“Betrayal In Blue” by Burl Barer (exclusive excerpt)

As an exclusive to Suspense Magazine, co-author Burl Barer provides a special “Freebase Remix” ” of of material culled from the new book, BETRAYAL IN BLUE

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The Colombians didn’t take shit from anybody. Those who crossed the line found themselves at the business end of a murder contract. The very fact that Adam Diaz was alive and working meant he was a businessman who could be trusted with large quantities of product and money.

“A lot of my friends are dead or doing life in jail. I guess I was lucky,” Diaz said. In that environment the idea that a couple of street cops would be meeting with a high-level drug kingpin was absurd. But here they all were. Officer Dowd, Officer Eurel and the infamous Adam Diaz.

“I wasn’t used to dealing with cops,” Adam admitted. “But I knew they were going to propose something; I just didn’t know what.”

Adam, who barely weighed one hundred pounds, arrived at the meeting well dressed, well-spoken, easy to talk to and eager to do business.

“I looked at Dowd,” said Diaz,” and I saw gangster. I didn’t see cop. I looked at Kenny, and all I saw was a cop. Pure cop.”

Dowd explained what he and Kenny could do and what they were looking for in exchange. The two police officers would provide a range of security services to Diaz’ operation. Those services included checking drug sales points for weaknesses, watching out for undercover busts, protecting the stash, and harassing the competition.

Diaz knew the assistance of two police officers could greatly help increase his drug profits. He also wanted the clout of police officers on his payroll. There was no negotiation. No haggling. No raised voices. Just numbers. Dowd simply laid it on the line, $24,000 cash to start and $8,000 every week after that.

“Adam jumped at the offer,” recalled Ken. “As part of our agreement, all payments would be through the mutually trusted Baron]Perez. That way Dowd, I, and Diaz who was a known drug trafficker wouldn’t have to be seen together ever again.”.

They didn’t see much of Adam, but they saw plenty of Diaz’ remarkably pure product. Kenny tried a line of coke once, but the effect wasn’t to his liking. Dowd, however, loved the hell out of it almost as much as Ken loved the money.

“The Diaz money we were taking home was a huge increase from the $700 biweekly paycheck we each got for being one of New York’s finest in the 1980s,” said Ken Eurell.’ It got so crazy there were weeks that Dowd forgot to pick up his paycheck.”

Ken was taking exotic vacations; he and Dori bought all new appliances and ate out often. The couple went from a little Cape home to a brand new, custom-built, huge HiRanch home with a full basement, in-ground swimming pool, a two-story deck, and a full garage. Dori was always telling me to please stop. She would say, “I’d live with you in a trailer we don’t need all this.”

Even Ken’s dad wondered if his son had turned the corner from cop to crook.

My father definitely suspected I was doing something, so his way of telling me to stop without actually coming out and saying it was to tell me about his boss’s son who had a brand new Corvette get confiscated by police because of drugs. It was sort of a warning to me.

As he and Dowd grew closer, Ken began spending more time away from home and his growing addiction to easy money made it hard to get out of the Seven Five. There was always some new game, some new angle, some new profitable corruption.

None of this went unnoticed by Dowd’s superiors at the NYPD, and Internal Affairs already had several files open on Officer Mike Dowd by the time he and Kenny became partners,. The list of complaints was shocking. Nothing was done because the NYPD didn’t want another scandal.”

Denial wasn’t just for drug addicts anymore, and the elephant in the NYPD’s living room was widespread corruption fueled by greed and high-quality cocaine.

“The coke was turning Dowd into a sex-obsessed maniac,” recalled Ken. “Not only did he have a wife at home, he had a girlfriend in the precinct house, and his patrol car risk taking became increasingly brazen”

We were working a midnight shift. Around two or three in the morning there is a black female walking down the sidewalk. Dowd pulls over and tells her to get in. At first I thought he was going to question her about drug locations we could hit. As soon as she got in the car, Dowd started driving away. “What are we doing?” I asked. “Don’t worry about it,” Dowd replied. The girl smelled foul. I realized she was a prostitute. She must have been out for the last twelve hours fucking and sucking every guy in East New York. She smelled horrendous. Dowd drives down to The Pool and parks. He takes off his gunbelt and jumps in the back with her. They start going at it. He stops and throws a condom into the front telling me to join him. I was so repulsed I had to lie to him and tell him I had a blowjob before I came to work.

