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Ice & Steel Part II – Thomas Calabrese

By   /  November 12, 2016  /  6 Comments


Thomas Calabrese ….Part II

Three days later, Charlie and Jack were sitting in their vehicle across the street from Senorita Bonita, a restaurant in Mexicali.

“I’ve always hated surveillance,” Jack grimaced as he squirmed in his seat.

“That’s coming from a guy who would spend three days in the searing heat or freezing cold to get one shot at a high value target,” Charlie replied.

“And I hated every second of it,” Jack snarled, “besides I’m too old to have that kind of patience anymore.”

“You didn’t have to come,”

“Is that the way this is going to be?”

“What?” Charlie asked

“That every time I make a casual comment, you’re going to turn it back on me,” Jack said.

Before Charlie could answer two black Cadillac Escalades pulled into the parking lot and four thuggish looking men got out of the first Escalade and scanned the area, a minute later two men stepped out of the second Escalade and did the same before Jorge Ramos exited the second vehicle.

“There he is,” Charlie spit in disgust, “The man who killed my friend and then got rewarded for it by my government, what the hell is this world coming to.”

“Our friend,” Jack corrected,  “The world is already there and it’s not a pleasant sight.”

The seven men walked into the restaurant while the drivers of the two Escalades waited outside and stood guard next to the vehicles.

“Now what, do we wait for them to come out?” Jack asked.

“Weren’t you just bitchin’ about sitting on your ass?” Charlie responded, “Let’s get this show on the road,” then got out of the vehicle, put in his wireless earpiece and started walking toward the restaurant, “com check, copy?”

“Five by five, loud and clear,” Jack responded.

“Take out the drivers when you hear me say, How’s the food in this place, if you hear shooting then come in blasting, otherwise wait until I get Ramos to come outside.”

When Charlie entered the restaurant, he walked toward the large table where Jorge Ramos was sitting, but was stopped by his bodyguards. Charlie Reese had a gift or a curse depending on your perspective, the more incorrigible the criminal, the less of a mystery they posed to him. In the few seconds that Charlie had seen Jorge Ramos and as much as he had read about the infamous criminal, he knew exactly what he needed to do to pull off his bluff.

“Easy fellas,” Charlie smiled and pulled out his badge, “a mutual acquaintance told me where to find you, I got something you will be interested in.”

Another corrupt American, Ramos thought to himself, “What mutual acquaintance?”

Charlie laughed, “I’d rather not mention his name in public, but do the initials ATF and DOJ mean anything to you?”

That’s all Jorge Ramos needed to hear, “What do you have?”

“It’s outside, I’ll show you,” Charlie answered.

More guns, Jorge thought, “Lead the way.”

Charlie looked around the dining area, “How’s the food in this place?”

Jack opened a cooler, pulled out a magazine loaded with ice bullets, which were projectiles that melted in the victim and left no evidence behind. He inserted the magazine into his M-25 rifle, aimed and took out the two drivers with quick successive shots to the heart then radioed, “Done.”

Charlie heard Jack’s confirmation as he walked toward the front door followed by the seven men. When they got outside to the parking lot, Jorge Ramos noticed his drivers lying on the pavement, but before he could react, Charlie heard Jack’s voice in his ear, “Take two steps to the left, “I’ll take the four on the right, the other two and Ramos are yours,” Charlie quickly complied.

As soon as the first man got hit by Jack’s shot, Charlie drew his HK and shot the two men on his left and in less than three seconds, six men were dead and Ramos was the only one standing.

“Don’t kill me!” Jorge Ramos pleaded, “I got intel! I got Intel! I’m protected!

Charlie shot Ramos in the left knee, who screamed out in pain, grabbed his leg and fell to the ground.  Charlie stepped on Ramos’ throat until he almost choked to death then pulled his boot away and waited until Ramos caught his breath then emptied his magazine into him, “That’s for Ben Allison,” and calmly walked over to the vehicle where Jack was waiting.

“You didn’t tell me you were going to do that.”

Charlie responded without emotion, “Do you have a problem with my methods?”

“I just wished you would have let me in on it, I would have liked to have gotten a few shots,” Jack smiled.

“Let’s go…one more stop to go.”

Charlie and Jack drove past the walled compound of Servando Barmenta’s residence and parked in a secluded area about a mile away and began preparing for the assault as Jack opened the two boxes; one was filled with C-4 explosives; the other had blasting caps and timers. Charlie was not the type of man to overlook details and knew that even if his intentions were justified, that would only carry him so far, cemeteries were full of men who died doing what they thought was the right thing,” Let’s go over the plan one more time” and after making sure that Jack and him were both on the same page he asked, “Are you taking your ice bullets?”

