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Friday, October 16, 2015

Right Under My Nose

Two days later ,Sissy, Duke, Sharon,Hazel, Tyriq, Jimmy and Hop and I sat in the conference room




 ,There was five or six uniformed policemen sitting with us....and six FBI agents ...As Breakfast platters were being passed out....The food was hot and steaming and good...Tumblers of coffee was being passed around the table also....

Just as we all were enjoying our breakfasts, Lt. Tragg came storming in....

"SO THIS IS WHAT YOU DO? EAT AND DRINK WHILE A TRIPLE MURDER REMAINS UNSOLVED?...IT'S BEEN GOING ON A WEEK NOW!"he bellowed.
"This is called having breakfast good Lieutenant...We may have a little extra...do you care to join us?" I said.

"NO I DON'T CARE TO JOIN YOU....I WANT TO KNOW WHERE WE ARE ON THIS TRIPLE HOMICIDE?" he bellowed..
''You mean my case? The Houseboat case?? We are farther than you ever got ,re interviewing people,My partners and I already interviewed....Did you find out anything new?" asked Tyriq..

"Probably not Rico, but at least he was out of our way....While we conducted our investigation further ."said Jimmy.

"Besides....what's it to you anyway?" asked Duke.

"Sissy...I've had it with your detectives blatant disrespect for my rank...I'm a Lieutenant damnit..."he said.

"Well...I think Detective Baylor asked a good question...What is it to you?  You're no longer on the case?" asked Sissy...
He ignored Sissy's question and looked at Sharon....

"What is your take on all this Deputy?" he asked..

"I don't have a take man...I'm FBI....I'm working my own cases...I've just given them assistance, when they've asked..
"WHAT KIND OF ASSISTANCE?" he asked..

Sharon laughed....

"You really think you intimidate me don't you?    Your bars don't mean jack to me."she said....

"WHY YOU!!" he bellowed ,to which Hop blocked her path...
"Lieutenant....THAT'S MY WIFE....I'm going to respectfully ask that you back off."said Hop....

"Son...I was a cop when you were dreaming about being a cop...So-"

"So we are having breakfast....and nobody here is answering any more of your questions....My detectives have done a sterling job and we have a suspect if you must know....And as soon as we have additional information ,an arrest is imminent."said Sissy.

"Hazel...Is this suspect based on anything your office found?" he asked..

Hazel smiled...."Actually it is....And thanks to our friends in the FBI, we were able to positively identify our suspect..."she said and continued eating...

"That is all you need to know...so if you're not joining us for breakfast....We are done here Lt. Tragg."said Sissy...
He looked around..

"There are people missing...Where is uh Carlotta and Angie and your wife, Pile?" he asked.

"Unfortunately...they are out doing police work....We have saved some food for them...So it looks like we don't have enough for you Lieutenant...So sorry."said Sissy.

He stomped his foot and stormed out of the office....

"He's gonna be trouble Siss." said Duke..

"I think so too." I said....
"With luck we'll have what we need and be able to make an arrest soon."said Sissy.

II-
Carlotta ,Sirena and Angie were at a bar in Old City talking to some confidential informants....

"You know...It's pretty early in the morning for you to be in a bar Detective Rodriguez...Your husband know you're in here."said Ronnie Mo of all people...
"My husband always knows where I am..."said Carlotta.

"I don't blame him....If you was my wife...I'd make it my business to know where you were."he said ,smiling salaciously...."By the way...That was him that uh hired those lawyers when I got pinched by that idiot Lieutenant Tragg the other day wasn't it?" he said.

Carlotta said nothing...

Ronnie Mo smiled..

"You're a smart girl...You always was....It's cool.....So here is the skinny....Yeah Hugh Benny had Bobby Gucci on the hook for two million, but that was normal...those guys gamble and blow money like you wouldn't imagine....but another guy was skimming money from Gucci and a couple of the other high rollers."said Ronnie Mo.

"Another guy?" asked Sirena...

"Yeah...he was using burner phones and a phony internet address to blackmail these rich boys for millions...Nobody knew who he was at first...He had a good thing going..."said Ronnie Mo....


"How do you guys know this?" asked Angie as Hugh Benny passed her a drink...

