Deep Undercover Ch. 01


"Relax, baby," Harris said as he spooned some of his food onto her plate. "I'm sure none of those sluts looks any hotter than you. And besides, it's still a week away. You've got plenty of time to lose the weight."

"You don't know what it's like. If I'm carrying even one extra pound, those bitches will talk. They'll point fingers and giggle every time I walk by. And then I'll get pissed off and throw one of them overboard, and that'll blow my cover."

"Just stay alert, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. If anything goes wrong, we're going to have a hard time getting you out of there."

"What do you mean, 'if anything goes wrong?' I thought you said nothing could go wrong?"

"Dana, things can always go wrong," Espinoza answered. "We plan for that."

"All of a sudden I'm feeling a little less confident about this operation. I thought the two of you had all the details worked out."

"We do, baby, we do," Harris said. "But there are always variables that we can't control."

"Hold on. Stop. I don't think I want to do it."

"Dana, we won't let anything happen to you."

"Do you trust me, baby?" Harris asked.


"We'll take care of you," Espinoza said.

"It's just ... I ... I'll be out there all alone."

"Once you activate the bug, we'll be able to monitor everything. We'll have you covered. Don't worry." Espinoza set down his empty beer bottle.

"Baby, I promise. We'll be minutes away. Nothing will happen. I would never let anything happen to you."

"I know you wouldn't. I know. OK. I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. I was just ... I'm sorry."

"It's OK. I understand. Carlos, can you give us a minute?"


Carlos opened his second beer and walked outside for a second.

"What is it, Dana?"

"I'm better. I just panicked for a second. I'm not really trained for this, you know."

"You impressed the Captain. He wouldn't have approved this operation if he didn't think you could do it."

"You're right. I only have three more weeks, and then I'll be an official member of the Miami PD. I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be, I guess."

"Are we good?"

"Yes. Go get Carlos.

"I'll be right back."

"I love you."

"I love you too, Dana."

* * * *

Carlos and Dana arrived at Levan's apartment at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Dana poured coffee while Carlos and Levan spread out the Crespo file in the living room. Dana passed mugs to Carlos and Levan, and then set hers on the coffee table. She dumped three teaspoons of sugar into her cup, topped it off with half and half, and then sat on the floor with her back to an old lounge chair.

"Hand me those photos, Dana," Carlos said.

Dana picked up the photos that were stacked next to her feet and handed them to Carlos. She then returned to her previous position with her back against the chair and her feet spread wide, her legs splayed at a ninety-degree angle.

"Pay attention, everyone," Carlos said. "We only have an hour to go over everything."

"We've been over the entire operation I don't know how many times already," Dana protested. "I can recite Carlos' entire speech in my sleep."

Dana leaned to her left, folding her torso over her extended leg. She held that position for five seconds, straightened her torso, and then repeated the movement with her right leg.

"Dana," Levan barked. "This is important."

"I'm sorry ... I'm a little edgy this morning. Stretching helps me relax."

"We don't have time," Levan pleaded.

"I said I'm sorry. OK? Continue."

Carlos held up a photograph of a scruffy male in his mid-thirties with unkempt black hair and a bushy mustache.

"This is Julio, a/k/a 'the chef.' He's your contact. Don't speak to him, look at him, or in any way acknowledge him unless he speaks to you first. Understand?"


"There can't be any indication to anyone that the two of you know each other."


Carlos held up a photograph of a well-dressed older man with blonde hair styled in a very bad comb-over.

"This is Bryan Jackson. He owns strip clubs all over South Florida. We suspect that he's helping Crespo launder Las Casas' money through his clubs. If he's there, then this party is the real deal. Keep your ears open if you see him. Pay attention to whomever he's talking to."

"Yes, sir."

Carlos held up a photograph of a stocky black man with a shaved head, a goatee and a mustache.

"This is Franklin Davis. He's Crespo's electronics specialist. Do not let him see you planting the bug or the transmitter. Don't let anyone see you, but especially don't let him see you."


Carlos held up the last photograph. It depicted a Latin male with short dark hair, dark eyes, a black mustache and a goatee.

"This is Crespo. Do not approach him under any circumstance. Stay as far from him as possible. He's a cop killer. He'll kill you if he finds out you're a cop."

