I watched a television show of Drug Detectives working some cartel cases where everyone was sexy, wore stylish clothes and drank margaritas on the beach while they watched the sun set. I think it was called Graceland. My experience as a Drug Detective, if it was made into a show, would be more like a cross between Justified, Dirty Jobs and Family Guy.
As a real life Drug Detective a considerable amount of my time and effort is consumed eradicating marijuana, a hot, sweaty, dirty job. Most of the marijuana we find is grown outside, during the summer months. The grows we investigate are though out the state involving hundreds of acres, primarily in the deep woods of the National Forest’s or in heavy brush near creeks. The growers seem to pick places loaded with a plethora of bears, ticks, poison ivy, spiders and snakes. Our job on the task force was to find the marijuana grows, arrest the growers, move up the ladder to arrest the leaders and eradicate the plants.
In my experience I have noticed a high percentage of Mexicans, illegally in the United States, are hired by various drug groups to grow the marijuana. The drug cartels recruit the illegal immigrants that have crossed the borders and already in the United States looking for work. Once hired the cartel then transports the growers to a location, provides them with supplies and seeds. Some camp at the grow while others come back every few days to water the plants.
One such marijuana garden we were investigating had no one living inside it and was due to be watered. We had previously set up camouflaged game cameras in the grow which showed the suspects were watering at night every two days. We decided on a evening operation and would wait for the criminals inside the grow.
I had hoped the growers were from Mexico, once again, because I had purchased a new halloween mask on Amazon, which I called the chupacabra. I knew from previous arrests that a lot of the illegal Mexicans growing in the woods talked of the chupacabra the goat sucker. We even found voodoo type shrines in their camp to ward off the terrible beastie. The growers, when arrested, claimed they had armed themselves with firearms for protection from the chupacabra, because of course any other reason would be illegal.
For those unfamiliar with the chupacabra, it is monster looking creature described in various manners depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. Some call it a half-alien, half-dinosaur, tailless vampire with quills running down its back; others have seen a panther or leopard-like creature with a long snake-like tongue; still others have seen a hopping hyena type monster that leaves a trail of sulfuric stench. The common theme, no matter what it looks like, is its thirst for drinking blood. Apparently, it will consume any type of blood, but primarily livestock, with a preference for the taste of goats and marijuana growers.
We had three teams for the operation. Team one, which consisted of three people, would sit inside the marijuana grow and be the arrest team. Since I had a chupacabra mask, I volunteered to be on team one with the supervisor. Team two was surveillance and outer perimeter containment. Team three was a vehicle arrest team for any associated suspects.
A half hour before sunset, my team walked into the grow, using the same small overgrown trail the criminals had used. I was wearing all camouflage gear as well as the others and easily blended into the heavy foliage. It was inky dark when I, trying not to laugh, put on my chupacabra mask, unknown to the other two.
My team waited in the marijuana, at the trail entrance, in silence for the bad guys to arrive. Team two, sitting in a field across from the grow, radioed they saw a truck pull up to the edge of the woods, drop off two men and drive off. Team three followed the pickup as team two stood by. The growers turned on their head lamps and walked the same trail we came in on. They talked in Spanish as they approached and appeared a little nervous. Concerned over chupacabras I would guess.
The trail dumped the growers out of the woods and onto the edge of the marijuana grow. The bad guys quit talking and scanned the garden with their headlamps. Their light beam hit me several times, on occasion hesitating and resting on me. I thought for sure they could see me but it was just me being paranoid. After what seemed an eternity, the two criminals seemed satisfied that the grow was clear.
And that is when I took a running jump, charging the bad guys through the marijuana, screaming like a mad man with my chupacabra mask on, “GAROOF WEEOOOEEEOOO YAGGAK WHAP ROWR GROWR GURGLE GLUK GLUK.”
I had never seen anyone so scared in my life. I watch with great amusement and astonishment as one gardener jumps up on one toe, like a ballerina in the Nutcracker, his hands fluttering rapidly by his face, attempting to silent girly screams. He froze and held his ballerina pose as he peed through his big boy pants. He had no opportunity, or bodily control, to grab the pistol stuck in his front waistband. The second bad guy, also armed with a pistol, froze like a pale-white statue, his mouth gaping wide open attempting to scream loudly, but nothing coming out his mouth but a sound somewhat like a high pitched choking cat on its last hairball.
Another Officer and I body checked the bad guys, forcing them to the ground face first. They were squirming and screaming as we moved onto their backs to pin them, probably thinking the chupacabra was going to start some blood letting. My team mate spoke Spanish to them, identifying us as the Police and we cuffed them without any effort and great relief on their part. I took off my mask and threw it into the bushes while the growers were face down and the supervisor was catching up to us. We stood them up so we could search for more weapons as the soiled guy began to cry tears of happiness, letting us know how glad he was that we were the Police. In broken English, he stated they thought the chupacabra was attacking them and were going to die.
“Chupacabra?” “What the heck is a chupacabra?” “Are you guys on drugs?” I laughingly ask, as the soiled guy cries uncontrollably. I do not know if they were tears of joy or sadness.
After cuffing the two and securing their guns, we told Team 3 to arrest the guy in the truck, which they did with the help of some local law enforcement. Within hours, we had the bad guys all booked in jail for Manufacturing Marijuana and Unlawful possession of a Firearm. We pulled the plants and called it a great night for entertainment. The trio plead guilty in court after recommendations from their attorney. Apparently, the attorney did not believe his own clients after they started going on about being attacked by a chupacabra. The bad guys spent a year or so in jail, followed by deportation back to Mexico, where they promote the legend of the blood-sucking chupacabra. And I thought there was no happy chupacabra stories.