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Spittin' Bullets

It’s a given that Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement guys carry backup firearms but I’ve yet to start researching what they are. Whenever I do get around to finding out, I think the best method would be for me to conduct a salacious strip search of each of the officers. That way, I’d not only learn what their weapons are but where they conceal them also. In the meantime I’m going to assume their secondary pistols are nothing less than 9mm, ‘cause anything smaller, ya know, what would be the point?

Moving on to something I don’t have to guess about: each man’s primary side arm. Up until I compiled a list of their weapons, it looked to me like one group of ten men with four types of firearms. I thought this was unusual since Law Enforcement, as I understand it, is pretty fussy about consistency. Now that I realize it’s one group of ten men from four departments which respectively issue one type of firearm, it makes a bit more sense.

From the Charlottesville Police Department are Longhead, Spot, Dasani, Truck, and Herb, armed with a 45 HK.

From the Albemarle County Police Department are Porn Star, Mouse, Cruiser Crasher, and Skoal, armed with a 40 HK.

From the University of Virginia Police Department is Pringle, armed with a 40 Glock.

From the Virginia State Police Department is Rasmussen, armed with a 357 SIG Sauer.

They of course carry bigger guns

and smaller guns

which I’ll be itemizing on iHeArTEjade at a later date. Maybe by then I’ll know what kind of backups they’re packin’ too.

A Mathematical Word Problem

Dasani drives a Monte Carlo. He has to travel 2.6 miles to get from his work to his house. The speed limit for 0.6 of those miles is 25mph. 0.8 of them are in a 35mph zone, and 1.2 of them are through an area with a posted limit of 45mph. On his preferred route he’ll encounter a total of 4 stop signs and 1 traffic signal. How does he manage to go the entire distance in 2 minutes and 36 seconds?


Ruff... Ruff...

Do Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement
Task Force Officers
become "Dog People"
Do "Dog People" become
Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement
Task Force Officers?


Oh, sure, fine.

Maybe I should've waited for this article to get the numbers.
[...] JADE was established in 1995 and is made up of 10 officers from the Charlottesville, Albemarle, University of Virginia and Virginia State Police departments. JADE primarily covers Central Virginia. [...]

Yet Another Use For Duct Tape

I’m still amazed by how fast Porn Star caught on to my shadowing him that one night.

What I cruise around in is nearly non-descript. There are a gamillion automobiles identical to it out on the road -- same make, model, even the color is common. The only thing that might cause it to stand out from its counterparts is the deer whistles (shut up, they work) I’ve got on the hood, but those are removable. At the same time, while my headlights certainly aren’t anything special they are unique to the type of car I drive.

What if the Task Force men are on the lookout for my *Mustang? Assuming that they’re somewhat adept at vehicle identification, the distinctive glow from my front end might interfere with, and possibly put an end to, my night tracking.

As I watched the daylight surrender to nightfall on the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement building, I got to seriously thinking.

Could I somehow alter the way my lights appeared in the dark? If so, would such a masquerade be worthwhile? Time for a little experiment. Obviously the addition of light wasn’t practical; I wasn’t sure if that could even be done, period. But perhaps there was a way to cover up some of the illumination. I rifled through a toolbox of sorts I keep in my car and came across the roll of duct tape I carry around. Hmm

Duct tape is the all-time best product on the planet; there is pretty much nothing you can’t do with it.

I got out of my car, ripped off a big strip of the silver-colored adhesive and stuck it on one of the front lights. Duct tape, just so you know, when placed over something luminous is utterly transparent. I tried doubling it up. Still no good. Darn it!

Not to be defeated I got back in my car and dug around some more, this time coming up with coin wrappers from the glove compartment. Hmm… I affixed one to a piece of duct tape, got back out and slapped it in front of the light. Adequate concealment indeed. Perfect!

Combining the two items I crafted several strips into a pattern and strategically arranged them over my lights. Incredibly ugly but Voila! Total transformation. One of the men may be able to detect a car is following him but there’s no way in hell he’d identify it as a Mustang.

I figured the best person to try this out on would be a detective who’d spied me recently. When he departed, I tagged along behind him careful to do everything as I normally would’ve. Not a single snag. I might as well have been in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet for all the difficulty I had following him from point A to point B.

Although I doubt the investigator would’ve intentionally led anyone to where he went, there was a chance his failure to perceive me was unrelated to my trickery. He could’ve been distracted from rockin’ out to the Rolling Stones on the radio for all I knew.

For further testing (and amusement) I chose another Enforcement officer, whom I knew was also mindful of my mode of transportation, to follow. I tailed him for a significant distance with no indication of being observed.

Actually when he and I had gotten several miles into the middle of Nowheresville, I pulled over momentarily on the shoulder and ripped the makeshift cloaking off the lights. I reckoned that this move would cause him to believe the car that, if he’d noticed, had been at his rear all this time had turned off. Also I thought that if he now happened to identify the car behind him as a Mustang, it probably wouldn’t occur to him it was mine showing up all of a sudden this far out.

