Last July Rack & Roll owner Dave Ruttenberg had the pleasure of meeting yet another convicted felon that pretty clearly is a paid informant of the Manassas Park Police Department. According to Mr. Ruttenberg, this individual introduces himself and mentions that he can put an end to the harassment he’s been receiving from someone named “Travis Mosher” (he’s the police officer who we showed releasing drug suspects before). Ruttenberg is intrigued that someone would walk up to him and say such a thing, so he escorts the individual outside so they can talk where it’s a little easier to hear, and in order to get a clear audio recording of the conversation. Yes, that’s right, Dave Ruttenberg has been wearing a wire for several years and has hour upon hour of audio recordings which document his story. Sometimes a little bit of paranoia pays off.
You can see a video clip of this here, although watching two guys talking isn’t by itself that fascinating.
What is pretty fascinating is the audio. In it this guy proposes that David Ruttenberg allow this fellow to sell drugs out of Rack & Roll, and pay off Officer Mosher to the tune of $1,200 a week, and Mr. Ruttenberg’s difficulties with the police will end. I’ve learned that this individual had been incarcerated for dealing drugs in West Virginia immediately prior to this little drama, and returns to jail immediately after the July 4th weekend. Mr. Ruttenberg says he had never met this person before, and never seen him since.
Isn’t it fascinating that an incarcerated felon from West Virginia just happens to show up at Rack & Roll, seems to have a somewhat hazy understanding of Mr. Ruttenberg and members of the Manassas Park Police Department, and offers Mr. Ruttenberg a piece of a drug dealing, bribery and corruption conspiracy, and then ends up back in custody within days? It seems pretty clear that this individual was (somewhat poorly) briefed by the Manassas Park Police and sent on an errand by them to try to solicit a bribe. He was in the custody and control of the police immediately preceeding this event, and again immediately afterwards. Concluding that this little escapade was entirely the idea of the police is the only reasonable explanation for this man’s little furlough.
What a way for Manassas Park to treat members of their business community. If you don’t play ball with the local insiders, they’ll do anything they can to try to crush your business. Later on I’ll be digging in to some stories involving other businessmen who wanted a piece of the new Town Center development who similarly ran afoul of the establishment and may have gotten similar treatment. No wonder Manassas Park only gets 10% of it’s tax revenues from businesses. With this sort of behavior, it’s a wonder they get any commercial tax revenue at all.
The audio for this interchange is here. Because it’s not easy to understand all of the conversation, a transcript is provided below the fold.
TRANSCRIPT OF DRUG DEALER NARC SETUP
From recording “drug dealer narc setup see video payoff.wav” of 13 min., 40 sec. Conversation starts at about 40 seconds into recording, and continues 9 minutes and 42 seconds. David Ruttenberg is identified by D., and drug dealer by D.D.
D. We have to wait for a break. ‘cause If your having trouble telling me, I looked for… (garbled)
Unknown Voice: Is there a problem outside?
D. (0m 40 s) No. We’re trying to talk. That’s why we came out here.
D.D. How much yall need? How much yall need to ask em to do it…, duh… to aah…to aah…satisfy you, satisfy whatever you…yanowhat I’m sayin, …satisfy whatever your budget is and at the same time be comfortable. What do you need to shut the police off? See, there’s a price.
D. But how would you…Have you ever dealt with this before?
D.D. No. Not ever. Not ever. So, that’s on…that’s why I’m like…I’m willing to talk, negotiate, but I know, I know.
D. (1m 21s) How could you negotiate? You know Travis Mosher real well?
D.D. Family-wise, no. But I’ve been around him long enough where I know what goes…I know how it is…and…and it’s not hard. It’s not…like I said, I been here for a long time. I see, I’m…since you opened this, since you opened this, I been here. So, I need a pri.., just give me a price range and I’ll see what I can do. If not, then I’ll understand. But, it ya know, …it happens. It’s a real issue. Yano what I’m sayin.
D. (2m 05s) Aren’t they supposed to tell me what they want?
D.D. Dave! Give me a price. Gi-, gi-, give me a price. Just throw a crazy-ass number out there, and I’ll see what I can do. I don’t even like standin out here, talking to you until I see a crazy-ass price. Just give me a crazy…just throw…just throw a crazy-ass price out.
D. (2m 27s) I’m not doing that. And that’s not….Listen,…
D.D. Twelve hundred.
D. I came here to talk to you in private.
D.D. Twelve. I know. Who’s bike is this, anyway?
D. Oh. One of our customers.
D.D. Twelve buhs a week.
D.D. Twelve hundred a week! Twelve hundred…eighteen months.
D. Come on down this way. Come down here. Yeah, it’s nice. It’s broken down, though.
D.D. (3m 05s) What’s wrong with it?
D. I don’t know. It won’t start. That’s why it’s sitting there. Um, so what do you think, you’re gonna go to Mosher and tell him…
D.D. Hell, no. I’d never go to Mosher!
D. So who would you go to?
D.D. Ah, that’s for you to go to him.
D. So what you’re trying to tell me is that…is what?
D.D. (3m 31s) Is I wanna go with you from now, uh, ever. If I could ever get my hands on anything, I would pump outa this spot, make my money…income…and let you tell me, um, whoever the fuck it is watching this spot, ‘cause, I already know.
