My partner, Don Woodbeck, drove up to the campus at Arizona State in Tempe…
I remember it as being damn hot out, fall and I was not yet 20 years-old. It was the early 70’s. I had just cut my hair kinda short. Remember, those were the days of long hair. I did that to look older, more like a cop. Woodbeck said to me, "Are you ready kid?"
Don wanted me to fly to Chicago with him the next day, to set up our first STING.
It was a weekday, "Don, I have classes all week." "Really? Then skip them if you want to do this, or forget the whole thing."
I sat by Don on the flight. We had two suitcases with a few bricks of weed in them as samples. We would need those for the sting. We also placed our guns and badges in the suitcases. In those days there were rarely any bag checks and no metal detectors. We baby powdered the weed covers to cover any odor.
Don told me we had to do a test run before we came after J.D. and his Arizona crew. J.D. and his guys were the ones who had robbed me and my friends and beat the shit out of us my freshman year in college. Woodbeck had worked for him but JD tried to off Don when he refused to fly heroin into the states from Mexico.
So Don said we would meet a guy he kinda worked for in Chicago. And he would set up the sting team for us in Boston a day or two later.
A limo picked us up at the airport in Chicago. In the back seat with me and Don was the man who owned the car. I’ll just call him George (he had an Italian last name). George was movie star handsome, which was important because he’d moved to LA before us, met and dated the blonde star of the hit TV show THE BIG VALLEY and latter married Vanna White.
At this time he was a crew chief in Chicago, running the weed biz. He also was working with Penthouse magazine. Later he started his own, but after a few months it failed. Naturally Don and I invested in that deal – great.
George looked at me, then back at Don. Don had delivered loads of weed to George over the years from Arizona. "Who is this fucking lobster?" George barked, referring to me. Meaning a newbie, wet behind the ears and too young.
Woodbeck told George that the entire cop sting thing was my idea and he liked it. George explained his brother Tom, had been ripped off by these guys in Boston at gunpoint and Tom had been wounded. George wanted them burned and his money back, around $100,000 (a ton in those days). Don said, "We’ll get the dough. We aren’t hitters and we won’t kill ’em unless it’s self defense."
George said, OK, and told us he wanted half the take for setting it up. He would have a couple pros there to help us. I was sweating so much in that limo( first one I’d ever been in) that my hair was wet like from a shower.
How the fuck did I end up in this spot?
When Don and I landed in Boston, a guy picked us up. He was kinda fat, about 40 and introduced himself as a working dentist. "Huh?" He said we were going back to his offices in Cambridge. It was a wing of his home, where he lived with his wife and two kids. Dr. Zep (I’ll call him) then explained that HE WAS THE BACKUP. Oh great, I thought, we’ll likely get shot. Me, Don and some middle-aged dentist to take down some shooters and dope dealers. Nice.
(to be continued)