The Criminal: Narcotics cops are gonna try n’ win this thing one dealer at a time

Undercover Narcotics is a ridiculous and thankless job. They’re out there trying to stop the massive waves of drugs and deals, and they’re trying to do it one dealer at a time. They bust a guy for selling a crack rock to a cop and someone else steps into his place the same day. On the subject of dealing, I once had a diehard junkie tell me: “well, if you sell it, you can do all the dope you want for free ... which is the goal in life.” And with a healthy population of people with that mindset, there’s no way the undercover cops can win this war.

Feb 5^th^– Super Bowl Sunday

During the Super Bowl itself, all was quiet. There were a couple police shift changes, but basically dead air on the scanner. As soon as the game ended, the calls flooded in. Most of the police dispatch activity was domestic disputes and people being pulled over for drunk driving. A lot of plates got ran in East Austin. But as the night went on, things got freakier:

9:15pm, Southwest

The dispatcher describes a man getting into a car, a known dealer, who "possibly put something, heroin, under the bumper."

9:45pm, Southwest

Police dispatchers get a call about a woman screaming at an apartment complex. Police rush there, but they can't figure out where the scream came from, if it was from inside another apartment, or outside the complex.

Feb 8^th^

10:15pm, Northeast

I don’t think that undercover drug busts get much more ridiculous than this. Someone should send this to the fuckers who publish Busted in Austin.

An officer, who is watching a drug-buying suspect: "See him walkin' on Manor there? Black male, red hat, he's walkin' with two lil' kids."

Police continue to follow him. A few minutes later: "He's in the Autozone parking lot."

Police watch a "black male walking up, out of a black car, wearing a black hoodie."

They watch the suspected drug deal going on in the AutoZone parking lot from a distance. About the suspect, they say: "Female with him ... so he may have brought the whole family."

Fifteen minutes pass and another guy comes from across the street. It sounds like the drug deal has been set up with the undercover officer.


There are screeching car wheels in background of the cop's broken up transmission. He sounds reallycalm after burning rubber like that. Then there are sirens. "We’re with him, northbound on Manor."

They follow a man driving a Taurus (most likely the dealer) across town, into an apartment complex. The suspect runs upstairs. Police watch him and call for backup. Less than five minutes later: "We got him in custody."

Feb 13^th^

4:20pm, East Riverside

Police respond to a crowd of people gathering in an East Riverside parking lot. Two people are fighting in the middle of the crowd.

Feb 17^th^

10:30pm, South, IHOP by the La Quinta off I-35

Undercover cop buys crack from a dealer. They arrest the suspect and search for more of the "crack that he got out of his sock."

Minutes later they're seeing if they can "get enough" to arrest the driver for transporting the dealer. They arrest him, too.

Feb 18^th^

3:30pm, Off East Riverside

"Criminal mischief at [censored address] Grove Lane ... kids banging on doors and running away." Gross. So ding-dong-ditch is “criminal mischief” these days?

4:12pm, Southwest, Near ACC off Stassney

Two groups of men are arguing and "throwing rocks across the street at each other." Other calls come in: "some [callers] are saying it’s two males holding bats about to fight."

Feb 21^st^

7:40pm, Narcotics Channel

Officers are looking through all sorts of utility bills and records on addresses in Southwest Austin. Watch out, stoners, this is a well known tactic for busting your pot growing asses.

Feb 23^rd^

10:40pm, North Lamar, Texan Motel

Undercover police are watching everyone's favorite whorehouse: the Texan Motel. "We got a really good white female, prostitute, walking around." More officers are on the way.

An officer setting up a lookout: "Yeah, I'm trying to pull into somewhere a little darker."

"You got a definite ... male and a female prostitute ... you will definitely get an arrest out of this ... they're on foot walking down the street towards the Short Stop."

They describe the suspect: a man wearing a "black shirt, blue jeans ... got him a little strut."

Minutes later, an undercover officer: "At first he was on his cell phone talkin’ to his dealer, but now the conversation is about the governor ... alright he hung up."

The officer sets up a deal. They plan to head to the dealer's home. They discuss the directions on how to get there. "Yeah, this is the same neighborhood where that guy ran off with the money." They position themselves around the dealer’s house.

"The dealer's coming out to the vehicle."

They pull the suspect over in a nearby parking lot by the Loyola and Johnny Morris intersection.

Arrests are made: "Is the female the dealer? ... Do we have delivery and possession?"


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