« Jocko Podcast

326: You Can't Make a Case Sitting Behind A Desk, w/ Joe Piersante

2022-03-23 | 🔗

0:00:00 - Opening.

0:004:15 - Joe Piersante, DEA.

3:24:46 - How to stay on THE PATH.

3:47:01 - Closing gratitude.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is Jacko Podcast number three, twenty six with ECHO Charles and me Jocker willing good evening good evening throughout October thirtieth and thirty first, two thousand and eleven in furtherance of the drug Enforcement administration's drug lawn spent mission in Afghanistan special agents of the de as foreign deployed, advisory support or fast team conducted counter narcotics, counterinsurgency operations with their pets partners from the Afghan National Interdiction unit by the australian defence forces the task force to part of their base. The afore helicopters as part of a mission to execute Afghan dry warrants and a search for narcotics, caches and heroin production labs, the team began to search the target area and accompanying opium bizarre when they buy.
then to receive sporadic incoming enemy fire they accomplish. There assigned duties, and then maneuvered it to the extraction location, all wall under sporadic enemy fire when force arrived at the helicopter landing zones. They continue to receive effective enemy fire. One of the four for helicopters was forced to make an additional orbit and subsequently land in the vicinity Bessel agents, pure Sandy Johnson Vanderbilt Harris Stuart Fisher fourteen and five members from the strain special forces. This hollow compter land under fire so agent present day laid down suppressive fire, which special agent, Stuart Harrison Fisher to board the helicopter. Once inside special agent Stewart continued, applying suppressive fire special
agent, Stuart directed in afghan door gonna to initiate suppressor fire in an attempt to cover the remaining members of the team. Still outside the helicopter spent agent present day was approximately ten metres from the rear of the helicopter when he was by enemy fire. The round penetrated his ballistic helmet above, his right eye and exit Above his left eye, immediately rendered unconscious and fell to the ground the ground. Finger positioned positioned himself at the rear of the helicopter and continue laying down suppressive fire as special agent present day was being brought back into the helicopter. Put delete, put himself in harm's way in return fire until all personnel were all board the helicopter. As a hello or took off specially Van Der built Johnson and Harris immediately, rent
first aid to special agent present day and controlled is bleeding maintained, an open, airway and stabilized him Legion Present day was eventually transferred to the veterans affairs. In Richmond Virginia for continued treatment and rehabilitation, The actions of all actions of all agents involved, both and following the shooting were very clearly heroic. and that right there was an excerpt from an article by the U Department of Justice who oversees the and special agent, Joseph present day survived day survived that round to the head he became the first ever member of the d the Secretary of Defence Metal for the defense of freedom.
And also received the federal congressional badge of bravery, but that bullet Did do significant damage most significantly, it rendered special agent for Sunday Blind But- he has continued to drive on to grow, to teach a credible example of perseverance for all of us and is an honor have him here with us tonight- to share his experiences and lessons learned Joe thanks for coming on man. You're quite welcome. First, I want to say it's an honor to be part of this podcast and I was very flattered You guys asked me to be on it while you're the first d a guy. We've got here so
You got another first under your belt now, but you didn't start off in the D. Let's, let's like I like to go back to the beginning, let's figure out where you came from how you ended up being who you are. Born in Detroit right. Yes, we grew up was born and raised in the city Detroit. My dad was a police officer there. and at the time there was residency. So we had to live in a city, I'm actually third generation law enforcement officer, my family. When you say there was residency, what you mean, but yet the live in the city you had to live in the city to be a police officer and z S or any at the time any city workers, while fear a fire fired or you know, work for city, sanitation, things like that. You can live in the city, so we all kind of, western huddled in little areas and an Dad was a copy of it.
career, that's what he did ye ask some, he retired dumb in Detroit. Ninety ninety then went on to work at the University of Michigan, their police department. Invention became chief of police there did you have aspirations of being a cop as well yes, you know grow not while we played team sports, it was fortunate enough to play college in football too small, school in southern Michigan and always like that. can a team atmosphere and my father. He worked conspiracy, narcotics for years and years and Detroit Police to I meant it. I just saw that cut a team environment team atmosphere in a drew me to it, even though my father, never push me to go into law enforcement. actually I'm when I went away to college my major at first What sports medicine wanted to be an athlete trainer and then the more the bottom, like you know what
I really want to do this law enforcement thing so talk to my dad and he's like okay, you know I support you and if you an ado. Do the law enforcement he worked on a DEA task force, drugged, ass force there, and he says you know I would encourage you to go federal, because the pay is a little better, you get to travel the world and to see and do a lot of things and I've always been a dinner kind of tumble person and d he's always been known as the kind of blue Collar federal law enforcement. So we kind of try to push me. that way, and he had friends that still work there, but unfortunately, when I graduated from college in December of ninety one DA was on a hiring freeze, went back home to Detroit Michigan area. Detroit
police was hiring, so I put my application there and got hired by the Detroit Police Department and February of nineteen. Ninety three not now when you say you are rough and tumble kid. to me? It seems like when I talk to people that had polices parents. They there either way really good on the straight and narrow or the kind of rebellious. Where, where were you at where you were somewhere in the middle, rebellious streak to me, but luckily I had a strong father I had a strong father and a strong grandfather and kind of kept me from the straight. in narrow it. My father was pretty tough on me but he always supported me. He always went to my athletic events. Was there all the time you know he. You know put a foot up. My ass, if I needed, but also the whole, is very loving in supporting. I could still call my father today: hey dad. I need help he's like ok, I'm on the way in
A little more background, my dad's father actually, my mother's father. They burst both served and world war or two my dad's, Father Keating, we landed and Omaha Beach on D Day and second wave and later got a silver star push into Germany, when you did, you have brothers and sisters, I have one sister she's four years younger than me. You are kind of the only sounds. Are your dad was at every sporting event There was O. Yes, ITALY coach me every sport, but football hisself, do always even a grade school, but he would video games at the old Vhs, your cameras and we sit down and watch the games after with him and he back Joey. I call me Jim S, name is Joe to and my both were Joe, so they called me Joey
Will you did this wrong? You did that wrong. My mom would be like leave that poor kid alone, you, how are you in school? Were you did you feel You had to do good in school. Your dad was kind of keeping an eye on you yeah. You know I felt you know that I needed to do. You know well in school, ham school things I would say I have you know, and I know what you're trying to say yeah. You know- and you know, I'm a pretty athletic guy, but I've always had to work work in life for things. I was taught you work hard, but the effort in and if you did succeed at something you go back and look at it and you kind of become. kind of analyze yourself. Okay, what did I do right? What did I do wrong? What can I do do better I've had it example to you know, put hard working. You know, and most often hopefully it's going to pay off. and I just had a good example that way and you played
what college footballs. Well, yes, he and you I was at how's that did you guys win a Did you lose a lot? What lessons you take away from playing college ball? You know, I tell you what I tell everybody sports teaches latin lessons in life teaches you how to win, how to lose. How to be a team play, you're all those things and I valuable lessons from sports, now in college, went to a small school in southern mission called Adrian College. We were the most winningest football team in Michigan in the eighties all divisions. So we did really well When I was there, we won two league championships and actually went to the division. Three college national playoffs in teen, eighty eight. So it was a good in August and was able to get my education and I excelled in college in football?
I knew I wasn't going to be the tallest guy. You know blessed my mom she's only like five foot, so I better be strong and fast, and I picked up the weights and blew up of soon. As I I started lifting so in college. I was an all league player twice. I was team captain, team Mvp in our league we had every week they is it an offense and defensive player of the week? I made that defensive player of the week numerous times so It was good experience. You know your gear will get the bond with those. You know the people you play with and you learn life lessons and actually in college? You know you finally get to do things. You know classes that you're interested in your major, and I did really well in college and actually and my major ahead over a three point: average and stuff so and you transfer, or you switched from being in, want to be GM, become like
athletic trainer into what sociology criminal justice. What so you made the decision? Hamburger go be a cop or something like yes, after after my freshman year, The time in our school, we didn't have a just pacific criminal. this programme so with Socio GI, what the emphasis on criminal justice in I can you'd sports medicine as my minor degree. So and you get done with- that, the Federal DA's, not hiring? As you said, and so now you decide you're going to go and become a Detroit cop, yes hard to apply for? How strict is it? Is it easy to get into? Did you third generation? Do you just get like a welcome mat at the front door to get in there? I wouldn't say that the recruiter you'd always like you know he didn't give me any cut me any slack at all. You know you gotta, go! Take a little eye test tested this, and that and you know you go. The process, of course it's not is,
intense is details, a process getting hard federally because you have to security clearance, but I still know they do a good job and you know I had instant credentials, and luckily I just did I'm getting a lot of trouble or didn't get caught, so I didn't have things on my record is settled yet I got in fairly easy and showed there and went through the academy and I'm not only a kind of a muscle had guy but am fairly intelligent, and I graduated top Democrat my class and got just lamp of knowledge on plaque and stuff little genie, lamp on there great shakes hit my I guess my competition there wasn't as the greatest level, is the De Magadan Mix, but damn it pretty good, you know you get to teach a lot. lot of lay a lot of things and in Detroit. I grew up there on my life, so I kind of knew what I was getting into and he's
eight under the police departments kind of a baptism by fire, you get it And had to be the real police real fast in this kind of sink or swim, do immediately just go right, I'll, be in like a beat cop in the streets and were hung with them. Did is they took the top people out of our class, and it is in this unit called tactical service section we were a citywide unit that did cry, control. Also if there was a bear, located hated gun person. We would do outer perimeter and we would work in areas where they were having problems certain precincts or the precincts. overrun with calls and would go in flood the area and help precincts out, and so is unlike Qrf like a quick reaction force kind of like that. In a way you know.
But you know we just the party wanted to two calls like the shots fired things like that robberies. In progress we took a look, those higher level calls so it. pretty crazy in Detroit Colonel What a weird animal like. I grew up on the east side, so most? It was it s a guy and I became Antaeus Tss. We work the whole city, you might be in a couple different areas, a couple different precincts up: they call it in one day So whenever I grew up, if I got out and chase somebody jumped a couple fences, I knew where the hell I was in our view on the West side bail out- and I was pretty fast and I can jump fences pretty good, so I can usually catch a lot of people and I was in shape A couple fences I'd be in a yard holding a suspect at gunpoint, I would know where the hell I was at the like radio tech. Three a black east to my original location
next to the burned out garage, but the problem was like every third garage is burned out, so so that was the day to day, the you did that right out of the academy. That seems like a strange thing to take someone, that's brand new and put them in that kind of situation we're going into these tough calls all the time out of the gate. That's true, my fire- oh yes, but which, Good is a lot of the better officers, worked there at tactical service section, so you got to I trained and learned from some of the better police officers. so you know you really got to learn the job fast and from some good individuals how many people were on the team? Did you guys do show up in like a freaking, armored truck? we will eat ship, we had. We were in two shifts a day shift and then our shift. The power shift was seven like the three in the morning. Those are like the busiest time in shift.
Power. She asked, so we roll out or eight to ten cars to people in a car. you know, so we would flood in area. So was good. If you needed backup, you need help, you know someone Usually was there fairly fast, but it it was intense and then, after at the time. My dad finished up. He was on the full time swat team. In Detroit in crazy about Detroit of being a big city. They didn't have a full time, Swat team taught in eighty six which to me. Blows my mind, and he was on. He was one of the original members on the team and then, after three years of working up a troll, you know you can apply for a special unit are bureau. They can call them. Also, and I tried out for this What team and later made the Swat team in my last year and the job I was on the full time tactical team, which was,
it off pretty pretty intense. You got to do a lot of fun, stuff and I feel that a lot of paperwork pursues the sergeant, the team. You know he did the right up after the barricade, gun person or you got in two, of course a shooting. You would have to do a report and suits you we're right from that tactical service section into the Swat team. Yes, how many did you did you do that? tackle service section three year. And then one year on the full time Swat team, and then I got to shoot any. Did you fire your shots, fired weapon at all during those three years with the tackle service? And now the tss, but on the Swat team and it took a while to get hired by DEA you government. Sometimes it's hurry up and wait, and- and I was sitting around and didn't hear anything that I'd failed, something and have time went by months, went by and I get it. All then there, like, Mr Personae, you still interested in a job but D. I said, of course I am
yeah we had lost your application. We found it now This is has every information about me. You know parents, siblings, every neighbour I ve ever had you know I had in mind the process kind of release sped up, so I'm like three months out from the academy and we go to barricaded gunman and one of the precincts in Detroit in its Ex military person, have kind of mental problems and they would called the neighborhood in the family at Bay, if shooting at them, every so often so we respond and we began take over for the priests again negotiating with them, and they said shooting at our armored personnel carrier through the window and it's starting to ramp up and em. We had some officer stationed in the back yard and the person goes out and exchanging
shooting at them, but they don't have a clear shot at the suspect and they A car in the driveway my team, was on a break. We were like four or five houses down in between houses We had the support of suburban. We had with us and we have had like half hour gear on in there like do not let them get mobile we feel they're trying is going to try to go for the car ensuring crap they go for the car. I jump in the passenger side of the Subaru, my buddy drives. It jumps in the driver's seat for like half dressed and we just got our m p five submachine gun strapped around us. So we well behind the car to try to come in and they start to Ramos Heroic, oh crap, and by this time it was dark, and then I see a muzzle flash rear window, shoot shooting at us I am exited the vehicle taxes,
Lee and my partner dead end up. We opened up into the car and unfortunately had to despatched and in those like waiting all this time for DE than finally again the shooting but think in all, thank God it was a good shooting. I didn't you know there was no drama with that, but I would just just my luck. You know we'd all this time and then I get in the skin of critical incident How often were you guys, as Swat team, doing hits? You know it varied, sometimes in a month week, four five times Maybe a barricaded gun person sometimes we would serve like felony warrants more dangerous individuals, I once in a while we go out with narcotics of they were hitting a spot which they deem was pretty dangerous, indeed a little more trained unit, so we'd go and do that, but did a lot of training tactical training lot of shooting
as you can attest to the more you shoot, the more proficient you know, it's kind of a perishable skill So you know we got to do all those type of things. So it was. It was a good experience and you are sport, nut nineteen, nineties, M, P, five nine millimeter I was like oh you're in a vehicle and you haven't Empty five and I'm gonna we are in the nineties for me in the seal teams. You know we use the M p five and we thought it was cool until we had to shoot somebody that was more than you know, fifty yards away and all of a sudden. You think this is not a good weapon to have no or they have a ballistic vest replays. That's not good yeah, you know in the a pillar and cars will stop that nine millimeter too yeah yeah I guess, we've all transitioned away from the the m. Five now That's an accurate easy to shoot weapon. I think that some ass, people ask me, but home defence weapons like Forbes like for a female may be, and I think manner
five, not a bad call you're in the house, you're only to shoot someone, that's in the house, most likely It also think it's it is so easy to shoot so accurate. Yes, when you know you know, there's very very little to almost no recoil on a weapon suppressor on it's nothing, nothing But that's a lot of experience that you had. I mean he's doing, hits all the time in the nineties. Just that kind of. experience. I remember from the seal. Perspective in the nineties? We looked at Swat team, especially you know, city big urban center Swat teams we're doing you guys were doing work all the time, so spirits that you all had an idea. We would work with L a swat from time to time Seals would work with our a swat- and it was we. Kind of We were kind envious of the fact that they got to go out and do job and and
same thing for you up there in Detroit nineties that you, just if you're in the military in the nineties, chance where you weren't doing anything real yeah. I know so getting that experiences experience to have. In the nineties from that perspective, so Meanwhile, you get done with that. You see this year, so how long we are swatting for but a year you're on the Swat team and that's and you got picked for the DE after three months of being at the What team is that? What you said? No, I was there a little longer, but it just took. I got fatal shooting right three months before I was start my cat, a bee data on it for academy. I I I get higher. d, a M June of nineteen. Ninety seven, and- and this was you like the d- a cause there and I actually never heard that the de was the blue collar of the feds. I like that the didn't know that before that's the mutation that they have on at the time
hiding all things of the thing changing and law enforcement now and everything. But at the time we were kind of the roughnecks. So to speak, so get you get to go to? What is it they have the DEA Academy. Is that what they Yes, it's in was in in Quantico Virginia inside the clinical military base. Are we when I went through us in the fb I shared the same academy. we since have our own academy. That's right next to death, because I have been a category, but we still share. The gun range is and drive track and Jim with the FBI. And how long is that pipeline You know it's like come like sixteen eighteen, weak, ketamine and wood. Doing is it legal? Is it fears, goal. Is it what what are you doing? bit of everything yeah where the police, a cat.
me was more paramilitary, de I was more gentlemen academy. You know you that enough for inspection every day I see a spectacle, went on your. You know your uniform and getting the front, leaning, rest position and all that jazz. but it was very intense, very academically, challenging very fit weekly challenge, challenging. We did a lot of shooting a lot of tat, will training a lot of scenarios. I was very impressed with it. The biggest thing was was away from your family for four months months as oppose when I went to the police Academy he wasn't an overnight thing. You come and go and stuff, but the very, very end sick academy. when I went through the DEA, you couldn't go back to where you were hired from They had this thing with our administrator who's, the person who runs DEA. You couldn't go back
because there might be potential for corruption. and to me, in my view, going to be cropped. You're gonna be corrupt. Wherever you go, so who we are, you know three where's the Cadillac. They put a list out and a different spots. Opened and you know say you got fifty in debate, signor CAD Me class in his fifty spots, and course is where individuals are needed in a course d with the drugs come of Mexico Lotta border spots. So, unlike widens spanish the show, maybe I won't have to go there spots in New York. L a you know: big cities like that, and you get to pick your top three choices. He and I guarantee Ness Lady get any one of those in you can work it out with the claw as you get to sit there beforehand and okay, there's so many spots here who wants to put in for one of these spots and you can kind. work it out in the you submit your top three.
