughed Tyriq..
''Hey man, my nose is clean.." said Miguel.
"Tyriq...get a warrant to search that Escalade and his boat at Penns Landing....If you can pry him away from Detective Belton, Ask ADA Soloman if he knows a judge who can get us a warrant quick." I said.
"I'm on it Keith." he said.
That afternoon, Detective Pile, Myself, about twenty uniformed officers , CSI and Forensic investigators got Minolo Sentterros private boat...We went over it with a fine tooth comb and found nothing!
"This is bullshit ADA Wallace....This is a boat registered to him...but the license plate is all wrong....And we can't find the one that matches the number Miguel gave us.." said Detective Pile...Clearly enraged...
I was angry too...
The next day,Sissy, Carlotta and Detective Jimmy Barlow found his Escalade...They too took Forensic investigators, Uniformed cops and CSI..They went over the car with a fine tooth comb...Nothing...
And two nights later....I found Detective Carlotta Rodriguez standing over a body on the street...
"It's Miguel Martinez....a low level thief, sometimes drug dealer...independent." said Carlotta...
"I know who he is.." I said.
"You do?" she said.
"He was my snitch...My C.I." I said ,shaking my head.
"What?" she said.
"Tyriq busted him a year ago and he and I went to him for information from time to time..You didn't know about it, Sissy didn't know, Jimmy didn't know. Just me and Tyriq...he gave us good information..All the time..He was always on the money." I said.
"We still got a leak." said Carlotta.
"Yeah...Tyriq was never out of my sight and besides...This was his informant...It's not him...You,Jimmy and Sissy didn't know about it...Duke was home...It couldn't of been him, plus he didn't know about it." I said.
"Did Miguel give you the information about the car and the boat?" she asked.
"Yeah...and I guess Sentterro didn't have the time to fit him for an oil drum and drop him in the ocean." I said.
"Huh?" she said.
"Nothin." I said. "Carlotta?" I suddenly asked.
"Yeah?" she said.
"Remember when we rousted Sentterro a couple of weeks ago?" I asked.
"Yeah, what about it?" she said.
"How did he know that we were a couple? That's not common knowledge outside of our unit and maybe a select few detectives....And I only met him once..Two years ago in court...Yet he knew my name and he knew about me and you." I said.
"Maybe he saw us together or he's got somebody watching us." she said.
"But why would he? We hadn't been doing much on him lately....He knew all about us...He didn't know, he couldn't have known we were coming to see him.."I said.
"You got a point." she said.
"Now all of a sudden he knows we are a couple..He knows who my snitch is...A snitch I've been using for awhile now...a guy he could have whacked a long time ago.....He knows everything we do, before we do it." I said.
"Judge Thalmus??" she asked.
"Nah...Thalmus is as straight as an arrow....The second judge was Clara Waters." I said.
"If she's a mole, I'm quitting this business." said Carlotta.
"No....He's got somebody else in his pocket...and I don't think it's a cop either...I swear, I hope to God I'm wrong about this...but who else can it be?" I said.
"It's time to call Sissy." said Carlotta.
"You read my mind!" I said.
(DEFINITELY TO BE CONTINUED...)