"Baby doll...We know everything that goes on down here...I mean, Me and Ronnie Mo don't actually swing together...but we travel in the same circles...know the same guys...ya dig....I told Bobby G. that the only person who could get that kind of information on him and his friends and cover up like that had to be ...either a private investigator or A COP!" He said.

 Carlotta showed him a photo of Marine Police Officer Richard "Bud" Mathis....

"Do you recognize this guy?" she asked..

Hugh Benny smiled..

"That's the other dude that was on the boat the night I was there...He had on street clothes...That's the guy that was moonlighting as Bobby G.'s bodyguard...." he said.

"You are sure..?" she asked.

"That's him..." he said.

"Yeah I recognize him...He's one of the cops who handcuffed me...He's Tragg's boy...They ride on the boat together....You don't think Tragg is involved in this do ya?" asked Ronnie Mo...


Sirena and Angie busted out laughing....So did Hugh Benny...

"Lt. Tragg? Clueless mahoney.hahahahahahahaha." they said.

"Yeah...that is funny."said Ronnie Mo, who busted out laughing....

"Thanks Guys....And look...Stay out of trouble okay?" said Carlotta...

"Hey uh Detective Rodriguez-Wallace...Thanks for letting us hang out with you and your fine associates...could you uh give me another ride back to Atlantic City...Tragg is still kind of hot for me." said Hugh Benny.

"I'll drive you to the bus station, so you can go back to AC...Don't try to feel my boobs and don't try to flirt with me."said Carlotta.

"I'll Try."he said smiling..

"I'll ride with you to make sure he behaves himself."said Sirena...

Hugh Benny smiled...

Ronnie Mo stared salaciously at Angie..

"That means I get to spend some quality time with you babes.." he said winking..

"That means I drive you back to your boat.....That's all." said Angie ,smiling...

III-

 "Based on the information Jimmy and I tracked down....Bud Mathis had socked away close to six million dollars in the past three months in an off shore account in Belize...He was having several people wire it to an account here in the city...A Dummy account..."said Tyriq.

"The Account was closed the day after the triple...At this bank you have to close it in person...We have him on tape closing the account...It wasn't in his name....Get this...It was in the name of Arthur Louis Tragg...aint that a hoot?" said Jimmy.

"He had put in for a transfer to the Insurance Fraud Division...He was to be  re-instated as a Detective and it appears he was also putting in for retirement within a year." said Hop.

"And it would have been a fat roll too..His police pension and all of the blackmail money....He'd look pretty good in his old age.."said Duke.
"Bobby G, must have found out he was the one blackmailing him and so ,he had to go....His guests were just in the wrong place at the wrong time..."said Sharon..

"He's probably on the boat with Tragg...Call the girls...Tell em to meet us there....Coming Counselor?" said Sissy.

"I wouldn't miss this for the world."I said laughing.

IV-
Lt. Tragg and Sgt.Richard "Bud" Mathis were sitting on the Marine Police Boat at the time...

"Bud,I envy you...You're going back on the shore...and you're going to be a detective again...."said Lt. Tragg...

"Yeah,but that's only for about a year...I'm gonna retire next year...Move down to the Caymen Islands."said Bud..

"Yeah? Really?? " said Lt. Tragg..

"Yeah I got a little money socked away...I'm done paying child support, my house is paid off...Just good investin man." said Bud...

"Good for you man...If I could have cracked this triple...I would've been on my way back to shore.."said. Lt. Tragg..

"No good leads huh?  Ronnie Mo...I gotta tell ya..Even I thought that was a stretch...He's small potatoes." laughed Bud...

"I know he's in this somehow...I know it, Him and Hugh Benny?" said Tragg...

"Now there is a suspect..."laughed Bud...

"Yeah, well the C.I.D. had him....They claimed he alibied out...And I can't find him...Apparently ,he's left town..."said Tragg....

''Ahhh don't worry...Whoever did it probably isn't far." said Bud...

"APPARENTLY NOT FAR AT ALL!" came the voice of Lt. Sissy Van Buren.


Lt. Tragg was stunned...He turned around...

''Sissy ,what are you doing here?" asked Lt. Tragg..

''She's here to watch me arrest my suspect in the triple murder of last week...Bud...It's over man."said Detective Tyriq Pile.

"Richard "Bud "Mathis....You have the right to remain silent...Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law...You have the right to an attorney...If you can not afford an attorney ,one will be gotten for you...Do you understand these rights as I am reading them to you?" said Carlotta.