Like, I said, you're not guaranteed to get them and yellow spot and if you speak Spanish and there's some borders, You'Re- probably going to go to the border, and Hi, I'm so would you put for your top three slots that you wanted. I put Phoenix Arizona number one. I had never been the phoenix but was going have to move- and I was married at the time and my wife had at the time, had dual custody with her children. Two boys, young boys, and she would have to move away from them. So I kind of let her pick and then I put Fort Lauderdale in Miami Jose Michigan. I had a lot of family that lived vacation seasonally in Florida and in the winter months, but I also had a grandmother that had a place in Arizona in there my wife, at the time had a grandfather that lived there so put in for feeding ex errors owner and
As long as you weren't, like a butt head in the sand, and you you know you you more less got What are your top three spot, so I was very fortunate and that so I got that slackened and got phoenix, and then what do you do when you show up you're a new guy, or are you a new guy? They call you a new guy. What do they call you? Oh yeah. F, a new guy get all kinds of stuff. You know damn. So I find out that I'm going to show up there their going to the clandestine and destined laboratory taskforce group. Can it be done much lamps? Now from this I never seen method fed him in one time really Harbourless not really urban city, drug mess, kind of more of a white trash drug Irsay, you know in the city, you know you have heroin or they call it heroin, and of course, cocaine crack cocaine marijuana on things like that,
so. I just leave the academy cadmium, like Joe you're, going back to the for clan lamps, go my gosh yet so I It's stuck in the the clan lab group for my first four years, but kind of good was it was a local task force ran out of the Americana County Sheriff's office. And got to learn the basics of narcotics and the resignation how to write a search war and how to deal with in foremans, which is kind of our bread and butter, and you get to learn the job, so it really taught me how to become a da investigator. Here I would say hand the low end. The estimate I've been in at least five hundred methamphetamine lapse. And we really are we weren't all the protective gear in it, but really don't know what the long term exposures to do all these costs. Can hazardous chemicals are ii.
Had a neighbor, whose nephew got involved in math. and he told me you had been present and he got out of prison. and when I met him the nephew had gotten out of prison and I met him in talking to him and he was yeah- I was- I was just got out of prison. He said and he told me he said when I tried crystal meth for the first time as soon as I tried it. I realized that was the only thing I ever wanted to do for the rest of my life was more crystal meth and he stole everything from his mom everything as her grandma everything from his uncle thing from all of his friends, ruined every relationship in San Diego and then went to somewhere else. Somber did he know and made friends errand stole from all them and then did that all across country until we find a wound up, Texas and You know we finally got rolled up and sent to prison, but that that
that thing is freaking crazy, huh! No, it's crazy! You know! You know these drugs are Cray supposed to use harder. Drugs like, as you can said, he controls to hold life. You know Most of the labs are smaller. We call a mom and pop labs or cooking else's. That's cute he, you know it's tits: they they make enough to get their own for free and you know, and oh well, but to their friends you nodes. They get there is for free, and you know that, cooking in these houses, with these little kids, you know when everything is off gassing into the you know, into the air getting into the carpet and walls and everything else, so we did bring in child protective services with us when we would do math and fundamental landlords They would bring the kids to the hospital. When they were test them, you know, I percentage would test positive for methamphetamine, just because, off again I was in the car back in the atmosphere here, no ages,
breaks my heart, and you know me having a daughter. You know these kids involved and then not only one, a charge with them. lab and manufacturing they would get charged with child abuse when Cps also so you would do these investigations. You're, you're git Are you getting human intelligence? That's telling you hey! I get my I get my meth from this person over here. Then you find out where that person lives. Then you track them for a little while figure out. You know where they're due suspicious activity, and then do a hit on it, how they work. Yes, That's one of the means within informant hey, you know informants, you know summer will try to work off charge a summer just paid informants and they go around us. What they do. you know so so manufacturing meth here you know I've solve. You know that class were items. I saw this part of the cooking procedure. I saw these chemicals, you know, and then you do. You know some more background, and then you do. You know some investigations, surveillance and use.
Have some of our techniques that we use to get off if and validate the informant and we also get information from different places to sell these chemicals, you know, oh blow is buying and I'll keep by every month. So many pounds of red phosphorus and we found IDA crystals or the stores when you did by the cold pills the pseudo ephedrine tablets over the counter what kind of some stores would work with us. license plates. So we do a workout. And you know find people live, they know, started investigation and then we will get enough, probably cause for a search warrant we would hit these locations and I'll because of the the dangers of meth labs at times you don't know what the atmosphere was. So you, when you rated it, you would have, to go in with full Essie. A self contained breathing apparatus, but you don't
environment and oxygen level was in the houses. Of course, you've got this big tank. On your back and it's kind of we're summoned lot of Swat teams where clan lab trained for tactics, so There was no smaller tactical battles. You could use so lotta lot of unknowns in that get off one of our investigative techniques. You go through garbage cans when they put it on Curbs a lot of these people did know that we would pull trash. Oh they would say every bit of lab trash ever had in one room. So you're missing, you know, you're missing, mixing acids and bay bases together and things are off cast it. So it's the very safe environment, to say the least, look at what the paid informant. They're. Actually, the lumber like a professional form, it was like for money, seizure and drug seizures. We would pay them money,
they go around in work and travel, sometimes from city to city. Just to make money as an informant. You know at different times, when your own budgets- and we had good money- and you know they got a certain percent in Java, cash seizure or acid seizure know they can make fairly decent money and what is disguised, sort off the street or apply for that job. It's really up you! You have to fill out a package where a person that wants to be potential source? Of course, you have to run their criminal history. make sure they have no act of war ends, and you know you have to supervise pretty tight and Some people get approved for work. warm at some, don't just because they are criminals. History and our stuff is so bad you know so it's you know it's a its twenty two. You know you can't get a choir book choir, and acquire boy, you know to catch people but yet it's
fine line you have to man It well and as you're doing this inner city, you went into over five hunter, meth labs in how many years was that? four years in four years that's like no other hidden, a math lab every two or three, maybe four days going into those things Did you feel like hey there making a dent or sometimes just feel like we're just overwhelmed than this is we could keep doing this forever? It got to the point where It was bad for awhile. While you almost felt overwhelmed, but there were so many and it was so easy to get the precursor chemicals to manufacture. Methamphetamine. here in the United States. So then we started as a whole. whoa. We started cracking down into the companies that made the ephedrine tab its or the pseudo federal pills witches
one of the primary precursor chemicals of methamphetamine. Ed would track where they're shipping and made it harder to get and that's. Why You probably see like if you buy cold medication has pseudoephedrine, you got to buy it, you have to from behind the counter. Now right. These people were going in this. You know by now steel, two hundred oxygen. They colleagues morphine pills, and they would get enough to make. You know how much methamphetamine they were, but make so there I started really putting a. We saw that started, putting a dent into it. You know, and course in all then originally, when I was in these labs of course years. Than coming up from Mexico, but it wasn't that pure. So a lot of the true tweet. Who did not want it. They wanted that real pure glass. Ninety eight. Ninety nine percent, pure methamphetamine, which was, home grown made
and then once the we know, crack the precursors it hard to get here. Mexico star, picking up their game in started making the real real, pure methamphetamine down in Mexico and sending it up through the border, so that means you are dealing with their cartel. The big drug cartels yes, a lot, and especially when I worked in Phoenix you know course that's what is in the south. West is controlled by the mexican drug cartels, do you have any you big memorable operations or that you did that you are part of he yes lay us in most of the labs were like mom and pop twitter labs but I was able to do a couple of pretty big a mexican national labs. Where, they're, making multiple multiple pounds at one time,
and the share office, had some information that they as a cop. guys came in and they wanted to work for money and they do have this big mess National lab West of Phoenix in an area called whispering ranch. and were like okay. I went with a guy with another partner to see what they had to say and a lot of times lot of things can be bs and people over hype. Were blow it up. She, we go out there and you know hey. This is group of these mexican nationals. You know they're making you know thirty. Forty fifty pounds at a time their cooking out in this oh rule location, you know, so we get a work and start doing some investigation. And if I were, the people are living in the city and we haven't informants Willie in knows, when they're out there cooking it out. we're building up a plan, and you know, of course it's on the middle of nowhere. So there's
address of this place as a parcel number, so you get like a gps grid, coordinates to hit this place and that's what the search warranted. You know You know how we going to hit this place in a cooking or we going to do an aerosol to what are we going to do so? We finally got up and got it's okay. They said they're going to cook this weekend. What's the time frame on all this, and how long does it take? is it is it weakens the days and months it all depends. It varies. I think this one in particular I think we were working on it for a couple of months and. so the informer says I think, they're going to cook this weekend said: okay, we'll get ready so we were preparing and getting in are as much information as we have typed up in the search warrant and everything and We knew there was a a property close to them, which the guy was kind of involved in. If they were going to run from the lab location, the more
unlikely they were going to go hide at their rest. That residents, you know than form it calls me. Ok, they're going, I'm buying a bunch of ice. So the processes of cooking meth at the end, you gotta start adding ice the things and cool it down, so we knew okay, their cooking there. Almost there getting close. on so we split up the team relief. Putting affidavit with the the it says and we get signed by a judge and we are working with the sheriff's, was at the time and We've decided we're not going to do an aerosol we're going to convoy in there, and you know it's a rural location and one convoy. You know, when a or type environment, you're kicking up dust and stuff. They can see you come in for five miles away, big of a team. Are you bringing this like an assault team yeah, we're bringing the. The the Swat team, not probably twenty something individuals are
ab team. You know we probably got ten individuals or so, and then we're bringing chemist and. Hazmat and everything else. So it's a pretty good force, big convoy, big, voice lotta. Does he does tat sort? Of course, some the plan was swat. Team is gonna, hit the lab location, you put a recall element out at all or you aerial or nothing we had. Ariel prior, but we didn't have time to People lied in their late in there to do. We would have that too has been, but it just wasn't feasible the situation so our course Swat team hits it hey. We got a huge lab cooking but nobody's here like oh shit, so grouped I was with we go to the you know we, so we let me catch that so Swat team hits it. They find the lab and there's no people there. Yes, it's been cooking for okay,
so like I I said earlier, I said if they run their propaganda, go to the other gentleman's house, so go to that house and We hear some noise and some scurrying in the house, and we hear Like a lady like calling for help, damn they're in there. So In some circumstances, we enter the house and there while trying to hide in this back bedroom got one guys halfway up the chimney Guys lying in bed with his muddy boots and everything I like you, sleep in the land on the couch in and the like really guys are going too far for this. So we We brought him back over to the lab and in a process the lab and end up being a it nice size. They think they had like fifty pounds of methamphetamine in solution and and at later led to they end up call operating and then hit another big
lab in South Phoenix and that individual He also was running labs and Riverside California too, so he was wanted- you know by Riverside sheriff in this and that we end up hitting them and getting a big lab at that time when we make entry with the Swat team- and that is because this guy was living on a horse property at horses and stuff where, where was it this guy was in Phoenix as well. Yes, in this era area, yes I'll Phoenix actually saw. This guy was a legitimate like he had horses and a ranch of some kind o. Yes, guy was you and wish you had a ranch in riverside too. yeah cause. I kind of get the impression you don't you talk about like the mom and pop labs that, A lot of people are just kind of getting away with what they can and then they eventually get busted broke, and occasionally you have somebody that brokers enjoy these people. They met there for making the money
and yeah. He had some this guy who we hit South Phoenix he actually taught other people, the other way up how to cook so yeah we go in there and he's in the back cooking and he's cooking with it twenty two liter flask with big trouble night flash, it's a good sized flask but size were Waldo, bigger, so in a swat team goes in. He takes the floor and smash smashes on the ground. You know coercion. The samples there always Naga hit. We figure out what's in there and so yeah I and II is gonna. We found some up method I mean in the house and everything we're like. What's this, oh, that is feed for the horses and there's a fee for the damn offices. Come on What happens these guys you go, then you wrap them up Ray immediately go to jail, wrap up, he mitigated led to jail. You know they did some search warrants on his place in riverside in
the foreign and then we indicted them and put him in prison for awhile? How long is like it This guy's name was Tariff Thomas, the House yes, I think he got like ten years series we are by parliament this right now, we're- probably perhaps you know get over this lab ho hell. This is back in. this one I think, ninety nine so yeah for sure yeah he back out, yeah. I forgot to ask you this: when you got that shooting back when you were with the Detroit, what did you You have any lessons learned from that about the way it happened about what you. What how your reaction was. Did you do something? Well, did you do something bad? You feel like you're training work. Did you feel like doing didn't work like ours, experience that That's a very good question with all the training we had the different scenarios and different barricaded gun people. I just
with my training, you know I saw the muzzle flash. I knew it was gunfire. and you know I just did what I had to do. To neutralize enough to stop threat. The training. You had worked one hundred percent and I didn't even think you know I didn't even Don't you remember looking through my sites? I know I did you know you that perceptual narrowing. You know when you're in a fight or flight or a gunfight, you know your eyesight is your hearing decreases. You start so you can buy motor skills, so you felt all that stuff. Yes, what about the? U If the passenger and another guy was driving, yes did he get hit, or was he okay? No, he was ok, he he fired like four or five shots, and I had my m five on full automatic and I just fired burst until the weapon ran dry, damn for a lot of our people. like hey. I'm going end this as quick as possible and all you people get all these
lucky shots. You know you chasing these piano, writers whatever their running from you in and they take the gun and shoot it over their head hit. You you know dead between eyes what about doing all these? You know doing all these hits over the years with the d a down in the Phoenix area you do you You obviously are starting to pack away some good some good. You know me dollar Jeez in advance. Processes is you're going to do these things like all your big takeaways at as you, developed as a you know, as a agent. I always was very tactically, proficient And I think one of my fortes and strong points as an agent was being able to deal with people, and that's what I I suggest that anybody who gets in federal law enforcement. I would advise them to be a local law enforcement officer.
but you get to learn the job you get to learn how to deal with people and I happen to be very good at dealing with informants and I could work informants What do you think was that what made you good at it What I think my street smarts grown up in Detroit in own be enabled to talk the lingo in look the part in life unfortunately times when you first go in situation, especially criminals. They're, going to size, you up, they're, going to say This individual look like they know what they're doing. Can I trust this person in a lot of times these people that are working for us there risking their life, and they have to feel confident that you're going do your best to protect them, and I also learned never with somebody something you can't deliver don't promise them well. You know you work a couple weeks.
get a couple. You know I can make all your charges go away. It's not up to it's not up to the agents. You know you have to bring their cooperation attention to the prosecutor, which then brings it to the judge, and you know those decisions are aid then and am also treat people like a peep, a person. you know you don't have to start again I'll talking down. Somebody I'm the big bad FED and you know, you're, just a lowly, peon drug dealer. You don't do that! I start off giving everybody respect, no have you. Sideways will go sideways, but I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt at first show me informants to who you got to be carried out: their informants there, they're criminals. You know You know that they can turn a new to say You gotta, you know you never can trust then one hundred percent. You do your best and you know- and you lay them
in a label the ground, rules and everything. And then you know you, you manager, informants yellow went on from there, but you know, being you know having a inform it you're kind of, like you know their their conference you know, there's therapist everything else in order for your phones can be ring in the middle, and I therefore is gonna wanna talk to you. You know cause his girlfriend left them. You know where he's they're doing this. You know there. You know they get about me in a body and only you need answers. calls in a lot of people, don't like to do that, but if you want to do the job at a high level. That's kind of things you have to do you put the work. How many sources would you be running at a time I come and people would you be working with how many informants, usually I kept anywhere from three to five informants at any one given time what what is the trajectory of their lives look like mean today
and up they just do that till they eventually get caught killed. Do they do it until they eventually, you know, do that to jail do they get out of that life. it's kind of a mixture. You know some do it do you know they think they're slickin, they're gonna play ball size and they get caught. The you know, some get killed in all they get found out we do everything we can to protect their identity and some do it for awhile or summer in know, trying to help there's situation or a family member situation, or just doing it for money, and you know that we move on and get on with their lives and get back into some normalcy of life. you know and when I was a DEA agent in a place officer. You know: engage my success on how many people I arrested and this and that. I gave my son ES on how many people did I help to get their life together. You know just because a purse,
and you know, get caught up in drugs or some crime activities. It doesn't Leslie mean they're a bad person. You know they may some bad decisions, so I gave my success mostly and pay how many people this year did. I help. yeah. That's you must start to really understand the way people operate too, especially dealing with all these people in your hearing from them all the time, like the insight that you get into interacting with people. Are they they're showing up there most of them, though they do they most of the informal have some kind of criminal background and that's how they end up in this situation. Most of them do yes, so at what point. Where were you when September eleventh happened. I was some in my house in Phoenix getting ready to go to the gym.