I watched him, too, arrive at his destination -- a place I doubt he, like his associate, would’ve willingly led anyone.

None of it proved my modifications had been beneficial but I felt that it justified additional effort and study.

At home later on I took some precise measurements of my Mustang’s lights and cut shapes out of paper for stencils. Sticking with the duct tape -- mainly for its flexibility -- and going with black spray paint rather than nickel wrappers to prevent the light from showing through, I produced a better version of the covers. They’re way prettier too! They can be attached to my car with electrical tape.

To date I’ve not been spotted once since I started using the things. I find it interesting but I’m still not convinced there’s any correlation; I believe the only way to truly know their effectiveness would be to speak with the JADE guys about it.

Uh-huh, you’re right; that’s probably never gonna happen.

*not my actual vehicle


Directory Assistance; What Listing, Please?

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 430
Charlottesville, VA 22911-8698

BEN PRUITT: 434-972-6147

DENISE ROLLINS: 434-972-6144

JANE COLLINS: 434-972-6141

JIM LAMB: 434-972-6143

JOHN PITTMAN: 434-972-6146

LYNNE STOPFORD: 434-972-6140

TOM WILSON: 434-972-6148


A Short Shadow Story

I lost my tail virginity to JADE detective Porn Star. My that does sound racy, doesn’t it! Nevertheless, Porn Star was the first man on the Task Force I ever followed. I suppose eventually I’ll put up the story about it but, for the time being, let’s just say it was very much like a first sexual experience: over in minutes. Anyway, I’ve come… a long way since then and I’m fast-forwarding you to my latest installment with him.

I have some other business in the area to take care of but in between meetings I meander through the parking lot where the Drug Enforcement office is located. A bunch of their cars are present. For the sake of clearing up a certain little unanswered question I have, I intend to follow a specific man whose vehicle I spot. Due to the time of day, I expect he won’t be leaving for a while. Unfortunately I forget that he came in earlier than usual and when I return later to catch him on his way out, it makes sense that he’s already gone. As a matter of fact, it appears that all the JADE members are gone; all but one.

Usually a conspicuous absence of these guys so soon in the evening is an indication they’ll be carrying out a late night or pre-dawn raid. I think about what day it is and considering it’s one on which they often conduct this type of activity, I foretell there’s about to be some unhappy recipients of a search warrant.

Though the intended Task Force officer is not here, Porn Star is. Why not follow him instead? The way I figure it, I can always use the practice. And who better to practice with than Porn Star? As if he doesn’t totally rock already, as added bonus, he’s just recently gone through his mandatory driver training. This’ll be a good opportunity for me to check out what, if anything, he’s learned.

I examine the location of his automobile and contemplate the best position for my car to be in to pursue him. I can’t just sit here in the middle of the street thinking about it so I pull into what I hope is a good place.

Over the next couple of minutes my brain races reevaluating my parking choice. I find a few flaws in my selection – the worst being that if I pull out as soon as Porn Star moves and he loops back around, I’ll have no discreet way to do the same, and if I wait to move ‘til it’s apparent he isn’t going to reverse directions, I won’t have time to see which way he turns at the intersection. I should mention he’s quite the zippy driver.

I spy another potential space and, after carefully debating its suitability, move my car to it. I settle in to wait him out. I don’t have to wait long. Darkness has taken over but I see the shape of him striding to his Honda. In the blink of an eye, he’s entered his car and its brakes glow blinding red as he prepares to leave. I let him get going – he doesn’t make the U-turn I was concerned about – and without turning my lights on I roll after him.

I don’t want him to see me right off the bat so, with full view of him at the intersection, I slide my car into a parallel spot near a news van and pause until I see which direction he heads. He makes a right. I move forward, wait for a car to pass, and turn right also.

Once out on the main road I flip my headlights on. I pull behind Porn Star where he’s stopped in the left turn lane. Given the green arrow, Porn Star, I, and a whole line of just-got-off-work commuters, glide under the signal.

The speed limit is 45. Normally, by now on this road, Porn Star would be a 70mph blue blur. It looks like a couple of law-abiding citizens are slowing him up. Truth be told, I’m about as thrilled with these dragging drivers as he probably is -- he, because his lead foot is being impeded; me, because I’m being deprived of an immediate demonstration of the outcome of his ordered driver training.

Really I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t taken to weaving in and out of the traffic to break free of it. For a split-second I humor myself with the idea of showing him how to. Finally we get a significant amount of leeway. Porn Star still doesn’t take advantage of it. I find this exceedingly perplexing.

Because of their recent behavior, I have a feeling, but I’m not positive, that, because of my recent behavior, the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force is in hypersensitive ultra-alert ever-vigilant mode regarding me. Jeez… does that even make sense?

