Back to Louisiana
It had been awhile and so it was time to go back to Louisiana. The US Army Criminal Investigation Division was still looking for me and so going directly back to Ft. Polk would ensure my capture. Alexandria was my destination, where staying in a hotel and visiting with people over the weekend would be safe. Some of the girls came up but none of my fellow soldiers came with them.
The girls said that Ft. Polk was locked down which meant soldiers could not leave the post. They were preparing to go to deploy. My unit was tasked to take part in Operation Nimrod Dancer
, which was the precursor to Operation Just Cause or the US invasion of Panama. They told me that my AWOL charge had been changed to desertion at this point because I missed a combat movement.
The charge of Desertion still carries the death penalty according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, if the act is committed during the time of war. Although the Army has not executed for desertion since 1945
, it was kind of scary. So back to Houston seemed safer.
Upon my return Dee informed me that Sid had been busted. He had a job at an ice cream shop called the Marble Slab inside the Galleria Mall. He had been dealing while at work and accidentally sold something to an undercover cop. They locked him up and he had to wait awhile for a trial. We had no idea how long this would take, if he would receive any time for this offense and if so, for how long.
This was a problem, Dee did not work and I had no money. Sid paid all the bills at the apartment. We made an agreement that taking over Sid’s responsibilities until he was released would be the condition that I could stay at the apartment. This still did not fix the fact that there was no income. The possibility of a regular job did not cross my mind. Imagining that filling out any application paperwork, anywhere, would reveal my deserter status and I’d be arrested.
Necessity is the mother of invention and so rummaging throughout the apartment I discovered a bottle of aspirin in the closet. I noticed that the aspirin looked identical to a particular kind of Ecstasy with the exception of the letters spelling aspirin on the pills. Grabbing the bottle and a metal fingernail file, I went to work. Filing away the letters took some time and I needed to be gentle as to not crush the pills. They looked pretty legitimate and there was enough to take with me to a club.
In the Montrose area of Houston is a nightclub called Numbers, It was a seedy area of town but the club was hugely popular. Numbers had its regulars but a lot of visitors to Houston would try this club because of the music, concerts and the fact you could get Ecstasy there. I had been there many times and knew not to use my regular contacts because what I was about to do would forever discredit me as a dealer.
I quickly located a really desperate middleman that was always eager to make a little money. I told him $5 out of every $15 we made from each pill he could keep, if he would do all the running. I stayed in the shadows and kept supplying him with the pills as he would come back for more. It took about an hour before the first complaint. He told me one of the first sales he made was not noticing any effects, I told him to reassure them that it was legit and then I bailed.
With enough cash in hand, I contacted Sid’s dealer Red. He mad me a deal on some “X”. Enough to sell and make a pretty good profit but, I knew that I needed to stay away from Numbers for awhile until things there blew over. In Alexandria, “X” went for $20 a pill instead of $15. So I left some money with Dee for food and drove back to Louisiana….