"Well, then it's a good thing I'm not, yet," Dana responded.

"You better be taking this seriously, Dana." Levan stared into her hazel eyes. "These are dangerous men."

"Relax, baby, I'm serious." She turned to Carlos and pointed at the last photograph in the folder. "Who's that?"

"That's Trujillo," Espinoza answered. "Ivan Trujillo, my former partner. He was killed while trying to infiltrate Crespo's organization."

Dana took the photograph and stared at it. A young, handsome, face framed by black hair stared back at her. The teeth were dazzling white and movie star straight, but it was the brilliance of the icy blue eyes that froze her in place.

"He was a beautiful man," Dana finally mumbled. "His wife must really miss him."

Harris suppressed a chuckle as Espinoza snatched the photo from Dana's grasp.

"I'm sure she does," Espinoza said after a long pause. "I'm sure she does."

Carlos set down the photos and picked up a large tube with a shoulder strap. He opened the end of the tube, pulled out two sheets of paper, and spread them out on the floor.

"This is the layout of the yacht." Carlos pointed to the sheet on his left. "The first thing you must do is find an exterior metal surface that is not easily visible. The upper side of the transmitter is magnetic. The undersides of these fighting chairs should work fine." Carlos circled two fighting chairs at the back of the boat. "Otherwise, this ladder here, or this railing." Carlos circled two other points on the diagram. "I don't like the ladder or the railing as much, but you'll have to use whichever one you can get to without being spotted. If you choose the ladder, it has to be a rung below eye level."


"Here's the transmitter." Carlos handed her a plastic capsule approximately one and half inches long and one inch in diameter. "Open the capsule, take out the transmitter, twist it to the right to turn it on, and then attach it to the metal surface. Throw the plastic capsule overboard."

"How long is the battery good for?"

"Four hundred hours."


"Next, proceed to the lower level. This is the main cabin, this is the entertainment salon, and this is the conference room." Carlos pointed to three rooms on the diagram. "This is the listening device." Carlos handed her a green plastic capsule. "Open the capsule, remove the bug, and turn this dial to the right. Place it under a table, under a shelf, in a light fixture--anywhere that it will not be detected. It has an adhesive surface that will stick to any smooth surface. Once you've planted the bug, go back to the party and serve drinks until it's over. Renee's boat will bring you back. We'll be in the parking lot of the marina to pick you up."

"And during the party?"

"We'll be in a fishing boat less than a mile away," Carlos answered.

"Don't worry, baby, we'll be there if anything goes wrong," Levan added.

Carlos handed Dana a shopping bag.

"Here's your uniform."

Dana opened the bag and pulled out a tiny yellow bikini.

"Size eight? What the fuck?"

"I thought ... the last time ... your blue ..." Levan stumbled.

"Do I look fat to you? I wear a six, jackass."

"I'm sorry."

"This is all I'm supposed to wear all day?"

"Chef says that's what all the serving girls will be wearing," Carlos said. "Just be thankful you're not one of the entertainment girls."

"Why's that?"

"They don't even get the bikini." Carlos laughed.

"Do you mean--?"

"Yep. Nude. Totally nude. All day."

"I'll take the bikini. Just one question: How do I carry these capsules before it's time to use them?"

"Harris, do you want to take this one?"

"Uh, sure." Levan turned to Dana. "Baby, I think you realize there's really only one way you're going to be able to smuggle these capsules on board, right?"

"I was afraid you were going to say that."

"I'm sorry."

"That's alright. Just ... the next time ... I'm expected to carry contraband of an electronic nature in my pussy, could you make sure it vibrates, at least?

* * * *

Dana arrived at the Coconut Grove Marina at ten minutes to six. She located a white Dodge delivery van parked near a tree and pulled into the empty space on the passenger side. She locked her car and entered the van.

"Good morning," she said. "I'm Dana."

"No, you're Lydia. Got that? Lydia." A dark haired man with a bushy mustache and tattoos up and down both arms addressed her.


"That's right. Lydia Zapata."

"Lydia Zapata."

"Don't you forget. If anyone asks, you're Lydia Zapata."

"Got it. Lydia Zapata. And you're the chef?"

"Name's Julio, but everyone calls me 'Chef.'"