The point is, I’ve been tailing Porn Star for barely a few miles and he’s already exhibiting the tell-tale signs that he knows he’s being shadowed. My guess would be that, cognizant of what kind of vehicle I drive, he’s identified me by my car’s headlights. If this is indeed the case, no big deal. I can make it work. This tail isn’t pertinent, it’s for fun.

I unnecessarily and deliberately ride his bumper all the way to the I-64 exchange. The only reason I stop there is because we have to stop there. At a red light. When we get moving again I graciously let him have some distance. A spare inch.

The Albemarle County Police Department is coming up. Porn Star puts his left blinker on, signifying he’s going to be turning on a street prior to the station. Though it’s the route a lot of policemen use to access the building, my instincts say this is a ploy. Porn Star has no need to go to there -- other than to lose me or trap me or something me-related. Then again, that line of thinking seems rather insolent. There is the possibility that he has a legitimate purpose. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever his reasons are, I drop him. He turns and I go straight.

When he leaves the ACPD a mere few minutes later I pick him right back up. Well, technically, I give him four extra seconds head start. I’m positive I’ll catch up to him on the narrow countryish road we’re about to find ourselves on. I absolutely love twisty-turny winding two-lane back roads.

I think my reappearance surprises him. There’s a set of cars ahead of us but they’re moving nicely along. I stick to Porn Star like flypaper. We lose one car to a driveway. I keep right on up with the JADE man. The other car vanishes down a side street. Now it’s just him and me. Porn Star takes off and I mean he floors it.

Porn Star has a lot in his favor. For one, he’s plainly intimate with the route. For another, he has a small car that’s perfect for curve-hugging and tight-turn-taking. And Law Enforcement driver training; there is that, too.

I am unfamiliar with the route. My car is mid-size. I have not an ounce of formal driver training. I do have determination. Better yet, I’m operating on the belief that one can safely take most any turn on these types of roads at 55mph.

If memory serves, this street, until the next major intersection, is around six miles long. I estimate we’re slightly less than halfway down it. This leaves a hell of a lot of crooks and bends for us to maneuver. Woohoo!

Porn Star and I several times top speeds of over 60. Only once do I lose sight of him, due to a consecutive pair of nasty curves I don’t take well. I rapidly recover from them and gain on him shortly thereafter. No denying the evidence he’s had professional training, whether or not it’s related to the recent mandatory thing I have no idea. The way I’m handling this road might look amateurish -- to him, and in comparison -- but I’m proud of myself.

We’re nearly to the intersection with the stop sign. I wonder what he plans to do at it. Judging by the blinker he’s just put on, he’ll be going left. I allow him to proceed that way without me. I go straight across.

I imagine he’s had enough surprises this evening; I won’t give him any more. I morph methods, going from brazen to covert. I can’t tell you how I did it -- I have to have some secrets -- but, without him knowing, within the ensuing five minutes I pick him up one final time and watch him arrive at the destination he tried so hard to not lead me to.


Apparently the avatar of an unidentified female with an assault rifle in her hands could cause this site to be construed as threatening rather than entertaining and informative -- or so I'm told.

I've replaced it.

Next I suppose I'll have to put up a disclaimer.


A Tale Of A Tail

Unbeknownst to them, I’ve followed the men of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force all over the place. After loads of trial and error, I’ve gotten rather good at tailing them. Together we’ve covered just about every inch of Charlottesville; we’ve traveled around Albemarle county; and we’ve crossed into numerous other counties. With rare exceptions, I’ve gone largely undetected. Until lately, that is.

I know these guys think they’re slick, and maybe they think I’m not, but my stealth mode is so, like, yesterday’s news. They’re seeing me because I’m not trying to hide. I’ve got ulterior motives for doing this but I see no point in going into them just yet. Instead I’m going to share one of a ton of adventures I’ve had with the JADE officers. Whereas events like this one plausibly encourage them to underestimate me, they also serve as a reminder that I shouldn’t overestimate me.

I’m on my way to get a cup of coffee. I recognize Rasmussen’s Impala as it passes by me going in the opposite direction I am. Aha! Change of plans. I decide to follow him. I slow down to barely moving and give him time to get to the end of the street before I swing a U-turn in the middle of the road.

An unusually high amount of cross traffic has held him, and a long line of other automobiles, up at the intersection. I join the crowd, stopping behind a newer model silver Monte Carlo, and wait to go left as Rasmussen did. I watch him turn right at the next junction and do the same. With minimal cars between us, we work our way out of the downtown region.

Approaching the 250 bypass we have two lanes to choose from. Rasmussen hugs the double yellow line in the center of the road, giving me the impression he intends to make a left. He pulls into the right lane. The way the road is designed, his occupation of that lane doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t go left from it. Ugh. This light is taking For-Ev-Er.

