tagNovels and NovellasWilmington Woman's Club Ch. 55

Wilmington Woman's Club Ch. 55

byParis Waterman©

Chapter 55

Marty Learns About Conrad's Operation

After speaking with Ginnie over the phone, Tony agreed to meet with Marty and gave Ginnie an address to pass on to Marty.

Marty called Tony and confirmed his reasons for wanting to meet with him.

"You know where I am?" Tony asked.

"Yes, Ginnie gave me the address."

"Seven tonight, too soon for a meet?"

"Seven is fine, Tony. Thanks for agreeing to see me."

"We both owe that bastard a lot of payback, Marty."

"We do, Tony. See you at seven, oh, want me to come alone?"

"I'd feel better you did."

"Okay, see you at seven."


Tony held nothing back once he started talking to Marty. He described his trip to Ramirez and how he'd been beaten and his partner murdered. He related how he knew he couldn't return to Gentner, "You know him, Marty. He goes into these rages. He lost his money and his pride. He kills the messenger. So I called him and went into hiding. Of course, I didn't go far enough and he found me."

"Who was it found you?"

"I don't know how they found me, but it was Chang Clobey and another guy. I think he was from out of town. Clobey knew I didn't rip Gentner off. He even told the other guy, and they saw my broken ribs and other shit Ramirez done to me."

"It didn't matter, huh?"

"Course not. I knew I was a dead man."

"So, what happened to change it?"

"They were systematic about it. Christ, they worked me over, burned me, and broke my fingers and thumbs. They fuckin' knew I didn't have the money or the dope, but like one of them said, 'Orders is orders.'"

Tony started to cry. "Sorry, I thought I might be able to tell it without crying, but I guess I can't."

"I understand, Tony. They fucked you over good."

"They cut my dick off, Marty! They cut it off and shoved it in my mouth. They left me after cutting my throat. Thank God they didn't find Ginnie. She hid in the hamper with the dirty clothes. She knew this doctor, took me there and he saved me. Even attached my dick. I can't get it up, but at least I can piss out of it. He's a good guy. A really good guy, Marty, and I want you to promise me that if you get to Gentner and take a bundle of his dough that you'll donate a nice piece of change to the Doc's clinic."

"I'll be happy too, Tony. Give me his name."

Tony handed Marty a scrap of paper with the doctor's name and address, and then seemed to relax.

"What can I do for you, Marty?"

"Tell me about Gentner's operation."

"Sure. He got big in a hurry, it seems. No one knows how he got started," Tony said, only to have Marty interrupt him.

"I do. He used my share of a heist. I took the fall, he took the money."

"Sounds like him, it sure sounds just like him," Tony said. "Anyway, he met some European drug lord who agreed to partner with Gentner selling the drugs here in the states and arranging for some smuck in Columbia to ship cocaine to France where they process it into crack, or some other shit. I really don't know much at all about that stuff.

"But I do know about his organization here in the states. His main men are a guy named Vic, don't know his last name. He's an older guy, maybe sixtyish. He's from Jersey mostly, with some Florida thrown in. Next in line is Sammy Pardo, he's a ..."

"He's not around anymore, Tony."

A smile crossed Tony's face. "No loss to me," he said. "Now, Gentner's operation includes ... remember this is from when I was in good graces. Things might have changed some. By that I mean he may have expanded his territory. I doubt he gave anything up to anyone."

"I understand," Marty said, anxious for him to tell the rest of his story.

"One thing Gentner did that I thought was smart was to leave Union City, Jersey City and Newark alone. They was already taken and he didn't want to fight, figuring they were stronger and better connected politically. But he had no problem taking over

Paterson and Northern New Jersey and New York, beyond Suffern, NY.

Tony paused then went on to fill in the details of how the Northern New Jersey operation was set up, including when and how the weekly monies were transferred to Gentner's headquarters.

"He waited a while before moving out again, partly because of supply, partly because he expected repercussions from the competition. When it didn't happen, he moved in on upper New York State, pushing a couple weak guys out. That gave him Rochester and Syracuse. Shortly after that he expanded into Wilmington, Delaware and several smaller cities in Maryland, but avoided Baltimore and Washington, D.C. I know this because I was with him when he did it. He was talking about Virginia and West Virginia when the Ramirez thing happened. You know the rest."

