1 Episode results for "Fresno Kings"

040 John Nores

Mike Drop

3:14:01 hr | 2 years ago

040 John Nores

"The <music> welcome to mic drop. The podcast relevancy is irrelevant and we don't give a shit about your feelings ladies and gentlemen as always. It's both an honor and a pleasure to welcome my next guest to the podcast. You spent twenty eight years with the california california department of fish and wildlife. He was awarded the governor's medal of valor. He's written three books one of which is called the hidden war which we're gonna talk about today responsible for co developing the marijuana enforcement team or met in two thousand thirteen which is the first comprehensive wilderness special operations uh-huh tactical unit and sniper team. He's written numerous articles for a host of different magazines has been featured on fox news n._b._c. Investigative negate reports c._n._n. Dan rather reports and three seasons of wild justice. He is a tactical surveillance covert and and over to special operations instructor operator throughout the state of california. He taught grizzly adams how to be a mountain man fucking patriot of the highest order order stage lieutenant john norris. Thanks for having me great to be here. It's <hes> it's great having you got to tell you the network of the brotherhood other who is responsible for this podcast happening. I won't say the full name but not to say i appreciate you connecting the dots to get john on here after reading your book and learning more of both your story as well as everything you've been involved with with your whole career i gotta tell elliot <hes> it was truly eye opening for me in a number of capacities and i think i don't think i know that our listeners are going to share a lot of the the same sentiments and probably have their their tune changed and their mind altered a little bit in terms of of their position fission on on drugs. We'd legalization versus not all that stuff. We're gonna get into real heavy but i know there were a lot of positions of mine that <hes> committed were not informed enough probably to <hes> you know to take the positions i was taking and again the the book had a ed huge impact on on how i think about things like that so i know you're busy even though being retired slow you down any but i appreciate you making the time to come all the way here and ensure your story with with us because it is a remarkable one. No doubt you bet so without further ado you would like to start by saying that this podcast is sponsored by origin <hes> big shoutout to origin for becoming a sponsor of ours and in a partner of ours for this podcast. We look forward to everything down the road that <hes> that that we're gonna do collectively so thank you to origin for for keeping the lights on so to speak going right into the lightning round. What is your favorite blend of weed. Don't really have one but i'm familiar with all of them because you know what my that was something when i started my career nineteen ninety-two as a game warden you know i was looking at the traditional stuff i wanted to go bus poachers that were spotlighting deer at night i grew up hunt oh and fish and wildlife hiking all the time yeah those kinds of spiritual cornerstone in and then when this mexican cartel infiltration of california and all the other states in our in our great great nation got an our radar in the early two thousands and my game warden team of patrol guys we're starting to jump in with other other law enforcement agencies and do these cartel poison marijuana raids <hes>. I had no idea that was in the in the game plan. You know and didn't know anything about marijuana i want. I never used it in school. Ide experiment with it. I just allegedly allegedly much as much as i know that i can recollect so far yeah but anyway it was it was one of those deals where got very familiar with with the dark side and and the other sides of legalization on the whole oh cannabis thing for sure again. I knew that you know the the ditch weed in the stuff. That's grown stateside over the last several decades or whatever something that you know everybody. I think kind of knows understands that there's new new and improved hybrids and different stuff but again i i had no no idea idea the level with which the technology had advanced in terms of of what's being done now and things of that nature. It's it's mind boggling and the amount of time you spend california. I'm curious. You know you just left there. What was the thing that you hate most culturally about california. I think culturally truly. I don't even know if it's actually culture but it's just the lack of awareness when it came to regulate marijuana out everything we've seen on the dark side. Obviously we're one of many states that legalize just a couple years ago under prop sixty four on we had medicinal laws that went back twenty years we kinda tighten those up but a big frustration restauration for me was working with seeing these cartel grows and these ep talks poisons that they import from across the border so deadly that you can't even possess them in the country without auto felony and seeing these growers bringing them across the border putting them all over the marijuana unsuspecting kids are experimenting with in the midwest on the black market market medical patients. I mean this stuff is nasty and something we were really pushing for at the agency level and you know when i was when we form them at team thirty percent percent of what i did is the team leader in lieutenant was outreach and education. I mean i had a book on the subject before the team was formalized back in two thousand ten more in the woods. <hes> we done three seasons of that wild justice reality television show for game wardens. It was the first of its kind and it legitimized our profession showing that we don't just check fishing licenses and you know you've got really consummate tactical professionals within game warden teams but the message we were pushing with all of that was now that we're