Because I never knew how long I was going to work. So I was been into working out and keep myself fit. So I'd get up and work up for work and send near watching the news and when the first plane hit said a small plain just hit the World Trade Center So then of course, Rog get off people glued to the tv in plane hit and they're like this is not a small plane, and you know, of course, while the chaos and everything that went on that day, I ended going at the gym and you know work. You know Hey you know, we don't know where we're going to get hit from next. You know so it's all hands on deck, and you know it. I had the plane hit the Pentagon and our dear headquarters is right across the Spress way from there's a people went off. That's I saw the plane smash into the Pentagon, and so is things chaos for a minute to say the least, and did they did they start you think about how to utilize the DEA for immediately
trying to assist like the national effort. I a change, I'm say I guess I'm asking: did it change like your immediate life, your immediate job or was it okay? Well, we still got to you know as people that are making math so you're going to continue doing that, or was it some kind of change? What kind of happened at one of the change that happened? Pretty fast, was we when we debrief an informant there's different things. You have to put in there like different blocks. You know what is their drug lake rate lady to get tivity. They have no, now what is non drug related activity and then started a terrorist related activity, Did you know you know any people do in terrorist related activities? and being in the clan lab scene so a lot of the individuals who sold and made money out of the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
Or middle eastern individuals, and so on course. You know they were like. You know you get all your middle eastern informants and see if they have any terrorist activity and we had a lot da had a lot of middle EAST with the drugs in the pseudoephedrine. So B. I then wanted to come over started to brief in our informants. You know about terror, terrorist related activities. Was there much of a connection or was it more than just trying to make money? there were some of them with some you know somewhere you know sending money back and things like that and you know when the military first went over to Afghanistan in a Intel bleed know it other It'll Bin had his facilities over there, but when U dot S military went over there. They surely realised that the Taliban, those insert groups were making their money for their legal terek. ease by the sale and production of heroin, and that's one of the first questions,
Why is do you I was DJ were over in Afghanistan, should also the the military, the knew they were not subject matter. Experts on that Oh, that's! When they reached out to the d, a hey guys, gals. We need help here and we didn't have a kind of tactical team that up to speed to do this at the time yours prior to that we had an operation cooperation, snow cap when we were in Colombia and other cocaine. manufacturing destinations and hitting collapsed. You know with you no partner for isn't this and that so DE had to start up a team, so they use some of the individuals that we worked in snow cap and developed this fast. He is foreign to point of eyes Support came to help the military.
And mentor or force over there was. We really don't have over there any like criminal, forty, So? When Afghans they were behind the times, so we went over. You know the military you all they got plenty of trigger pullers. Of course we can pull triggers to but the went for expertise on investigations and how do we handle these? How do we process these labs, because in Afghanistan, even though heroin production is crazy, this the penalties for getting manufacturing drugs over there very very severe, and we can actually too Somebody off the battlefield. A lot longer. You know for drug related things just for say, you know you, You have somebody up for tactical questioning and then they're back directly on the battlefield. You know The issue is, you know, were working with us and coalition special ops teams over there, but most of these labs are
behind enemy lines and that's their money. You know so they're going to fight like hell to keep them, so you have be up to speed to run with these. In all these special apps guys. It also at first they just had a US put US solicitation hey. You know This is what the missions going to be. We need some volunteers. and on some of the guys been there done that in the past, and maybe we're special guys, but at the current time may be they weren't in the best shape and down they would get over there and when problems keeping up. So that's when our fast team Institute a selection panel, excess and that selection process? He took various areas, I have selections from different special ops teams and put a selection together and in the end, at what point. Did you hear about that? And what point did you volunteer, for it
I knew the fast team was going on here. hearing, rumbles and rub out it then two thousand and five time frame, but the problem, is in the field. The basic ages didn't really know. What's going on with this fast team, I had a body that went to the fast him. He was. Marine corps officer- and I was put with my career and I've always no matter what I've done. I've tried to go to the text, level, whatever I did in life so when I was a kind of like Harrison around like hey, you know, one of which is fast teams doin what were used. When Phoenix at this time, yes, I will see you in Phoenix from like nineteen ninety eight one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight Aa1997 until I actually got slapped it on the fast team.
and Tobar, two thousand and nine. Are you there for a while? You have over ten years experience as a d yea agent, ground doing and that was that whole ten years was that all that time doing the math lab stuff the first four years and then I went on to a conspiracy group where we work higher level traffickers. I worked on a task force with the latter local officers What's the conspiracy group, all I mean it sounds cold with that. We know that right, yeah, exactly a lot of the incumbent, sounds real cool. You know we have. You know real cool, acronyms and everything else. You have If you going after mid level to higher level dealers and and they'll math mostly, or they do, and everything math cocaine, marijuana anchor Heroin so so you had a
six years of Phoenix is kind of a weird animal, your kind of close to the border. So it's a transshipment point so of the drugs are coming in coming up from the south was border into cities like to sign in Phoenix their stage there they only stay there, a short period of time and those drugs are picked up and sent out to the east coast. You gotta be like on your game. They get stuff, you know business, you know you might have stash house load up one day and it's gone the next. So you, to really beyond your game. You know in move fast to do these things so you and I worked and it's a combination of different groups, and I called my buddy and I'm like hey. What are you guys doing there, are you guys just doing training, or are you guys going out and doing missions? Jesus Joe? You know we're you know working with some of the units in the world is doing you're asking when your buddies about fast. Yes, ok got it What are you guys doing you training working with some of the best units in the world? You know
doing things which you would think DEA would be doing, you know our doing high level stuff in at that I'm every year, or they would put out a solicitation for select force to go through fast selection, An you needed to be at least a g s, twelve, so that, because it takes about three to four years to get do a genius level twelve and they wanted people who had experience to be a d agent, so you and then you put in for selection and if you get picked, you know you go through tryouts and I was thirty nine, when I put in for selection. We get older, we don't recover as fast as we once did, and some people he s a pensioner years. You pretend injury sometimes increases. So I knew
I wouldn't quit anything. I was just worry about my old body. Are you to hold it up? I got a lot of miles out of fifty thousand miles, is kind of up and you know a lot of difference swimming and different testing and different things, and yet also so I started training and and you're still doing your job working. The spirits see this summer, I was on a taskforce group or whether it is worth a taskforce group there we were at task force on the west side of the city, and we worked with various west Side police depart. And they were all sworn in as federal task force agents, so they had the full powers. DEA Agent, you could, you know, do investigations over state lines and everything and we, we're hidden. A lot of like big marijuana hits Smithy its cocaine hits so still yes do in my full time job and then have to
get ready and train for the selection, any good between On the conspiracy thing, like was the biggest people you ever rolled up. Would you do the conspiracy gig. we had one case this one group, and They were an african american group. They were happy of Detroit Ebbs Land, and LOS Angeles and Phoenix they would get their large amounts of shipments of marijuana from the Phoenix and Tucson area. Now we're talking large amounts. I'm talking good, bye to three. Thousand pounds of marijuana at a time and we had in from Mexico yes while they bite in Phoenix, could adopt. The marijuana came up from in a course you buy it and you know
southwest is lot cheaper than you bring it out east and you can sell for almost double the price so there's a lot of money involved, we have an informant and in these guys, are rich and they have this here place in his gait community and Scottsdale, and all these truckers are driving for them and are a thing. So what fall on a full on enterprise and enterprise. Oh, but you you gotta behind a suspect. Well, a bit yellow cat. This is little far fetched. You know so the informant says their meeting they're gonna meet. There source of supply and they're, going to do a deal and I'm going to be at the house, so I can okay. If we set up, we have it, general area: where did we think they're nice House is here, so we got some? people set up in that vicinity and they go into this residence inn. Except in a pool of van
the garage gradual, like okay. This looks good, so the Van leaves the garage and inform civil okay. They picked up so sure, as shit there found of Van. We take it as gated community in Scottsdale, Weed, and I'll get keyed in and buzzed in, and everything and we sit on the house and get it identified where they're at and see people coming and going, and they follow them out and sure as shit, they go to a warehouse to what is a semi truck like. Oh it's on and Poppin now, So we get enough for a search warrant for the house and the warehouse and hit it and get pretty good I urge Mount of of marijuana. And during this time one of the we found one of the guys and to the airport in and kind of short numbers. We get people all over the place If I'm by myself, following in the sky,
it's very hard to do surveillance by yourself without getting you know without them seeing you and I don't know how I pulled it off, but I did so What are you wearing just well just street COS. yeah. I did some of those surveillance in counter surveillance in like dressed up and when you're trying to look like a bum in this nightmare. I was horrible at two cuz. I feel worse at the worst undercover person. Ever, I don't know just ate. It seems like you would have a similar issue since you're jack. Do you know you just stand out. A crowd. Yes, you know so you just kind of play. You know if you were following me: I'm one hundred percent going know the present like there's no you're not going to sneak around volume is not happening. Yeah and face veils is very high. You know so you're you're in a vehicle you're trying to stay far back as you can and everything and somebody pulled it off and as the person got out of, let they let the person-
to go into the terminal. I some I get one hand snapped a photo of among high pulled it off, but I did It happened to be the main guy. So we end up getting the again, I'm getting a picture of him and we didn't know. We know who he was at the time or not, and he was flying back to allay You know also, we headed, and you know, get some people in custody and then get the person identified, who dropped them off and she had some prior criminal history so we knew this case. Was you know, bigger and tied into all the states and everything so do I tell my partner, I said: hey we're going to go visit this lady tomorrow and working a bluffer And we're gonna say hey, you know, we know we got you taken, person, yadda yadda yadda. You know in your
in the furtherance of this conspiracy to their drug traffickers asian you have some crumble, history and ass. You know you don't work take a look at indicting you and may be season your vehicle and my partner had time she got it'll, never work. I said you just trying to get it wrong- scattered Roy should watch So we knock on her door. So so you're wearing plainclothes plainclothes got like a badge around the neck and in a chain you know kind of like tv and wear t shirt and a pair of jeans, t shirt pair of jeans. Look as an intimidating as possible. Do you want to look intimidating like what's your? What's your look, What's your character, what character you're going into just kind of this kind of Loki intimidating enough with no know your you federal law enforcement- and you know you're not playing around, but you know you trying to He also you gotta, build rapport with these people to you know to try to get some common interests and my partner at the time,
Your partner, we may say in the same member work she's like how things work Joe. She was a new arrangement and I said just watch I so watch Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. We got like a fifty fifty here would give it a try and you don't worry that you're gonna give away the fact that IRAN to him? You know at this point. You know we had give out a sniff in a lot of people in custody. Okay, through their Ebay, know you're onto it. You know they know we're onto them. At what extent they don't know you know, but I tell people Two, you can make haste sit behind your deck desk Alla time you gotta get out there and shake the Bush, Sir, kind of nay, say me, and this person ended up being a topless dancer. One of the gentlemen clubs in Phoenix where. There's a lot of egg. The mexican sources go hang out there. A lot of the people of Malta I'm coming there to find sources.
And this person this informant? She was known to dates, allowed these out drug dealers and she would hook them up with the sources of supply. So we go talk to her and and knock on a door, and you can tell by her face she's like oh shit. and we just lay it out, and I said this is what can happen to you. This is okay, I'll cooperate. Would you want to know so we started working with was wrong. Kim was wrong. Yes, he had also I guess she get. lucky sometimes- and I got lucky then so we ended up using her and going back and they kept coming to town the course they move their operation to another spot in that we re go to the gate and look at all these other seizures. That happened in different states and tie them altogether to these people here
In our view, in actually interviewing the truck drivers, scatter sources of supply in a pool receipts from hotels and in plain things at different times they were supposed to do these deals and Rachel to tie everything together of some of these people, we had never caught them red handed with drugs just what testimony by the informants putting the things together. By pulling receipts, we ended up hammering this group Getting them all charged and indicted, when these other groups couldn't do it and actually help my partner. get her GS? Thirteen was a d, are coloured kind of journeyman levels, GS, thirteen and you have to So many things she had all you have to have seen of these complicated cases and I get a wiretap or did some undercover so actually help Kim get her thirteen
I was already on the fast team when they went and did the takedown they said just to see these people's faces, like oh shit, got all the sign me. Oh crap and we used her to do quite a bit of other good cases too. Did you ever do any undercover work? yes, I did some. What was that, like. Herman everybody thinks it's intense everybody things that you need to look like a drug want to cover now but the contrary. Like a d, a wheel, dealing with people are in make money so low. People look like business people in kind. As long as you talked talk you know you're all right, so undercover I've reverse the chemicals and equipment math undercover, I bought method feather mean in larger amounts. I bought heroin.
and then there's the individual, which a lot of people have heard. Their name before these to be a famous mob hit, meant same of them Gravano. He was out in Phoenix in witness protection, but still do, bad activities, so they actually put me under cover. He actually had this group of kids out there. They were In the Emma and they were selling ecstasy in steroids in his group or go around and they would beat up like they would pick up minorities and jump on like five on one kind of like a one person are more cycle gang thing. the put me in there to buy steroids from these kids. So I ended up buying steroids from his kids and then later led to Sammy the bull getting into additional legal problems. Where's he at right now not sure your ways at the moment: ass, crazy,
when you're doing these undercover ones at your talk about. Are you stand under cover for a long period of time or you basically going under cover for two hours to go, meet these guys by some shit and then roll out did you ever do These guys it seems like you're, going undercover for extended periods of time. That's called a deep cover operation on it and those don't happen that much anymore no there's a lot of risk involved than that you know so. You know there was some like. Some of these pseudo cases were like I played a role for like months at a time, but a was done over the phone and stuff, but motionless, like you, know your meeting, the guy. You know you know, hour or two. You know, you're in undercover role, and then you're moving on to the next thing. You know in the biggest thing what people think it if you're a year under cover a saucepan. Are you the police you're supposed to tell him? Yes, I am you don't have to truth. Oh that's not true
No, that's not true, and when your interview in people, you don't have to tell the truth either of you intervene in a couple of people and lay like when you lucky you can we talk to that girl? You told her yet all this and for me asking or you arrested a couple of people and hate your buddies in next room distraught spelling has guts on you saying that it's your open your gunneson, No, no! No! No! It's his! You know, and I think you need to tell the truth the that, to you know you can. In those circumstances you don't have to actually Health true did you do a lot of that interrogation type stuff Yes, and I'm get trained to do that. Did you say you did you send it through training? Or was it just what you learned over the years in the caddy me. You learn the basics of it enters different schools. Like them, great school and everything. I never went to a formal school, Most of that I got was on the job training, you know I got with some. You know, agents in some local pleased. There were good at it and just picked up in
and you know hey. This seems to work. This doesn't work. You know I just like I said, I have kind of a knack at getting people to talk and also like, I said, good with informants. Alright, so after you got done with that conspiracy thing. What was the next thing? You had the West side task Force and the West I guess force that when you work with the right you are police from Phoenix and gear working together to try and do good do. Yes, you know people don't realize that without the local fourteen We can't do our job, you do. Locally. They know the area they have. The local connects in everything and most of the DE groups have look alone for it's officers sworn in as task force agents in the groups. You know we can't do the
the job by herself and I it gonna help me mean working at a local law enforcement agency. First to I kind of had respect street cred from a lot of local officers, and I think I was as big bad hive. You know, fellow agent you're just this lowly peon lot: local law enforcement officer. You know I respected them- What are you guys doing? You guys going after, like different levels of drug dealers. What's what's what makes them? west side task for different than just regular dia. It was some we focus on the West side okay in the west, the West area suburbs, and is it Is it the fact that you're working with them closely and interoperability and exchanging information that gives you a better chance of catching bad guys? yes and also bolsters our numbers to end actually in a suicide task force. We actually worked in one of the West side, police agencies offer locations for the Glendale Police Department in Arizona
so we actually you know you with them. Every day day in day out so same thing, you're doing investigations but you're utilizing the local cops. I'll be. Do the investigations? Correct was right. Yes, ok, so you're doing that and then I kind of pulled, back in the story a little bit but you, but then you you start hearing about the fast company and what you could do, what that's going to look like, but you're, thirty, nine years old got some mileage on it or tried to get in shape for that. How'd, you find out, you got picked up or what was the application process like well yeah? He had to fill out this field I'll fill out this questionnaire. You know I've been on the job, you know it's many years and this the background of things I did on the job and you have to get your I concur and from your supervisor, and then the king. and from the special agent in charge, would ever division year.
in and submit it and if you're qualified your name is pick to go to selection, so they said, date for selection and every they may give you a list of it all. These are some of the vents you're going to have to do Can I give you a outline how to train for them? You know you have to do our standard I p test, which is great shake I have to do the shooting he in long rifle begin to score higher rock marches you with wait on you. You do a certain time. A distant run in all these different thinking and leant, all kind of thinking on your feet and leadership, different task and things, and you actually have to we use actually use this company that the before a lot of
people in the military go to different special ops selections. They have to take this test online, which is kind of like a psychological and like an I q test, and you gotta answer these questions and then they, pretty much figure out if a person's going to make it or not do how you do these things. What he needs to tell the Damn seal teams about that. We still have an eighty percent attrition rate after, however many years it's been sixty years or actually no, it's been friggin, seventy eighty years of doing that training and put people that training we still I figure who's going to make it well. If we can quit- and we do to you know, say- and I think we started with. I think there was close to forty of us and our select. and only eleven made it through to their selection, Ticklish Quantico, the fur, part yes the first week it takes part in Quantico all in house, it's kind of like. Is it a beat down?
