Unlike television or movies, gang/narcotics conspiracy wiretap cases are kept on a need to know basis and take months of listening to boring phone call after phone call.
Occasionally, you will hear an interesting conversation that keeps you laughing. After several months, we identified numerous possible storage locations for large amounts of cocaine in the rural areas of the county.
It then became time to follow small shipments to street level “rock house” locations from the storage sites in an effort to identify other conspirators and locations of the organization.
Late one afternoon, we intercepted a cell call from two of the organization’s gang members traveling from a drug storage site south on the freeway. After some mindless chatting, the caller’s voice became loud and upset as he stated, “There’s a black and white Po Po behind us. Now, there are two more (police cars).”
Thinking that a Highway Patrol unit was going to make an unrelated traffic stop on the two heavily armed gang members, who were already in a state of panic, a decision was made to immediately notify the Highway Patrol watch commander.
As the call was being made, we heard the caller scream, “There’s a whole line of Po Pos following us.” Then in a much calmer voice, the caller said, “It’s ok. They ain’t stopping us, they’re all passing us.”
It was about that time that we were informed that a multi-law enforcement agency defensive driving training class had just ended north of their location and numerous officers were heading home. -AA