Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Secret Spy Quandry




Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that you had some neighbors move in next door about a year ago. Renters. Three older men, brothers (ages 50-60). They're quiet, unassuming guys. They have a dog who barks occasionally at passers by, but mostly they keep to themselves, take care of the yard, and don't bother anyone. Imagine they are the father and two uncles of a lady you know by acquaintance. She had told you, long before they coincidentally moved in next door, that her father was on methadone and had been for years. He's ashy-skinned, hunched, sickly looking, scrawny...completely the type you'd suspect of having a prescribed drug addiction. The youngest brother also looks sickly, but he has lesions on his skin, rotting out teeth, and a sunken face. Though you won't see him for days at a time, he'll come out of the 2 bedroom house once in a while either hyper and manic or in a sort of coma, sitting or standing hunched over, nearly frozen in place, for an hour or more at a time. You suspect that he might be a meth addict. He has all the telltale signs. But you have no proof of this. The middle brother is grey-skinned, hunched, and sickly looking too. But you know now anything about him other than that he says hello when he takes out the garbage. Again, they're nice, unassuming, mild mannered guys. They compliment you on your lawn, say hello to your kids, and wave as you drive into or out of the driveway. None of them works. How they pay the rent, I don' t know. Probably wellfare.


Now imagine, a little less than a year later, as the summer weather starts getting warm, you start noticing cars drive up to the house, stop briefly (maybe 30 seconds or a minute) as one of the men, usually your acquaintance's father, goes to the car door and exchanges a few words, and then drives off. Would you suspect drugs? Would you call the police? And what would you say? What lengths would you be willing to go to to find out or prove that these guys are selling drugs?


Because this story is not hypothetical. It's a true story of my next door neighbors. I do think they're selling drugs. Yesterday I even saw my neighbor walk out to a car with three small white baggies in his hand, money exchanged, and the car drove off. Classic drug deal. I don't know what they're selling. Maybe the guy is only selling his methadone pills. Maybe it's the other brother's methamphetamine. Maybe I'm totally wrong (but I don't think so). I have already called the police. They said they'd covertly observe the house. But from what I can tell, this stuff isn't going on dozens of times a day. (Granted, I'm not sitting around watching all day either. I've got kids. I only see this stuff if I'm out in the yard, taking a walk, or happen to glance out my front window at the right time). So maybe the police will never see what I see, never catch them in the act. What then? And what if they do catch them? Will I be asked to testify? Will it put my family in danger? Will it alienate the woman I'm acquainted with and whose aunt, the men's sister, is in my ward? Should I talk to the woman I know first? To the aunt? Call the landlord with my unfounded suspicions and hope that he throws them out so I don't have to get involved? Or just stay anonymous and let the police hope to catch it? I've set my camera near the front window where I have a clear view of their driveway and front yard thinking I might catch the actual act on film. And then what? I really don't want to get personally involved. But I also don't want drug dealers, however innocuous they might seem, living next to me. Plus, recently the youngest brother's high school senior daughter and older daughter with an 18 month old son also moved in. So now there are two minors on the property who are in circumstances that might put them at risk. That one detail makes me more determined that something needs to be done. But what exactly?


I'm really not sure what to do.

18 comments:

jennie w. said...

Call the cops. Don't get personally involved. Like you need this going on ten feet from your kids!

tiburon said...

I would call the cops and stay as far away as possible.

Cause if they find out who did it - they could get violent and seek retribution.

Just a thought...

Logan said...

I would get as much information as I could (car plate #'s and descriptions) look for patterns (time of day, day of week, part of the month, etc) and call the police. Every time you see something suspicious, call the police. Badger them. Ask what is currently being done and when you can expect to see some results. They likely won't tell you what is actually being done, but it should motivate them to take action quickly.
You don't want this in your neighborhood. You are also obligated to report a crime in progress.
These people are breaking the law, hurting themselves, and putting the lives of minors in danger - which should involve DCFS.
I agree with others - don't get involved personally. There is no reason to contact your acquaintance about this.
They are addicts being enabled by selling their addiction to others. I don't want to sound like an alarmist, but what if they suddenly found they didn't have enough money to buy their next high? Where would they go to get more money?

Chelsea said...

You did the right thing to call the police. If they are also manufacturing meth it is an extremely dangerous situation. I hope the police see what you've seen and are able to act on it!

Tiffany said...

I agree with the other comments.

Good job, citizen!

rychelle said...

i think logan said it all. start writing down license plate #s and keep calling the police, but i wouldn't directly approach any parties involved, not even the aunt or neice.

Kristina P. said...

There used to be this big campaign with commercials and everything about calling the house if you suspect a drug house.

I've worked with addicts long enough to know that your instincts aren't wrong. Unusual traffic is a HUGE sign.

veronica said...

Looks like everyone's had some great suggestions. Can I just add one? BE CAREFUL!

M-Cat said...

CALL.THE.COPS. again and again and again if you need to. Take video, do what you have to. The minor children are at huge risk and so is your family. Who knows when they'll begin cooking their own.......

CaraDee said...

Um, I wish you would've waited. I was wondering if you would ask them if they have any X. ha

Kristine said...

Yikes Ari! I wouldn't want that in my neighborhood let alone NEXT DOOR! :( I think Logan said it all. Take care of those little kids of yours and the ones who moved in with the creepy guys. Good luck.

Omgirl said...

Sorry, Cara. I think you need to be in the market for heroin or meth.

MiaKatia said...

Oh man this stinks. I think Logan had the best advice, but I agree with all of the be careful's too.

Sara said...

All I have to say is MOVE! It's the only logical thing to do, I'll give you my house in Midway, I don't want it anymore!!

Shawn said...

I would anonomously call the police and just tell them your suspicions---it can't hurt!

Kado! said...

you know what I was gonna say to you....probably just don't worry about it...until I read the last part about a 18 month old living there.....and they it totally freaked me out...at any time that toddler could accidentally ingest some type of drug....especially if they are high...I would call an anonymous tip line and let them know what you just told us....I do not mind stepping on ANYONES toes when the health and well-being of a child is at risk!

...but then I'm the brat the calls 911 when ever I see a baby sitting in a moving car not buckled in a car seat....because I will not be able to sleep at night if I don't.

Holly said...

That is so hard, but you definately need the cops involved. You can't just stand by and let drug dealers run around in your neighborhood.

Maybe call the landlord and annonymously ( I can't spell that..sorry) tell him that there are drugs there and he needs to do a check.. or something. I dont know! But for sure get the cops on your team!

André said...

My tardiness in responding means you have probably already implemented some sort of plan or maybe even a contingency plan. So I can say whatever I want and it won't matter, right?

You should get ceramic bulletproof armor for everyone in your family and make sure you wear them all the time, especially after you decide to raid the house. Make sure you wear oxygen masks so you don't breathe in the fumes from dirty socks, gross bathrooms, and whatever drugs and rotten food might be in there. Arm yourself with a shotgun and a flame-thrower. Destroy the manufacturing equipment inside and torch the place. Then pull out the marshmallows for roasting, just don't eat them because they might get you high.