oh yes, it's kind of like we colleague like our hell Week and who's running it. It is it agents from fast, in fact, how long is fast been around for but was it created after September? Eleven? Yes actual Tamar letter out? Yes, but you said there was a previous like unit that snow cap, yes, that was prior to that. So they took maybe some old snow cap people brought him back see if they can, help out but my yes, how did you not give them get the unit organise in the training and logistics? And you know, weaponry. You know, but you're going overseas, fighting a war. So you're using weapons and weapon systems, the average DE agent doesn't never use in their. You know you using you, know: Bout FED crew serve weapons grenade launchers. You know handheld mortars, Carl, Gustaf Rockets. You know laws in all kind of crap, henhouse so
you're doing all this stuff. So you you know you ve really invest in you and like once. If you make it through training, you make it through selection, and you get picked up fast team. You have to least commit to doing three years. does their put novice time and effort in training and to you I. So what made most people quit How long was it? How long was the selection process? The first hell week was like a week. and you had tier one events. They were there pass fail, if you fail one event you're gone, and then we had here, too events Dear one event would be a force rock March force, Rock Myerst tiles. Here's the don, throw you for years, the time since run, was like a five mile run. Are Pt test. in test the thing, is of that nature. A basic swim Qual got it and then
Here, too, were like this in our different other vents and if you failed, one tear to you were put on probation Then if you failed another one you could get remove. We also had peer revolves throughout too, because have had learned, life lessons. You know some people can just fly through all the physical activity. Things and some people had a lot of military experience, but they can't play well with others so you're living in confined spaces to you, know and you're, just living with an asshole there, and we didn't have for that, so you could actually get peered out too. So sore people waiting this selection or they just not passing of standards about little about half a you know in our and when you go with you. There they're telling you what you're getting into you know. This is what we're getting into and this unit is not for everybody and just because it.
it'd for you. It doesn't mean that you're a bad agent that you can't do your normal job, but this is, you're getting into and as a whole as a total volunteer unit. You get people I got the slack in Europe is getting your dick knocked and deterrent ghetto, and if it was just you know, you did you, every day you did like a tier one event: you'll be fine but you also getting haste in between carrying the logs in the end, the final boats and you know- do crossfit workouts, and you know Thirty, nine years old, thirty years old, you're not getting much sleep but they're feeding you well! That was the average age of the rest of the class. Woodsy loafer, three thousand one hundred and thirty So you know you have trouble than the water stuff,
I've always looked like you might be a little bit of a sinker, and I learned that muscle does not float and that's why I say that bad yeah we we learned that the CEO themes, like you, get these big jack. guys that are not only big and jacked also ripped, and that means they don't have a lot of body fat enough to lean. This doesn't help either. Oh yeah leanness doesn't help either you know so I grew up with a swimming pool and we had a cottage on the lake in Michigan so obvious, I would say it was fairly competent in water, but just in I learned in the pool you have to relax the more you get yourself worked out. You get oxygen, deprived and then you're screwed so again, we're treading water for long periods of time, and you don't swimming and beady ewes and boots, and everything you have to stay. Calm,
we didn't quite do the fifty mute underwater swim like you got, we did a twenty five. You know we in beady and to me you know it's would like it I tell you to go deep and y'know and can glide and yet I'm doing all that and then we, get close to the wall is like I'm starting to the panic swim, screwing myself. You know so yeah relaxing glide, that's easier said than done exactly keeping your breathing controlled and everything you know so, after I did enough to pass with the swimming. So afterwards when I got to selected on the past him the FBI. I had a pool over there, so I'd go there a couple times a week and just going to water and to swim and get better at it, so how long was the whole selection process here you the first week is like the hell week and then you? do a training phase. Next,
and that's usually a couple months and that's usually run by a Green Bay team or with us it was going to be naval special warfare. else- and I was the first group that was done by the seals and sometimes the First part goes, and then you go right in two year. Training vase And The first part goes to me how we are still little, how we all week and then getting people to quit. Yes and then you go right into your training phase, but we got to have a break because we were going to use, May Navy special warfare. None more. Can it be ready for a couple months, so we got go home and heal alone, and lick your wounds a little bit. I pretty much had a blister in every part of my foot. I lost every toenail and both feet and at the time my girlfriend picked me up from there. Airport after the hell, we can she's like what the hell happened to you,
that was beat the shit I had to go to the er room. The next day that I put was infected the tome. What happened there looking at me like, I don't doesn't sound right. You volunteered for this and just because you make it through everything, say the whole week still the fast cod ray they sit down and you have to be asked to go on to the second phase of training. So I made it through that and got to go home and just lick your wounds, a little bit and go back to work in your regular group, and then we reported in early spring. We ve started, selects I think February, two thousand and nine early spring of that year to Little Creek Virginia did. You are second phase of training, so we're like okay thing, all told this is your learning phase of supposed to be the gentleman's course now Roger that so
you know the seals had never had outside people there either so we show up and some the cadre and some of the people from the team two and ten We we got too much ob to use for you guys and what do you? getting your badges and this and that added have no clue. I'm like in the past twelve years. You a week, pretty much got a lot of high speed stuff, so we're staying at the Navy in their little creek And so we report zero, dark thirty, the first day and for a PT and we go straight to the ocean times. Team two in the ocean out of the ocean are going to sugar cookies whole and I'm like. Oh really, I'm like. I thought this it was supposed to be a gentleman course and they were like. We were told to treat you guys like bud, I'm like who the hell told you that bam. You know so you gotta you gotta get hammered in, but you know they kind of slacked off.
For a while and you Did we indifferent different things, distance runs and stuff? So we spent time training there, and then we bumped over to Fort Chaffee Ark. Sorry to do the land warfare. Part of that- and you know was gave us, it was very, very good training to say at the least it was funny before we went over there and we found out the seals were going to do our second phase and other buddy. Who was very competent, but he was struggling the water little bit. I call am I like she who do in our second phase because share the seals he heads, and then you can't you end up coming off of West Coast to do some Trini to cuz you just later on. That's after I got selected on the fast team, okay, so when was when did you actually get selected October of two thousand and nine. Okay, and just because you make it through all the training doesn't mean you're going to be picked up on the fast team.
As openings occur, they give you can get cherry pick from the list. Gonna got So you was anything else about the dna training course. When you were a team to you went to Fort Chaffee, you go to training out there. Are you with a task unit or they just put you through training as your own entity that one it wasn't like they were as our own entity. oh really so you had. You know people from traded there and actually see Your chief tony gale was assigned cost oh yeah yeah. Tony, where he's he's such a beast, so he's like smaller than me, he shorter than me. He looks like. Ah, how do I describe this you don't look like he's like a super beast, but he is faster than me and he could bench press more than me. So he's like better than me at everything and No one would ever you know suspect.
You know you can go through the article course pretty good friggin, awesome because they had a master chief Hitchcock to help out right. Hot right argue What about those guys with things in so yeah it was. It was was intense and, of course we would do different events the team guys, and if we did a distance run, of course they put their distance. It's out there, oh yeah or we it across fit work out. They put their best cross her out there there you know also that he cut it. Jerry pick Tita people watching? You know? I don't blame them. You know when you there we're doing a distance run. You can wear any watch, no gps, it's gonna run, oh, and so you guys get did get it hooked up with a little bit of extra bonus program. Yeah. It wouldn't tell you how long we're running for, but I've always been a bigger guy, and I cut wait for that, then you would do and all than dern stuffs. I was cinema to fifteen to twenty
We had some guys on our team to look into one sixties when a couple of six minute miles, but I can't run six minute miles for ten minutes and we have some of these little rabbits. They could do that, but not me, I blow through a Crossfit workout no problem, but did. I was so weak on these distance run to be with you and know how long you were going for when you were done. It's like do your best. You know okay the time hacker here. I telling you you can't ever watch and you don't even know how fast you're going anyways yeah well, that they were treating you like bud, students, cousin buds, you don't have a watch and it's a total pain in the asks. You'd, never know what you're doing. The only thing you can do is just go as hard as you can, because that's the best you can do you know when selection would I I didn't, try to look too far in advance, and I just took activity photo was you know, in your view, beat down and on our team day the last day of help, the kind of hell week I just like joke just take another step. Just worry about one more step, and then we'll worry about the rest later
I didn't try, To overwhelm myself you know, and I read some things before being all about so different selections and things, and that's one of the things they said: don't overwhelm yourself. Jesus vice work About one thing at a time make it through that we worry about the next thing then, well get that sorry did you do anything besides Chaffee. Land warfare with those guys went to chappie and then back to the creek and then you would comment you you do an empty axis and threw out and then a communist where the final emptying you got to get a target over there and you go in you do with sims and everything and they didn't have the the the gear like we had an island there, yeah. You know you do a hit and the group I was in. We had to fast rope on top of this
building at night and they can be tricky. We use our DEA pilots and hope they can well have hover good cause. There was always a couple of times when guys almost were going down the rope in the ropes that are worth building, and you know I've always been a heavy guy. If I'm full kid or I was carrying my ido, I'm not, stopping myself on that road was meteor, I'm not when I'm going, I'm going to have that baroque better, be in the right spot, because I'm going to be at the bottom of it in about two seconds and that's that it is funny when we were doing our fast rope, training at little creek and the towers and everything you know used to have the tower at first and you do your repelling and everything. It okay to take your time sit down. You know what the hell after you known and grabbed, grab the rope and slowly spin yourself. This Who time so when we got the helicopters and first have to feel like
Go go: go, hurry up, go, go, go or what happened just take your time. They are like effort, I guess we're doing it live you know, so you get done with That and you said that's when you actually got selected or chosen to go to a fast. Would you call companies that s team fast teams are you, you actually get selected to go to a fast team and that's in the fall of two thousand not correct October, two thousand and nine, and you get there. Are you going do you know you're born honour deployment, respect certain time? Well, we knew what team we were going to. We have five teams at the time alpha through echo. In each team, is made up of one. supervisor eight agents in one Intel atom so I knew a team I was going on then once we got there, they would tell you okay, we
a team in Afghanistan all and each deployment lasted. One hundred and twenty days give or take some day, so you knew when you were going up, So what's up Got there I was assigned to Delta team, which is made up of some senior agents and what the newer individuals and we were set to go to do the deploy first deployment. Afghanistan, was going to be the spring summer tour of two thousand and ten a lot of people. Don't know in Afghanistan. Does a fighting season over there. You know she gets bad weather. There gets winner and stuff like that So in spring summer, that's when all the fighting is going on and that's when they're harvesting the opium poppy to manufacture the heroin. So it's kind of busy time so you,
it's settled in and you do start doing your plea to Pope pre kind of like with the military and then we had a group come in. You made familiar with them. made made up of Ex Navy special warfare guys and actually some depth group guys called. I shoot shoot the David Group run up and down they. Actually we actually used your guys system and about my groups of combat clearing incur actually taught us in that, and then ass refined out before deployments You guys are going to Camp Billy
making a niland, California, land warfare with a West Coast Seal team right on right on you, though, so you know what what when was that? Do you remember when that, once he yes and serpent heck season. I see a problem may issue of two dozen ten, as I was deafening stoner and ask you: teach you weren't there when we first got there If you showed up at the end, show up for the after exercise, yeah, that's what I would do and the Sq T was going through there at the time, heh and so it was a full house there, how was that training? it was intense. You know I was you know three weeks day and night of you know getting hit. Kicked in the balls you open off This is what I was told in the seal. Pre deployment work up. That's is the hardest pre deployment block or the toughest
Their land warfare, especially at that time, was no joke. And yet also there was a lot of buddy carrying you know. It was for extreme distances, you know, or you know, and it are different things, but I I tell you you got to learn how to do. You know. Land Warfare, drills very effectively. You got to get to know. I use your equipment, your night vision, your lasers, very well you came out of there well prepared like you know. Knowing that something happens and combine universe, you you know you ran out. Do you know your training there? if worst case scenario and It was yeah. That was always my goal. Was that and The goal was as crazy as a goal. This may seem like the goal was ok. I want to make sure that these guys, if they get into a gunfight going,
It's going to seem easy compared to what they through training- and I had ATLAS guys come back to me and say: hey this: situation, we're in here's the gunfight we got and here's the contact. We got it, here's a scenario we were in and they were able to handle it exquisitely Does the training? for training that they had been through and the urban traded admit? Who was so hard that the actual combat seemed easy. Now, obviously, can you simulate someone actually getting wounded or actually getting killed? No, you can't, but as far as I from a leadership perspective, standing how to manage all those elements on the battlefield and then the young shooters, being thinking shooters and knowing how to execute knowing how to operate, knowing how to move themselves as just an awesome package that that you have you have this just unified team when they get done with those with those training I so it was nice Does it island? You know they didn't. You know they broke us up in this intermixed us with the team in you know, so they put it.
well, you know what this you know: fire team that fire team, so they kind of shit and so it was. It was It was very, very training. A lot of the the train and stuff there and neither one was good visits. Every summer to Afghanistan. Terrain to I was get we're trying. We had some some other military entity trying to get control of that training site for Us- and I remember put together a brief for my leadership in the chain of command, my most senior leadership in the chain of command and what I did I took pictures of knives and and pitch is of Afghanistan, of like seals patrolling and I went and seals patrolling in Afghanistan, and I put together like five or six of those pictures side by side in us in a slideshow- and I say this is the terrain were fighting in and this is the train were training, and we can't do any better than this right here and we need maintain control lists. Listen so yeah it's very. It's uncanny. How similar those two environments can look.
and I didn't realize when we were there, two army rangers doing an exchange program to help teach land warfare there. does rangers that we would bring out there just outstanding guys because we as seals always want to have an open mind and make sure that we are understanding the tactics, the tech X, the procedures of other units. What are they know better than us? What can they teach us? What can we learn from them and that's one of the ways we ve always done? That is taking individuals from other units and bringing them to our units, especially to our structure cowardry, so that we can learn more and try and get better and those Those range their work with our work, this out standing eyes, and I say- and I feel you guys do and outstanding job of your guides is training. You know like, said the knowing that hey there's always you know there more than one way to skin a cat, and let's see what other people are doing. You know you, you put things in your toolbox. hey. I might use us again or hey. I may never use it again, but you have a lot of tools in that toolbox, their indeed
So you end up going on deployment to Afghanistan. Your first deployment how's that it's some intense Every time we got Afghanistan, things are a little different in at the time we were doing a lot of work with the army, odious, agreed brace there, and at this particular time we were operating pans away area. You know the the pans. Your way of our areas. Kind of Daenerys come the birthplace of the Taliban, where there's a lot of insurgent activity, but also a lot of heroin production going on there. also, so they broke us up into like two z's and 3zzz and put us with different units and a good partner of mine, a friend of mine, Travis, Brooks and myself,
we were signed with them. First special forces group over there Oda one thousand two hundred and thirty one, and they were stationed at Camp Simmons. Just a little little base outside of Kandahar airfield, which is like our main base, is a Cantar airfield in Afghanistan. We were I mean with the o da the first group guys you know, and we would bring like. I said early, you're our expertise on investigations and we had our partner force over there, which we were mentoring. and we were living over there with the green berets and using our Intel information, You know from the de and also using the military information, and we would try to pair than information find out where the bigger drug lapse. where, where they were selling the chemicals and equipment to manufacture heroin
and we would not go after. Is the opium farmers, the poppy farmers? There's a lot of times they were made to grow the opium yeah the Taliban came in and they had the biggest stick at the time either you know. Your groaned is poppy for so you can killed it also we knew they weren't reaping the benefits. So we would try to find you know the people who are getting the money from this and it's called a narco terrorism nexus And so we would hit these bigger locations and take people off the battlefield and train the Afghans how to process, and conduct these. You know investigations in We were with the degree raise your at the time. They were doing, move mister contact. which, for the nine to get all military people- and I didn't know at the time cuz I wasn't in the military before you basically go in hot air, and you pick a fight and you access.
