Author Topic: Operation “Murphy’s Law”  (Read 242 times)

Offline Caleb T. Justice

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Operation “Murphy’s Law”
« on: July 11, 2017, 05:40:17 PM »
S. Mill Ave, between 3rd & 5th Street
Tempe, Arizona
10 January 17 - 0530 Hours, MST

Murphy's first law - anything that can happen, will.

The assembled task group of FBI, DEA, USMS, ATF Agents and a multitude of their local counterparts from the public safety agencies of the great state of Arizona - AZ Department of Public Safety and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office along with officers from the Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale Police Departments….

This group was about to find out how true Murphy’s first law was.

The not so small, nor clandestine convoy of black police sedans and SUVs along with a prisoner transport bus from the MCSO sat waiting for the green light at Mill Ave and Third Street.

It was early morning still. It was in the low 50’s the coldest part of the year in Arizona, meant most people were hiding inside to stay warm, electing to leave at the last minute to make whatever their morning destination was. Thanks to the cold of the morning it was quiet a Monday morning in the Phoenix Metro area, which was what they needed. The multi-vehicle convoy departed Having the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, Arizona earlier that morning, they were nearing the end of their mission. The assembled group from the FBI's Joint Terrorism task force were transporting a small cadre of Sicarios from one of the lesser known, however seemingly more violent Mexican drug Cartel. Amongst their convoy was the evidence of their innumerable crimes plus some of their hard cash monies, only like a few million dollars. All heading for the next checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor for a private all inclusive Con-Air flight to a maximum security facility in the Great Plains area and eventual trial.

The convoy awaited the green light on their final leg of the journey, but the trendy shopping district and college town, just a stone’s throw from Arizona State University and the famous Sun Devil Football Stadium, was about to be shaken. The light rail began to pass in front of them, carrying passengers to destinations in the direction of the college and beyond, when it suddenly stopped, and the lights shut down inside. Before what seemed to be a small annoyance was even reported, vehicles on either side of the intersection exploded, becoming piles of twisted metal and fire.

Panic gripped the commuters, and the convoy sprung into action, the first two vehicles swinging into position to cover the rest of the convoy. Police officers and federal agents sprung from their vehicles, weapons drawn, while their radios were now filled with calls reporting the sudden change in situation and calls to execute contingencies. Gun fire began to erupt from the light rail and from either side of 3rd Street, as men in full tactical gear and body armor, including ballistic face masks, began laying down fire with assault rifles. The commuters began to flee or huddle behind anything to try and get out of the line of fire while police and federal agents returned fire. The rest of the convoy executed a U-turn, trying to get clear and double back to 4th Street, which only went westbound from their position, only for yet another explosion to block that route. Vehicles quickly moved in to block southbound traffic from Mill, and more men began to openly attack.

The convoy was now effectively pinned down, unable to move, and then fire from a parking lot to the east added to their problems. What was considered an upscale part of the East Valley area was now seeing a battle that would have been more at home on the streets of Syria or Iraq. The attackers moved with precision and skill, using cover effectively while firing at only what they could hit, and only firing on those involved in the convoy’s defense. As the attackers continued to advance on the convoy, even the prisoners became panicked, they knew now why the convoy was being hit, but it was information and realization that came far too late.

Agents and police officers began to fall, clutching at their wounds or dead where they fell, others trying to move their wounded compatriots or fight for their own survival, but it was the opening that the attackers needed. They first stormed the prisoner transport vehicle, incapacitating the Marshals who were overseeing them and dragged the prisoners out to be shot in the street without a word. They then breached the transport carrying the evidence and money, incapacitating those guards, and began taking everything.

Left with no other option, the convoy forces began pushing back against the attackers, in one final effort to stop their mission from failing entirely. But just as swiftly as they attacked, the attackers also retreated like professionals, enacting a fighting retreat to the parking lot to the east. Two flares were fired, and over the small butte to the northeast, a pair of Bell helicopters, variants of the ubiquitous Huey, swooped in and touched down in the parking lot, picking up the attackers and their cargo, and lifted off, swooping back northeast with the precision of a military extraction.

Calls went out to get aircraft in the air to locate the helicopters, but as the sounds of their blades whirring faded into the morning sky, the survivors were left with a scene of fire, screaming, and sirens. In the span of just over 15 minutes, everything had changed for those involved.