"What can you tell me about those operations? I mean does the money come in and out the same way?"

"Yeah, he even set it up so the collection is counted on a Wednesday and picked up the next day. That way Gentner has the money by Friday."

"Thanks, Tony. I needed to find out where he had his shit so I can figure out how to take it from him before I kill him.

"There's another thing I probably should mention. He's got some high level cops on the payroll. It goes without saying he's also got a handful of politicians accepting handouts too."

Tony wiped his nose then added, "He goes by the name of Kenney sometimes. And I heard he ain't hanging around here much these days. That's all I got. Hope it helps."

"It does, Tony, and I appreciate your help. I won't forget you or the Doc."

"Ginnie, too, it comes to that," Tony said.

"That too," Marty said and stood up, ready to leave.

"Be careful, he's a backstabbing bastard."

"I will, and thanks Tony. It will take me a little while to get organized, but I will pay him back. Keep a low profile, you know Gentner, he'll come back after you he finds out you're alive."


Conrad Learns Marty's Out

"What do you mean, you ain't heard from Sammy?"

"I tell you, Mr. Kenney, Pardo ain't called nobody, or been at his usual places. We been backtracking and the last place anyone admits to seeing him was at Fats for a poker game."

"You talk with Fat's?"

"Yeah, he said Sammy had a decent night and was one of the last to leave."

"Fat's say anything else?"

"Um, only that Marty something showed up, did okay at the table and was the last one out the door."

"Marty something?" said Gentner, the alarm obvious in his voice. "Would the something be a Polish last name?"

"Could be. Want me to ask the fat man again?"

Gentner knew it had to be Marty, but said, "Yeah, do that. Let me know one way or the other."

How the fuck did he get out so soon? He was facing 18 -- 20. It was only eight, maybe nine years. But he was out and Sammy must be dead. He'll be looking for me, he thought, and reached for the phone.

Vic answered, listened and told Conrad he would make a few calls. Forty-five minutes later he had Conrad back on the line.

"Our man in Paterson tells me Marty got out early. He saved some guards ass during a riot and the guy went to bat for him. He was released a couple days ago. I'm not absolutely positive, but I think it was the same day Pardo went missing."

"It fits," said Gentner. The fat man said Marty was at the game with Pardo. He also said Pardo left after Marty did. He might be leveling with us; he might be protecting his fat ass. It doesn't matter, Marty knocked Sammy off, I'm sure of it. Sammy wasn't one to back down from someone like Marty. Maybe he should have."

"Yeah, well, you want me to pick a replacement?"

"I'll decide that. You can give me some recommendations. I think Sosnowski might be capable. What do you think?"

"Mmmm, he's good. What about Klouse, or Mangin?"

"Tell you what, Vic; work up a short list of pros and cons on each. We'll pick one and set the other two up as his lieutenants."

"Sounds good to me, Conrad; now let me change the subject a bit. Do you want to take any extra precautions on our operating bases?"

"Why? That fucking Marty knows nothing about any of it."

"Could be Sammy said something before he died."

"That's a long shot. Sammy was a standup guy, a made man."

"Still ... you want to be sure ...."

"Marty's to impatient to sweat anyone; he'd just pump some bullets into him and be done with it."

"You know him better than me, Boss."

"Yeah, I do. Let me know when you got that list for me."

"Sure thing, Boss."

"Thanks Vic."

Planning the Heists

Marty spent two days assembling his take-down crew. George Burns, from Passaic; Anthony (Toy Bull) Graziano, from Jersey City, and Teddy Kunz, also from Jersey City. Burns saw to it that they had the necessary weaponry -- shotguns, Glocks and tear-gas canisters. Graziano knew the right people in Paterson and the Northern New Jersey areas, and Kunz would provide the transportation and act as getaway driver.

Another four days passed as they planed the operation. Marty and Graziano watched the warehouse in Paterson. Kunz knew some guys in Suffern, NY, and for an agreed upon amount of the spoils they led him to a shut-down smelter in Nyack, some 20 miles north of its boundary with Manhattan. Kunz and Burns watched that operation at the same time Marty was spying on the Patterson location.

"It's maybe 200 yards from the Tappan Zee bridge, Marty," Kuntz said, and laughed. "They ain't got much in the way of protection from any kind of assault. It's like they feel protected; that no one's gonna bother them."