Assess the enemy, how strong they are, and you stay there. A couple of days and then a lot of times. Conventional forces are brought in and we were hitting areas where a lot of drug activity was going on, Head of course, and pans away at the time they add a implanted ids yeah. This is two thousand and ten. so I d thread is just full on at this time, especially in that area. You know and that's when they started switching over to like the homemade explore of the age, a me where the will tactics not picking the stuff up? You know we had dogs and stuff with the bomb guys gals but sometimes they couldn't smell it and a lot of times. These ideas are hidden so well I can't see where they're at in expression, at night under nods. You know What every mission people were getting you know injured with Ieds. You know I was hit on the straight up
fight most often than not. They couldn't hang with us and also very them. They can use their weapon. The idea- and you know to deflect terror us and down in all its like. Ok on this can be met, a step I have my legs, you know you're trying to Do everything to try to you know mitigated, but you know you still never never know so you know we're doing these movements. The contact- and you know we're most often than not, hitting these labs behind enemy lab lines and that's their money. They're fight, like hell keep it you know. So I think that first year think I did it it about eleven missions or so and was intensely two times. I do not to fire my gun and I carried em a belt fed weapon. At the time I show up the fast
the course. The listeners can't see I'm a decent sized guy. Where do you walking around out at that time weight wise, I'm two hundred and thirty ish, so they're giving you a belt fed when you're like you're, a big guy, I've said I'm old and it's still heavy, you don't carry a mark. Forty eight or more forty six, actually a mark, forty three damn. Okay, you know. school M sixty four You know that was made. You know, for you guys. We had Mark forty eight, but I'm a left handed rifle shooter I was all jacked up. I was re left eye dominant and I shot a pistol right handed in that mark. Forty eight you eat all the brass rationally the mark. Forty three was a little better. He put like a broomstick handle on the front, they moved away back and I could stand stand up, I tucked my right elbow real far in and so I wouldn't catch as much Lincoln Brass in the cyclic rate of fire,
air and mark forty. Three is not quite as fast as the forty eight, but as you it's a pretty reliable. It's a it's a reliable weapon, he had also, I carried a damn thing every mission when it's nice to have because he does a lot of damage, but as a magic, Gunnar The enemy knows that so your target, two hundred percent Oh and tracers work. Both ways. Do Luckily, at night I got a hold of some of the IRA tracers, which you can only see under nods and using the enemy did not move for the most part and had there they did not have night vision capable please so yeah. It was some you had to fire, and you move your position a little bit and band fire move your position a little bit. You know now tv and all they had a box of one hundred rounds on that gun in it. doesn't last for five minutes of your hammond you're, hammering that triggered on its goals?
pretty quick, so you got learn to conserve your ammo and spread load ammo with other people to where you going out with so you're going out with an Oda team at this time yeah- and you also would have afghan partners with you. Yes, so these are pretty big elements that you're going out and yes in the Oda, had their partner forced to also wait, so you guys had your own partner force. Yes, while. at D e, a and Afghan DEA. Yes, it's national interdiction unit, okay, Afghans. They were more, they investigators and then the green Berets or wherever, They had their own group to write which the Green I like to use the afghan commandos that was kind of like their special ops unit in all, but to be quite with you even like we were working with the best and brightest. It was like herding, cats are for sure you know it's like okay, you know. What's you know you couldn't do these advance, like
wage and actual on movement of sex single file. Nosegay line we have, you, can stay in LA give lie in police, they line and stay behind the bomb people innocent. It you know, don't worry on like the path is: look like people, walk the most uncle over the foot bridges. Possess we're gonna placed the ideas and within ten minutes on the ground there everywhere, unlike our Jesus they're gonna, get me blown up, how big would these elements be? So you got the audio team, the commandos your guys and then the the afghan dea. Whatever you call them, yeah. What you talking like you got like fifty people, Oh my god, I pens how big the operation is. You know a the o team got like twelve individuals. And their partner force. Probably you would be around thirty, oh and faster, but we were like Tuesday's in three: these have two hundred and twenty four fast. in. We would bring our partner forest at this point
Take your time like we could cherry pick, people that were the better nurse and sometimes two to four. We would take out and, to be honest lists like I said, we worked the best and brightest not a high percentage of them were good fighters and what times they weren't in great shape, so we're kind of limited which Can do how long of an infill and ex will you can do and how complicated did a plan, you could do so. You know it kind of hamstring. A bit, you know, but we went out there and got the job done and you know when we were really hitting them hard. You know they call it second and third order effects. You could see they were having trouble getting some more of the better, be Hence in stuff. When we were like this, you knows Putnam, smack down item
and halfway through that for the end at first or we had First group was Lee Mean. Then a group from third group came in odium, three one one six When they came in and we did a couple missions with them and I You're, probably familiar with this in some of the listeners, as you know that the Afghans they use these icon radio fuck with each other, and we intercept these things. You know lot of times it just talking shit on these. Damn things YO we're killing them, you know they marry their die. Now we found your id and we're blowing it up. You know that that's what heard in you know, so we're getting at the end of art or and we're going to hit the spots called Housing Medina.
I understand, and there was a little combat outposts out there, which I think the hundred and first airborne was out there and they had a Taliban hospital in the area. Of course, they were growing lot of marijuana and poppy seed out there, and but they also had several dish cousin the areas the enemy did, and that's the old, like russian anti aircraft weaponry fifty one and they would harass the coalition forces their air. So in all. We had several task in this mission of the fine drug. You know the radagaisus drug activity going on and also find these discus so the Rangers went in there before us and they got a pretty good dust up in tick. Tick stands dancer troops in contact and they lost a couple rangers.
so we were going in a couple of days after and you're doing your pre mission briefing and you know we're going to get inserted with you know three ch, forty seven and a fourth ch forty, seven helical. Doctors and there's a high probability we're going to lose the helicopter In fact, what the discourse yeah. You know you're sitting there the night before he she had hope. It's not me. You know you're like in a coffin. Up there, you know even more. time. When we flew with the that the Green raised, they used the teeth like to use the night stalkers on one sixty, and we would always in fill an expert with the Spectre gunship overhead. but still less than any guarantees. And so you send for hope. It's not me in all was that I like opera get shot down. So we plan this and we in we usually like to go in at night to use the to.
Advantage with our technology with a night vision and later lasers, because I stated earlier the enemy to doesn't have that we like to go in at night get a foothold the best we can and then when slight search, and then you know expelled the next day or dependent on how long the missions can last you know a day or two or what not so we fly in and we take a little incoming fire, but all four birds make it. So we been begin to sweep through and get a foothold in them for it Visuals are listening that we're. You know been over there usually they'll try to hit or probe you the enemy over there. After first after morning, prayer the using they do their first hit and try to feel you out. So we it didn't come. A little skirmish is South sea implants. Am I
he d sin in our occur. moving through when we didn't fine work rapid and find the discards we're fine as a mere one feels in this, and that throughout the day there talking you like We need to find a good place to set up our peak him, sheen guns, meaning the enemy and you know we blew up an ied and, like I said I really don't know we are killing them. You know where is the end of the Americans are screaming and so we and other set up their pecans like I'll catch. You did, but you bullshit, and whenever screw you So this is an August in its height is held. And we didn T have any close airs ports at the time was they got called over to some other Yunus debt or having some contact. So we had a predator
add but the predators wings iced over and had the land. You know this is in one hundred and fifteen degrees, it one ten degrees, but I get all your there in a pirate. I don't know the specifics and stuff so You know where in sporadic skirmishes so we were under fire. So they're like we're not going to send air to pick you up, because the LZ is pretty going to be pretty hot, so you're going to have to make it we're going to have to try to make it to this combat outpost over there, which was probably a couple of clicks. at the time. So we move out and we stop this little like village area and we get set up to make our final push in it just the soldiers there, this habit it just we funny. Sense and make aspires something's not right. You know.
in a way we get in there where your ideas, but we do not know where they are. Okay, you're going to go in front of us and and you're gonna. Take us through. You know on you get us I will not go any further. You must kill me Oh, I thought you know that these were not so we found by these and blow up and so where the terminal is made we're going to make it to the combat outposts at this time, we're probably about clicking a half away or so so we're moving through hisses, daylight and worse than a single file in One of our guys see some movements in this little hut above us and he's like tells one of the green brace hey as our movement, so he glasses it with his scope and unseen see anything So we're moving out and I'm next to A pony wall like a probably a couple foot pony wall my writing me and I'll
I think those old mud buildings like when you over there, the matter you can accept the people bless your over there. You can't believe people still live like this, but don't start those do a whole job. Stopping bullets, Islam, so we're going through and then sure is shit. They were looking for places up. Can't we get caught in your ambush, so I got bullets going over my head coming to the side of me, and people caught off we get for people hit right off the bat when ambush opened. one being the odious team sergeant and he's like I gotta for moral, bleed and we're like oh shit, so I'm rocking my forty three and I usually care about four hundred rounds, ammo on me, whom we had spread loaded some more
and so you know I'm trying to pick up like puffs of smoke, where I think enemy fire is coming from but I'm also trying to conserve summer ammo tube is. Are we started over run? I want to have some, but always carry the pistol with me too and least one frag grenade, help. I wasn't you know I going to fight to them. I don't want to be taken alive so I'm two ammo and being the ambush your people throwing hand grenades it was that close? Telfair law Rockets, and I asked one of our afghan counterparts who spoke English and the Oda counterparts they carry. the full length to forty and forty. So is the same round the mark, forty three with fire swamp go get me some ammo he runs out and brings you back
Lincoln ammo about twenty from when I was like what am I gonna do with this, so I just lick it one of my belts. Okay, And so we were fighting and we finally get some close air support. We get a f sixteen from the USA Ye, but they won't fire and you know we got people kids and we got medevac coming in, and I tell you, those medevac pilots have balls of steel nay company they started coming in. Our policies were shooting up all around them. They landed those birds and got our most severely wounded people. There- and you know back to you- know higher care, you know so we, finally, get some close air support to suppress a little bit the one hundred first, here's all this activity going out, so they bring some of the gun trucks, but they can't get too close to us. so we're like. Ok, we got a mitya we're getting a little break. So like will k, we get him
it does combat outpost, so we did our vote, our version of the Mogadishu Mile there where you know you're running and shooting. and you're, not caring about the idea at this time yet to cross open field. I guess you know you're up, you see me, I'm down, you know I guess, step on some shit. I I'm gonna blow up egg and all they get their gun trucks out there and they start shooting in some press of fire, and we end up getting to the combat outposts. In course, we I'll. Look like soup sandwiches. You know, I'm done here is like you guys are out there. You go yeah, I learned in a calm, but they are we Station, the Uno sat there and you know get some rest in here. Raining the charm, get some food. That's when I learned most of the bases we were staying at added. Unlimited food and ass. I learned to combat outposts is limited rations. You know you only get to it Is their little serving you know, so the grace God
nobody end up surviving. You know we had some some injuries, but we ended up surviving so that conclude My turn, and I tell you what I had a bet you. I thought I was going to end that day, vision when you come close, run ammo, you, like, oh shit, you know what I'm going to do. He had also it was. It was quite enacts areas. So we can. I went out with went out in a bank that first her Search so yeah you definitely. The end that deployment with a bang when you when you, done with that deployment. As you looked back at it, what was but to take a ways that you got from your experience is there like anything I've done in life. Okay, every mission, I would take it half for each mission. It's like ok, these are the things I did right in the mission- things I want to do the same again. These are things I did wrong. I never want to do again. So each thing
that you know I'd looked at my so critically and I've always been proud of my own worst critic. These, you know I don't want to do that ever again. You know- and this is what I want to do and you can probably relate and some of our there's, probably the more you're in that environment. You never get one hundred used to it, but you get calmer during it. I remember my very first, operation which all dark thirty, nor with the green raise that year. Lucky we didn't get any ticks or anything is a murmur landing in the night in the middle of nowhere- and I guess I said I guess just for real. Now it I'm just trying to make sure I don't lose my element at night, Vienna, night vision. Is it it's not the easiest to see in our and we, as in previous a night vision is like please Please Lord. Let me keep up with the people in my group and not get lost out here by myself, so and I told I was talking to my fellow some fellow agents back
in Arizona. When I got back- and I was telling of stories in all this is what we're doing you know you like. Oh, your shooting is no way you did that shit. I'm like your yeah. We did. You know it's common in everything, kind of fell in the place where I don't know. If it ever will happen again at war with a country that has a drug nexus. In also, as I did things, DEA agent. I never thought in a million years I'd be doing and you know people would ask me You scared or nervous. I said, exit yeah I was you know I said, but you still had a job to do. You know It does nothing scarier feeling you're going to land near there you're giving you know. You know five it's two minutes and you hit the door gunners open up yours. You know you're going into a hot lz. You know he had the annex, is burning of serpents and fire down, but I expect
the two it's like at the amusement park, you right in the biggest baddest rollercoaster scared nervous and then, when you get done, slick okay. When we going back again, you know I can pick us up at warp sense. You know I've. Always in kind of an adrenaline junkie. But you know it's like how he you are you nuts? I I dunno if I'm nuts, but you know I TED and two I've, always even in football, tend to excel. When the pressure was on. You know some people fold under pressure. Some people can handle it well. Luckily, for me, I always had a knack of being able to still function pretty effectively under stress when you got home from that deployment, you said you went back to Arizona. Do you adieu back to the Ok, so you got back your Quantico us as soon as that we are actually living now is in Quantico, since you were the fast team, well
tired now, but when I was on the fast him, yes, I was living in the Quantico area. I was living actually in Fredericksburg Virginia. Ok, so you get back from that deployment. No one can believe what you did. You can barely believe what you did. I just lucky to make it out there with my life. You don't have to late Still you, and what's next you get it you get to decompress, and you know you get to spend time with your family. You know, you've been gone awhile and they send the the psychologist in and they kind of debrief you and see if you have any issues or problems, and you just get to take it easy for awhile and spend time with their family and just relax in recuperate, and how long is that, decompression time you know a month or so nice so then you know we were scheduled to do our next tour in Afghanistan. It was going to be the late early winter tour of two thousand and eleven.
And the meantime we started operating in the western hemisphere also, and we had a team out there that go team. What's their primary thing was to the western hemisphere and they were given his language, training, spanish and everything, and they were operating Honduras Real Shithole to have hands real nice than you know. The scuba, diving destination and and the rest of the country is a disaster a lot. A lot of violence, they're soaked, echo teams going there and they're doing, which is called these are tracks of interest, and we were working in conjunction with joist joint task force. Bravo over there out of Soda Cano in what you're looking for is the small like planes, the Cessnas and everything's coming from source countries like cocaine, Peru and stuff, like that loaded,
cocaine. You do multiple hundred kilos of coke at a time and the euro fly an and land in knees, some remote landmines strips add their supper, remotely it was like a road or like a clearing, would come under at night with no no night vision and no runway lights. Like things lit up and land and try to Safely- land the plane, but the drug dealers didn't really as long as the the the the the hey was ok, then care of the plane to destroy so we What we are sent to the need about here so me in another guy from my team volunteered to go and help them up. So we go and were in sort o Connell. We during training with our partner,
Worse, are getting up to speed and our tactics, how to take down plane, land and take down a plane and all that jazz and working with joint task force. Bravo and right before we got there, we were doing training, so another team went there. They had wanted these air tracks come in and they launched on it and actually got a pretty good firefight and actually were shooting our p jeez. at the end of the military aircraft. The forty sevens that were bringing them in and that the jade throw chaff was Bravo guys, like woah, tight time out. You know we're just supposed to I'd you guys a minor transportation role. We don't really want to be in combat here. So when we got there, they made pretty good seizure and killed some decent amount of enemy, and so we get there. So they're making like. Well, you We have to have so many hours of training and we know we have to
Is this and that and so we're practicing and doing all that you a to the golden DEA De Abe. We bring some our airing wing assets there, but we just have smaller vehicles on me smaller aircraft, like kind of like a super black. You can't fit a bunch of people in there. We were, you know, you doing. The saw you want like a ch, forty, seven or something so they're. Making excuse in the world not to fly us. for a specific target that you're going after the it in general. They were making excuses not to fire. If a hit happened to come up in general because They knew that it'd, be gunplay and one of our honduran partner forces got shot during that first operation. They have to medevac him out and they're. Like If we set you guys down there and if somebody gets hurt you're, not flying into a hot lz to get you
So there's a lot of lot of things, so we had to d aircraft there. So we had a couple of good air tracks that came up so the first one we launch just what our de aber and the amount of fuel in curious. Not that great. You can't be up that long and it takes a while for us to get on these these some these bogey birds and get try so we launched and we had in each one twenties helicopter to DEA pilots. We too fast team guys and two hundred partner forces, nice birds. and each one these birds, we had a full size to forty, Bravo on there in stuff, but what that limited people. You're, not gonna land in fight a force. So at best we can see where they land and hey, we got harassed or maybe you know you could defend yourself and put some fire down at least disabled aircraft.
