Last night was a long night for me. Like usual, I "played" on the street for about 12 hours. Then I came back to the station for about 6 hours worth of reports (That part isn't so usual). By the time I got home, it was about 30 minutes till I had to technically wake up again. Good thing I have the next 4 days off, though. Anyway, the night was filled with the same types of stuff. I don't need to mention all the weirdo/depressing stuff, but one incident in particular became the highlight. We had a gang member (Southsider) who was a wanted subject. One officer spotted him heading east on foot (toward a major street).
There was a house that had quite a few areas for the Southsider to hide in the same area of where the subject was last seen. Now understand, nearly every unit in the area is there. I think about 8 of us hop this wood fence, and start perimeter searches. My partner and I stray away from the pack toward a little section of sheds. My partner goes to check the first, but there's a barrel in front of it. It's pretty safe to say our Southsider didn't go in there. It works the same way as we pass these other sheds. As we make our way toward the house, I start looking at a shed on my right, that has a set of stairs leading up to the door. Because I was the closest to it, I had a better view of the door. Because of this, I could see that the latch to the door was unhinged. RED FLAG! I tell my partner to come to me. We're both at the front of the steps with my partner behind me. I go up about 2-3 steps on this staircase, and I hear on my radio "Southsider is known to be armed (We wear ear pieces)." I pull out my glock 45 and press it against my belly as I aim the light toward the door.
I get up the staircase. With my flashlight, I open the door slowly. I want nothing but concentration from my body at this point. So I set the flashlight in front of the staircase so it lights up the shed. Now I have both hands on that glock. For building searches, we have a tactic called "slicing the pie." It's how we slowly cut pieces of "view" into a room. It's one man vs the room. When done right, it can take a few minutes just to clear a small bathroom. It's designed to be slow, so you can be thorough. So, I begin slicing the pie. The entire time I do this, I'm checking everything with every intention of firing my weapon. I keep imagining what this Southsider could do from each of these edges. I'll tell you right now, that's an eye opener. I finish slicing room. No subject is seen. I grab my flashlight and walk in. There's junk everywhere. A tarp covering stuff. A table in the center, and boxes of junk surrounding the area. I ignore the table, because I can see it has long legs. So it's obvious nobody is hiding right there. I head for the tarp, and check it. Nothing. I look around all the other junk. Nothing. This room is clear! That is until....
...I shine my light on top of the table. "What the fu*$ is that?" For a brief second, I'm thinking about brocolli. Then I get out of my mental tunnel vision, and realize I'm staring at a table full of dried, chopped marijuana. I show my partner, and we exit the shed. The owner was walking up toward us already.
"This your shed?" ...."Yeah." ..."You know what you got in your shed?" ... "Yeah." So we bust this guy for possession initially (Detectives took it over 2 hours later, and drew up a LONG list of charges).
"Do you have anymore?" ..."Yeah." This guy we bust had 18 total, 12 foot marijuana plants. Inside his house, he had about 15 or so large zipper bags worth of dried and prepared pot. The total at this point is unknown, but it's obvious what his intent was (Intent to sell).
Anyway, the whole situation was just so funny. A criminal got a criminal. We never found that Southsider. Unfortunately, he managed to get away, but he accidentally nabbed someone else for us. I even told the subject this who had all this marijuana.
"I'm going to tell you right now, I appreciate your cooperation with us and I hope you continue this trend, but I gotta tell ya until I met you, I thought I had the worst luck." Subject laughs.
---One last thing I want to mention is that we can't go into just anybody's shed, home, etc. I'm sure most of you understand how warrants work, etc. Because of what we were initially looking for, we had the right to search everything in the surrounding area. It's a section of the definition of "probable cause," and we can use that against an opposing subject that didn't have any relation to the original incident that precipitated the search. I just wanted to mention that, so you understand I just can't walk up to your shed and start snooping around.