I continue to assess his placement: If he was going anywhere that would require him to make a right from our location, there are much better and faster ways he could have gone. If I, with my lousy sense of direction, know that, surely he, someone familiar with the area, does also. My feeling that he’s going the way I first thought doesn’t change. But, in case I’m mistaken, I come to rest in the same lane as him. The Chevrolet I noticed earlier is, as before, separating us. When the light goes green, we go left.

For a while we travel straight at a steady pace. On the one hand, I don’t especially care if Rasmussen spies me; on the other hand, I’m not inclined to tip him off prematurely. I figure as long as the Monte Carlo is handy I’ll put it to good use as a sort of barrier.

Now I have Monte Carlo on the brain. I like Monte Carlos. Dasani drives one of them. Like the one in front of me his is silver too but, unlike it, his has ultra-dark tinted windows. Right now his is parked down at the JADE building in his preferred spot for it.

Somehow or another we wind up on route 29 heading north. With a choice of several lanes to pick from I ease out of the one Rasmussen is in to an adjacent one.

Most of the day has been crummy-yucky-rainy. I’ve had to keep adjusting my lights in accordance with the weather. Presently it’s dry but overcast; I flip my lights to an appropriate setting. I can’t believe that Monte Carlo is still here. What’s the deal -- they're not, like, together are they?

In an uncommon stroke of luck, Rasmussen and I simultaneously get caught at or make it through several, seemingly evenly spaced, traffic signals. We’re leaving the built-up area and consequently the number of lanes drops. I squeeze my vehicle into a row approximately six cars back from Rasmussen’s. Okay, why is that Monte Carlo still here?

For a spell the traffic signals are at greater intervals. It doesn’t last long. We’re soon back to busier surroundings and the road widens again. As if connected by an invisible hitch Rasmussen and the Monte Carlo smoothly flow in unity from this lane to that one. The display clinches it for me. Oh. My. God. They are together! I burst out laughing.

It occurs to me that whoever’s in the Monte Carlo probably thinks it’s him I’ve been following. Yet more hilarious it undoubtedly has to appear that I’m operating well below the skill level of a retard.

I watch Rasmussen move to the farthest left lane. The Monte Carlo tries to do the same but traffic hinders him. The driver puts his turn signal on and tries again. He and a Toyota are almost side by side and the person evidently isn’t going to be getting out of the way any time soon. The light which Rasmussen has successfully made it through isn’t in our favor. The blinker on the Monte Carlo goes out, ostensibly in harmony with the driver’s realization he’s going to be forced to stop.

Up ahead I see Rasmussen’s car get caught in a turn lane at a red light of his own. All right, who the hell is that in the Monte Carlo? Idling behind it, I peer at the side mirror of the Chevrolet looking for a face. Nothing. I’m at the wrong angle to see his reflection in his rearview mirror. I push my feet to the floor to raise myself up. My butt is off the seat, the top of my head is smooshed up against the ceiling, and I’m shifting around hoping to catch sight of him. All that’s visible is the brim of a dark baseball cap. I sigh and drop my body back down into place.

The light changes and the Monte Carlo shoots off, obviously to get in front of the Toyota that wouldn’t let him in just a minute ago. This time he succeeds. Since I expect he’s going to be joining Rasmussen at the upcoming signal, I don’t put quite as much effort into switching over as he did.

There are two left turn lanes. Rasmussen and the Monte Carlo are in the right one. I get in the left one which already has two vehicles in it. At this instant all I want to do is find out who’s driving the Monte Carlo. I’m guessing it’s Dasani but I’d like to know for sure. From where I am I can’t see anything more than half of the back of the guy’s head and the edge of his jaw line. I wish he’d turn his face but I’m well aware he won’t do any such thing. I know he knows precisely where I am. I note a Bluetooth or something attached to his left ear. I can hear him talking and assume he’s communicating with Rasmussen.

I redirect my eyes to the leading car. Rasmussen has a passenger. I think it’s Herb. Yes, the same Herb who just the other day had my car pointed out to him. Lovely. This gets better and better. Not only do they know I'm following them, they know I am following them. Great. Great, great, great. I start laughing again; it’s so unbelievably ridiculous.

Ah, well, thanks to a previous situation with another set of JADE members, I not only know what their next trick will be, I predict it’ll be happening within thirty seconds of our turning. I’m committed to completing the turn but I have an idea for afterwards.

The light gives us a go and we all advance. In a beautiful display of near synchronicity, Rasmussen suddenly veers into a parking lot on the right via its first entrance, the Monte Carlo passes by him but swoops around into the same place using a second entrance, and I make a rapid U-turn to leave the whole array in the background. Hey I may be dumb, but I ain’t… as dumb as they are.

One final gaze over my shoulder reveals them situated driver’s-side to driver’s-side in the lot, presumably calculating how to proceed.

As for me, there’s a lot to be learned from a fourteen mile long egregious error. And while I’m not going to shut down the show, so to speak, I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be repeating this particular performance.


The Cast of Characters

Q: How do I write freely about my experiences with JADE without violating my current self-imposed "No Outing" guideline?
A: I put up this post.