“The special cooler is too heavy to carry with the distance we have to walk. I’m officially switching from ice to steel.”

A question flashed through Charlie’s mind, ice and steel….why did that combination sound familiar? At zero four hundred hours Charlie and Jack moved within two hundred yards of the Barmenta compound and got down into the prone position and scanned the area through their rifle scopes. Two armed guards were on a walking patrol, Charlie took out the man on the left; Jack got the one on the right. They moved closer and Charlie shot the guard at the gate while a man on the roof was neutralized by Jack.

Most snipers use the lower “triangle of death” which is the throat down to both nipples and represents a bigger target. Charlie and Jack were proficient enough to use the “upper triangle” which is eyes down to the lips with the nose as the bullseye.  They slowly opened the gate and quietly moved inside and pulled the masks down over their faces. When they got to the back of the house, Charlie and Jack set their sniper rifles behind a large trash can and pulled out their Beretta M9 A3’s and entered the house through the back door where four Mexican women were working in the kitchen. Charlie pointed his gun at them, then said in Spanish, “Ni una sola palabra,” which roughly translated to; not a word, as Jack pulled out several disposable flex cuffs and motioned for the women to sit down then secured their ankles and hands and put a piece of duct tape over their mouths.

Charlie and Jack walked into the living room just as a guard stepped into view at the top of the stairs.  When he saw the intruders, he reached for his weapon, but was just a split second too slow as both Charlie and Jack shot him simultaneously and he tumbled down the stairs and landed with a thud on the marble floor below.

The shock went all the way to his bones, what the hell was that! Servando Barmenta thought as he hit the floor and when he looked up, he saw a man in a mask standing over him.

“Your wake up call, Sir,” Charlie said as he dangled the Taser in his hand, “Time to go bye bye.”

Jack was standing guard at the door, looking up and down the hallway for any more guards.

“I’m not going anywhere!” Servando Barmenta protested.

Charlie tasered Barmenta again who screamed out, “How many times do you want to do this, I just put new batteries in.”

“You’re both dead!” Servando Barmenta threatened, “I promise you that.”

Jack said, “ Promises, promises, where is the money.”

“Oh yeah,” Charlie said, “The dinero por favor,” then waved the Taser in front of Barmenta’s face.

Servando Barmenta weakly pointed to a door and Jack opened it to exposing stacks of money.

“You don’t even lock it up?” Jack commented

“Nobody is crazy enough to steal from me,” Barmenta growled.

“If you think this is crazy, wait until you see what happens next,” Jack responded.

Charlie pulled a sheet off the bed and ordered Barmenta, “See how much you can put in this.”

Servando Barmenta remained motionless on the floor.

“If we wanted to kill you, you’d be dead by now, but if you want us to change our minds then keep being uncooperative,” Charlie pointed his weapon at the drug dealer’s head.”

Barmenta stood up and began throwing money on the cotton sheet, “Check our exit, I’ll meet you in the kitchen,” Charlie told Jack.

When Charlie thought the sheet held enough money, “That’s enough; put some shoes and clothes on, the less I have to see of your bloated body the better.”

Barmenta dressed then swung the sheet over his shoulder as Charlie walked over to the closet and filled his pockets with money then came back and pushed Barmenta to the door. As he was leaving Charlie pulled out a C-4 charge, set the timer for ten minutes then tossed it into the room.

When Charlie and Barmenta got to the kitchen, Jack was standing next to the fearful women and looking out over the courtyard.

“Take Barmenta, I’ll be right behind you,” Charlie said.

Jack walked outside and grabbed both rifles then came back in and handed one to Charlie, “Don’t take too long.”

Charlie cut the restraints off the women’s wrists and ankles then took the money out of his pockets and dropped it on the floor, “Escapar corriendo.” which translated to, run for your lives. The women took the money and ran out of the house. Charlie took another C-4 charge, set the timer for five minutes and threw it behind the commercial stove. He caught up to Jack and Barmenta just as the first explosion went off, the second one was only two minutes later and a ball of flames lit up the morning skies.

“Consider that your official eviction notice,” Charlie commented.

Jack scanned the area behind them with his rifle scope to see if anyone was following and saw four all-terrain vehicles racing toward their position, “We got bogeys headed our way.”

“Did you actually think you could get away?” Barmenta laughed.