Local news agencies would call this one of the worst shootouts in Arizona in recent history, with the final toll for the law enforcers defending the convoy at 3 dead and 12 wounded. All of the Sicarios were dead, each one shot in the head. Perhaps the only silver lining was that despite all odds, only a few civilians were injured, either by stray bullets or from the initial explosions. The precision and ferocity of the strike, however, raised far more questions than it had answered. Protests across social media and in public were made regarding the lack of answers, calling the competency of Arizona and federal law enforcement officials, fears were stoked along nearly every line about the “true” cause of the attack.

For the next several months, the investigation stalled as the countless involved agencies fought over jurisdiction, complicated by countless political issues that were not tied to the incident. Leads came and went but there were not many breaks in the case to move it along. However, as April began, so did a major break. A forensics report had finally been completed that indicated that the bullets recovered from the weapons used were matched to weapons purchased by Cartel proxies in the ATF’s ill-fated “Fast and Furious” operation. The tactics observed to be used were also tied to a recent hit in Argentina, the same precision and clockwork timing by unknown persons in full body armor, a hit executed without fail or a body count that would be customary to a Cartel hit.

Now there was an opening, and a possible link to an increase of violence in South America. The question was if it could be exploited to bring justice for the Mill Avenue Shootout or not.
Caleb T. Justice
Detective, Sergeant - No. 12351
Special Weapons & Tactics | Special Investigations Unit
Special Operations Division - Mesa Police Department

Offline Jason Hunter

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Re: Operation “Murphy’s Law”
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 05:31:41 PM »
Terminal 4 Baggage Claim, Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
April 3rd, 2017 - 1445 Hours, MST
Special Agent Jennifer Masson, FBI
Supervisory Special Agent Jason Hunter, FBI

Jennifer Masson waited patiently at the baggage claim for the arriving flights at Terminal 4, waiting near the one designated for the flight that had arrived from Miami, Florida. She was dressed in a white blouse with dark blue capris and matching jacket over her shirt. She idly checked her phone, before looking up to see an older man in a black suit approach her. Brown hair that was greying and a distinctive chin caught her attention, telling her that was who she was waiting for.

"Mister Hunter? Jennifer Masson." She said bluntly, offering her hand, which he took and shook, not applying any more grip than he had to.

"Please, just call me Jason. Goddamn, I can't believe I agreed to come back to the center of the sun..." Jason said with a chuckle. Jennifer just shrugged and started leading the way to the car park.

"It's still early, won't get too bad." Jennifer said.

"Yeah, but I was enjoying life in Miami for a bit there." Jason replied. They walked in silence out of the terminal and began approaching the black GMC Yukon that Jennifer drove there. She unlocked it for Jason to swing his suitcase and duffel bag into before climbing into the passenger seat.

"Hey, can we swing by a burger place on our way to the office? I haven't eaten since I left Miami, the in-flight Happy Meal wasn't doin' it for me." Jason asked as Jennifer started the SUV and began to back out. She glanced at him for a moment before nodding.

"Sure. I think we can do that." She replied.

"Cool. I'll buy, you can have anything you want off the Dollar Menu." Jason laughed, "I'm kidding, but I am buying. You're doing the flying, so it's only right."

Jennifer managed a meager chuckle as she began driving towards the exit. After a moment, Jason cleared his throat.

"Alright, well, I guess we can talk shop on the way. Tammy said you had a lead you wanted to pursue once we were cut loose from the office." Jason said. Jennifer glanced again at Jason, wondering why he was on such casual terms with the lead Criminal Investigative Division Agent in Phoenix.

"Ah, yeah. A street informer, he gives me information now and then. I caught him trying to peddle weed in my apartment complex, turns out he lived in the same complex. He was more afraid of being evicted than me calling Phoenix PD, so he offered information in exchange for me just seizing the pot." Jennifer replied.

"Hahaha. Love it, you know how to play the game, sweetheart. That's good, real good." Jason said with a broad smile. However, he got an icy glare in response. The smile was replaced with a groan and an eye roll.

"Alright. Let me see if I can figure this out, because we're not going to get very far with you playing this card. Tammy told you that I'm a chauvinist pig and a dinosaur from J. Edgar Hoover's days, and because I called you sweetheart, you now believe that's for sure and you're already planning the conversation to get a partner swap." Jason said, "But maybe you should give me a little credit, because there's a reason for all of the above."

