Saturday, June 17, 2017

#Excerpt: OPERATION NO SANCTUARY by James Moushon


Twenty-One. My favorite words unless the dealer is looking at her hole card. I was on a great run which doesn’t come too often. The dealer kept busting and I kept raising my bet and the Jack and Cokes kept appearing at my elbow. The Ocean Queen Casino was my sanctuary.

Being an at-large agent for the CIA had its perks. Of course, tomorrow I could be anywhere in the world. Actually, tomorrow was the day for our weekly phone conference so I was safe until 0900. My boss, Russ Evans, would be prompt.

I liked the freedom but I liked the action more. I am a part of the DOT division which is the domestic unit of the CIA. We handle terrorism matters that originate outside the country.

And you are asking me if that is legal? It’s not. And it’s not a well-kept secret either. Yet here I am in the Long Beach area living in the shadows.

I motioned to the cocktail waitress for one more. This would have to be my nightcap. Jill was back in a flash. “Here you go, Jon,” she said, taking a long look at the stash of chips in front of me. I put a five dollar chip on her tray as she brushed against me.

I had about two thousand in black and green chips so she had higher expectations. “Not tonight, Jill,” I said to myself. I was going to cut and run shortly.

The next morning came quickly. I made it to the back patio with my coffee just in time to catch the first ring of my cell phone. Wiley was controlling the calls, taking roll and passing along the weekly code word. Sometimes I got confused with this process but Wiley had my back. The regular agents used the code regularly. Me, not so much.

“Good morning, gentlemen,” Russ said in an authoritarian voice. “Before I get too far into the briefing, I want to talk directly to Agent Stone.”

That comment got my immediate attention. I could hear him asking Wiley if I was there in the background.

Russ continued. “Last night we had two murders in East LA. I know that’s not very unusual but the LAPD and now the FBI are trying to identify the deceased. The victims had false ID’s on them and the documents were excellent forgeries. In fact, they were so good that the FBI got called in and they traced them back to one of our old ops. The ID’s were made by the Romero Cartel in Tijuana. They are a merciless group of thugs and they are right in the middle of a drug war with a gang in LA.”

He paused for a second. “Agent Stone, this is the group you were chasing several years ago in Mexico. The Feds have a meeting to setup a task force at the FBI office downtown LA at two this afternoon. I want you to get involved. We have to stay to the sidelines on this one. Oh, and Agent Jodi Shannon is in charge of the FBI portion.”

I could hear someone on the other end chuckling. That damn Wiley. He knew about Jodi and my history.

“I would love to snag Raul Romero,” I said.

I remember Romero, I thought to myself. In 2006, I was involved in a gun sting. We were selling guns through straw purchases, trying to trap Romero’s Cartel into using the guns for their illegal activities. Unfortunately, the op went sideways and the guns wound up back in the states. We concluded that Romero got tipped off someway about the sting and resold the weapons to gangs in Southern California. This deal in LA could give us another shot at Romero.

That afternoon I checked through security at the LA Federal Building and was directed to a conference room on the second floor. I slowly opened the door to find at least a dozen people already seated. I saw Jodi in the front with a man dressed in a LAPD uniform and another guy in a suit. Probably FBI.

It sounded like Jodi was taking roll. She saw me and smiled. I halfway raised my hand in acknowledgment and took a seat in the back of the room. Except for Jodi, I didn’t recognize anyone.

On the side wall was a map of LA with a big red ‘X’ and a bigger map of Southern California next to it. After studying the LA map a little, I noticed an area painted in blue and another area with a green ‘X’ that I recognized as the City of Whittier.

Also there were two rows of pictures next to the maps. The first row had only two pictures which I assumed where our two victims from the murder yesterday. The second row had four pictures. The last one caught my eye. It was Raul Romero, the cartel kingpin. I turned in my seat to face the front as one by one people introduced themselves. We had the whole alphabet here. We had people from the ATF, a guy from ICE, a DEA guy and, of course, the LAPD and the FBI. I sat there trying not to make eye contact with anyone. I was there for observation but that didn’t last long.

Jodi had the floor. “I want to thank everyone for attending on such a quick notice. The quicker we get on these murders the better chance we have to resolve this case.”

Then she turned and looked straight at me. “We have a new member of the task force I would like to introduce.”

I shook my head slowly no.

“Agent Jonathon Stone from the CIA will be joining us. We think his involvement with the Romero Cartel can be invaluable especially south of the border. Everything we know now points to the Romero Cartel from Tijuana.”

A man at the front table raised his hand.

“Yes, Agent Lopez,” Jodi said, acknowledging the man.

“Are we sure that we want the CIA involved in this? I know from the DEA’s point of view, we can handle the Mexicans. Besides we already have people in place there that can give us live intel. We are all setup to handle both sides of the border. Besides, the CIA can’t work domestically.” 

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Blurb:
A gang war erupts in East LA between neighborhood gangs and the notorious MS-13 gang from San Salvador and a Mexican cartel from Tijuana is right in the middle of the conflict. CIA Agent Jonathon Stone is assigned the operation. He joins a crime task force to try to stop the violence and capture the cartel leaders. Along with FBI Agent Jodi Shannon, he pursues the elusive Raul Romero, the cartel kingpin who he has been after for a decade.

Drug trafficking, gang shootings and politics all play a role as Jonathon battles the sanctuary city LA which seems to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Amazon buy link: ONLY .99!

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Author Bio:

James Moushon is a Mystery writer and an Author Advocate.
Website: James Moushon - Mystery Writer
Author's Blog: eBook Author’s Corner
HBS Author's Spotlight
Twitter: @jimhbs
E-Mail: james.moushon@gmail.com
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Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: 'Black Mountain Secrets', 'Game of Fire', ‘The Cajun Ghost’ and 'Operation Alpha Dog', a collection of short stories all featuring Jonathon Stone, CIA undercover agent.

He is currently wearing two Hats. He is a mystery writer and a book publishing blogger. You can find his blogs at:

HBS Author's Spotlight
The blog's purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 450 authors to date.

HBS Mystery Reader's Circle
The HBS Mystery Reader's Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre.

eBook Author's Corner
The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today's ever changing world of book publishing.

He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.