Without hesitation, Charlie and Jack put their rifles to their shoulders and shot the four men off their vehicles, “We thought we’d give it the whole college try,” Charlie stated matter of factly.

When they reached their vehicle, Barmenta was panting heavily from carrying the money. He was placed in the trunk with the currency.  Charlie and Jack took their masks off, got in their car then headed back to Arizona.  When they got within a mile of the border crossing, Jack pulled off the highway and drove down a dirt road. Both men put their masks back on and pulled Barmenta out of the trunk. Charlie handed Barmenta a sheet of paper, “Read it.”

Jack had his IPhone out and was prepared to record Barmenta’s statement.

“No way, I’m not going to read this,” Barmenta vehemently protested, “not a chance in hell.”

.Charlie pulled out his weapon and fired three shots into the ground, several inches from Barmenta’s feet, “Read and go free, deny and die. It’s your call.”

Barmenta sighed in resignation because he knew he had no other choice, so he began reading, “I am Servando Barmenta, drug trafficker and murderer of Deputy Ben Allison. Federal agents from the United States government have been giving me weapons.  I use those weapons to kill Americans and terrorize residents of my own country as I conduct my criinal activities.”

“Got it,” Jack tapped Barmenta on the shoulder, “You got a real future in public service announcements.”

“One more thing and you’re done,” Charlie said.

Two hours later, Servando Barmenta was found walking naked down the highway by a chicken farmer, his head was shaved and painted fire engine red, the initials ATF were carved into his chest and DOJ were etched into his back.

Charlie and Jack approached the border crossing, “Hey Jack,” said the Border Patrol agent, “Where have you been?”

“How you doing, Oscar? I took my friend to San Felipe for some fishing,” Jack answered calmly.

“Any luck?”

“Some, not much, we ate what we caught,” Charlie answered.

“Take care, Jack.”

“You do the same,” Jack responded, “See you next time.”

Twenty minutes later, Charlie called out, “Stop!”

Jack hit the brakes, “What?”

Charlie got out and walked down a ravine and when he came back, he was carrying an injured black Pitbull with dried blood all over him.

“Damn cartels use Pitbulls to guard their shipments then discard them like garbage, Jack growled then added,   “How did you see him?”

“Eyes are still good for something besides shooting bad guys.”

After Servando Barmenta’s confession aired on the internet and throughout social media, he immediately became a major liability and embarrassment to corrupt Mexican and American politicians and three days later, the official cause of his death was reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Federal Express delivered a large box to Wendy Allison that had two million dollars in various denominations in it and even though there was no return address, she knew who it was from. The animal rescue group where Jack had gotten his dogs also received a large anonymous donation.

Charlie was packed and ready to head back to Los Angeles.

“No reason to rush back,” Jack was saddened by his friend’s departure.

“I’ve been down here almost a month.  Don’t tell me you’re not getting tired of looking at my face by now,” Charlie replied.

“You would think that would be the case, but surprisingly no.”

“It’s time that I put in my retirement papers,” Charlie reflected, “I’ve never been hesitant to bend or break the law if I thought it served a higher purpose. I’ve come to the inevitable conclusion after what happened to Ben and what I’ve done over the years that I’m really nothing more than a criminal myself, working with criminals, chasing after criminals, and at any given time I’m the worst of them all. It’s time for a lifestyle change while I still have any brain cells that are still functioning.”

Jack laughed, “I came to that conclusion about myself a long time, I was wondering when you were going to catch up? Does this self -revelation, mean that you’ll be coming back?”

“Count on it,” Charlie answered as he opened the door to his vehicle, “Where are the dogs?”

“Playing in the pool,” Jack answered then called out,” Let’s go!

The three Pitbulls climbed out of the pool and came running, the black dog quickly jumped in Charlie’s car.

Jack shook Charlie’s hand, “Drive careful, compadre,” then embraced his friend and choked back a sob.

Charlie then turned to the dog sitting in the passenger seat, “Ready to go, Ben?”
















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  1. Guy Watson says:

    I was wondering if Part II would be worth the wait…it was…good story.

  2. John Michels says:

    2 thumbs up. Yes It was a good story

  3. Mike Mauro says:

    All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. Charlie Reese and Jack Hannity were not going to stand by and do nothing.

  4. Mona says:

    Lots of action and a happy ending!!!

  5. Steve Parker says:

    Good story… I really enjoyed how the interaction between Charlie and Jack and how they avenged their friend

  6. Pat Madden says:

    Great action story. Nice use of local places. I would read more of these; believable

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