"The cops must be on their payroll," Marty said thoughtfully. No one disagreed with him.

"So, no uniforms at either place, but someone must be at each location with that money rolling in. I'd like to hit them on consecutive days next week. If we added a couple more guys we could hit both at the same time, but I always felt that too many cooks ...."

"Spoil the pot," Burns said with a wicked smile.

"Right," Marty said agreeably. "So what do you think the risk factor will be if we hit them on successive days?"

"Patterson first?" Kuntz asked.

"Probably," Marty said as he stubbed his cigarette out.

"Be higher the second day," Graziano opined.

Marty said, "Of course it will, but it will stun them all the same. They'll be running around like cockroaches when you flip the light on at three in the morning."

"Whose operation is this? I mean, are we knocking off the Mafia's joint here?" asked Kunz.

"Naw, I wouldn't bother them," Marty answered. "Ain't anybody important. I mean just look at the places they're using as their base."

That comment seemed to reassure the others that any retaliation would be minor, not major. For they all knew that the Mafia never stopped looking for anyone who ripped them off.

The First Heist

They waited until it was pitch black, the sky was heavy with clouds and there was no moon. Burns, Graziano and Marty all held shotguns and watched as the battered Chevy pick-up pulled up alongside the warehouse and killed the lights. A woman got out; carrying what Marty figured was coffee and donuts for those counting the money inside.

Burns was closest to her and waited patiently for her to open the door. She had some difficulty in getting the key in the lock and he used it to get closer to her. As she opened the door, he stepped up behind her and grabbed her by the throat. The coffee and donuts fell to the ground, but made little to no sound.

The woman choked down a scream as Burns jammed the muzzle of the shotgun into her throat.

Burns whispered into her ear, "If you make a sound, I will blow your head off."

She nodded, whispered lower than he had, "What ... What do you want?"

"The money," he said, as the others moved in alongside them. "How many inside?"

"Four ... I mean, counting me."

"On three," Marty whispered, "One ... two ..." and they were moving into the room, pointing the shotguns at the three men sitting at a table counting the money piled neatly before them.

"...the fuck!" A chubby Hispanic yelped as he saw them barge in.

"Nobody move! Nobody gets blown away!" Burns yelled.

Marty's eyes were everywhere at once, taking in the men at the table and searching for that possible gunman that might possibly be lurking off to the side, or in the next room. Nothing unusual caught his eye and he breathed for the first time since entering the warehouse.

Those at the table followed Burns' directive. They didn't move.

"What's the count?" Graziano asked as he swept a pile of bills into the canvas bags they had brought with them.

"$72,550, at the moment," a reed thin black male said quietly. "There's more of course, but to answer your question ...."

"That's a good start," Graziano said securing the clasp on the last of the bags and hefting two on his shoulder.

Burns, following prearranged instructions, wrapped plastic ties around each of the four money counters and left them facing one another sitting around the table. Marty looked them over, and satisfied himself that they would be immobile until someone came by, hopefully that would be the men making the pickup the following day.

Someone else discovers them it will make tomorrows visit to Nyack a little more difficult, Marty thought, but kept it to himself, although he knew the others would be thinking the same or similar things.


The Second Heist

With the first robbery behind them, the men allowed themselves a slight celebration of two cans of beer each as they counted the money taken from Gentner's Paterson counting house. Marty divided the money, giving each participant the agreed upon percentage, and they left knowing they would be repeating essentially the same procedure the following day. They also knew that if word of the initial heist reached Gentner they could expect armed resistance the next day. But they were all seasoned in armed robbery and knew they might not walk away from the second robbery intact, or alive.

They arrived earlier at the Nyack counting house then they had the Paterson one simply because they felt it would bear more scrutiny now that they had knocked the Paterson site off.

Marty and Kunz were relatively certain the four people they'd left tied up had not gotten loose, but they all subscribed to the old maxim, 'Shit Happens,' and were prepared for almost any contingency.

Two hours passed with no outward sign of any preparedness other than the usual on the part of those inside the Nyack warehouse.

Marty looked at his watch. They should be sending someone out for food soon, he thought.

Ten minutes later he was proven right. The door opened and a skinny youth with a pock-marked face bounced down the steps of a side entrance and got into a Ford pickup, and drove off.