So we launch twice and we get on board tracks, but before they, landed. We had to relearn it blowing running low on fuel, so we have to get back. So we're there and we're staying out at portico Castillo, knit pork steel area, as a base out there as were launching from so they had, it was a pretty big media event, so they all knew where the me. They all knew we were there. So, one of the local drug dealers he knows were coming. He leaves the country, so one of his people that work He went to his lieutenant. Is there so he could Cox's. Hare brained scheme human, we're going to get them out of there. So my boss can come back no we're staying in this hotel, for which are one of the local drug dealers, says to himself,
the DA leave can come back we're staying in this hotel and there's off the water there, and there is another hotel there. The Christopher Columbus were allowed the military guys or staying, and they had this little airstrip so a lot fast guys are good morning. Do PT and we'd run in the morning, so this guy scheme was, they knew what kind of our schedule that they were going to when we got run in the morning, they're going to go and drive up and shoot a couple of us down so they're going to kill a couple of DEA agent, in San Diego. It's going to leave and wait. You got wind of this, or this is just what their plan as you found out after the fact. I end up getting wind of it because one of the in force guys we were working from recognized a guy in town and he said this guy town got recruited to help, kill a couple,
so key reports back he purchased to his body and they come to us. and the two people they're going to kill in the morning is the big which is me and another guy in our team Dave Clawson, the guy with the funny shorts, because he colorful long goofy shorts. He would wear to run and they're just going to well up alongside of us and the machine gun us down, so we get wind of this and then they the hell out of their back to soda conall and send us back to the states. Some. What about the other be aid? They were there like another week and they left it was this. There is It was at the end when we're going to leave anyways, ty risk low reward, high risk, lower board gaiety abroad. was not flying us, so it's. Was this. It was this the mess we later went back there and had full support and end up doing some good with some of our some other teams. How'd, you feel
when you are trying to get out of there walk it from the friggin hotel to the car to the air played to get you out of there. I tell you what you know we're staying in this hotel. Casiho on House, a German by the water there, and you know we got to get a first floor room and it's a decent, I like gets them one night there. So like barricaded my door, I got my mark. Forty three set up ready, to go my you know my car being ready to go. I'm like ok, Lord get me through this night. I said if they're going to get me they're going to have to they're going to have to work, to get me get on it was did, were you able to sleep or just stay awake all night finger on the IRA and just but I had had enough the bell it all down to feed tray cover shoddy of others. the weapon cock back with the safety on you already ready. Do go. You know so they're going to
it I'm going to respond with a burst of gunfire. They try to get through here yet know, So is, like you know, I survive Afghanistan and then I'm going to get I'm going to get in Honduras. You know who's up come if you're coming home, like, oh God, Joe, what do you? What what you getting yourself into and your volunteer for all this? and at night in Honduras at night? They would be all this. You know fully automatic eighty forty seven gunfire and the couple who ran the hotel that just like celebratory fire, or as far as their fight to going on, I think a little bit of both God and the people who are the proprietors of the hotels. well they're, just killing chickens and kill no damn chickens in the middle of the night with a case with a case yeah, nothing left at the chicken. You know
so we ve roll back into the states and then we're doing our pre deployment training, Gideon ready to go to my text her and Afghanistan so again we're in the fighting season. You know time frame, parameter and you know working with the specialized special ops. if you hadn't worked with them before probably know this. There's a lot of dick measuring going on Jack, it's like who are you? What can you do if they never work with you? You know, you know we weren't a special ops unit say you were the best a have, but we could shoot moving, communicate, pretty good you know we can hold our own so alive. times. It took two or three
the shins are going out with people. Hey these guys are pretty good. You know they're decent. I saw in a lot of people, thought that we with these units and they would clear it and then we would come in after the fact that wasn't the case. We are up there from the front leading elements, So to get to my points, we had art a fast him before us that was there in Afghanistan in at the time, a lot of the. U S. Special ops units were doing in this village stability programs where they were going out and living with the people out, you know in the villages and getting them to I see our way of thinking and views and values, and you know we could talk for hours about that, but we won't into that here today so. No, you special ops units were available to direct action missions, so
The australian commandos stepped up, hey we'll do it and they were operating. They can only operate in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan and that's a pretty hot and surgent Surgent area of activity, and they have a lot of drug production goes on there and that's where we have a big bass. Tour camp Leatherneck with a marine corps hazard Marine Corps is so they were work. My fast he came in and they saw we were good to go. When we got there, we have to go to that rigmarole. We just hit the ground running. In fact, the second up we did there that term. We hit the biggest heroin lab to date at that point, appointed time in Afghanistan, and it was just huge in they weren't use, tell us being and home in. So we we're running into a lot of emplaced. I e Ieds, but they weren't used to being there
but they were still putting up a hell of a fight. You know you're, take their money and oh hell. No, so we hit that lab we had, I would make. Is that lab MIKE Mike? Is it that their producing at a time Malta, hundreds hundred kilos of heroin at a time. In fact, when we came in, they had a lot of drying out, we didn't know, yeah the rotor wash it will see it blew a lot of it away, but there was a ton of chemicals and equipment left. You know, then we, you know we can't take all the stuff with us. So we we just take representative samples, take photographs and destroy the rest of the stuff in place. So we're you know in the process of destroying the stuff and we're run into a sport. Attic, you know gunfire encounters. We got one of our our part of forest guys
shot in the leg. Have to bring them to a medivac and some of couple of Australians got shot and we're process, as seen this lab and I tell you the the australian commandos there's are very, very effective unit and very good. You know I kind of put them on par to like maybe our army rangers and they rolling pretty heavy when we roll into they will deploy snipers in their firsts to set up. and if we're rolling heavy they'll bring a whole mortar company and everything too, so we Then that's who you started working with and they were being guided by the office. Yet we are being out about australian elsewhere. There, man dose of cats who our partner force, was and is funny because we be talking like this and you can kind of understand the Aussies. They have different slang, words and stuff, but under
and stressing that are firefighting. You can understand what Taylor saying you like: can you ten nine that last please? Okay, you're, my very best, english accent? This is what we want you to do. So you know, and you know we had quite a few prisoners at the time. during this op and stuff, and- we're getting ready in the middle of the night, you're loading them on this helicopter and they never seen helicopters up close, you know so they're. Just looking around It's like an alien spaceship that come on. Come with us who are not good secure, you come on our so where we're rip rolling through this tour we're just making some out of a seizures So we're getting close, we got like, like three weeks, left to go it's getting close to Halloween and this bizarre- take bizarre
and the northern Helmand Province pops up hot, these bazaars out there like outdoor flea markets with like rolling garage doors and things, and they saw everything from you, know, sundries and shampoos chickens, but also to include chemicals in equipped. We manufacture, heroin, the bomb making material and small arms. So this bizarre pops up hot and our team. The that was there before us. Bravo team at hit this bizarre with the Aussies They seized a lot of items when they got in a pretty big gunfight fight. In fact, the supervisor of the fast team, Brett Hamilton who was in my selection. He was some marine corps officer old, tough, crusty guy. and we have the two oldest guys in our selection, he's a little older than me
they're fighting their way back to the helicopters and he ends up getting the Forrest Gump. be job stung him who got shot in the buttocks. Howard or hard dude man. He stay the rest, the tour of the this won't. He was still going out, ops and stuff So we knew we were going to run into some resistance but we can hit it with the Aussies there, in an air wing platform available with night vision, capabilities that could fly us so well equipped. We don't want to go during the day. We want to use our technical advantages, but we didn't have that option and we were our confidence was. I think little higher than it should have been. You know they say you live by the sword. You die by the sword. So like we're going to go,
so we're going Is this air wing? That's training the afghan pilots, for when we left they could take over New stuff and they were using old russian- am I seventeen true transport helicopters not to pre, robust helicopters nodded and not as big as our siege, forty seven, but they move pretty fast and yeah. They get their door and door gunners. They got on one side. A pecan. Jeanne gone on the other side of many gun, and there's us cut contract pilots in there with with Afghanistan. Is one british sky bridge british aviator too so the night before they tell us oak one of the helicopters you guys use going to be all afghan crew and piloted it like like I We don't really wanna beyond their public have to her.
Nor any other Aussies visit they decide that they are going to get jihad on that day and crash into a mountain Don't want to be on that and they're, not skilled as our pilots, sir? okay we'll go, but our afghan, powerful counterforce is going to info an excellent that bird So we get a plan we're going to hit the bizarre early morning, hours of October, thirty, first, two thousand and eleven just after first light but now we want to get there were no people in the in us. We have to deal He ran a deal of all that crap does get there. We're gonna hit this bizarre- that we're going to hit a notification after it. so the plan was we arrive in three am I the four and are seventeen surpassed. Fast team members in Austria and going to be in one they afghan powder
Going to be in another and then the Australians, going to be in the other two birds, and the if you're going to land and kind of setup, a outer perimeter to try to keep the enemy from maneuvering in on us. But the only bad thing is. It was a little bit of a mountainous area, so the enemy had the high ground an hour after him of course, they're land in the helicopter they're going to search this little village area right outside the bazaar, we're going to link up and then we're going to search the bizarre into groups I was in charge of one of the elements made up of fast team members with our afghan partner force And then one of our guys was leading the other group, so we land. Start moving through hook up with the Afghans and shortly after infill
We receive service receiving sporadic incoming fire, not very effective. So we're moving through and we're finding poppy seed and stuff to manufacture heroin, and I'm standing outside of one stalls in the bazaar behind this old beat up car. I hear a shot. Fire and I hear it hit the beat up car behind me and then I feel the back of my neck burn, I'm like oh shit, so I dive into the stall? The bizarre I put my hand on my back of my neck, see of any blood. I don't see any blood on my glove. I have whenever afghan translators look at it and he says. Oh, it looks ok, sir. But the bullet got so close. I can feel the heat of the bullet burn the back of my neck I kind of had my guard up after that, and I'm like that's close call Joe, so I can
was using all my techniques and tactics I had learned throughout the years on the police department on a Swat team as a DEA agent, as the Deja de fast train, in an prior missions, so shortly after that, over them she d loudspeaker system. They have over there the insurgents to a call to arms. today's your day to die. We must kill infidels. We must drive them out of our land, so the income in gunfire really increases so You really hear the Aussies get into it with them then you're still in the bazaar at the store? Still in the bizarre and the Aussies, are on external security? Yes, and we have the Marine AIR Wing providing close air support, and we hear the the Marine AIR Wing get into the Aussies getting into it so we're finishing up what we have to do, we're taking
samples, taking photographs and starting destroy all our stuff. So We do that and we said: okay, we're like ten like ten minutes out and we'll be ready to move. So we start calling our birds to come. Get us. So they're inbound, and we have to make our way to her. Ex Phil locations are only about a couple come onto meters way not far But we get bogged down in the gunfire, so we can't make our Ex Phil positions in time. So we have to wave the helicopters off so they go. distance away, but keep the rotor spinning. So You know at this time. You know they were like moving in between mud huts, and you know it froggy and in your like. How can I know we have get the hell out of here because the longer we stay, the more the enemy time to amass, you know
it's not going to be good, but you know it combat. You can't show fear to other people on your team risks, even though you're feeling, like I don't know, if we're going to get the hell out of here, it also your movie name. We finally get set up in our export positions, Afghans and their little spot and us in the US he saw the for helicopters come. And were receiving fruity heavy incoming fire tool to include both FED machine gun, fire don't remember. Don't recall any rpgs. so the four helicopters come in and we got the afghan crew and pilot helicopter that one we're never going to get on in a million years. And three land which one doesn't land the afghan coup in pilot helicopter, and afterwards they said because of the brown
conditions with the other captors helicopters, pick it up all the dust and wrote a walk and all the incoming fire they didn't feel comfortable landing so instead of waiting for their bird to come, guess what they Afghans pile on to the next helicopter. It's ours. So Their first wariness. When field we run out. There were like get the hell off their. Not move, I don't blame and I want to go back into that Hell so, instead of being shot in this open, damn field we're like okay, just go so the three helicopters lift off yeah that it's us a fast team members and several Aussies So we can cover the guys are left on the ground. fifteen of you max. We had from fast. We had we had Jared, Stan.
two mats brands Paul myself in a couple Aussies sure like under ten, so a all the fires focused on us at this point, so take cover in a little ditch. and then our helicopter short time lands about a hundred meters away in this. The one we'd never going to get on the game, crew and pilot helicopter, so they land- and I remember, saying to myself, cause your heart's racing. Like I gotta get the hell out of here. I remember saying to Myself- is going to be a shitty run. You know others, bosses popping up everywhere, but I knew we couldn't stay so. One of the last memories I kind of have from that day is I get up to run.
I remember firing a couple of shots on the run towards the direction I felt insurgents were firing at us from. I guess I got the helicopter about mid pack and that's when I paused and was providing fire for the rest of my teammates to get on or near the helical after her, then once that happen, my team leader, Jarrod Johnson, said let's roll. I guess and that's when I turn left to run out to the helicopter and I got hit in the head at first He thought I fell and he's trying to rouse me and I'm not moving them face first into the ground. and then he rolls me over and he sees the like ballistic classes. I was wearing were shattered and he sees a hole in my head. So they roll me over and they're thinking, I'm dead, which is very you know. Very situation here you get took a round to the head
and so they grab me scoop me up. Throw me in helicopter. That's when Brent and you know he's of cover fire down. I'm at Stewart's trying to get the afghan door gunners to fire their, not even firing. address getting shot up we're getting shot and he's like shoe, chewed shoe fire. Our couple rounds burst into the ground, but no shoots he takes. You know he grabbed the gun and starts shooting a little bit. If they throw me on the helicopter. And you know they think I'm dead. You know a very loud Nair, of course, and everything so you can't hear breathing. So one of my teammates, just in Vanderbilt who actually before diet yea, he was a medic in New Orleans and he was there during Katrina, so he was kind of like one of more highly trained kind of our version of like eighteen delta, medical guy, even though we all go through
pretty intense t, triple c, combat care and actually live tissue training. Stuff he's like his life, his breathing so they start getting my stuff cut out and damn. they up Why combat cause to my head wound, which is gauze with clotting agent in there? so they could not under control. Here then, ah times with facial wounds- are different. That had wound you want to try to establish a better airway, when you can do that by a couple of different ways, you can do a creek where you're cut. You know that the person's throat and you insert in implementing their help, more or you can use a nasal pharyngeal airway. and they decide they're gonna, stick a nasal pharyngeal airway up my nose. Hand in training. We have to insert these in enemies. Other
and just so everyone knows this is like a it's basically like you, U shaped tube, that you cram in someone's nose that will open up the airway between your, not rules and your lungs, not all the way down to your lungs but like through your head. You know to probably what you think they are you're, like maybe five into long total. Something ass. One end looks like there's a funnel on air and the other end in own in training. We can put light a cane in our nose before we do it, but it still sucks or no no offense attended we trading with the seals. They allow us to spit out MR geese upper those knows, and these enough funds the window. Cramming this up. My nose, I come too I don't remember. Any of this is probably a good thing, I'm talking making sense. I recognize people's voices,
I'm not complaining about my head, even though a hole on he said I cite as a given out of my eyes the pressure from the high velocity round, which we think was armoured person ral from both at peak him. Machine gun travelling through my head ruptured, both my eye glow. And attached both retinas. So they pour saline solution on my eyes, of course, that doesn't do jack crap and then I'm telling him. I gotta move my leg. so they think I'm shot in the leg to with all the gunfire that was coming at us particular mission. I did not have my belt FED machine gun. I had my car being with a suppressor on it, and I had been shooting quite a bit so when I got knocked unconscious, I fell on the barrel of my rifle is pressing. It burned inside of my left leg, real bad, it actually the cry pants! I was wearing her burned. You know they were burnt.
and they they burn my leg pretty good, so there you know. workin on me and in others to give me back to the base. Quick as possible, and I know my t mate said the thing: a scared them. Even the bleeding start. My had discussed swelling up the sworn up. They knew there is nothing They could do there, but luckily for me helicopters, air when I got shot so you know I usually take the time now to
talk about some of the things that I think led to my survive. Ability is that you know, even though I was severely wounded by my team, providing that fast medical attention. They had stalled my d compensation, giving time for me to get the higher care, and I know it's not in vogue at times or this and that, but for all instances I should be dead talking to the medical professional. Over eighty percent of the people who get my injury do not survive, and the day I became a police officer. My mother gave me.
St Michael's medallion is a patron saint to protect police officers and always carry one on me. I had one in my kit and I always did the Psalm ninety one prayer before I went on missions and carried a copy on me as a prayer of soldiers going into battle for the Lord to protect you and I had one of my grandfather's dog take some World war two on me, and he was not my time to go. The Lord had more for me to do. I think some of that is me doing my motivational speaking now and helping others deal with situations and instances, and it just was not my time to go and then with all our heart
speed medical training that we had once my key mates found out. I was alive, nobody panicked and fortunately, over there we had to use our medical training more than when we had a light. So that- and also you know, I too about mind set. You know you have to have this mindsets that, if you're in a fight for your life or year with a suspect an enemy you're fighting for your life or getting in a shoot out or it could be. You could be at home. You could have an accident or drive a car. If you're in a fight you have to survive, you have to fight. You have to kick claw scratch. Whatever you have to do, you have to think yourself. I am not going to lose this fight I am not going to I'm going to survive.
I'm going to make it through that you have to have that mental attitude. You know I kind of call it the. Warriors mindset or the winning mentality that I'm good. survive and make it through this. You know: there's away, I'm not going to make it through, even though at first I was knocked unconscious. My body my mind, didn't give up. you better. Are you going to make it through this Joe, You know, I didn't see any bright light or anything I may have saw the somewhat fire below or something there wasn't it wasn't so also talking to the doctors. I was in really great physical shape.