starting to fight this fight with a much more aggressive. You know yeah environmental armenta criminal not your typical poacher when you talk about an arm cartel guy and the poisons that we're putting in america and we regulated in california. We were pushing shing to say if you're going to regulate regulate correctly you know if you're going to regulate legal growing and it's gonna happen regardless of where any of us sit on that spectrum of whether we believe in it or not make sure you're not supporting complicit in a poison product going to people that are gonna use it rather as medical rivers recreational so we wanted to see like the penalties on these cartel guys that we were violently apprehending almost daily for the last six years of my career. We wanted to see those guys after we catch him. Prosecuted the full extent of the law we want to see hard felonies for all those crimes and win everything pass it was just the opposite the trespass pass grow crimes got watered down from felonies to misdemeanors and then if you were juvenile grower and make no mistake we ran into a lot younger juvenile's that were hard and cartel youth yeah coming up to learn the process and getting really good at it in fractions for them. I mean a seatbelt ticket costs more in violation. We're sending the wrong message especially really for the sovereignty of america the protection of our public lands that you and i and our families and i just love to enjoy and now we've got this infiltration and we've got the crimes being watered down so that's a cultural thing i did not like to see in california and we're that was motivated. Never fully understand but it was a real it was it's a real contradiction to what we are vying for yeah so i mean two things i guess it's safe to say that the collective state of california or at least most people you know the overwhelming majority is as naive as i am as it relates to what what the environmental impact is on these hidden grow site specifically funded and and operated by the cartels exactly but then you know to me the second part of that i mean i'm just an assumption on my end but to me. That's falls directly responsible for either. You know whether it's the public affairs officer whatever you know the department calls it. You know to me like that should be. They should dump empa- a significant amount of money into some sort of ad campaign absolutely no to to let the public know so that there isn't such a disparity between what's actually happening and what people are are thinking. That's happening because i know again for me. Reading and i was like holy shit i had no idea is the last thing to to pinpoint one thing that i that i was most surprised by it was that it was a combination of the diversion of water which again makes sense. It's not something i thought about right and even more so was is the was the nasty chemicals but we got a number of questions that <hes> we'll go a little deeper into into a lot of those things but <hes> just in in moving down the lightning around to kind of knock the rust off what your favorite olympic sport oh man. That's a good question. I'm kind of a biathlon guy. I've been a sugar forever so i like anything involved shooting and really really enjoyed that but i like everything about the olympic sports. Yeah i follow them. Every year like the winter olympic sports especially you know being a ski underscore really late in life and you know i was around a family member a lot of family that were on skis at four. I was learning at thirty so the learning curve for me was really we slow diamond stuff with with some really good skiers in the family. I was one of the most challenging sports for me and i just loved it so but both winter and summer sports across the board for sure yeah. No biathlon is pretty cool sport. I was like watching. I love the olympics as well both summer and winter but i think it's neat to a need question to see where where people's people's interest lie as it relates still competition the other thing on that speaking of that. I really enjoyed swimming sports on the olympic because one of the of the water and being a team. I'm guy you know. I'm sure you can relate to that work. You guys should i water at this point but ironically growing up. I was adequate swimmer but no good one and i started getting into triathlons ironman triathlons kind of life goals in my thirties and in my forties and that was my week is sport was doing that big long open water swim in current right now that everybody's swimming around so i watch those race just those those race monsters go out there doing laundry super inspiring yeah seeing seeing it if you so this. Is you know whether it's apocalypse or or not. You have one gun to have the rest of your life. What is oh man. If we're talking pistols it's going to be my glock is going to be probably one thousand nine hundred and i'm pushing now and we were work lock family in fish and wildlife actually in california in one thousand nine hundred eighty two when i started i was given all the spec out sheets to get speed. Loaders and holsters ready from kademi cadet class to run a six eighty six wheel gun. You know three fifty seven smith and i thought that's all right. You know my dad's a big python shooter you know he was one thousand nine eleven competitor in and stuff so i was familiar with both but then when i got the academy officer vietnam veteran army guy was pushing a glock twenty to one of the four cals and it was brand new it was kind of like thank you know the combat tupperware other agencies want to go to but they had the before to tude to really study and get past the rumors and select that when all these other agencies were you know selected liked in these big steel caulking systems and i just grew up on the glock man from my early days as a law enforcement officer and loved it and was armor in that platform for thirty years and then as much as i like the forty it gets down to ammunition availability and the new nine millimeter loads doing what they're doing so