Synopsis - The Crunch Case

Synopsis: The Crunch Case

 U.S. Marshal Warren is sent to New York to become a member of an international group of law enforcement officers to combat a highly-addictive, smokable form of heroin that the press dubs, "Crunch."  Crunch has inundated much of the world and is the number one health hazard in the U.S.  Even members of Warren's own family has been destroyed by crunch. 

 At that meeting in New York, Warren is assigned to investigate the poppy fields of Turkey, but he recognizes Jimmy Calantra from a photograph of money launderers.  Hoping that Jimmy will lead them to his superiors, Warren and his team fly to Chicago and finally spot their man.  They follow Jimmy to the airport where he gets on a flight bound for New York, but he does not get off.

 Warren returns to Washington wondering how his only lead gave him the slip.  He has an FBI supercomputer identify the other men in that photograph and has their passport and credits card histories checked.  He finds out that these men have traveled extensively, yet customs and immigration have no record of them leaving or entering the country during certain trips.

 Warren figures out which cities these men appear and disappear in, then deduces which airline must have found a way to whisk certain passengers around customs and immigration.  He makes a leap of logic and deduces Jimmy=s possible destination.

 He and his team fly to Caracas, Venezuela, and spend a few days staying at the best hotels in the City until the men from the original photo are located.  At their first meeting, it becomes clear that they are the regional U.S. distributors of crunch.  At their second meeting, they are joined by the world-wide distributor of crunch, Sergio Lalani.

 Warren and his team follow Lalani all around the world, and finally to his home in Sicily, Italy. Hoping to discover who is behind crunch, where the poppies are grown and where the heroin is manufactured into crunch, the CIA initiates a full electronic incursion into Lalani's home and grounds.  They learn how the world-wide distribution network is set up, but nothing else.

 Warren orders a search warrant executed on Lalani's house and businesses.  The Italian government complies with the request and assigns a platoon of regular army to assist the local police to serve the warrant, but they are ambushed enroute.  Then the army is recalled with no explanation.

 Temporarily stymied, Warren has the U.S. military invade Lalani's home.  No useful information is obtained, however.  Another dead end. 

 Through an Italian contact, Warren learns who took over Lalani's position as the head of the world wide distribution of crunch. They lure him out of hiding and arrest him.  CIA technicians ransack his home and computers and they still can't find out who is behind crunch.  Yet another dead end.

 Warren=s fears and self doubts well to the surface.  He is a man used to working alone, usually deep undercover, yet here he is supervising 109 people on the screwy investigation. He was almost killed three times recently because of his own short-sightedness. He thinks about all the death and misery this case has caused, and now it is all for nothing.

 With his options down to zero, Warren decides to take the assignment in Turkey after all.  But one element about crunch still puzzles him.  Why are only certain countries targeted with crunch, while others are immune?  In a flash of insight, he realizes that the list of crunch countries exactly match the countries that fought Iraq during the gulf war.

 But Saddam Hussein was hung years ago. After some thought, he deduces who must be behind crunch. Warren proves his suppositions and has the U.S. military annihilate the worldwide crunch empire.

 Coming soon: THE GRILLO WAR