One of the many things that happens in The Judas Tree is the arrest of a low level pusher. As often happens in these cases more information is developed that leads to something bigger. In this case, it’s a grow house for a whole boatload of marijuana.

This ends up being something that is barely within the capability of Will and company to take down.

The lead up is simple. Max poses as someone interested in making a “massive buy.” The buy is made, observed, and warrants are lawfully obtained.

Now the assault to take the facility down.

What we have in this case is a double wide mobile home located in a field. There’s a barb wire fence around it, cattle in the field around it, and a small camper trailer. The place gives a very pastoral setting and no one has even raised an eyebrow concerning it. It isn’t until they get someone inside, they discover this isn’t what it appears to be.

So how is the take down accomplished?

A raid commander has several options:

  • Takedown – This happens often. A subject is encountered with an active warrant away from his home. It might be a routine traffic stop, a simple check for wants and warrants, and the like. Ideally, if you want to apprehend someone, do it away from home. First, if this goes south, there’s no innocent bystanders in the house. Second, a home could have a good sized arsenal.  This is the approach taken in Against Flesh and Blood. The subject has a warrant, and he is apprehended after he’s left his home.
  • Ruse – This tactic works beautifully if done right. In this, the suspect is lured away from home or wherever. In The Judas Tree the initial arrest of the pusher is made at a bar. To get him out, police tell him someone backed into his car. When he goes out with them, he’s arrested.
  • Surround and Call Out – You see this one on TV a lot. The cops show up, secure a house, and then call a guy out on their loud speaker. I’m not a big fan of this for a few reasons. One is it gives the suspect a chance to do a few things. Your suspect might grab a gun and take his family hostage (seen that happen). I’ve also seen them try to destroy evidence. The biggest problem I have with it is this can easily turn into a siege. In most cases, you won’t have the manpower to hold the siege and you’ll have to go in anyway. Using this is a gut call. I might use it if a suspect already has taken hostages and is mentally unbalanced. Interestingly, even a crazy person can be reasoned with. A good case in point where this might work is a simple hold up that went south. In this case, you contain, ask the guy to come out, and then just keep a conversation going. Often times, they can be talked out. We see will and RJ initially try this tactic in The Cross and the Badge. It doesn’t work too well for them.
  • Breach and Hold – You set up a perimeter, then knock and announce who it is (officer so and so from such and such a department). Then you breach an entry point, and effect the arrest. Detective Lana Pacheco does this in the first book, The Cross and the Badge. They followed the suspect to a hotel he was staying at, and with officers watching the back and two officers off where the suspect couldn’t see them, she knocked on the door. Seeing an attractive Latina lady at the door, the suspect opened for her. Then the uniformed officers who had been out of sight-line, came up. The suspect invited them in and went peacefully.
  • Dynamic Entry – You knock, ID yourself, and knock the door in. Sometimes tear gas or flash bangs might be tossed in before entry or during. The assault team then rushes in, secures the locations, and apprehends the suspect. The big thing is the suspect needs to know it’s law enforcement officers entering, and it’s not at all unusual for officer to run in yelling “Police.” Incidentally, the knock might be optional. In The Cross and the Badge the door is simply knocked in (suspect is well aware the cops are outside), and tear gas used. Will and Pam then rush in and apprehend the suspect.
  • Deliberate Entry – This has a lot in common with Dynamic Entry, but might be used in a multi room setting. In this, you take down a room at a time, and then keep going till you’ve either taken down your suspect, or cornered them so they can be talked to.

All these assaults have the to potential for going sideways. The key is often times hitting hard and fast before a suspect can respond. The last two instances are perfect for that.

We already looked a the take down used in Book Two, Against Flesh and Blood. In the next, we’ll dissect the tactic used by Detective Pacheco.