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After a couple of hours, they throw the shovel into the bushes and give up. On the way home, when they land in San Juan, customs pulls every bag off the plane and brings out a couple of German pointers. After returning, Rodney ghosts. Nobody hears from him for about a week.
The Great Cocaine Treasure Hunt | GQ
Carlos and Andy look for him independently. Carlos does not like the sound of this. What if, Carlos suggests, we change the terms? What if we go get it and you pay us eight bricks instead of four? But you kept insisting.
Rodney takes some serious convincing but eases into a reversal, now that Carlos is offering to do the heavy lifting. They make plans for how Carlos will make his trip. No, I go on a sixty-foot yacht. I go there tranquilo. Couple of girls. We have a good time, you know? I send my people to look, and I sit back sipping tequila.
Rodney finishes his drink and, basking in the stresslessness of the new plan, expresses both relief and gratitude. Where you would go.
Where you would land. Where you would take off from. There is a God.
Iman's Isle - A Tale of Lost Treasures
In Puerto Rico, Carlos is in touch with Rodney via text. Little questions about the location, confirmation of details—the look of the cistern, for example. As the afternoon of the hunt wears on, Rodney gets anxious. Just a bunch of yellowed wrapping and a little white.
Still, the nest appears to have been found. Carlos seems ecstatic. A couple of days later, Carlos calls Rodney to let him know he and Grant got the coke back without incident. Carlos wants to make the handoff that very same afternoon. But Carlos is firm. I wish I had some more business to do with you.
Iman's Isle - a Tale of Lost Treasures by S. A. Davis, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
He feels it in his wrists and throat. He steps through the sliding doors and out into the August heat, a pregnant three-dimensional heat. Rodney gets in his truck and starts driving in slow circles, thinking hard about the strange journey that has led him here. He presses out wide to the edge of the parking lot, avoiding a direct line to the Cavalier.
He sees nothing but the adjacent highway and empty asphalt—the stillness of the whole scene seems safe. He pulls up beside the Cavalier, unlocks the trunk, and picks up the duffel. Less the fat cut taken off the top, it feels about right in weight. Eighteen kilos, about forty pounds. He slides the duffel onto the bench seat in the back.
After the countless meetings and phone calls, the pair of trips to Culebra, it ends up being that easy—even more straightforward than Rodney had ever dreamed it. He sees St. Johns County sheriff jackets, Homeland Security lettering.
Who are all these guys? But slowly and then quickly, like thumbing the pages of a flip-book into full speed, the movie plays backward in his mind. And on the first page, standing there nearly a year ago at the side of his truck—a face in the window filled with divinely intervened helpfulness—is Danny Jimenez.
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In the winter of , Danny Jimenez was pulled over by cops in Alachua County. He had oxycodone pills in the car. He fled on foot at first and ultimately faced a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence. Danny delivered a few small-beans drug tips, and then one day he mentioned this story his friend Andy had told him. What landed on the tape was enough to get the Homeland Security Investigations unit involved. Rawley started working with an agent named Ryan McEnany. Rawley is a young sheriff who sometimes works in an office Rodney helped build.
McEnany is more experienced and seems to have called most of the shots in the operation. He analyzed the map Rodney handed over and directed the operation in Puerto Rico. Carlos never went to Culebra; local agents dug up the coke. McEnany and Rawley deliberately kept Danny away from Rodney that day.
He would literally be by himself. Rodney, therefore, is charged for intent to distribute not what federal agents actually found but what he was expecting them to find—a crime of anticipation. After six months of surveillance, the coordinated role-playing efforts of a half-dozen undercover federal agents, a Puerto Rican excavation, and an expense report that included several margarita tabs at Casa Maria, one might argue that it was a Pyrrhic victory for law enforcement.
But McEnany and Rawley insist there was a principle at stake—a principle worth defending. No one else did what he did. Rodney is ultimately charged with attempted possession, five-plus kilograms of cocaine—a ten-year mandatory minimum. The coke he was arrested with was not the coke they dug up in Culebra but rather a blend of sham and real cocaine packed by McEnany and Rawley. Not even close.