When I first got interested in JADE, the only thing I knew about it was the names of three men connected to it. I took a wild guess that they weren’t the entire Task Force and figured I would need to somehow keep track of the distinct personalities as I uncovered them.

My plan was to label them “Suspect,” followed by consecutive numbers as needed, but then I reconsidered because, really, they weren’t exactly suspects. I thought of them more like… rats -- the kind that would be studied in a laboratory -- but that’s what you call the people that talk to them. Guinea pigs? Along the same lines, a research animal, plus it included a pre-established familiar noun for police. Funny but quickly scratched for being diminutive.

Then I opted for “Subject” number whatever. This worked at the onset, however it didn’t take long to discover that keeping up with so many enumerations wasn’t easy. I put a little more thought into it and came up with sobriquets based on something simple that I predicted would be memorable to me.

I expected the use of pseudonyms would also prevent anyone from deciphering exactly how much I knew, should it ever come to that. While this totally made sense in the early stages, because of the sheer amount of information I’d wind up documenting, it became clear I wouldn’t be able to hide as much as I’d assumed I could behind the fictitious monikers. I mean, how likely would it be that I managed to obtain the home address and telephone number of someone without knowing his real name? Even after realizing this, and despite correctly identifying all of them, I’d continue to use the names I’d ascribed to them. Not everyone mentioned below is a member of the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force, nevertheless all of the following names will probably come up again at some point in my writings:


I suppose because of his remarkably elongated face, this is, for real, what the druggies who know him call him so it’s what I went with. Honestly, it’s far nicer than any Faux name I would’ve given him. In print, I often abbreviate Longhead to LH.


The second I saw him, I pegged him as a cop. I kid you not, the thought that immediately popped in my mind was Good grief; do all these guys have that spot? Despite being a fair distance away from him, I could clearly see a circular area of baldness near the top of the back of his head. Several other JADE men have this identical marking, including LH.


Between the worn round outline in his back right pocket and the bottle full of gooey brown liquid -- definitely not the advertised Diet Coke -- in his hand, I dubbed him the only brand of smokeless tobacco I knew. Oddly enough, in the future I would find the men carried containers of Kayak, Grizzly, and Timber Wolf, but never any Skoal.

Porn Star.

That guy’s either a cop or a wanna-be 80s porn star! When I first saw him I swear he looked exactly the way adult film actors used to look. So much so I couldn’t help but imagine his ass, the section of flesh glowing white in stark contrast to the rest of his suntanned body. Twisted thought, perhaps, but by no means an unpleasant one.


Simple explanation: offhand he looked like someone I know with that last name. ‘Course, naturally, after seeing more of him I made up my mind that he only looks like my acquaintance from afar. Up close he reminds me of the teddy bear you hug whenever you’re down and sad.


Maybe it’s ingrained from his SWAT training, but this dude goes nearly nowhere without being accompanied by a bottle or two of water. His brand of choice might not be Dasani, but I wasn’t about to refer to him as Deer Park.


This fellow is the only one who started with one name but ended up with another. The original was also of an omnivore (one he’d no doubt prefer to be called) but, well, indecisiveness and a certain picture of him compelled me to change it to what it is. Truth be told, I don’t care for this selection much either. He does strike me as incredibly creature-like; I just can’t pinpoint which one. I should’ve just called him Animal.


I dunno… you are what you’re next to? A glimpse in my driver’s side mirror produced the grill of a truck and the upper body of an attractive man clad in a blue and black vest branded POLICE. Had he been half an inch closer to the vehicle, there’s a good possibility he’d be known as Toyota.


A long time ago I saw a picture of professional cyclist Michael Rasmussen. In it he was kind of hunched over and you could see all his bones and ribs sticking out and it was frankly repulsive. So this JADE member was kind of bent over reaching into an automobile and I guess because of some items – body armor, gun, whatever -- under his shirt jutting out everywhere it gave the same sick skeletal impression. (To be clear, it was not a reflection of reality as, unlike the real Rasmussen, this one has a decent build.) The choice of nickname was emphatically better when I later saw a collection of bikes belonging to him and heard he’s an avid cycler too.


I’m going to start drawing a new comic strip. It’ll be all about a cartoon character named Herbal. Technically Herbal will be a gerbil, but he’ll be a cool glasses-sportin’ briefcase-carryin’ anti-Marijuana one. Ah, c’mon, it can’t be any worse than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


SeeSee = CC = Carbon Copy. Inside and out this guy is nothing more than a clone of Longhead. And if you’ve listened to him, as I have, gushing on and on about LH, you’d probably find, as I did, it bordered on vomit-inducing. If I were his wife, I’d worry about what’s inspiring those wet dreams he’s been having.


Uniformly head-to-toe brown should only be worn by employees of the United Parcel Service.

L.L. Me.

