The name’s Barrison. Guy Barrison. I’m a detective working for the ATF. I’m assigned to the Bureau of Prohibition. Yeah, you’re probably wondering why since Prohibition was just passed last year. Law-abiding, God-fearing citizens may be allowed to consume the drink of their choice at their own discretion, there are some sick puppies out there. These groups of criminals joined together from the remnants of the old bootleggers and rumrunners of the 20s. All we ask is that you get a license and pay a fair tax on liquor production and sales, and these bastards operate under the table to avoid the tax. Some people…
Anyway, my assignment is to investigate and terminate bootleggers avoiding liquor laws and taxes. It’s a thankless job, but the world is so much safer every time one of these madmen are locked up. I work in the upper New York and New York City districts with the worst scum on Earth. I just got back from a Christmas vacation and I was itching to get back on a case. Every second I’m resting is a pocketful of cash to these low lives.
It was 3:30 pm on a Monday when the ATF chief came into our office. “Barrison,” he said. “Barrison, where the hell are you? There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you.” I was enthused, but concealed my emotions when he approached my desk. “What is it, McMuffin? I haven’t seen you in a week.”
“Finally I catch you when you’re not goofing off. We got a new lead on the Roth case. We picked up a snitch for an open container violation. He spilled the beans before we even got the cuffs on him. He’s lookin’ to fuck over his boss so he can get off easy. I’m sure you can learn something from him. He’s in Interview Room 6.” McMuffin explained. “I’ll go kick his ass. I mean, I’ll interview him. Has he got his Miranda’s?”
“I mean, I’ll go see him. I’ve been itching to get back on a case.”
I grabbed my notebook, my coat, a pen, and my handgun and took them all to the Interview Room. I looked through the one-way mirror and saw a scrawny, sweaty man with beady little eyes and curly hair. Christ, this schmo probably hasn’t even been dried out yet. That little faggot jumped when I opened the door and again when I sat down. I opened up his file and looked at the arrest record. Money Laundering, Petty Theft, Fraud, you name it. He was some slimeball.
“So, mister… Steinberg. What’d you get picked up for?” I said it without looking up from the file. Real detached like. He jumped, again.
“Oh guawd, you’re so loud. Hi. Yes, I’m David. Steinberg I mean. David Steinb-”
“And WHAT did you get picked up for again?”
“Oh geez… uh… I was leaving the bar, totally legally, and forgot I had my drink in my hand when I left and it was almost finished and I hadn’t had that much anyway and-”
“Are you trying to… let me see here… de… frau… d… F-R-A-U-D me? That’s fraud right?”
“Oh god right yeah about that okay here’s the deal: I’m gonna go away for a long time, unless you get me a good deal. I’m not getting it for free of course. I’ll tell you anything you wanna know about my boss. He works for Bergenrose.”
“Bergenrose? That’s a helluva tip…”
TO BE CONTINUED