Pokemon Trainer Club

I heard gunshots outside my window at around 3:20 AM. I live in a nice, quiet suburban neighborhood with an extremely low crime rate, so when you hear what sounds like gunshots, you definitely take notice. My tactical training took over and I crouched down behind my bed, away from the windows. I took my SBR out the closet and my 9mm and got ready to rock.

I did a clean sweep of the house, which was probably unnecessary, but it never hurts to be sure no one got in. There have been cases where burglars rob one house, get into a violent altercation with the owner, and then instead of fleeing to a getaway car, they panic and go into the backyard of a neighboring house to hide out. In some cases, they’ll try to go into that house to hole up or lay low because the police will arrive soon.

I turned off the light downstairs that I always keep on at night, so that anyone outside couldn’t see my silhouette or shadows. It also eliminates the glare on the windows, so that I can peer out to scope the situation outside. After smoking a cigarette and listening to any sounds around the neighborhood (it’s so quiet here that you can hear conversations from down the street). A dog was barking perhaps 10-15 yards away.

So I stayed in my backyard, in the dark, both guns hot, finger on the frame, ready to neutralize any perceived threat that enters my premises.

When I took the tactical course months ago, I actually thought that it was a waste of money. Although nothing happened tonight (thankfully), it made me realize that constant training–in anything–is very important.

Levi’s Ad

New favorite pants when I’m doing field work for criminal defense cases. It’s comfortable, matches well with any shirt I pick up off the floor, and my pistol fits perfectly in my front pocket. In the 2nd picture, you can’t even tell I have a 17-round handgun in my right front pocket. Black clothing tends to mask curves and outlines, but the pants are just well-constructed in general.

Directions to the Madhouse

I’m plotting the logistics of my project in southern Philippines. In this next trip, I’ll have the time to fully dedicate myself to investigating the human rights violations and corruption of the Philippine government and military. When I began the initial research work for this project, Benigno Aquino III was still the president. However, my research scope went all the way back to the Gloria Arroyo presidency. So now the entire investigation spans 3 presidential administrations. Each one of them–Noy, Gloria and Roddy–offers their own unique flavor to the smorgasbord of political ineptitude.

This is to say that I will be hitting each administration hard, regardless of their political party or ideology. This is also to say that I have my work cut out for me. Here’s a sample of what I will be investigating:

+ Theft of international disaster relief donations.

+ Misuse of tax funds.

+ Kidnappings and torture of political activists, NGO volunteers and witnesses.

+ Contract killings of journalists.

+ Assassinations of political opponents.

+ Police bribery and general corruption.

+ Corporate influence on politicians (bribery; kickbacks).

Now with major foreign terrorists establishing their presence in Mindanao, this whole project just became more complicated. I’m technically not investigating them. They’re terrorists. What’s there to investigate? They’re out in the open and showcase their grisly acts with pride. But this makes my field work more dangerous than it already was.

I’m not doing this project for a news company. I’m not even freelancing for a newspaper. The findings of this investigation will exclusively be featured in a bi-annual journal that I own and publish, called Dissertation, and which I will send to various human rights organizations and media outlets. This means I will not have the financial, legal and political connections of an organization like The New York Times, BBC or Al Jazeera English.

I’m on my own. I’ll have to supply my own bulletproof vest (not that I’ll ever wear it anyways). My own driver (which is fine since it’s easy to hire one in the Philippines). I’ll have to establish my own contacts, because I don’t have the expansive catalog of sources and fixers that a large news organization has. This is why I have to prepare everything in advance and make the right decisions now. My margin of error is very slim. I have to be on point with everything I do in this investigation.

Do Everything

One thing you can’t say about me is that I can’t multitask. I’m currently working on a murder case gone cold and doing GIS research on eminent domain related to pipeline projects. Bless my Keurig machine.

The Things We Carry

As a private investigator who does criminal defense and ends up going to rough parts of town to conduct surveillance, undercover work or field interviews, it’s advisable to have a LTC/CHL (License to Carry/Concealed Handgun License). I carry a Ruger SR9c loaded with Barnes TAC-XPD 9mm Luger +P Hollow Point ammo, and a pocket knife with a glass breaker tip on the handle and seat belt cutter.

