“Come on in, have a seat.”
John introduced the others: Carol and Pete, over from Eastern Region for a six-month detail. “What can we do for you?” John asked.
“I’m looking for any information on the three dead children near Presidio.”
John looked at her, “Your case?”
“I found them.” She let it go at that.
Carol said, “There’s not much. We can’t get anything from the Sheriff’s office. We asked the FBI, and they said the Sheriff had jurisdiction.” Carol went to a computer and typed on the keys, bringing up what they had.
John said, “Anything specific you want?”
“I think they may be tied to an organization called Grupo Delta,” Carol stopped typing and all three looked at Hunter. She continued, “I heard about them less than a week ago. A smuggler said they’re in our area now. Said they came from out West, near Nogales.”
Carol said, “I’ll pull that up, too. You’ll want to take a close look at those boys, I guarantee.”
“Tell me about Grupo Delta.”
Pete said, “They’re a tight-knit organization, working in everything from dope to aliens to weapons. Some people say they’re ex-military or something like that. Alien smuggling is their biggest, but they do a lot in the others too. Lots of dope, mostly cocaine and heroin, not much marijuana. They buy and sell weapons both ways. Two years ago, they stole an armored anti-tank vehicle from the military and had it almost down to Guatemala before the MexFeds caught up to them. They’ve sold four Stinger missiles that we know of.”
“I bet the big boys in Homeland Security are thrilled about that,” said Hunter, “That gives me an idea of what they do. Now, what about how they are.”
Carol leaned around the computer to say, “Killers, that’s how they are. There’s no mercy. Everything’s business. They make a lot of money and they pay very well, that’s how they keep people around.”
“What about alien smuggling? They ever hurt the aliens?”
John said, “Not usually, because the aliens are paying.”
Carol said, “They did kill that group of four. Remember that one, about three, four years ago?”
John said, “Below Lordsburg, right?”
“Between there and Douglas, along the state line.”
Hunter said, “What happened?”
Carol said, “Actually, there were five in the load. One survived, and that’s how we got the story and that it was Delta. What happened, they had them in the trunk of an old Lincoln and were driving along Geronimo Trail when the Border Patrol saw the Lincoln. They got away, but figured that someone had snitched to the Patrol about their route, so they pulled the car over, got out and shot into the trunk with two full clips from an Uzi. Sixty rounds. Cut up those people inside like Swiss cheese. Guy that lived was hit six times.”
“So mostly killing unarmed ones, or backshooting, that way?”
Carol said, “I don’t think they’re cowards, they just do what’s expedient, you know?” She brought over a printout and gave it to Hunter.
“Christ, looks like a hundred pages.”
“About that. But lots of iffy stuff. You won’t find a single name of any suspect higher in the organization than a mid-level guy. Lots, and I mean lots of references on ops, modus operandi, territory, that sort of thing, but no specifics on anybody higher.”
Hunter took the papers and stood to leave, “If I see any tie-ins, I’ll send you a report.”
“Keep us in mind,” said John.
Three hours later Hunter was in her house in Marfa. There was a message on her answering machine from Bobby Mata, saying he’d seen the little Tarahumara, that he was trying to catch up to her. Bobby said he’d keep her posted.
Hunter knew she’d be working RATS tonigh