I got shot and the better shape you're in a lot of times, the more traumatic injury you can survive and lots of times the better you recovery is seen. Also when I talk to groups, you know especially military law enforcement groups, and I tell people you ought to be a living athletes but Please please, please be in the best shape you can, but it may save your life. You never know like. I said it could be a car accident you're in or you could fall off a ladder at the house. It just please stay in the best shape that you can. So we fly back to the base tearing cow which were staying at with the office, so we land and they are feel there- an ambulance comes out to meet us and they don't bring a structure to the bird to think they have me on the stretcher, even though we have them
heavy on one. So I hear this commotion going on, so guess what the guy shot in the head does he gets off the walk up. Carter. if much like. No, we got, you will carry you, so they carry me to the ambulance- bring me to the medical facility there they do what they can for me. There Do you remember trying to get up and walk? No, I don't I don't remember talking to my teammates on the helicopter. None of that Also. I remember his firing a couple of shots on the run vs. I you know talking to the doctors cause. I guess we know, but I got hit. It was just lights out and it's kind of your brain's mechanism to protect you. and I'm probably glad I don't remember any of that stuff.
so they brought me the medical facility there they knocked me unconscious, do what they can for me there and then they make arrangements to finding an amount of act helicopter to Kandahar airfield which they had a Nero surgeon, and I search standing by so I'm flown over there with one of my teammates Matt Steward. We arrive there, so they course they do an assessment on me there and It was fortunate for me that day was Halloween, so not a lot of groups were doing or units were doing missions, so they didn't have many casualties in the hospital there. So they first take a look at me and I guess I'm starting to be kept alive with basic lifesaving procedures at this time and they don't think there's anything they can do to
save me so they're just going to have me pass peacefully and then have me sent home back home on an angel flight deceased. But the doktor near certain he's pretty aggressive guy and then that the nurse it in took me there and he's looking at me he's talking to my teammates. You know my teammate that I was talking after and helicopter, I got up to walk off. I was trying to get whatever is in my eyes out and he sees what shape I'm in he's, convinced that if he gets in and perform surgery that they can get the, You bleeding them, I had stopped and some of the pressure relieved in lease get me home to the state, so my family can see me didn't know what condition I was going to be in, even though you know I was talking in the helicopter and he had to
Decide whether I could survive even what he was going to do to me during surgery and he strongly that. I had the will that I wasn't going to die and he told me after the fact with brain injuries and head injuries? He There was a smell that somebody gave off that he could tell they working to make turnout and he said I do not have that smell, And I think first there in all their bickering back and forth. Whether now he's fighting the com, and whether they should use their resources to save me, and I there is a line in the house Capital there once you cross over that line, surgery has to take the patient. You can't push him back, so the head nurse at the time which I'm still friends
I'm not going to mention her name names. I don't want to get in any trouble. Push me over that line. So surgery had to take me so Will they be? They began to operate on me. The neurosurgeons spend approximately four and a half hours operating on me. They actually route the whole frontal skull piece of my head and my front of all my frontal forehead is now titanium. They got the bleeding stopped, they got, they put a valve and air to regulate my pressure and then the eye surgeon came in and he's like she's like talking to the main doctors like. Is he really survivable? Am I going to spend all this work on somebody where he's as can be sent home in a box? And that was a possibility, but he says I think you know he's gonna make it show she spent approximately eight
hours, piecing my eyes back together with a microscope in this work. She did has given me the opportunity in the future to be able to potentially see more. My left eye has some light perception that I can see some moving in my left eye and I can see them shape so there's a bigger color contrast between in dark. So she piece of my eyes back together so the It's day, one of my best friends and my unit. He was in another part of the country trying to get similar ops together. He makes it there and he flies back in route to the states with me. Of course they have me on this big. I guess medical plane you know we're pretty much. Each patient has their own the nurse and everything
and dumb ran right back to the states and, of course, their lending, my family, no, what happened and everything and at the time I was engaged- and I told my fancy at the time I said: don't do if I can't get a hold of you, you can't get hold of me a modern up when I get back in we'll Skype or text you or call you. I should only worry if two people come knocking on the door, so she was a nurse. She worked night shift and she Afghanistan's like eight hundred hours different and she hears a knock on the door that morning to got back from work and she goes to the door as he sees two gentlemen through the window. She doesn't recommend and they put their badges out and she's like oh shit, so she oh the door and she starts bawling to like he's not dead, he's in surgery, we don't know but he's alive at this point so
while my family notified and everything, and then we had to fly over to launch to Germany and they pretty good medical thing there with my buddy Travis and was the pressure my head was rising they kept me there for three nights and then they flew me to do Andrews. Base, I was going to say Dover, but you don't want to make it over. Is that means you're, dead, so the familiar Andrews and then had on my family at the hospital and all the people from dj and everything that the higher ups and know some of the other people on their teams waiting to receive me if they take me via ambulance over to Walter, Reed National Naval, medical Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, So they, when I arrive they, let my family see me they plan on doing some other surgeries. There
but of course, I'm a mess. I have no frontal skull peace. My heads, ok, Dan. I guess you know I'm swollen, I gotta to come out and almost every part of my body. Yeah they. Let my family, see me and at the time of my fiance, was a potential care nurse. If she seen a lot of trauma lot of bad things, but I guess when she saw me, and course, when it's your loved ones, it's different, she put her hand on her mouth screen, ran out of the room and passed out her dad at help raft off the floor its through when it's somebody you love and care about it's different. so they brought me in there. They did some surgeries on me. They reattached my retinas. They cleaned up.
It had area more in preparation for putting my plate on my metal plate that I have now and later, but they don't want to put it on too quick was a chance of rejection, is greater and everything They want to wait. So they do that. and then they put me in an induced coma with that that pro football you want to maybe call it the Michael Jackson, drug the one Michael Jackson, used to sleep, I arrest Michael Jackson, your rest, his soul. It works very good for putting people in a coma. You can reverse and real quick, but not necessarily is not name that Nestle prescribed for sleep so they had me on that and they had me they had be intubated and everything. So they have me to do scoma for about a week and then, when they were getting ready to bring me out of the car,
They didn't know how I was going to be, even though I was talking and making sense on the helicopter and all that with the additional trauma of the surgeries they would know if I could speak at all, but I remember anything what I have my same personality, but they CERN this surely They learned. I was ashamed. Smart ass, Joe, I was before he died look confused at first, then Ask me you know: do you live, I'm like? Oh Detroit, Michigan, What do you do? I'm a police officer. What's your dog's name, I said, access. My very first dog I had when I was a kid But I soon she forgot my berries. I knew who I was at the particular time and who was workin for an thing, so I started my road to recovery. You know so now, I'm blind and I'm out in the bush. You know the best condition physically at this particular time because of that
you know so they begin to start my recovery process. Here. I was on a feeding tube for a while, so the pull that out and they trickier They say: okay, we're going to pull us out on three one. Two, like you, didn't wait for three of like My we say that, because we want to catch your eye, surprised- and I want you to say three then Paul you tighten it. It makes it worse so I had to learn how to eat solid food. I failed a couple swallow studies at first in, of course, I'm losing weight by the minute, because I'm not be an active. and the people at the hospital. Those he's got a lot of Mosul, he's in good shape. You know always and my ex wife's that time were ex fiancee you didn't see him before, so we started mean making them feed me like
ensure in between meals and stuff, to try to put some more weight on, and we do things like. Ok today, your task is okay, Joe. Where have you put your shorts on and your t shirt and your socks? You know how long is it going to take you less? say five or ten minutes or whatever so Montana, sooner with the physical therapist, whom I ex and I feel in shorts, like these, don't feel like my size. What size are these? My excellency anything like a church mouse she's like she knows, she's me what size they are, I'm going to throw a hissy fit. So the let me see I'll tell you. their medium. I took those shorts, I'm across. Your must have our big fell. I were extra large if I were to put those extra The inevitable felt straight to the floor. because, when I got shot I was probably two thirties really lean and they would
me and the bed. Every day I was down. I got down to like one sixty something so low shorts widow was the timeframe for that. Like a month to month, I spent two months: they're, not not not long we got over that and then I was I was confused and then, of course, my eye doktor he was his name was Dr Chung. There and very serious matter so one day we're sitting in my room, my father's there with me and my teammate Travis and Dr Chung walks in and Travis is like Doctor Chung. I want to tell you Joe thinks he's african American. I was all jacked up, so I'm talking and acting like Ami in our city, african, american guy and then go and everything it doctor chunk? Mc are you
Syria trousers, yes, then my dad's like while he is from Detroit there's a doctor talking about it is pretty serious, but he acted that way for a couple of months. You know a couple of days. You know, then I got my bearings back so, Well, yeah it. You know it is Yes, they are, they did everything they can for me there and then they. Let me stay doing the like a little bit of work out stuff there and they brought me to like the little p. He Jim area? Ok, we're gonna? Have you do like some little dumbass stuff like Kate tell me, which way are the one twenty the way I want to tell me it's gonna up. These are too heavy. Now these you heavy. These are to be ok. These are good, and then I found out after the fact lecturing jump. Those were the pink dumbass you were using. Now it's like I too,
I don't care, I'm I'm getting at work. You know yeah yeah, you know, so he did that and they start. You know teaching you how to operate blind and I dunno for some goofy reason. I thought I didn't have any skin on my head, where my brain was. I thought it was just like mesh. So they're like Joe, you need to take a shower when you get your shower I can't get my brain wet and MAX's like Joe. You have skin there. I'm like who I do so you kind of lose all your dignity. You gotta go in the shower with this. You know this nurse or whatever they're all gowned up and all this rubber gear- and you just you know, stand there with your boot Burt. Sudan, butt naked on my guess, I'm taking a shower, you know So how long was this? You know where reprocess. How long did you stay with? It was still taking place at Bethesda. Yes, I was there for two months, two months When so you lost friggin
whatever you went from two thirty to one sixty something yes and now you start rebuilding yes or an end when you start rebuilding. Is that really starts take place when you get out of Bethesda ask me down to the wire ba down a rich man Virginia in o after that so it was kind of nice, but we're getting close to Christmas time now. Ish and so on the weekends they. Let me go home as long as they came back Sunday night and I had to go home for the holidays and then we became started doing a lot less. There are a lot more how to operate. in a blind world like use the blind, Kane you some of them. Voice over stuff, like on the computer and things like that and I begin to let me start work
now more there. You know, sir, during this time I'm like I don't know, what's going to happen to me or not happened to me and I'm like our administrator at a time when he was Michele Leonhart. She was like in charge of us as she asked my buddy Travis. What is Joe, what he's like Joe wants to keep working? She goes we'll make it happen. So, even though I didn't meet the physical requirements to be a DEA agent anymore, they kept me out as a DEA agent after this because they figured out the money you make a lot more return.
As a regular agent rather than taking a medical disability. So they kind of hooked me up and during my stay in Walter Reed Bethesda hearing my tea mates and my parents talk about good terms. They bring all these wounded service. Members back home overseas tore up bad monies younger kids. When this happened to me, I was a forty In years old. I lived a pretty damn good life and a lot of these kids, maybe not married, maybe newly married or maybe just had some. You know a child and you know their life, drastically changed forever. So when I would have my pity party and why me Woe is me, you know
say Joe. It always could be worse. Somebody always has it worse than you. You know you can't control, so what you don't have anymore. All you can do is work at work with what you have now so in life. When bad things happen, we can make a couple choices. We can let life pass us by or we can get out there and do as much as we can do, and I made a commitment to myself that I'm going to try to do as much blind is what I can see. I dunno That was gonna look, but I made that commitment and when there is a will there is a way if want to figure out how to do stuff. It makes of happiness not be the same way you used to do it, it may take you
a lot longer. But if you really want to do something bad enough, you can do it. So I made that commitment right there right then, and I tell people when I talk. It's not been easy. every day is a struggle for me. I still wink of everyday blind. You, I've had a very severe severe, traumatic brain injury. I've had pretty bad PTSD because of it and I've done stuff to manage and mitigate that, and you know when I talk, you know
The amount of suicide from service members in this and that you know a lot of us want to play were tough and it doesn't affect us in this and that, but you can't get help unless you admit you have it and ask for the help, as there are things in things out there and I got the stellate ganglion block shot, which helps PTSD be of Estella gland in your neck, when your PTSD, that gland gets all screwed up and they going and dead in the gland is kind of like reboot, your brain and your computer and it helps you tremendously. You also there's things things out there. So there's things that I've went on and done since I've been blind and I've tandem, skydive jumped it's me and a buddy of mine, his wife out in Monterey, California runs a skydiving place hand before I wanted a tandem jump, but I'm always kind of been over the weight limit.
Isn't he says for a tandem like what you know, you going to wait about two hundred and forty right now, and I know I couldn't give it to he says: come up, it will make it happen. So we were. We wait and wait. One please is timely to thirty. So my tandem guide is jump at meetings like me says we're gonna fall, Quick do like how far you want to how hard you want to jump. Job said highest, we can go so I guess we jumped at sixteen thousand feet while, but I guess that's the highest, you can go without. We should go without oxygen, we know any higher. Now you want to be on oxygen and any higher than that We need to get fh approval, so we were the first ones that go out of the beard and I dunno. If it's worth being able to see your kid look, you know we jumped out of a king air and you know they open that door. Now winds is rushing him.
the first they tell you what to do. You know and we're going to rock back. We are one two three then go than- and you know put your arms back and then how to land properly and stuff, but it was, it was definitely a kick in the pants, and I do it again. Probably yes, with nuts and even in the hospital. Where more about my frontal brain a injury, the doctors told my parents, we can never be with a credit card anymore. He might just be at work and take was close off my mom's like weight and make good decisions to begin with, so he's not going to lose much there. It affected me to an extent, but did not begged me to the extent where it could have thankfully, so I also do all I couldn't shoot blind with special Optics
so how does that work? On top your rifle? Where scope? What's wood said he have like it's like a high speed, video camera that has built in wifi in projects to a tablet or a smartphone and basically it'll show until What are smartphone like a side picture of a scope and you got to be in Austin Gunner a gunner and they tell me left right up or down and as long as I my breathing is controlled and I don't jerk the trigger. I can hit a pie plate at three hundred m every time Since I've been blind, I shot five deer, two bucks and three dose got two alligators in Louisiana with a young pistol with a laser sight, and I remember before watching that show swamp people, and I can see I said, they're nuts
and you would never catch me in a million years doing that so fortunately came up Joe, you want to go gator hunting, oh yeah, sure I guess that goes back to my poor decision making and I tell you there were some pucker factor going on there body. So with another guy from fast and we were with the guy with his brother. as a Diego and- and he would this guy, work some and the oil business out in Louisiana New Orleans area and he does the gator hunting and so we got a couple relies in it, the listeners and whoever said they they've ever seen, catch him. You have a a big like trouble hook with chicken on it. And they set him up in the gator, bites to check and gets caught in this hook, and then you have to go pull the gate a robin, and then you got a shoot them.
Now, in the show like swamp people, they gained on the line to try to get the data to go nuts for the average for tv. Now how you want to do it, you want to pull ups. So they don't fight in a gator. Can we stand or water for so long in the audio sweep up the first couple lines in not touch so we to the third line? It's like! Oh shit. We got a big one. He goes on the bank. got the chicken in his mouth he's about a ten footer. So we roll up in his little John boats and get to the line and the guy starting to pull a man, so I'm on my knees. I got this glock with the laser sight on a forty caliber glock. You know and I can just press the the pad for laser sight. You know when we're ready and he can kind of guide me in for the shot. So we're peace, when the gator in a gator gets under the boat. He's like oh shit,
Oh he's, like ok, we're not going to force. This he's got a princely come up so I'm thinking you got the Gators snout not too far from me, I'm on my knees and I'm like Joe what the hell you doing out here. I'm like you're blind. and at the scarce snaps debate you can't even see the jump back and then locals- are going to be out up see you the vet. That certain right into a blind guy in a business out there any way to tell that guy with the city on blind out there hunting alligator to get my arm bit off. So believe me, there was some pucker factor, so the gator starts. the fact that not only you're a little worried, you might lose your arm for a gator, but you also don't want to look stupid. When you know it's always a keep it you gotta, look cool yeah, then there's the blind guy one hour or
he's, so the gaiters hurts final of it in and the guys like shit. he bent and got off so he's like. Okay, keep your eye out my buddies there with his pistol and he's got. He takes the glock. He's he's got a surface. You can stand on for so long, so he goes look for the bubbles sequels! I see bubbles AG. He goes he's coming up, so he shoots him out. it hits power and the buddy I'm with he is to exhaust yet yeah. So shoot some. So we go over to the gator and then push to the shore, to try to get this big, I'll be on the boat, so we're trying to get him on the bow. I hear another shot the gaiters already get through bullets in his head, he opened his eyes again. So the I hit them in the head again here done. So we get this big big and, above all, it takes up all rooms. We at the drop him off to try check out there.
and then we went to our next line had like a and for down there and he was putting up more we'll. I got to shoot that one twice so that was kind of kind of interesting have aux, actually, I was in Sun Valley, Idaho last year during hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments because it increases stem cell activity trying to get low more sight back, and I got the downhills no ski three times. I did that when I was younger and it's Color Conor counter into, whatever scheme you want to lean forward in blind, You don't want to lean forward when you're walking, but you want to crack your head on things and I've actually got stitches a couple of times and my eyebrows since I lost my sight because I was in a hurry. so that was fun. I was on my bucket list. I tried,
slalom water skiing at a cottage up north this last year I used to ski a lot when I was young. I just I popped up, but I couldn't get my other foot in the rear boot. I couldn't. My balance was off with blind, so I tried a couple times and At least I tried, so I did that. I ran five k, races blind and have actually last July, I you know, I'm a little guy. I became the first blind eye. Be me men's pro bodybuilder in history got my pro card So I did that's handed in all the skies skies the limit of the different things in a can do and you can't cry over spilt milk in You can just control what you can control. A lot of people ask me,
You know what are some of the hardest things getting used to be in blind Joe. I think one of the biggest thing you lose your independence. I just can't get the car and go somewhere myself Or if I want to work out, I just can't go by myself and. So rely on other people in typical, like the you do, the lawn we spend guy or the milk thrilled Taipei What Dorothy by myself? You know you can't you know if your phone behind I was going to take over. You know, you know you want to do it. do it yourself. I had to learn how to slow down and trust other people and which is probably good for me. I to learn to ask for help. I wasn't good, before, but lucky, I have a very good base of friends and teammates and family in DE has really stepped up. Since I've been hurt, myself for my family has never been without any,
and at first being in crowds, really freaked me out because being in law enforcement for as long as I have you always talk to be aware of your survive, it means I know you're not supposed to I try to think of the think of the word yet how God it'll come to me, but I was getting on this subject. I was getting I debriefed by like a psychologist situation and what we we've I fill out. Some form and they're like one of the things was like We know: do you feel comfortable in crowds and would you feel comfortable in crowds like all? Well, no,
and so the others I Carter's, it's always a female. She said she suddenly. She says I do for you you don't feel very comfortable in crowds, and this was like I mean I. I was back from Iraq, but you know whatever little bit of time, and she says you didn't say you don't feel very One crowds- and I no not really she goes well. Why is that and I go the terrorists in America right. Yes, she looked like she like whatever, taking copious notes about my mental health or whatever, which I was just like. Hey it's a reality. You know it's a reality it up, as you always want to be aware of your surroundings. Okay, where am I entrance is where am I exit exits? Who looks suspicious? Who doesn't you know, you're not trying to like stereo? thai people, but it's all what doesn't look right and at first Being blind things sounds people work.
