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Think About It!

By Bernie Suttle

 

judge“Step out of the van, Sir. Put your hands on your head and tell me who you are and what you are doing.”

“Clyde T. Cruller’s the name. “T” is for Travis, hero of the Alamo. Born in West-by-God Virginia and now live in far-from-God Arizona. What d’ya want from me?”

Clyde was 6 feet two, 165 pounds. He wore faded jeans and white, high-top tennis shoes with self-cut bunion holes. His washed-out T- shirt had “P-I-N-K” printed on the front and a pack of Camels was tucked into the left sleeve. A dirty, brown, Purina feed hat was pulled down to Andy Rooney eyebrows that hung over sparkling blue eyes and a hawked nose shadowed lips that smiled whenever he spoke.

“It’s like this, officer. Had to save my mail-order cactus business. It was go’nna be big given time but needed some income ‘till then. Feller said, ‘Need a driver for my van. Pick it up in Tucson, take it to Detroit. Stay overnight and bring it back. No loading or unloading. You pay all expenses. We’ll pay you in cash, very, very, well.’ And they did.”

“So I did. Drove right through. Ate in the van, food from 7/11’s and drive-thru’s. Had a problem with all the cash I got. ‘Fraid to take it to a bank. Might bring in the I R S, so buried it in my hot house with my plants. I think it hurt the cactuses. You boys sure surprised me! Come through here regular. Don’t speed or swerve. What’s up? Why so many of you? You need to draw guns for a traffic stop?”

“Never mind, old man. Keep your hands where I can see them and don’t ask so many questions. What you carrying in the van?”

“Don’t know. Not mine. I just drive. Hear its stuff for sick people.”

“We better check out your load. Got a key for the back?”

“No, I just drive to the warehouse.”

“Chuck, get the crowbar and open the back door.”

“Owners aren’t gonna like that. New truck.”

“Jesus! Mack, this guy’s got a major load of snow.”

“Mister Cruller, you better come with us and we’re impounding your van and what appears to be its illegal cargo.”

“Say, fellows, I’ve got to get on with this run. Can’t we postpone any inspection?”

“Your Honor, the defendant knew or should have known he was carrying cocaine, about 1100 Kilos to date and has been paid one million dollars this year alone to do so. His value to the DEA is only if it leads to the arrests of the cartel’s big boys. He’s a Vet with no priors or any record. He will be ninety by the time his case comes up and will cost the government a bundle to prosecute and incarcerate.”

“I’ll certainly consider what you have said, counselor, and my decision at the time of sentencing will reflect what you have told me.”

“Mister Cruller, as you stand here before me in my court it is my duty as a Federal Judge to sentence you for the offences for which you have been determined guilty. Three years in federal prison and a fine of $700,000. Do you have anything to say?”

“Well, Judge, you do what you have to. Seems to me if you think about it the Guvment is out of money, the jails overflowing. The lawyers got all my money but if you let me make two more runs, then I can pay the fine to help out… Will you at least think about it?”

 

 

 

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