UpComing Classes

Emerald City Writer's Conference


October 18-20, 2013; Bellevue, WA

A Basic Guide to Weapons

Chat with a Cop

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Deep Cover Operation involving a clean room

Question - I am writing about a woman who is deep undercover (DOD or ATF), working as a chemist with a suspected WMD manufacture. How do I arm her - or do I arm her? She is working in a clean room at least part of the time so I don't know that she can carry while on the job.
Suggestions?   Laurel

Is the suspected WMD manufacturer a chemical or other type of modern sophisticated plant?  Or is it a less than reputable business that is lax on safety and security?  Those questions go a long way as to whether or not the Agent goes in with a weapon.  Additionally, is the Agent working in an area where some type of protective gear (like a disposable protective jumpsuit or more) is required?  All of this also comes into play when a Agent is undercover (U/C).

Now, if the Agent felt there could be trouble or some type of gun play, trust me they would figure out how to arm themselves.  Nobody wants to show up at a gun fight carrying only a pocket protector.

Let's just say the lab your Agent is working U/C in is one of those technically WahZoo operations with security coverage at the max.  If there was absolutely no way for me to carry my weapon hidden on my body into the safe room, I'd personally stash weapons in different secure hidey-holes around the facility.

That being said a great place for women to stash a gun is down the front of their pants.  Right below the waist band, untuck or blouse your shirt. No one would notice.  However, again that depends if the person has to go through a metal detector, x-ray or other type of security device.

All of the agencies I contacted about deep cover replied, "An agents safety supersedes the job at hand."  However, it's important to note the U/C Agent has a lot of say in whether the operation will go forward or not.  If an agent doesn't feel comfortable they can stop the entire operation.  Everyone on the outside usually defers the U/C agent because they have a better idea of all the by play that is going on inside the organization they have infiltrated.

I highlighted the words: usually defers, because cases like life undercover operations comes down to a balancing game.  It is quite possible to be blindsided (due to tunnel vision) when only the U/C makes the call if the case should continue.  Sometimes the U/C can get caught up with the idea of the arrest and ignore (or simply not see) the the entire picture because they are so focused on the goal - arrest. 

My first year with DOJ a Fullerton Police Officer, Tommy de la Rosa, was ambushed and murdered while working in an undercover capacity.  My team was working surveillance, on a different case, in Los Angeles County the day the murder took place.  Upon being told of the incident, DOJ supervisors shut down all operations and sent us back to the office.

I have attended several training classes regarding the undercover operation that cost Tommy de la Rosa his life.  Everyone involved with the operation later admitted somethings didn't feel right.  But no one admitted to the feeling of wrongness before Tommy was murdered.  Later investigation and hindsight showed the crooks had no intention of brokering a narcotics deal.  Their sole purpose was to kill Tommy de la Rosa and take what they wanted. 

Everyone involved with the operation was devastated and only wished they had spoken up and said wait,   We need to slow down and take another look at what is going on.  Even cops succumb to peer pressure.  But during a U/C operation the consequences can be deadly.

That is my long-winded way of saying U/C's usually have a lot of autonomy.  I would believe, based on the information I received, Deep Cover Operatives even more so.  The need for a weapon could be and should be discussed by the U/C agent and their team. 

Yes, a deep cover operative can and usually will have some type of team.  The size would vary based on the operation.  Someone needs to be there to help keep the U/C grounded as well as exchange information.  

During the discussion the pro's and cons of taking a weapon into the facility could be hashed out.  Or maybe a place to stash a weapon would be pointed out, or maybe the team would be able to stash a weapon inside the room for the U/C.  Lots and lots of options.

Let me know if that answers your question.

No comments:

Post a Comment