Dowd may have been fucked up, but he was far from delusional about himself and his own role. When asked whether he considered himself to be a cop or a drug dealer, he replied that he was “both.” The same interviewer asked Dowd whether he worked for the NYPD or Pablo Escobar’s Colombian cocaine cartel and Dowd answered, “I guess I’d have to say the drug traffickers.

By early 1988, Dowd was clearly a crook—not a cop. He and Ken proved their loyalties when on February 6, 1988, dispatch reported a man with a machine gun at an address that Mike and Ken knew as Diaz’s primary sales location. The partners arrived at the scene first, and Elvis, Diaz’s lieutenant, was waiting for them

“I’ve been robbed,” Elvis said.

“What the fuck? What did they get?” the cops asked. “Who was it?”

“It was Franklin and Coke. They took kilos, cash, and the .357 Magnum you gave me. Fuck.”

Franklin was a stickup man who specialized in taking off cocaine dealers. Coke was his partner. After ripping off Adam’s guy Elvis, Franklin and Coke took off eastbound on Atlantic in a blue Cadillac. As other cops from the Seven Five began to arrive at the scene, Ken and Mike realized they had work to do for Adam—protect the rest of Adam’s stash and catch the sons-of-bitches.

After establishing that no one was actually shot, Ken and Mike worked out a plan to keep Adam’s coke and money away from nosy detectives.

“Elvis, just advise the officers that the first floor bodega was robbed. Don’t tell them anything else,” Ken said, and as he and Dowd left the scene to search for Franklin and Coke. Sometime later a call comes over the radio. An officer at the scene arrested two of Adam’s people for possession of drugs and guns.

“This was a shitstorm for us,” Ken said. “It was a major financial blow to Adam, and that meant lost money for us.”

For three days Dowd and Ken scoured the Seven Five looking for Franklin. When found, he was going to be turned over to the Diaz organization. No questions asked.

The partners waited outside a coffee shop on New Lots Avenue, where they believed Franklin would turn up. Eventually he did. He owned the place.

“We pulled over his car,” saiid Ken, “and Dowd gave Franklin numerous automobile summons, which he never filed with the police department. The purpose was to get Franklin’s verified address. Once we had that, we turned the information over to Diaz.”

That was the end of Franklin. Sometime after that traffic stop, the stickup man disappeared.

“All I know is that Franklin has not been heard from since,” Kenny said. “He was carried as a missing persons case for years.”

His coffee shop was quickly shuttered and abandoned like every other building in the Seven Five.

“Let’s just say he’s gone,” said Adam Diaz, “You won’t be hearing from Franklin.”

As for Mr. Coke?

“I wouldn’t wait up for him either.”

The eventual outing of Dowd and Eurell as the two most corrupt cops ever to betray the badge of the NYPD, was no surprise to Adam Diaz. “You could see it coming, what with the way Mikey carried on as if he were untouchable,” said Adam. “It was just a matter of time.”

There are two extremes of drug fueled delusions. (1) you are invincible and nothing can stop you. And (2) you are vulnerable and everyone is out to get you. When you believe no one can be trusted, you become untrustworthy. Dowd and Eurell simultaneously believed that their partner would never betray them, while also fearing that they had already been betrayed.

In the case of Ken Eurel, he was faced with “Sophie’s Choice” in a squad car – he could allow his best friend to be murdered by the Colombians, or he could save Dowd’s life by cooperating with the Feds. Ken Eurel was forced to choose between two forms of betrayal..

 

©2017 Burl Barer, Frank C, Giradot Jr and Ken Eurell

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