The closer than what they were farther than what they were. I was just real uneasy, but over- time. I learned to deal with that, so I'm not jittery and stuff, as I once was? I just learn to you know trust the people round me hand. So you know that's one of the things people ask me: do I have a service dog? I don't I put in for one. But then I got my left eye. I had a chance to get an art Bristol in my left eye and a thought I could get back more vision than I did so I didn't want to take a dog from somebody who needed more in the artificial cornea. Help me see a little better, but not as much as we had hoped for. So I still might get a a service
in the future they're pretty incredible. What they can do are awesome very incredible, and do you know people ask me: do I get headaches and stuff Latin Don? Never had a headache. Thank God, because people asked that Shannon here over the asking me you know what is you know? What can you see? What can you can't see? I guess it really, I can see shapes I can see the light. I can see some movement out of eye chart. My left eye is two thousand four hundred and two twenty five hundred, depending on the day, anything over two thousand two hundred is legally blind. My right eye is nothing. That's the side. The bullet went into the Idoc eyes of light. I said I can think I can see a light, but there's future with my left eye, a half artificial cornea. So there's
help. The thing is. Limiting my sight is my optic, nerve and retina still very damaged, but they are working on stem cell for that to regenerate that and they're still fairly confident in two hundred and twenty five years I could get more site back which, which would be nice, and if I do, that would be great, but if not, you know, I'm still going to keep soldiering on and do you know, and do what the hell you know I can do, and I said you know you don't want to be the first granny's things you won't. Let them work the kinks out of this stuff first You know before we had all this mess with China, you hear them doing the stem cells and everything over there, and I asked my doctor to go to the SBS eye doctors that I can now to like. You don't want to go over there, Joe, when the technology is good and it works we'll have it here. so you know just on standby to standby, for that You know so you know we'll keep going.
That. I do my motivational speaking, which gives me purpose now. You know always been, you know, took jobs and different things were to serve people and serve the community. I can't do my job the way I have in the past, but for me to get up there and talk to people and tell my story one. It's therapeutic for me to to talk about it and two, if somebody's having a bad day a bad year bad whatever that the sea there's always somebody has it worse. It always could be worse. So you know you got a cause. The blessings you haven't be thankful for the things that you still have. You can cry about what you don't have any more. All you can do. This
It was move on, so you I'm gonna, continue doing the motivational speaking, which is good. You know and there's been groups. I've talked to where I've got after action reports where people in the audience I have were going to commit suicide, and they heard me talk, and they said my life's really not that bad. You know I I can do it if you know so. I tell people you know: if I can do it, you can do it. You know I'll always had a strong. Will. I've always been very stubborn. I can help survive, but the stubbornness is not so good and relationships in others. Could be a pain in the but just ass. My girlfriend you know, and I do really reach the piteous deep part too, was were losing way too many men and women for that. So, if you do you have it in, I always knew I had it, but I didn't get better.
Until I admitted I had it with why I was still working. I was afraid I was going to lose my security clearance and this and that, in in all actuality I would not have, but you know their stings and treatments and things you can do for that. Like the stellate ganglion block shot is a great thing for that. You know finding a good fit with a therapist. You know that you know can work with you, so all those things are so to me. I tell people it's macho to say you have it It's not macho to have an id say you don't have it, you know. So don't be you a tough guy or tough gal there's help out there please, you know, seek that help. yeah, I it's for me. One of my guys, Ryan job was was also shot in the head and he also ended up losing his vision and fortunately, after that,
You know, after one of the surgeries, when many surgeries that he went through there were some. There were some medical complications and any He passed away. But it's It's for me. You know meeting you seeing you talking to you. You know you had this. You have the same kind of attitude that he had. You know he he had been blind and he was doing all kinds of things he was climbing Mount Rainier. He was, he had shot a bull elk you he was doing the kind of stuff that you're doing so it's it's awesome for me to see someone your situation that has the same exact attitude. The Rhine job had just the gist of a warrior: bad ass that just still driving on regardless. Oh, I one of the things that we got to another animal that I shot this past year I went to West Virginia and I shot a black bear,
so it was a female bear and I named Penelope after the fact. I got that stuffed, so that's my little Penelope one of the worst Do you know my workout that used to do for bodybuilding in the first place I have been doing it for solar. My very first Bodybuilding show was in nineteen ninety three. I did the central states in Michigan after college. I was still looking into something competitive. I always been a big guy and I'm pretty now's knowledgeable about nutrition and the workouts and stuff, but I'm also smart enough to know it's always. Somebody knows more than you So maybe I'm blind. I can't see how I look: I'm kind of fuel, I'm getting leaner innocent this, so I do have a coach so code share. My check in right now off season every week send em pitcher her videos Helen. Answering questions. You know how's my appetite, how my
only in this way in that way and are giving blood work all the time and make sure everything is functional. Optimally course I spent a shit ton of money on supplements and the coach kind of ice he's might be okay, you know we'll them. You know you need to do. Maybe some fat burning cardio. You know well arrange your diet. This way, and also he sends me workouts to to follow you know, depending on the time of year, you know, depending on the workout, the Rep range and the amount of cardio. I'm doing so. It's important two to have a good coach. You can trust you that's good, but a lot of these coaches cultures of blow smoke up clients, but oh you look great you're going to be Mr Olympia. Isn't it and it can't even win a local show? You know it's like. No! No I'd rather have somebody be honest with me and oh hey Joe, he, you know he looks like you're ready, this competition or you're not in
Please tell me how make the corrections I need to make, or maybe we're going to have to wait on you in undue of later competition so you know we'll see what the future holds. you know I am. If I get some more sight back, I would like to do some tactical training with people. Some firearms training get more sight back. I could be a coach for people getting ready for competitions, but I couldn't justify now. If I can't see while they look, I can't really do an effective job. You know so keep moving forward with those things and have any other opportunities pop up. You know and I'll be willing to two Do those things- and you know I'm fifty two years old now you can let these young guys Yes, you can keep yourself in shape this. You know how it works. overseas. You know what the special ops guys like
How old are you? Forty one is okay grandpa, so I got a grandpa for you. You know Why is that? some probably a probably a good place to wrap up. So if, if. People want to Thank you for your speaking. I know you're you're at Joe P dot. U S! That's right right for your for your website. Yes, they get a website? It's got all my things. Speaking on there get a hold of me and I see I've spoken to all different kind of groups teams different cat. I spoke to you, know, corporations. I spoke to people quick alone. So we're almost hear me run my mouth I'll talk to awesome. Echo. You gonna questions rewind little bit backed Afghanistan, Heroin, poppies and who's
That is why the Taliban makes the farmers grow it and the Taliban and is growing that, because that's their money so income. Okay, so who do they sell that to a lot? Heroin goes to Europe. We get some. It over here on the United States, but the great majority of it goes to the european consumers. Kick at it so dislike come. You know in Colombia and stuff like that, Afghanistan, yet just another hub for neither may be ass any and all its some real big country that consumes out heroin is actually Russia too. They have a pretty bad heroin problem there, but you know it's big money in this. We know what funds there insurgency and the problem is now that we're gone out to Afghanistan and how, with its crazy there again there is growing uncontrolled and, like I said when we hitting them hard? We,
Katie it, but you can see it was having an effect. But now it's just you know: banzai. It's open now crazy. That must be as you look at like drug here you you spent so much time. The de when you here. Hear people talk about legalizing drugs once you, your thoughts on that in this. this. My thoughts only have I've talked to numerous numerous drug addicts and the common drug that they start with is marijuana and, in my opinion, without a doubt, it's a gateway drug.
And the marijuana that's out there now is not the same marijuana there even was five or seven years ago. It's so strong, you know, and it could lead the other things, and you know we could. We have a whole debate on that in every state that it's legalized have the auto accidents has really increased. You know it's still illegal federally, you know, and and for some medical conditions. You know I can see that it could be useful for, but in my opinion and a lot of people who use it say under the vise of medical just to get high. You know- and that's this that's just my opinion. Well Joe, you got any closing thoughts. just everybody out there that's listening, you know, like I said, there's a will there's a way. If you want to get something done, you can get it done, and just Keno have that have that mindset and just keep going
things get bad or down tomorrow is a new day, make it through that day, wake up the next day and give that next day, he'll awesome man. For joining us- appreciate you coming on here. Pitched procedure in these lessons that you learned and and most important thank you for thank you for incredible service in your incredible sacrifice for our nation and thanks for what you're doing today going around talking to people. Being here. Just continue mean to inspire people to come over whatever whatever adversity that they're facing its credit, example that you set for all of us. So thank you for being here and thanks for everything you do you quite welcome with my honour and privilege and with that Joe pure Sunday has left the building echo Would you do that so used to? And you mentioned this before too were
very use at this point when very used to you know military guys coming up. Their mindset, their experience and stuff, like that. It was interesting, even though it wasn't a huge deviation. I don't think, but it was like enough of a deviation to seem like a big change to go. Law enforcement- yeah and it particularly particularly care. I didn't grow up around drugs at all, like I don't think Everybody has been a five hundred methods noticed cook with meth met labs what it yeah. What do you call it cook Bob, absolutely labs, work, clam, clandestine, clandestine lab unit or something but yeah. The answer is no. I have not I have never seen meth before, ever seen, I've seen coke before I've never seen her before I've seen it before weed is only one.
I'm its, I I've seen a crack head with an empty crack pipe. I don't think I've ever seen real crack before check. Well. Definitely you could probably tell I was exploring the the police side of things, and especially you know that investigation side of things and set up. I don't, let's face it, That's all stuff that I'm not super familiar with? And it's very interesting? It's it's all about human nature, informants and dealers and we set out that's why they make all those movies about that. I see as those drama their rail the humans, interacting in old, in swedish as for life, changing environments and so there that definitely was interesting and that's a he's here really mean he's had a very interesting life, to say the least, You could probably write a book about that one big boss
or the other big boss during the one big here, you could write a book about any those thanks mere and would be very interesting and fascinating and you'd learn a lot so, he's done that over and over and over again and then went to Afghanistan and then had had had a get on his head in Honduras right You know being in like being in Iraq when you're out. the troll you someone might try and kill you. You think, there's someone will try and kill you, but using, I'll, try to kill like you or someone near you is not you at least. I never felt that way. I never felt like. a bullock that say I always make his joke, hey, you know about, say: they'll, do you have bullet with your name on it. You have a bowl that says to whom it may concern hittable. He had bullets plural with his name on yeah. I really like that feeling I mean you want to talk about. You think I'm paranoid right now, which I am I'm paranoid about stuff right now? If the What's going on
would be enough levels, twelve alert mode known to be getting near me to be pretty crazy. C yeah there's something very specifically, sinister about a plan to kill you. to kill you right yeah. I don't. No, I don't know, one's ever specifically said we're going to kill Jacko? the green list, are made that one I think he'll java City, where I was a city tat was just music and actually trying to kill you somewhat of a conspiracy, I will give him that the law enforcement part of it to which So a love him when you start to talk about Iraq, Afghanistan I understand what it It seemed like that's a crate, that's a different time in a faraway place. But now here we are talking about several unity, know all this stuff in you're, like men. All this stuff right now is going on right now, like probably pretty cool,
to hear or so and currently going on right now in this moment, yes, looking out at this moment, there's an informant, that's Sitten. Buying some drugs from someone is a bust about the haven't. Right now something there have literally no exposure news to me that, like that's kind of crazy, didn't want to ask about lifting. what we would have been here for that kind of a long long. I thought you would at least want to compare bicep workouts with them. You know my man is getting his on for sure, which actually- and I was gonna happen to- but he said he's age. Fifty two you're right now to renew you can look like that at fifty two No he's getting ready for a show or something like that. But if you can look like that at fifty two, that's like it not only is it eye opening, but it's letting you know what let's just go ahead and restate that if you can look like that at twenty two or thirty, two or forty two is true. Yeah I'd be surprise but less brush. It does
I set this a little bit better of a calibrated standard. You know kind of gives, like those of us who want to maintain muscle. Mass will say it kind of gives you some hope on that. One and you know he's not weak either vote for sure it's not like that and he didn't go into much better, but I I you know read some stuff about him. some buyers and stuff, but he won all kinds of like you know, awards for football and he's just a great athlete in just Jack and state so for sure. For those of us that want to maintain muscle, mass have I someone that didn't like occasion you get maybe a ressler like a fighter or someone. That's a lie, it literally going down a weight class below there what they can cut. The most people say, oh, I'm resting at one hundred and seventy two I'm going to go down to one hundred and sixty two and I'm already shredded. So I'm going to lose muscle mass right occasion. might happen. I think when people
get into some. If they get into some endurance. Sports, maybe like traffic, What are some, they might, some muscle mass, maybe I taught wait. What are you asking like? Is there have you ever known somebody? That's Saddam really looking to find it out, I can lose some Muslim and their negative agenda not just for a preferred. First format sake. Yes, that's essentially it, but that's a real case, just life in general. They say after age, whatever thirty or something like that, like things like, degenerate, pretty quick or whatever that's worth, and then muscle mass is one of those things where, if you just lifted you're, going to lose muscle mass as you get older straight up just going to lose it My daughter was telling me my daughter's in college and she's studying which I was up with her and she was telling me that cause she she's out there, Jack and Steel and working out she her little friend group,
and they, which is called as earlier Frank group at all there all into working out. Did she turned and as yet, but Well, she was telling me cause she studying some kind. kinesiology. Some kind of physiology reading what they call it. Now when I was younger, so she studying nutrition science and what we to call exercise. Physiology was a mine people would get right there well that any more. I forget what they're called, but that's what kinesiology. Maybe that's what I think, but that's different than exercise physiology. She said stop that, always enough about working out a freer stronger, but she says she was saying: hey when you, if you dont left, you immediately start like losing muscle, Deja degenerate and it's not it's not like her. I mean it doesn't matter like them. process at the end of day year losing losing your muscle and most of its functionality,
move it or lose it and then resistance training which is lifting is the best. One is the thing that induces muscle like growth indoor or maintenance, depending on big houses? Are make sense so basically go left. Please go look out. You know, I mean resistance right, that's another thing: my daughter was all your bones. Is your bones? not putting your bones under pressure. Now, because you could argue I'll go running is good to which it is an essay swimming good to out that's good too, but get up a weight on your body. You gotta put resist on your body to make your bones stronger, yeah yeah, that's the dope, wait. I think overall, that I get from that of what you're essentially saying is all. Exercise has its like men major by the way when you compare to no exercise
exercise a major benefits, major they're, all different though so so I! So if you work here, which you are you Brian Simpson, some fuel for you guess doc of your job of your dot com? You can get protein. We could get protein from a lot of places you get from steak, recommended chicken recommended sushi if you're Charles Israel's legal of Protein from sushi, like seventy percent, thirty percent of literally say, like literally probably like fifty percent and recently not but overall make sushi at your house ever know the blame for this year. You know what lace do you know do you know? Did they know your order already deal with the same thing all the time? Yes, for your whole family, everyone's get, everything governments getting the same. Sarah related Data, Charlotte residents. We need our food,
cycles variable literally, like you, see your face in your kind of making a joke, but I mean kind of money, I'm leaders, but the answer is yes. In fact, I call the police causes a place literally walking distance from where they got caller id it. Also. Let's say it's not in the car wrong or I'll call it there'll be like Kayako. How are you that's it? That's how they answer the phone. be like I want this. I gotta see my order and she already knows boom boom boom. Yes, phenomena is the cost they depend so some days there closed or they closed late server or lay close it like thirty and there's another place it closed at midnight. Get it delivered at minute, downs way more than a hundred bucks, For me, yeah number, one of the world a family know how about just you at the regular spot, Ehrlich sixty six,
That's a good deal given given like what I get. They have good prices over there cocky sushi Well, you break, Need some Malta wash that down. Yesterday you get this sweetness. Susie's, not sweet right No, sir, is not. He gets some ice cream afterwards. If I don't like Mochi ICE Cream, It tastes like and tastes uncooked no bread around when they call that what do they call the uncooked bread wrapped around a piece of ice cream who made that up right. Who made that up right is how accurate he can are. It is in no way like if you look at a certain way, because it is essentially like a dough that is cooked on a collector. I still like it's it's mochi. That's why you know what mochi is. I never had mochi just MOTO. You know that wrapping that you're talking about it's just that yeah it tastes, good, red and white.
You can get it man, it's the mess. My family was like somehow amped about mochi. Until they got me out, they got me,