I prefer this type of pistol because it’s light overall and has a light trigger pull. The frame is also relatively thinner than a Glock 22 and other similar models, so there’s minimal to no printing when it’s holstered. I prefer to use an IWB (Inside the Waistband) holster for extra concealment, tucked in my jeans usually at the 1 o’clock or 4 o’clock positions.

I also prefer to use hollow points for self-defense and exclusively use full metal jackets for the shooting range. Law enforcement agents will agree with me on this one, because hollow points have more stopping power than a FMJ, especially if you’re shooting a 9mm.

This means I can stop a bad guy with a single shot at center mass (torso) because the expanding bullet will tear up his vital organs pretty badly. A full metal jacket could go through his body, leave a narrow hole through him, and probably won’t kill him or even stop him immediately. In that case you will have to keep firing, which could escalate the situation and the last thing you want is a full-blown shootout. You want to stop your target ASAP and secure the scene until the police arrive.

Additionally, if you’re shooting indoors, a full metal jacket could theoretically go through the bad guy’s body and through the thin walls of a home, and potentially hurt innocent people behind those walls. So hollow points are recommended for self-defense.

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It’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a life-threatening situation on this job, but it never hurts to always be prepared, because life can come at you fast like a bullet.

Micro Notes

Invest in a dependable and durable GPS tracking device. Remember, it’s a federal crime to place one on a car other than your own unless you have the owner’s consent. You would think that it’s dumb for an owner/suspect to consent to that and you’re right, but if you’re a parent and you want to track your druggie son or Cash Me Ousside How Bow Dat-type daughter using the car that you own, it makes total sense. Also, if you want to track your cheating spouse’s movements, you legally have the right to place it underneath the car without their knowledge because it’s shared property.

Be sure to get the waterproof magnetic case to house your unit. The magnet is very strong and can easily be applied underneath the vehicle, usually the bottom of the spare tire compartment near the rear bumper.

When you’re doing a “hard tail” on a subject through the city–the GPS tracker planted underneath their car like a leach–you realize how much of a badass driver you really are. Bonus Points: Track them during the late afternoon traffic jam and try not to lose them to see what you’re made of.

P.S.

Don’t fuck with my fridge. Don’t touch my food.

Micro Notes

1. To apartment security: don’t allow a large gap underneath your gate. Even a sexy stud with enormous muscles like myself (that was sarcasm) was able to slip under the gate as if I was playing Metal Gear Solid in real life.

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2. If you can’t post up long-term to wait for someone to drive away, you can put ketchup packets underneath their tires. Come back later on and see if the packets burst or if they’re still intact. Shout-out to McDonald’s for always giving me extra condiments.

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3. There are new cases waiting to be solved everywhere. One of my favorite channels is the Justice Network. During commercial breaks, they post missing persons and wanted criminals in the local area. It reminds me of Big Shot show in Cowboy Bebop, minus the goofy Western theme and barely-dressed blonde.

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4. I convinced my boss to give me the serial killer case. This subject is almost a carbon copy of Aileen Wuornos. That stack in the middle of my desk is only 1/5th of the research files on her.

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Close Encounters

Doing sniper surveillance (camping in the back of a surveillance vehicle with a DSLR or camcorder) is the most effective way to get the money shot. You’re supposed to be a ghost. No one should even notice you, much less see you, but I’ve always preferred engaging the subject face-to-face. Come up with a cover story (Jehovah’s Witness, landscaper handing out flyers, asking for directions, etc.) and then talk to the subject with your phone in your shirt pocket recording the whole thing. I want my subject to remember the face that betrays his trust.

Pill Nation

I did an undercover operation on an unlicensed doctor earlier and it was such a piece of cake getting the pills that I wanted.

I actually felt bad for the doctor. He was a young, nice guy, seems smart as heck, who was just helping a poor immigrant community–but I did what I was assigned to do. The law is the law: you cannot practice as a physician if you’re not licensed with the state. But it showed me how easy it is for pill addicts to get prescriptions from these types of clinics. No wonder opioid addiction is on the rise.

TempHQ

Personally, I like to have a “temporary HQ” when I’m getting ready to do street work. It’s a place that you go to for respite, or to develop strategies, or to park your car and do quick research on your phone.

A temporary HQ such as a parking lot allows you to quickly mobilize when your target is on the move.

Private Investigation teaches you to be patient, methodical, and precise with your actions & decisions. It’s similar to chess or hunting.

Prowling across Houston and throughout Southeast Texas, you end up loving and hating your region more.