"Number one, Tammy and I got too close and knocked cheap buisness casual shoes. But she and I have egos that are far too big for anyone, much less someone with an equally massive ego. I don't much like her, since she was the one to throw me to the wolves after I punched that ATF asshole, she doesn't like me because I got over her pretty quickly." Jason explained. "So she told you that to put you on your toes, but listen, I didn't pick you for the reason you think I did. You're not my type, alright, I prefer 'em closer to my age. Christ, you look like my daughter."

Jennifer seemed to ignore him as she paid the toll booth and pulled on her sunglasses. Jason did the same and continued.

"You know why I volunteered to work with you? Because you and I already met. Don't tell me you don't recognize me. Just because I clean up real well doesn't mean you can't tell." Jason said. Jennifer glanced at him for a moment, and now with his sunglasses on, she could tell.

"HRT?" Jennifer finally asked.

"Bingo. You were in one of my classes, and unlike the other macho meatheads or the gals that come through with a chip, you weren't there to prove yourself to someone, you were there for training. You came in with an open mind, and impressed the shit out of a lot of instructors. So when your name came back across my desk, I pulled your file." Jason continued, "You went from being a beat cop in Seattle to being SWAT and HRT rated and working one of the toughest areas the FBI can put someone outside of goddamn Oakland or South LA. And in a very short timeframe."

"Kid, I do very much respect you. You got a lot of people rooting for you. But Tammy told me that you got some folks saying a bunch of horseshit. She told me all about it. You took your paid time off at the end of December so you were out of town when the attack happened. Some jackasses have taken their frustrations out on you, despite the fact you disobeyed orders and took the redeye back. People are blaming you for no goddamn reason." Jason said, and then leaned back in his seat.

For a while, they rode in silence before finally Jennifer spoke up.

"A lot of people don't have a lot of good to say about you. Said I got the shit assignment being paired with Agent Hunter." Jennifer said. Jason laughed.

"Probably did, kid. I'm just an old man running out the clock until he can retire to the beach. But I don't regret a goddamn thing, I did what I had to. Not proud of some of it, but that's life. But this is your investigation, I'm just here to maybe try to bring some experience in to help you out." Jason replied.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so judgmental. I read up on you as well, and maybe I can learn something more from you." Jennifer said. As they sat at a red light, they both looked at each other and then shook hands once more.

"Don't worry about it. And I say stuff like that all the time, it's just me. Don't get too wound up about it. We're just partners, but I also won't say no to a beer if you just want to shoot the shit. I never turn down beer. Just give me a chance and I'll do all I can to help, alright?" Jason said. Jennifer nodded as she turned the Yukon into a fast food drive thru.

After they got their order, she parked the vehicle in the parking lot.

"Is this as bad of a jurisdictional pissing contest as it's been made out to be?" Jason asked as he started in on his double cheeseburger. Jennifer nodded while chewing her chicken sandwich.

"Christ. That convoy involved too many damn agencies. Local PD and Sheriff, then us, then the Marshals, and then the DEA. I'm surprised that we haven't gotten the IRS, Forest Service and Food and Drug Administration asking for jurisdiction. Oh, and those asshats in the ATF, too. If Danny Masterson is still there, I may need to leave the room or I'll knock his teeth down his throat." Jason said.

"What happened with that?" Jennifer asked.

"That clusterfuck Fast and Furious. I blew one of their halfassed operations, I had enough of the cartels buying up armor piercing handguns and Barrett fifty cals. Danny Masterson was the senior agent in the area, and wanted all of them released and the guns returned. Said we didn't have a goddamn case. Bullshit, the gun store owner had records and we had enough information to tie them as cartel proxies. He told me to shut up, so I knocked him out in Tammy's office. I'd do it again. And again. That arrogant Yale educated prick has it coming." Jason said before taking another bite.

"And in the end, their operation meant nothing. Talk about an embarrassment." Jennifer said.

"Tell that to the people they murdered with guns we let them buy. We did less than nothing, we enabled it. But company line was to not start shit with the ATF, so I spent a year on paid leave. Guess that's loyalty for you..." Jason concluded.