Believe it or not, this guy told me his real name before I’d come up with a nickname for him. I fully credit UPS for the nom de guerre on account of it being him who said “he looks like me” knowing the two of them do not look alike.


This kid spent a lot of time with Spot so I thought I know he ties in somehow but who is he?

Spare Spot.

A case of mistaken identity.


A Confidential Informant of the Task Force’s. Once, subsequent to getting together with JADE Detective Jon Seitz at the Ix building, this man stopped at a local convenience store and bought two twelve-packs of beer. It wasn’t the purchase of the alcohol, however, that earned him the nickname; it was his flinging the empty cans out his car window as he cruised down I-64.


Machismo, by definition, is “prominently exhibited masculinity.” Itd be tough to find a lawman more macho than the one I gave this name to. Ooo La La!

The Game.

A Charlottesville Policeman. I told him I wouldn’t use his real name. He told me he wanted to pick his own appellation for the site. Oh yeah? What? He flipped open his cell phone and I stared at the two prominent words on the screen. “THE GAME”?! Not-uh! Really? You got it brother.

(The Exclusively JADE Cast of Characters Here)

To be continued...


So HOW Close Can You Get To One Of These Guys Without Him Knowing?

Close enough to smell his Shenandoah Joe's. Mmm...

The Longer Version (With Oodles of Parentheticals)

Absent a tremendous amount of details, prior to my decision to do any of this I'd received two bully calls from a certain FBI agent. (I know him because, again, absent a tremendous amount of details, some time ago I found myself in the position of being a witness for the prosecution in a federal unrelated-to-drugs case.) My response to the agent's bullying was to accumulate information about the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (there's a conjunction, I swear). No doubt this was not the result the agent was going for.

The day that I took these images, I got... well, I don't want to say "busted" or even "caught" as those words somehow imply wrongdoing. The facts are that I was at 2nd Street SE (a very busy, populated, public place), in the afternoon (broad daylight), outfitted in slacks, a dressy tube-top, and an awesome super-fuzzy white jacket (not even remotely resembling suspiciously-up-to-something attire), and I was observed taking photographs (likely because I wasn't trying to hide that I was doing so).

Afterwards I was in my car (about to leave but rearranging some items first) when I overheard (I have excellent hearing) a female's voice in the distance talking about my picture-taking. My rearview mirror showed a woman pointing me and my car out to two JADE officers, Herb and Pringle. I turned around in the driver's seat and watched, waiting (uber-inquisitive) to see what the TF guys would do. They stared, and conferred, and stared and conferred some more, and I stared back and didn't confer (since I had no one to confer with) until I saw one of the men get on his cell phone. I assumed (and didn't really care) he was calling in my tags. Since after a few minutes neither of them gave any indication they intended to come over and talk to me (too bad 'cause that would've been far more interesting), I backed out and went on my way.

The incident earned me another menacing phone call from the FBI agent, no surprise, only this time his threat was very specific.

Honestly, originally I intended to keep whatever I learned about the JADE Task Force to myself. I have to admit he's got me rethinking my original intent. Rest assured though, like before, my reaction is probably not going to be what the agent had in mind. (Have I mentioned how much I don't appreciate intimidation tactics?) For the moment, my response to his latest is what's showing up on this blog.

Days go by and my very best informant tells me that, for a few nights running, the parking lot where JADE is located has been completely emptied of vehicles by late hours. Even the TSU trucks and Level 3 vans which were formerly always kept in the lot overnight are conspicuously missing. Level 3 trailers have been strangely reparked (they sit perpendicularly centered, taking up three or four spaces each). Random cars left in the lot have been spied with tickets on them, and tow trucks have been observed frequenting the immediate area. The only automobiles present are essentially the SUVs belonging to the Charlottesville Newsplex, and, of course, Task Force transportation. This report sparks my curiosity like you would not believe!

It was also brought to my attention that, after all the effort I put into it, this site went from page three to page one to not appearing at all, anywhere, anymore, in a Google search. That's okay as, technically, I know how to get around that obstacle if I feel the need to. But more importantly, though I wanted people to see iHeArTEjade, it's not and never was the be-all end-all method to disseminating any information I might eventually want propagated. My real plan won't be so easily interfered with (insert overdramatic diabolical laughter here).

In all seriousness, I don't have much. I do have enough intelligence to, within the confines of the law, effectually take on what I believe is nothing more than a group of arrogant thugs.

Just like they were completely unaware of what I was up to with them, I have no idea what they're doing in regards to me. But consider this: They can't take away what I know. And once it's out there... It's. Out. There. They can't get it back.

Will the Federal Bureau of Investigation make good on its threat? Time will tell. The bottom line: Maybe I'll have to do the same.


The JADE of Years Past

During this endeavor, my research led me to several men who had previously been active with the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force. Since what I really wanted to know was who JADE's current officers are, once I discovered a man was a former member I promptly ended my investigation of him and closed his file.