"Nice to meet you, Chef. I'm Da ... Lydia. Who is Lydia, by the way?"

"That's the bitch sleeping in that Toyota over by the entrance. I got her drunk last night and gave her some Ambien. She won't be waking up for a couple more hours. Espinoza will call her in before that, and she'll end up spending the weekend at the Krome Detention Center. ICE will have her back in the Guatemala by Monday night. So this weekend, you're Lydia."

"One more thing--"

"We don't have time for one more thing. Time for you to get your pretty little ass over to dock eight. The other girls should be there already. I'll be there as soon as I get my supplies unloaded. Don't talk to anyone unless they talk to you first. And don't talk to me at all."

Dana started to answer, but Chef held a finger to his lips and pointed at the door handle. Dana nodded her head, got out of the car and headed for the boat.

It was a short walk to the dock. Nineteen young women were gathered in front of a slip where a thirty-seven foot Sea Ray was being readied for departure. Seven of the girls wore yellow bikinis similar to the one Dana was wearing. The other twelve were dressed in various shorts, skirts, and tank tops. All the women were between eighteen and twenty-five years of age, slim, tanned, and gorgeous.

Five minutes later Chef arrived at the dock pulling a cart loaded with large coolers and supplies. The two men helped him unload the cart and stow the supplies in the main cabin. Once all the supplies were on board, they began helping the women onto the boat. Most of the girls crowded into the cabin, but there was not enough space for all of them. Dana found a seat at the stern, against the transom. She was joined by two of the colorfully dressed girls whom she immediately recognized as prostitutes.

When the boat finally departed around 7:30 a.m., most of the girls had dozed off. The sudden revving of the engines woke all but the hardiest sleepers. The boat trolled out of the marina and into the channel marked by tall buoys on either side. Just outside of Stiltsville, the operator opened up the engines as he left the bay for the open ocean. He turned toward the southeast, and proceeded at full throttle.

At 9:00 a.m. the operator eased up on the engines. Dana looked up and saw that they were approaching a floating behemoth that more resembled a space ship than any water craft she had ever seen before. The boat was at least one hundred and twenty feet of sharp angles and streamlined surfaces; it was colored a shiny metallic gray and there was smoked glass everywhere. The array of electronic dishes and antennae on the top of the ship looked like a communications satellite that fell out of orbit and embedded itself on the roof. It stood out like a gleaming, foreboding gem amid the sparkling blue of the ocean and the bright morning sky.

The crew of the Sea Ray threw bumpers over the port side of the boat as the captain maneuvered it into position alongside the yacht. A ladder was lowered from the deck of the yacht to the waterline. The crew helped the girls climb from the ladder up to the main deck. Once they were all safely boarded, the crew loaded the supplies onto a net that was hoisted onto the boat.

* * * *

The first thing that Dana learned when she boarded the yacht was that the diagram of the ship's layout Espinoza showed her was all wrong. This yacht had three levels rather than two, and the outdoor decks were too small for a party of the size that Espinoza and Harris described. For the first time, she started to wonder if her participation in the mission was in fact a good idea.

The twelve entertainers were taken to the third level. Dana and the other seven serving girls were led to the ship's galley by Chef. They were assigned various tasks, but for the most part they spent the rest of the morning setting up for the party and assisting with food preparation. The ship's conference room, the dining salon, and two lounges were rearranged to accommodate the guests. A DJ unloaded and set up his equipment in the conference room. By 1:00 p.m. the preparations were completed, and the girls were told they had an hour to eat a little and freshen up before the first guests were expected to arrive.

Dana attempted to use her free hour to explore the yacht. She didn't get far. An armed guard stood at the stairway junction leading to the first and third floors. The sleeping cabins, which were all located on the first level, were off-limits. Likewise, the main entertainment salon on the third level was also out of reach. The conference room, a dining salon, two lounges, the galley, a changing room, and a map room comprised the only level she was able to investigate.

A little before 2:00 p.m., the first guests arrived. A brightly painted Cigarette boat pulled up to the yacht; two men and two women climbed the ladder and boarded. The Cigarette sped away just as fifty-seven foot Hatteras eased up to the stern. Eight passengers were transferred to the yacht. The Hatteras departed and an older but pristine Donzi took its place, leaving three passengers on board.

