Crackhead Red

I worked as an undercover narcotics officer for years.  I was loaned out to the Michigan State Police.  These years were some of the most intense and enjoyable of my career.  I was part of a Buy Bust street crew, the Crack Attack Team (CAT).  We targeted gangs that sold crack cocaine on street corners and their dope houses.  There were lots of cold hits, drive-ups and controlled purchases.  We banged our own doors (made our own Search Warrant drug house entries) – sometimes three a day.  We conducted Trojan Horse Operations – We assisted other departments with everything from surveillance to busting hookers – Everything was fucking funny.

This happened then…


My throat was dry and every muscle tight as I shut off the ignition.  I gulped the last of the 40 ouncer and shoved the empty under the seat.  I could feel the tape of the wire pull against my chest as I rolled out of the beater.  I could feel the heat of the transmitter taped to my back.  Under my breath and into the wire I muttered “Fuck you Flash” just to let him know I still loved him.

My brothers would cover my ass yet again.

This was my first undercover narcotics purchase since being loaned out to the State Police. “Rolex”, the paid informant, knew the crack slinger as “Red” and that he was out of Detroit and twitchy.  Red had based his one man operation out of a Michigan Avenue flop motel.

There would be no intros on this one.  My best and only plan was to walk up to the door and knock.  What happen from there was the great unknown…


Shamu was on the ram and I was third through the door.  Festus was right in front of me, my hand on his shoulder. The door exploded into wood splinters and shrapnel.  Rebel lets loose with a War Cry.

Into another crack house with extreme force and determination we go.

Shouts of “State Police, Search Warrant“ and “Get down” fill the air.


I dump my raid gear at the O and get ready for the cold deal with Red.  Rebel is in the bathroom with me, helping tape the transmitter to my body.  He cracks one joke after another throughout this dance of ours.  Him with the tape and jokes, me with my pants around my ankles.  He reminds me to get a 40 ouncer of State Police purchased beer for the ride.  Rebel’s jokes ease the tension as always.

In his deep southern drawl Rebel whispers into my ear, “Ya know we’re gonna have to quit meeting like this”.

We test the wire before leaving the O.


I pound on the door and notice the matching rhythms of my beating heart.  Red answers.

Red has reason to be twitchy.  He has moved into the territory of others and set up shop.  He pays tribute to no man.  He is an independent owner/operator.  I can tell he deals to feed his habit which, from the looks at him, must be a monster.  He is a man that hasn’t slept in days and knows his run is coming to an end.

Passed out in the bed, face down, was a $20 crack whore I’d arrested many times before.

“What the fuck you want”?

“Crack motherfucker, what the fuck you think I want”.  That seemed to piss him off but his hunger for money to feed his hunger for Crack took over.

“How much you want”?

Well it turned out that Red was fresh out of Crack but he knew where we could score some “right around the corner”.  My plan evolves to include a walk to a crack house with my newest best bud Red.  Off we go.  I can feel the transmitter riding up my back.

I figure that between the wire and the surveillance team somebody might stand a chance of figuring out the newest plan.

So we walk into a rundown neighborhood just off of Michigan Avenue.  Most of the homes were two stories and split into rentals.  I notice Festus drive by and feel better about the plan, or lack thereof.

Boom, Red makes a right turn into a backyard and we’re up the stairs and pounding on the door of this newest target.  I had an uneasy feeling that the surveillance team might have missed my sudden change of direction.  I would learn later that my suspicion was right, the team knew I was in one of three houses but that was the best they had.  I didn’t see any address as the door opened. Inside Red and I go.

This newest shit head then did something that sent the hairs on my neck rising.  He barricaded the door with a 4X4 timber.  Not only did the team not know where I was but if they did they weren’t getting in without a tank.  On top of that the transmitter was in and out.

Fuck me, stay cool.

So Red and shit head go into the kitchen leaving me with the babies and the babies momma.  Well it turned out that shit head is fresh out of Crack too but he knew somebody that could bring some right over.  The plan evolves again.

So there I am for the next 90 minutes sitting in a upstairs loft looking out the window watching Sesame Street with the kids and the crack heads.

Finally the crack dealer shows up.  He takes one look at me and “No fucking way am I selling to homie.  He looks like a fucking cop”.  Red, my newest best friend, then starts lying his ass off telling the dealer he had known me since we were babies and how his daddy use to fuck my momma.  Too fucking funny.

The deal(s) go down and the dealer immediately leaves.  Red and shit head and the babies momma all start pinching my bag.  I start bitching, grab what’s left and head for the barricaded door.  My new best friend Red didn’t even say goodbye.

Out the door I go into immediate Chaos.

Shamu comes flying up asking where the hell I’d been.  He fills me in on the intermittent wire issue and the Team not knowing where I went.  About then Red comes out higher that hell from his just smoked rock.  Rebel and another Team member chased him down and tackled him head first into the neighbor’s rose bushes.  I see them dragging him back out right the way he went in.  He resembles a bobcat attack victim.  One down.

I look down the street and see two of the surveillance vehicles have pinched the dealer’s vehicle against the curb.  Flash is pointing guns and screaming orders.  Two down.

Neighbors start to come out of their homes.

I hear sirens in the distance fast approaching our location.

I look at Shamu and say “I think we’ve caused enough damage here, our work is done”.  He belly laughs and I load up with him as he takes me back to the flop and my beater.


There is a tradition within undercover circles that goes something like this.  When you “Get your cherry popped” you pick up the bar bill for the whole team.

Not only was my team bellied up at the nearest bar but two other crews showed up along with the big boss.  We broke bread, laughed and relived the funniest parts of the day.

Popcorn, one of my bosses, leaned over and asked “So how does it feel to buy drugs for the first time”?  I chuckled and said “Popcorn that wasn’t the first time I bought drugs.  That was the just first time I bought drugs for the State Police”…


Log evidence and write numerous arrest reports and get ready for the next deal or door.


Me – Then. That’s a uniform you can’t take off.  I was shooting for the Charlie Manson look.  I got profiled by other Cops more than once and often followed by security while shopping.  Family events were interesting.

© 2015, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.

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