that that would be my standby by growth in one thousand nine ex yeah a really like that new nineteen forty-three ex i have. I have a forty three actually as concealed carry that gun before three extra sweet tea at four three x is is like a it's the gun i've been waiting my whole fucking life for sizes right because the the forty three to me even though my hands aren't aren't baseball mitts. It's still a little too small and even at at nine caliber. It's a little hard harder to shoot. The the one thousand nine is great but socks to conceal. Let's be honest and so to me that forty three x that matt happy medium to still be able to rock eleven rounds and they make gay and the tail are the stream light makes t. l. or six. It's called. I've got my forty three things awesome to have all of that in one package inch that is still very suitable. Eleven rounds to carry and really easy to conceal like it's like where you been all my life. I love that dan it system. I agree yeah well. We'll get into the long guns actually in some of that when we start talking about some of the sniper stuff but worse vacation story or shittiest spot you've ever bentiu oh man so for the audience watching on youtube just his wife and he looked over at her as soon as i asked him where the shitty spot or worse vacation story is so man. I'd have to think about that one <hes>. I don't know if maybe maybe she wants to jump yeah. It was quite quite a vacation story but <hes> i used to run the baker to vegas relay race and we're out in vegas for a vacation and we'd run from baker california all all the way down over the parole pass and then get down into vegas for the finish line a kind of a twenty officer multi hundred mile relay and i had one of these hill climbs and i had had some really really bad mexican food than i am baker california and it probably wasn't the best place to to have food and getting through that that run brother was nothing but a mental toughness of yard by yard swamp asked during the run i did. I did a little bit of that swamped the little with that. I blew a bunch of gas throughout it. Took some sidebars you know to to kind of re hydrate but when i made it over the lip i had one mile of his steady downhill and it was just kind of the wind at my back to get through the next couple of days a recovery time but we made it but it wasn't pleasant experience awesome all right so here's a political question and we'll get into the actual book and this is just off the cuff from me. What physical competition do you think that should be included in the non incumbent presidential race race so in this in this cycle it would be the field of the twenty plus democratic candidates if you were to throw in a physical competition. That's part of that race. What would it be. Oh man and i'd wanna see endurance running. I was going to go with like boxing. That's true we can. We go hard. Contact them. Kick the shit out of each other for i'd like to see yeah like to see that battle title for sure and i'd i'd like to see how much mental endurance and physical endurance they have or don't have for that matter in the long distance push and see all they hold who you put your money on long distance race. That's a good question. It's probably gonna be the young guy p buddha judge. I guess probably because he's thirty seven's a former army the guy but i don't i don't think bernie's going to ask a whole. I don't think between those two yeah burn inspired fucking wheelchair and yeah. He's probably got <hes>. What is your morning routine as the question. I'd like to ask everybody excluding travel. You know your normal day to day. You wake up in the morning. What time do you get up to eat your workout. Walk us through that process yeah if i'm not on the road like you said it's the up by about six thirty. Give or take depending on what kind tonight we have the night before very li- breakfasts don't eat a lot. Just just kinda. Get get enough nutrition to workout. Now workouts going to be one of two things. It's going to be <music> a good long endurance run in the fourth montana with some calisthenics stations along the way up as you go i do we have a lot. We have some core. Exercise is guys that we had on men and we actually had a twenty or seal team. Better yeah frog yeah when we're not on the air mentioned his wanted me. Give a shout out to you as villa team guy. I talked to him yesterday. When we improved oliver tactical training for the specialized team we wanted to get the physical training in it as well as trauma medicine and <hes> fraud a seasoned veteran a physical training and the teams and also teaching that he's a p._t. Instructor so we got a lot of exercises a lot of us hitting the head to get re familiar familiar with in addition to runs and just grinding out log carries team things going on by myself. It's that type of thing and if i'm if i'm in california where i can be a really big pool a long distance pool an olympic sized pool. I'll get in the water and just push out some distance. I love to swim yeah. Just get older and now that i'm fifty plus you know the aches some pains or recovering from heavy runs and that trauma swimming a little more forgiving you on the body and just more comprehensive so it's a good mix so do you in terms terms of diet. I guess you said you eat a little bit too to fuel the workout. I mean are you doing anything. In between or you get up have a little bit heat and go right to work couch. Is that the first thing you do and then also in terms of dialect you subscribe to kito or paleo or any type of specific eating style or is it just kind of whatever you feel eating in your home. It's it's a healthy kind of protein you know at a balanced base dia but not keyed or or anything in particular and then it depends if i'm training for an event like when i was doing ironman triathlons that was a whole different game and that was five to seven small meals the protein carbs lack thereof and electrolyte balance this and all of that was something more critical and certainly on the road