Over the next two hours a steady stream of yachts and go-fast boats pulled up to the ship, dropped off their passengers, and departed. Most of the guests were directed to the conference room. Occasionally, Dana noticed, certain male guests were escorted to the upstairs entertainment salon.

The serving girls were divided into two groups. Four of the girls were assigned the task of serving drinks. The other four were expected to carry trays of canapes, hors d'oeuvres, and various other treats prepared by Chef. Dana grabbed a silver food tray so that she would not look out of place venturing in and out of the kitchen.

When the party first got under way, it was easy for Dana to maneuver with her tray throughout the second level rooms. But as the afternoon wore on and more and more guests arrived, the spacious yacht started to feel cramped. With no prior experience in the food service industry, Dana was surprised to find that the only time she could move without incumbrance was when her tray was empty. Moving through the crowd while the tray was loaded required all of her concentration. As a result, she did not notice when Bryan Jackson pulled up in a gleaming Cigarette and was quickly escorted to the third level salon.

Starting at 6:00 p.m., the serving girls were given rotating half hour breaks. One drink server and one food server were to take their breaks at the same time, followed one-half hour later by the next pair. Dana drew the final pairing, which meant she was required to remain on her feet until 7:30 p.m.

When her break finally arrived, Dana headed straight for the outer deck. The small space at the stern was occupied by guests taking a smoking break, so she walked around the cabin to the front of the ship. She found a metal rail where she could attach the transmitter, but the dark windows looking out at her position made her nervous. She walked around the deck some more until she found a spot where there were no windows and no guests.

Dana looked to her left and right. She squatted to the deck, reached between her thighs, and pulled the first capsule from her bikini. She opened it, removed the transmitter, and twisted it into the 'on' position. Looking to her left and right again, she tossed the capsule overboard, and then spotted a metal surface next to a large darkened window. The window made her uneasy, so she walked around the deck again.

Two circuits later, Dana realized she was running out of time. She didn't have a watch on her, but she guessed there were less than ten minutes left before she was expected back in the galley. Dana looked around to make sure no one was watching her, and then stuck the transmitter to the underside of a railing just a few feet from another of those ominous black windows.

Dana made her way through the crowd and headed for the stairway. Seeing the armed guard blocking her access to both the up and down stairs, she turned into the conference room. She went over her options in her head, and realized that none of the locations Espinoza specified were accessible. The cabins and the entertainment salon were off-limits. The conference room was fully occupied. Her mission was a bust.

Frustrated, Dana returned to her station. She stopped in the galley, picked up a tray, and resumed serving the guests. There were still six hours before the party was expected to wind down. Six hours to come up with a way to get to either the first or third decks.

* * * *

A little after 10:00 p.m., Dana was returning to her the galley with an empty tray when she heard the unmistakable sound of someone getting sick in the ship's head. Dana set down her tray and knocked on the door. There was no response. A minute later she heard another round of vomiting and then a flush. She decided to get help, but didn't know who to call. Chef? What could he do? Another server? A crew member?

Just as she was stepping away, the knob turned and the door cracked open. Curious, Dana peaked inside. A naked blonde girl was kneeling in front of the toilet, her face buried inside the bowl. Dana stepped inside, locked the door, and knelt next to the blonde. Dana scooped up her hair and held it away from her face while the next surge of vomit rushed out of her mouth.

When she was through emptying her stomach into the toilet, the naked woman looked up at Dana. Her face was red, her make up was smeared, and trails of black mascara were streaming down both cheeks. Her eyes were bloodshot and her lips were cracked. Dried semen was crusted in her hair and between her thighs. She smelled like sex, marijuana, alcohol and vomit.

"Thank you," she whispered.

Dana filled a disposable cup with water and handed it to the girl.

"Are you alright?" Dana asked.

"I'll ... just ... oh fuck!" The girl turned her head toward the toilet as a dry heave wracked her body.

"I can't ... I can't go ... I can't do it." the girl sobbed. "I want to go home."

"I'm afraid that's not an option." Dana stroked her arms and back. "You're stuck here for at least four more hours."

"No. I'm ... oh god, I can't go back up there."

"Is it that bad?"

"I'm too wasted. Those men ... there's so many of them. I just want to go home."

"I have an idea. First, let's get you cleaned up."

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