So I'm in a proffer session with a federal prosecutor, two DEA agents, four local cops, and my client.
Client is looking down the barrel of backbreaking dope charge and is gonna get a high mandatory-minimum and a higher sentence unless he cooperates.
So he decides to cooperate. We've been meeting with the agents to talk about everything he knows — drug dealing, miscellanous killings (which he insists on referring to as "people passing away"), etc.
Client is a bit of a hardass. Let's call him Timmy. Timmy is ripped, tattooed, and sullen. He's got a shaved head with "STEP OFF" tattooed in sort of gothic letters on the back.
So the agents are grilling him and things are going well. I'm hopeful that he's gonna get a good deal and a good chunk of time off his sentence and I'll have helped him move from, say, 25 years in a high-security federal facility to, say, 10 years.
Then it goes south.
See, the DEA is testing Timmy. Throwing him some questions they know the answers to, in order to see how he will answer.
They ask Timmy about a close homie to see if he's admit the guy threw Timmy some birds — self-important-doper speak for kilos of cocaine. Timmy is bobbing and weaving, even after pointed conversations with me.
So the DEA agents start to get irritated, then bored.
Bored is more dangerous with DEA agents.
One of the DEA agents goes "Timmy, you know what the funniest part of this whole investigation was?"
I think, Oh shit.
DEA Agent: "It was that time when we were up on your cell phone line in May."
TImmy looks quizical.
DEA Agent: "You wanted an X-Box 360 at launch."
DEA Agent: "You wanted it really bad."
DEA Agent: "You talked about how much you wanted one all the time."
Timmy frowns some more.
DEA Agent: "But you couldn't find one for sale when it came out."
Timmy is now looking pissed. I don't know where this is going, but it looks dangerous.
Ken: "Uh, look guys, is this….."
DEA Agent: "So you paid one of your guys five hundred bucks to go steal one you saw in the window."
Timmy's brow furrows look like a mountain range.
DEA Agent: "He boosted it and brought it back, and you gave him the cash."
Timmy is tapping his handcuffed hands on the table.
Ken: "Can I have a minute? Because …"
DEA Agent: "So you plugged it in. But he had boosted a display model. It didn't have any guts."
Timmy's face is quite red.
"So I guess it didn't play real good."
Timmy is opening and closing his fists.
DEA Agent: "Boy, did you swear a lot on the phone."
All the DEA Agents and locals are snickering.
I put my hand on Timmy's arm. He shrugs it off.
Timmy: "Fuck you all."
Ken: "Hold on, hold on…."
DEA Agent: "Aw, Timmy, Timmy, don't be like that."
Timmy: "Motherfucker, I …."
Ken: "Timeout! Timeout! Timeout!"
DEA Agent: "Why don't we give you a minute, Ken."
They leave the room, snorting and pounding each other on the back.
I spend a half hour trying to calm down my client.
No dice. Now he doesn't want to cooperate.
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