Home > Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(9)

Last Mile (Vicious Cycle #3)(9)
Katie Ashley

“Never really heard of them,” Gavin replied while I nodded in agreement.

“As far as the criminal element of one-percents goes, their Georgia club has a relatively small membership. Over the last few decades, they’ve flown under the radar. Compared to some clubs, they keep themselves pretty clean by only dealing with small-time gunrunning without a lot of assault weapons, interstate gambling, and a strip club with no backdoor prostitution.”

“How admirable,” I mused.

Peterson gave us a tight smile. “Because of the drugs and assault weapons that the Nordic Knights and the Gangbangers out of Tech-wood were pushing, our attention was kept elsewhere, while the Raiders weren’t worth much of our time. Until recently.”

“So what’s changed?” I asked.

Peterson paused as the waitress returned with our drinks. Once she was gone, he said, “It appears the Raiders have made an alliance with the Rodriguez cartel.”

“Holy shit,” Gavin muttered.

I leaned forward on the table with my elbows. “Wait a minute. Didn’t I hear of some hush-hush ATF and DEA presence at a takedown involving some bikers a few months ago?”

Peterson nodded. “A former lieutenant from the Rodriguez cartel became expendable—a man named Mendoza. A long-standing beef he had with the Raiders’ president, Nathaniel ‘Rev’ Malloy, led to a hostage situation. Rev was tortured and shot by Mendoza, but he made a full recovery. From what I could gather from reading between the lines in the records, which are now black-lined confidential, it all stemmed from the human trafficking of Annabel Percy and her rescue by the Raiders.”

My eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Rescue? Don’t tell me the Raiders did something remotely heroic,” I scoffed.

“They risked their lives and club to go in after a club member’s daughter who had been abducted. While the member’s daughter unfortunately got killed, they saved Annabel.”

“She remained unscathed after her time with the Raiders?” I questioned skeptically.

Peterson chuckled. “She’s married to Rev now.”

I slowly shook my head back and forth. “You’re telling me a former deb like Percy is married to some MC scum? She must’ve had one hell of a case of reverse Stockholm syndrome.”

Gavin eyed me suspiciously. “Since when do you have such a hatred for MC gangs?”

With a shrug, I replied, “They’re criminals who demean women and hide their violence behind an alleged love of motorcycle riding.” I then turned my attention away from Gavin’s inquisitiveness and started devouring my bacon cheeseburger. While he might’ve been my best friend and knew some of the details of my father’s murder, I had never admitted that it was a biker who had killed my dad.

Peterson cleared his throat. “The bottom line is we could be on the precipice of one of the greatest interstate gun trafficking cases of my career. It’s not just small-time sales to lowlifes and felons. We’re talking about funding the cartel with weapons right here in our own backyard.”

“I can assume that the bureau hasn’t gotten shit with the usual methods of phone tapping and surveillance, and they want to get some agents inside. Correct?” Gavin asked.

With a nod, Peterson replied, “These bikers might be small-time gangsters, but they’re smart gangsters. All business between them and the cartel has happened either face-to-face or on burner phones.”

“So where do we come in?” I questioned.

“Gavin, you grew up working in your father’s garage, didn’t you?”

At the mention of his blue-collar roots, Gavin winced slightly. “Yeah, my dad and my grandfather were mechanics. I helped out there from the time I could tell a socket wrench from a combination wrench.” He took a swig of his coffee. “I’m not sure how that knowledge has any bearing on this case.”

Peterson flipped through his files before stopping at one. He took out a picture and put it on the table. “This is the Raiders’ sergeant at arms, Benjamin ‘Bishop’ Malloy.”

“Hmm, he’s a looker,” Gavin mused as he rubbed the stubble on his chin.

I nudged him under the table. “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t bat for your team.”

“Pity.”

Peterson rolled his eyes at the two of us. “May I continue?”

“Yes,” Gavin and I replied.

“Bishop has just taken a mechanics apprenticeship at a local garage—one that has no affiliations to the Raiders.” At what had to be Gavin’s and my identical expressions of surprise, Peterson added, “Apparently, he’s looking to go legitimate in his career choice and have no help from the Raiders.”

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