A man the women know as Tony recruited them to
be couriers, Bob continued. You met someone
at the Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt and picked up two vests filled
with heroin. You then instructed Isabel and Maria in the procedure to
follow in taking the vests through Frankfurt Airport Customs. You also
instructed them how to get through Chicagos OHare Airport
International Arrivals Building. Afterwards, you were to fly to Newark,
New Jerseys International Airport, and be picked up by a limousine.
It would take you into New York city where the vest would be turned
over to Tony and each of the women would receive $10,000 for their work.
Have I got it right?
this was a movie, at this point I would have said, I want to speak
to my lawyer, but this was real life, my life, and all I could
do was shake my head and silently curse Mo, the man the women knew as
help us, Tom said trying to bring back Mister Nice Guy. But I
wasnt buying it, he was a worse actor than me. I looked up at
him with puppy dog eyes as he went on, Help us, and at the same
time, help yourself. What do you think Tony would do if your roles were
he be a standup guy? Tom asked me. Knowing I wasnt about
to say anything he went on, A soldier? Or would he give you up
in the blink of an eye? If you dont help us will he get you a
lawyer? Will he give more money to support your family while your doing
ten years behind bars?
was painting a grim picture of my future and he was getting to me, forcing
me into some critical thinking.
an imaginary chalkboard in my mind, I drafted a list:
The day before I left on this trip, Mr. New York, the man that we transported
the heroin for, called me and said that it was important that he meet
with me that afternoon. We met on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Thirty-Ninth
street. He told me that MO was becoming unreliable. In addition,
he was bringing too much attention to himself and, thereby, our enterprise.
He had bought a new car, was wearing expensive clothes and jewelry,
and spending too much money on restaurants. Mr. New York wanted me to
take complete charge of transportation. He said he would pay me the
same amount he was paying MO$35,000 a vest plus traveling expenses.
I was stunned! MO had told me that we were getting $30,000 a vest and
traveling expenses had to come out of that amount. It certainly was
a shocker. To say the least I was disappointed and disgusted with Mo.
I indicated to Mr. New York my positive reaction to this offer and would
discuss it upon my return. We then hugged each other and intoned, Insha
AllahArabic for by the will of God.
Due to MOs lying to me concerning the money, he owed me close
to $100,000 for the previous successful trips. This really hurt because
I had thought of MO as a friend. Now I knew that he had ripped me off.
I knew that I was facing a minimum of ten years in federal prison. At
the age of 65 it was a death sentence. While in Frankfurt, I finished
reading John Grishams Chamber. In it a lawyer comments about the
protagonist facing a death sentence: If in fact he had an accomplice,
he shouldve talked . . . maybe he shouldve cut a deal with
the district attorney, but when youre facing death, you start
talking. You save your ass and let your buddy worry about this.
want to speak to the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, I told Tom. I would
worry about a personal lawyer later.
was not smiling when he said, It isnt possible.
I cant speak with the U.S. Attorney, I cant help you,
I said, letting them know I could play hard ball too.
sat, Tom and I. No words passed between us. We just stared at each other.
It was as if we are playing a championship chess match with no hands,
minutes silently passed.
to say something, but I knew it was his move.
see it on Toms face. He was thinking, The bust of a large
heroin smuggling conspiracy. Finally. Okay, Tom said,
Ill contact the U.S. Attorney.
took me into another office. Tom handled the phone call, introducing
me to the US Attorney on the speaker phone.
name is James Burns.
I am the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. I have with me an Assistant US Attorney to act as witness to our conversation. If you wish, I can ask the two customs agents to leave the room. What is your pleasure?