These records include, but are not limited to:

Mike Marshall, a sergeant with the University of Virginia Police Department, who, I was told, had moved on to the Virginia Military Institute Police Department roughly two years prior to my inquiries about him. (It appears that Mr. Marshall not only moved on but up; while seeking links for this post, I just now found this.)

Captain Bryant Bibb spoke of his many years with JADE matter-of-factly, but with both a touch of fondness and melancholy. I've heard Sheriff Chip Harding is excellent to talk to about the Task Force however if anyone wants a thoroughly idyllic conversation, Captain Bibb is definitely the guy to call.

I don't recommend calling Robert Frazier until after you've read this article.

The last fellow I'm going to mention here who was with JADE is Harry E. Shaffer. As much as people like to think the World Wide Web has everything, there's a great deal that can't be found on it. I actually first came across Mr. Shaffer's name in connection with JADE during an exploration of old newspapers. When I did turn to the Internet for further information about him, I found nothing on it that tied him to the Task Force. I did, though, find that he had recently gotten himself arrested. Because I felt this was a unique case, I did some additional nosing around. According to my source, it turns out that Mr. Shaffer's 2007 "retirement" from the Charlottesville Police Department stemmed from allegations that he sexually molested a five year old. (It could be that Mr. Shaffer is the missing fourth detective the CPD claims they've assigned to JADE. Hmm... I may dig into that possibility and get back to you on it.)


The Long And The Short Of It

You may be curious about what inspired this project. What would cause someone, especially a female, to decide to uncover an undercover anti-drug anti-terrorism task force?

There are several contributing factors, none of which have anything to do with drugs or terrorism. In truth there’s a lengthy and complicated story behind this -- one I’d like to think will eventually make it out. But I am no Christine Collins. There is no reverend with a radio program to speak on my behalf, there is no high power attorney with a charitable heart to act on my behalf, and there is no former journalist to write on my behalf. There is only me.

And right now the only explanation I can give you is that I thought it would be challenging.


Yoohoo... Google!

In case you're wondering why I might type out Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement in its entirety, rather than just JADE and then, like a sentence or two later, instead of writing JADE, I'll fully retype Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement again, or why I might throw in a seemingly unrelated, perhaps irrelevant, reference to something (such as the downtown mall in Charlottesville or a bacon double cheeseburger that came from the Burger King located near the Albemarle County Police Department), it's because I'm trying to get (and/or keep) this site on the first page of Google's search results (under applicable search terms, of course).

You see, I'd like people in Charlottesville or Crozet or Albemarle County or anywhere the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (JADE) operates, and/or people interested in the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement (JADE) and/or in drug task forces in general, and/or students and faculty at the University of Virginia, to find this site.

By the way, Special Agent Lamb, are you keeping an eye on the 'net like I advised?

Operation "Verification"

Aside from this site, information about JADE personnel can be found on the City of Charlottesville website.

As you can see, they break it down:
Currently the task force is manned by one lieutenant (commander), one sergeant and four detectives from the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD). The Albemarle County Police Department (APD) has one corporal and two detectives. The University of Virginia Police (UPD) has assigned one sergeant and two detectives. The Virginia State Police (VSP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) each has a special agent assigned to the task force. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has two agents assigned to work the Charlottesville area and are stationed within the JADE office, working closely with the JADE personnel and investigations divisions of the three police departments.
Then, I guess presuming you’re too stupid or lazy to figure it out yourself, they total it up: 17.

I found the preceding somewhat early on in my investigation and, using my own style of shorthand, scribbled it down on a notepad I carry with me. I didn’t give it much attention then -- I tucked the details away thinking they’d come in handy later -- but I did note that I was supposed to be looking for seventeen people. By the time “later” came, I had a problem: their list didn’t jibe with my facts.

For one, I definitely didn’t find seventeen people. For another, I had issues like too many sergeants, not enough detectives, and no corporals. Regarding the former, obviously it was possible I just hadn’t rooted out all their men but the latter? I knew I wasn’t wrong about their rankings and titles.

So I found myself in the position of needing to verify the very thing I intended to use as verification. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it would’ve been smarter to do that in the first place.)

I checked the Albemarle County website and while, unlike Charlottesville's, they don’t have a section specifically dedicated to Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement, I did find this organization chart.

Fortunately the University of Virginia site didn’t add to the confusion since it has zip, zilch, nada, about the composition of JADE. (Perhaps because of this critique-inducing drug bust?)

Several phone calls and two in-person visits to two police stations sorted most of it out.

At last armed with correct information, only one man remained a mystery to me. The particulars as I knew them were that he’s a sergeant from Charlottesville and a Task Force member. He became my Tetris game; periodically I’d move him around hoping to get him to fit. When one day out of the blue I accidentally learned he’s with the county and not the city as I’d believed, it all fell into place.