D. What do you already know?
D.D. (3m 57s) I know that something…they ah…ah…Right now I’m in West Virginia. They’re fuckin’…I know people that talk about your place, in West Virginia.
D. What are they saying about us?
D.D. Good news. I’m, like, “Oh, my, I’m from Manassas, and this an’dat I’ll be glad to party you up a little scene and wait.” Like I will ah…I heard good and bad that they throughout. Oh, oh, As long as I’m here and you with me, then you don’t have nuthin to worry about.
D. So, what kind of good and bad things do you hear?
D.D. (4m 30s) My name preceeds itself.
D. I’m confused. Are you talking about good things along the lines of…you’re killin’ me man. You know that?
D.D. Yeah, I know. There…there…there…that’s how it goes.
D. (To customer:) Hey, cowboy. (Customer answers:) Howdy. (To D.D.) When you say bad things, You mean like the club is a bad place to hang out?
D.D. No, it’s not really a bad place to hang out, but it…if you really caught it one time there was some shit. And that’s exactly where you want to go.
D. (5m 01s) So you want to get caught up in some shit?
D. Like what? Like buy drugs?
D. This is where you go to buy drugs? Is that it?
D.D. Yea, No. I don’t fool with drugs anyway.
D. I’m so confused about what you’re trying to tell me.
D.D. I know, ‘cause I’m not talkin’ to you directly.
D. I don’t understand.
D.D. (5m 29s) So, are you comfortable telling me… Are you comfortable talking to me?
D.D. How’s it will work for you, say that, uh, that you get any buying on deep information on you. I do. Who do you need to pay off? Is it Mosher?
D. (6m 03s) You know, I don’t think you’ve got any idea about what’s really going on here. I’ve got to fill you in on a lot more stuff. This isn’t about drugs.
D.D. No, eh, eh. I’d said,.. I would say, I watched you open this poolhall.
D.D. (6m 22s) Before that, it was ah…it was a arcade. Before that, it was the Jerry’s. Before that, it was Garbled(telling whoever’s toast). Mosher. Knew, I know allota his… you…know…I know hi-…I know his brother.
D.D. I’m tryin to tell you. I know…I know…
D. Is Mosher taking payoffs? Is that what’s going on?
D.D. I don’t doubt it. I don’t doubt it. I believe he would.
D. But why are you talking about Mosher, if you don’t know?
D.D. (7m 03s) Because! In Manassas. If you grew…if you grow up with somebody, if you grow up with somebody and you fuckin’ know ‘em, from way out… yeah,…ah… I don’t doubt it. I’d take it pretty mother fuckin quick. Especially if I’d known you for a momen..a certain amount of time.
D. (7m 35s) Look, mmrr, there’s serious stuff going on here.
D.D. I know, I know, I know, I know wissup. All right, so I will get back to you…give you time to think about it…more later, Let it…(interrupted)
D. I’m still confused about what…what you’re saying is…(interrupted)
D.D. Naw. Commission tho’ that is, right? (both speaking at once.)
D. What? Am I…am I supposed to give somebody twelve hundred dollars a week or a month or something, and then this is supposed to stop. Is that where you’re…
D.D. (8m 01s) But I know, know you deal with a lot of drugs…
D. This isn’t about drugs.
D.D. Yes, it is.
D.D. You said that you’re not doing too good.
D.D. I can get ah…I can get a lot of that fuckin bullshit end. But, the only thing is…like you got to pay somebody the fuck off, and fuckin’ to keep their mouth shut.
D. (8m 32s) I see what you’re saying. Listen. I’m gonna do you a favor. This is not about drugs, man. This is about off-track horse racing, OK? They want the property. The Police sent drug dealers in because they were…they weren’t able to get any drug dealing going on. They…they engineered drug deals. They sent their own operatives in to deal drugs and they could say there was drug dealing going on here. There’s nobody to pay. I don’t…I don’t want to deal drugs out of the club. I don’t want to be involved in this.
D.D. (9m 04s) But, that’s the only…this only…that’s the only other way you’re ever fuckin’ going to make money!!
D. I don’t…I don’t…I’d rather close it. If I try to deal drugs, Um…they’ll catch it and I’ll go to jail.
D.D. Yea, true.
D. Um…I appreciate you looking out for me like that.
D.D. (Both speak at once.)No wait, but, ya already know. But, ya already know, ya already know….
D. I’ve already taken Mosher to court, man.
D.D. You already know.
D. Mosher don’t like me.
D.D. You already know, true!
D. (9m 31s) If I were to offer Mosher a bribe so that I could do something illegal…(interrupted)
D.D. He’d turn it on ya…
D. …I’d go to jail for the rest of my life.
D.D. That ain’t, ah…yeah, well, he would turn on you. This fucker, I’ve know him for a long time, for he turned on me like shit. Fucker, he turned, yea, he had to die. Ah…fuck his…
D. Mosher tells people I’m a drug dealer now, and I’m not. You’ve known me for a long time. You know who I am?? Do ya think I deal?
D. (10m 11s) (GARBLED)
D.D. All right. Well, look…man, look, I’m not mad at you. All I’m saying is if I had the opportunity, I would like to feel comfortable in your spot. But…
D. Stay away from here. This place is so hot…
D.D. Thanks. Thank you. Ah…Thank you, Dave. I promise you. All right.
D.D. (10m 22s) All right?
End of 9-minute, 42-second conversation. End of six-page transcript.
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