How lucky can I get?  I was over 1000 miles from home and looking for a load to get there.  As I refreshed the load board on my iPad, I couldn’t have been more surprised to find a load going to within thirty miles of my home.  I called and negotiated a good rate for the load.  I received the contact information and called immediately to set up the pickup.  When I arrived to this large warehouse, the only people in the area were men working on trucks outside in the heat, without shelter from the summer sun – brutal conditions for a mechanic.  I called the shipper again and he said he’d have a guy there in ten minutes.  Sure enough, two guys arrived soon after the phone call and I was ready to load up. After a lot of hard work, we got this old loader on the trailer and I quickly secured it to get on my way.

About an hour east of the pickup location, I started looking for a truck stop to get some fuel and a meal.  After fueling, I parked toward the back of the truck stop and went in.  After eating lunch, I walked back toward my truck.  When I arrived at my truck I was greeted by a black SUV…

The driver rolled down his window and stopped beside me as I was standing near my truck.  He said, “Mr. Slaughter, can I ask you a few questions” and he showed me a federal badge.  The SUV contained 3 DEA agents who had been watching me at the pickup location.  They watched me interact with the guys loading and followed me out of there for at least an hour until I got to the truckstop. 

The agents already knew a lot about me and had already run a background check and found out that I knew a state trooper in Virginia.  They called him and found out I was “ok.”  They remarked that they liked that picture of me in Saddam Hussein’s throne so I knew they had been on my Facebook page.  After numerous questions, the agents believed that I wasn’t a participating agent in what was going on.  What was going on?

The location where I picked up the equipment was a base for some heavy duty drug activities.  I was then concerned that the equipment I was hauling was filled with bags of cocaine and who knows what else.  The agents said that it may be, but there were gathering information and evidence for a big bust later on and not concerned with what was on board with my truck.  They said if I had any problems along the way, to give the cops his business card that he then handed me. 

The DEA agents put me in contact with an agent in Virginia where I was going to unload in a couple of days and sent me on my way.  I was sure my phone calls were being monitored at that point.  They told me not to tell anyone about this, but here I am writing about this a couple of years later, but with many details left out.

Well before I arrived in Virginia, the DEA agent there was contacting me and coordinating the delivery.  I texted him when I was 30 minutes from the unloading site and he said he was in position to see everything and would respond rapidly in case something went wrong.  I finally arrived to the address and found a short dirt road that led to an area that was overgrown with small trees and weeds that hid several utility buildings from view of the highway.  The guy who met me back there was extremely nervous and kept a suspenseful eye on me at all times.  The DEA agent texted me and told me to get the license plate of his car that was there and I did.  The rest of the delivery went normal and I quickly left the scene.  The DEA agent said they were building a case on these guys and thanked me for my help and contacted the original DEA agents and told them of my cooperation.

The agents told me they were going to pay me $500 cash for my help but I’d have to meet them at their location over 1000 miles away for them to hand it to me.  They weren’t going to send it to me.  Later, that year I found myself in that undisclosed city again.  I coordinated with the agents and they met me and gave me $1000 cash for my cooperation.  You never know who's watching you.

Thanks to TruckStockImages.com for the use of this photo.

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Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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