I think the City of Charlottesville should update to:
Currently the task force is manned by one lieutenant (commander), one sergeant and three detectives from the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD). The Albemarle County Police Department (APD) has one sergeant and two detectives. The University of Virginia Police (UPD) has assigned one detective. The Virginia State Police (VSP), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) each has a special agent assigned to the task force. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has no one specific agent who works JADE cases. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has one agent who works frequently with JADE but is not stationed within the JADE office.


Oh. The. Irony.

This is a replica of an actual document. Having witnessed the way this particular JADE guy drives, I found it humorous.

By Order of: Chief John F. Miller (signature on file)
T.R. Received: 8/26/08. Issued By: Ofc. C. Morris, 8/26/2008
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Training Order is to advise personnel of scheduled training.
PROCEDURE: As is below.
Driver Training
LOCATION: Shenandoah Track
DATES/TIMES: Oct. 13, 2008 (0800-1700)
ATTENDEES: Glenn Fink, Ben Reeves, Jonathan McKay, Jonathan Hickory, Todd Lytton, Robert Byram, Eric Kudro, Candace Pack, Jason Taylor, Andrew Gluba, Caleb Marden, Trevor Ross

Aww... I Can't Believe I Missed It!

This would've been awesome to watch:
The Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force arrested two Charlottesville residents on drug charges early Wednesday morning.

About 4:45 a.m., JADE, the Charlottesville police SWAT team and the Virginia State Police tactical team raided two apartments on Hardy Drive, according to Lt. Don Campbell of JADE.

Curtis Alvin Johnson Jr. and Laverne C. Calloway were arrested. Johnson faces a charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and remains in the Albemarle-Charlottes-ville Regional Jail without bond. Calloway was charged with possession of cocaine, and remains in jail with a $1,500 bond.

The raid turned up a quarter ounce each of crack cocaine and marijuana, as well as scales and $2,178 from one apartment, according to Campbell. Officers seized a small amount of cocaine and marijuana, scales and $1,593 from the other apartment.

Officers also found a .380-caliber pistol in a vehicle connected to the case.

More charges are pending, according to Campbell.



Of Tags and Badges

A few Task Force members have vanity tags on their personal vehicles. Not all of them have an as obvious meaning as, say, this guy's. I wanted to know the significance of the number on one of their license plates and considered the possibility that it may be badge-related. This prompted me to get the badge numbers of all of the JADE officers. Since I'm all about finding out as much as possible about these guys, I can't believe I didn't think of doing this sooner.

I'm aware that police departments have caller ID. I didn't want to cause alarm with the local ones by asking for a string of badges all coincidentally belonging to members of the JADE Task Force. I also didn't think it wise to have my phone number keep showing up by calling several times during one shift. I opted for a sort of rotation.

I called the Albemarle County Police Department and City of Charlottesville Police Department as many times as necessary so as not to raise any red flags. I had no trouble with either department. I only needed to call the University of Virginia and Virginia State Police once each. Neither department was cooperative.

The lady who answered at VSP reminded me of an annoying five year old. No matter what I said, her response was "Why?" Ultimately she gave me a number but claimed she didn't know if it was correct or if it even belonged to the officer I named.

The woman who answered at UVA was just a delightful ball of pleasantness.

"I'm looking for the badge number of one of your detectives." I gave his name. She repeated his name as a question. I said "Yes." She asked me if I minded holding while she looked it up. I said I wouldn't mind. She came back on the line and gave me a two-digit number. I repeated the two digits as a question. She said "Yes." I thanked her, she wished me a good day, I wished her the same, and we hung up.

26 minutes later my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number on my caller ID but immediately noticed it started with 531 -- a common beginning for area law enforcement. I let it go to voice mail; the caller didn't leave a message. I waited 13 minutes and called it back. I got sent to voice mail. The recording didn't afford me a name but it did give me a familiar pager number. It belongs to the UVA detective. Apparently because I dared to ask for a public record, the see you next tuesday I'd spoken with supplied him with my private phone number.

A few days later a source provided me with a police document that also conveniently had all their badge numbers listed (although, admittedly, had I not already gotten them I probably wouldn't have known off-hand that's what they were). From the memo I learned that the number I'd been given for Detective UVA was a digit short.

I think probably UVA's Police Department believes it was acting in the best interest of its officer. However because of their paranoia and subsequent confrontational aggressive response, I wound up with more desirable information than I'd asked for.

Oh and, by the way, the tag that started this whole episode? Turns out it's not a badge number after all.

Location, Location, Location.

Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force
965 2nd Street SE
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Don't let map programs fool you with the dead end appearance. There are currently three ways -- Elliott Avenue, Monticello Avenue, or 6th Street SE -- to get in and get out.

Facing Elliott Ave:
Facing Monticello Ave:
Facing 6th Str SE:
Two views of (what I refer to as) the upper lot:

A view of the building and lot closest to Monticello Ave:

JADE members go through the door located at the top of the steps next to this sign:

On the left is the only door in the hallway: