The old Dodge van backed into the opened doors of the sooty brick one level warehouse. The large corrugated aluminum doors were closed and the two rear doors of the van opened.
“Wow, a full load. This’ll keep us busy for a few days.” The bearded, long-haired man stared at the numerous plastic bags from floor-to-ceiling in the cargo space and filling the passenger seat.
“I’m gonna need some help–real soon.” Boris Mindel labeled each plastic bag with date and source and locked the storage room door.
Crosley Bizetes followed Boris Mindel into the corridor. The one story warehouse was partitioned into three storage rooms for the plastic bags and their pre-processing drug contents. In addition, there was one large adjoining laboratory-like area containing two benches with steam pipes, soapstone counters with a sink at each end, and a huge hooded area for grinding the incoming raw drug material. Bizetes closed the lab door and blew his nose on a well-used handkerchief. “This place has three smells to it. Those storage closets smell like sour laundry, the corridor stinks like sewage and in here all I can smell is a cross between Lysol and acetone.”
“Yeah, Cros, we make our living on toxic waste so it’s fitting the place should waft the air with its unique smells.” Mindel smiled. “You know heroin is very water soluble and it’s amazing no one figured out you could add heroin to the gypsum gauze used in making plaster casts for smuggling purposes.”
The haggard scientist Mindel continue his thoughts. “The only thing with these casts is they contain bacteria, dirt, sweat and ink from people signing them. The Lysol does a good job as a disinfectant and the acetone gets rid of the ink and other organic contaminants”
Bizetes yawned, “Well most people don’t use science for illegal purposes. It takes a devious mind like yours to come up with putting the dope in plaster.” Bizetes opened a new box of surgical masks for them to wear when they started homogenizing the old casts in the giant blenders. “It’s a good thing there was a war in an area of the world that makes dope and produces a good number of broken bones needing plaster casts.”
Mindel sat on a wooden folding bridge chair at an old scarred oak desk. He opened a school-type lined notebook and entered the day’s shipment codes.
Bizetes remained standing and consulted his leather-covered pocket note pad. “Boris, we expect an increase in inventory of pre-processed goods for the next four months.” He pointed with his pen to the lab benches and the huge hood covering the end bench at the far end of the lab. “Which means we have to have final product production doubled what we’re doing now.”
Mindel finished his entries. “So your boss tells you to pass the word down to me.” He pushed himself away from desk to face Bizetes. “I have no problem with that if you get me two more people. Linsky and I are maxed out.”
“You have two now and want two more? That’s what you want me to tell my upper management?”
“You want more heroin comin’ out of here you get me more help.” Mindel stood up. His sloppy appearance belied his four-year college education and training in chemistry. His speech was a cross between “Joe College and a street person”. He stood taller and was built bigger than Bizetes. “And it means more money for your organization and therefore more money for me and my end of the operation.”
Bizetes wiped his sweating face with his soiled handkerchief. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get the two women for you. Jesus Christ I hate this lab. Why is it so hot in here?”
“I need the ambient temperature at least 80-degrees for precipitating the heroin in pure form and of course there’s the ladies.” Mindel pointed to two naked women working a small steam press which was sealing one-kilogram bags of final processed heroin. They were under thirty years old with slightly plump figures.
“Oh yeah, the women have to be naked so they can’t steal any of the goods. How do you know they don’t stuff a plastic tube of the stuff up their snatch and walk outta here with a percent of the profits?”
“They get urine-tested weekly to make sure they’re not using the stuff and once a week I get a nurse to examine them at random. The nurse speaks Spanish like them. She looks in their vagina and probes their rectum. So far the girls have been good.”
“Where do you get people like them?” Bizetes stared at the two nudes who ignored their male presence.
“They’re illegals from Puerto Rico.”
“Okay. Get two more.” Bizetes watched as they put on transparent plastic coveralls. “I’m leavin’. I can’t stand this part of the business.”
The two women swallowed a twelve-ounce glass of water each and put on surgical face masks. They opened a large plastic bag which released a locker-room laundry odor to the organic atmosphere. The two men watched them put the contents of the bag into the hooded grinder and throw the switch. Immediately a fan was set in motion sending gray-white dust to a filter at the mouth of the hood while the irregular solid material was rendered into pumice-fine powder. The noise was deafening.
Bizetes motioned Mindel to go outside the lab door.
“Get the additional girls by the end of the week. I’ll be back with the cash you need tomorrow.” Bizetes shook Mindel’s hand and left.
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