There was no protective cover available to Marty's crew from which they might jump the skinny youth when he returned, and Marty devised a simple method of approaching him with shotguns out, hoping it would freeze him in place until they could cover the ground between him and their cover, which was over 100 feet away from the entrance.

This meant a great risk. The youth might yell, alerting those inside. He might run, necessitating shooting him outside and certainly setting off a battle with those inside. This would lower the odds of success a hundred-fold in Marty's estimation, and he decided on the spot if that happened they would just leave and return another time.

In the end it wasn't all that difficult. The skinny kid returned, got out of the pickup and needed both hands to carry the food and beverages into the warehouse. Mart let him get ten feet away from his pickup before calling out to him, "Freeze, shit-bird!"

The kid spun around in surprise. Marty now knew those inside didn't know about the Paterson job. They would undoubtedly be on alert, but not lying in wait for them to enter the warehouse. The kid thought about the men inside and wet himself. If they heard anything he was dead. They would shoot him and these guys with no regard for who was who.

"I ain't gonna be a problem, don't shoot." He said automatically lowering the carton of food and beverages to the ground.

He was quickly surrounded by the four men brandishing shotguns. "Handcuff him to the pickup and stuff something in his mouth," Marty said. Kunz grabbed him and hustled him over to the pickup, tied his hands together and then handcuffed him to the door handle on the passenger side so he couldn't reach the horn and alert those inside.

Hoping to get out of this alive, the kid kept nodding his head in an attempt to convey the fact that he would cooperate. Kunz didn't care one way or the other and after making sure he was incapacitated, went back to their getaway car and was moving it closer to the warehouse while Burn's kicked the door with his foot as the kid might have done while carrying the carton.

A burly, mountain of a man opened the door, saw them and said "Who the fuck are you? What do you want?"

Burns smashed him in the face with the butt of his shotgun. The man's knees were caving even as Burns raised his leg and shoved the big man into the room. Graziano and Marty followed Burns into the room only to be met by two gunshots. A bullet tore into Graziano's throat and he was dying as he hit the floor.

Burns killed the man who had shot Graziano, and Marty and he stormed into the next room. Three men were halfway out of their chairs where they had been sitting. They froze in place, but Marty showed them no mercy, killing them one after the other.

Burns made no comment until the last one was obviously dead. "We taking the Wop with us?"

"Are you guys known associates?" Marty said tersely.

"Naw, we knew each other in prison, but not so's you would think we worked together."

"Then we leave him. We give his share to his wife."

"Marty, he don't have a wife."

""Girl friend, kids ... any family?"

"I think there is an ex-wife and kid someplace."

"Find them, give them his share."

Kunz stuck his head in the door. We better move it. Those shots carried. Somebody might have called the cops."

"Grab a bag," Marty called out and tossed Kunz a bag of money then picked up two himself, while Burns finished filling the last of the moneybags, closed it up then headed for the door behind Marty.

Kunz had the car moving before Burns was seated, and they were gone a full four minutes before the police arrived.

Conrad's Reaction

"This better not be a joke, Vic."

"I'm telling you, Rad, whoever it is, hit us twice yesterday and today."

"Details, Vic," an exasperated Gentner said.

"Rowles, the cop we own, told us about the Nyack hit. He heard it over his squad car's radio and phoned us. We got five dead, one survivor."

"Who would that be?"

"A kid. He made a food run, and was intercepted on the way back. They cuffed him to his truck and pretended to be him to gain access. One of them bought it inside. Probably why everyone inside was killed.

"Thing of it is, they hit the other place, the Paterson warehouse first."

"And I'm just hearing about it?"

"Rowles checked it out after leaving the Nyack site. He found them bound and gagged inside. One was roughed up, the others didn't put up a fight."

"We know who they left behind?"

"Not yet, Rad. We will as soon as the cops do. Probably take a day for the prints to come back, ya know?"

"All right, put some more guys on each place. Stagger the pickups. Go in heavy, Uzi's, whatever. Stress the fact that they hit us and left no one alive. We can return the favor if they try it again. Put the word out ... offer twenty grand for good info on the heisters. If we don't have the right guys, get somebody quick, then find the right kind of muscle. Pay them more than the usual rate. I want guys willing to shot it out. Don't want any crack heads, or outright crazies. That will only bring the heat down on us. Pros, Vic. I want pros. It might take a couple days to round them up, but as soon as we do, put them to work."

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