"He understands them...He was a police once...Was a police.."said Jimmy as he handcuffed him and handed him to Duke Baylor...who along with Angie Belton and two Marine police Officers ,walked him off the boat..





Lt. Tragg was totally confused...

"I-I-I don't understand.." he said.

"He was blackmailing Gucci and a number of people down here.....We found his off shore accounts, we found the cyber cafe he was blackmailing them from with film footage of him and we have footage of him closing the dummy account here."said Hop..

"We have the credit card receipts for the purchase of the cyanide and we have his finger print at the crime scene..."said Sirena as she and Hop followed Carlotta,Tyriq and Jimmy off the boat...

"That's called police work...good old fashioned police work....plus the help of some informants..."said Sissy...

"Bud...Is this true?   YOU ?? You killed those people?? You were blackmailing them?" asked Lt. Tragg..

Bud grimaced, then looked resignedly at his old friend.....

"All these years..All these years..I busted my hump as a detective busting and protecting these damn people who throw away more money on gambling than all of us put together make in a damn year...I decided to get ahead of the game...Get somethin for my damn self...You think I liked riding on this damn boat,smelling fish and water all damn day,every damn day???...I made moves ..Moves that was gonna get me a nice retirement ,nice payback for my troubles.."said Bud Mathis..

"Bud..How long we worked together? Huh? Years....I promoted you...You could of come to me."said Lt. Tragg....

"What was you gonna do? You're in a worse mess than me...You're buried here boss...At least they was gonna let me come back... I'm done talkin...Come on Duke..Angie...Let's go.." he snarled.


"You know what the thing is that I don't get Lt. Tragg....This is your turf now...And nobody up here will talk to you....Ronnie Mo and Hugh Benny filled in all of the missing pieces....and we didn't offer them anything...They just talked to us....That's police work too. You actually could have skunked us if you had of talked to these guys, got these guys to talk to you....He was right under your nose...Hugh Benny had actually seen him..He just didn't know who he was..If you hadn't of bounced Ronnie Mo around in the Fishbowl, he might have told you about the blackmailing..." I said.

There were no reporters, no press conference...We took Richard "Bud" Mathis without any fanfare..

"I don't believe it...All this time...He was right under my nose...Right under my nose.." said Lt. Tragg in disbelief.....

Lt. Tragg  practically ignored everything I had just said...He went walking away ,mumbling to himself..

"See you around Lt. Tragg." said Sissy , who whispered to Carlotta and Me.."I hope not."


Carlotta and I just laughed as we all got in our cars and pulled off..


EPILOUGE-
Richard "Bud "Mathis was convicted of three counts of First Degree Murder and sentenced to three Life with no parole sentences...He cheated his sentence though....He was found hanging in his cell the morning before he was supposed to be transferred to State Prison.

Lt. Tragg is still with the Marine Police, patrolling the river.....Though no fault of his own....News that the killer was not only one of his men, but the man he rode on the boat with...once again made him the laughing stock of the police department...I've heard he has started drinking heavily..
Carlotta and I returned to that Houseboat....The scene of the triple homicide...




"Are you planning on buying this place honey bunny?" she asked me..
 "This place? No...Noooo...I just like it..Love the view...The Ocean..."I said.

"Is that why you keep coming here?" she asked...

I looked at her and smiled and pulled her to me...

"After tonight...we can't come back here...It will no longer be a crime scene...I have to give back the keys..."I said.

Carlotta kissed me softly....

"Then we have to make the best of the time we have right?" she said in between kisses...

"That's right." I said as we began to kiss some more...



7 comments:

Toni said...

Good Story...I binge read again...Loved it!

Angie B. said...

Love your endings Keith...Love this story too!

Sunflower said...

Old Lt. Tragg will never learn will he?

James Perkins said...

Tragg is one of the funniest charactors you have...I love it when he's talking to the Deputy Ops on the phone and doesn't get the response he's hoping for.

Swaggie said...

Lt. Tragg reminds me of every S.O.B. supervisor I ever worked for..I love it when he gets his come uppance..

George S. said...

I remember Keith telling me that Tragg is actually based on two real life Philadelphia police officials..

Grover Tha Playboy said...

I can believe it!