right now doing more outreach and training to that level and hopefully again for another event down the road. If i can ever breathe again we're not pushing good messages but but yeah that's how i do it yeah rock and roll. It's good stuff getting into your childhood talker a fair bit about it in the book but for the listener can kinda synopsys where you grew up in <hes> family life sports siblings. You talked at length about <hes> you you know kind of what led up to to join the department that you did but if you can kind of talk talk us through what it was like growing up where you did yeah. It was a group in the silicon valley. Elia california cow the tech capital before blew up in the eighties so i grew up in a small town called san martino. It's kind of an equestrian farm country town south south of the silicon valley about twenty miles so <hes> you know grade school and junior high. They're high school read their locally in you know for us. It was it was was one of those things where we grew up without a lot of resources you know my mom was kind of raising this on her own at that point and she was working two jobs and four kids all your part on the oldest of four she called the pack and you know so it was kind of the alpha the pack and i was doing things like part time jobs right in junior high hi to kind of help make ends meet with everybody and really at that point you know there are a little bit of struggles with all of that but the target there was just to do something that was go to support the family. You know be successful. Be one of the first to go to college and being in the outdoors. Yeah i mean one thing about it was when when my dad you you know <hes> was with us for the first twelve thirteen years of my life and then we had a time apart we had to about twelve years and then <hes> fortunately came back together and developed a really good relationship some sort of falling out or was a divorce with the two of them and <hes> you know he and his family were in montana with <hes>. You know my grandfather career navy dad being an army guy and stuff like that so but there was a window there that he was there and we were you know in the bay area doing our thing and ended. We had to be decided to be a part of tough window a time. How old were you when that happened. Owes twelfth well. That's i'm curious to get your take in terms of if you look at kind of societal norms today and the stressors that are put on kids for you know the kinder gentler you know patting and coddling and things of that that seem to be more prevalent at the time i'm sure it seemed very hard on you to be bridled with that type of responsibility of being the oldest child and having to to work to help make your <hes> ends meet and help your mom out and things of that nature but you hear a lot of the guests that i have have of stories of things that happened when they were kids that <hes> not necessarily were traumatizing but were were hard right and because of that <hes> taught them a lot of things that honestly have been a driving force and getting them to where they are today a. Do you think that played a big contributing factor. I don't know how it couldn't and <hes> but be what you're taking in terms of kids today and not having a lot of that and how that that reflects on our society you see it as the problem yeah no to your point my on question. One yeah definitely definitely had an effect. I think i didn't have the typical childhood like some of <hes> you know my my colleagues in high school did where mom and dad together you know. They were very successful silicon valley job so they're fairly affluent so they had some freedoms and i think a little less stress and nine judgement one way or the other but for me it was like you know. I don't really have time to play around right now. I cannot afford not to get good grades. I cannot afford to excel at you know what i'm going after and i was always one of those guys in school that i never was the topic very close. It was always the top three and p._t._o.'s all the top three and academics. I just really tried to do a good job at it what i believed in and my mom had a sane early on you know she's guys. We're not going to have a lot but we're gonna have each other and we're going to work together and just remember if you're not passionate about something. Don't do it anything. Worth doing is truly worth doing without a percent of your ability or don't waste your time so that that model it was jobs to help out and my kind of mental break from the stresses of that of what was going to be next and putting that pressure on myself was getting in the woods. You know running hunting hiking. <hes> i had passed my hundred -cation with my dad's help. When i was like nine years old he was an avid hunter. He was a competitive shooter. An incredible shot up on the championship trap and skied runs throughout the whole state of california and fortunately i had those building blocks before there was separation with with he and i for about about a decade or more and that kind of kept me going you know and later led indirectly directly to it's kind of an interesting story how it all kind of came together but i had never met game warden any of those hunt really dead which when i got to the academy in ninety ninety two and i told my colleagues dad there like what rock did you fucking doing and why did you how'd you about this job and what was funny is i was going to be a civil canary major following. My uncle's footsteps my mom's youngest brother because i knew successful career. You can make a decent living at it. I would never have problems support support my family my mom my siblings or my future family and i like to design was drawing and drafting like to create the mechanical aspect so i got into that program at san jose. I status impacted program. I got into got some scholarships and financial aid all that so. I was set to go and i'm doing. I'm doing the class work my first semester getting the grades grades and i'm completely flat. I'm just not feeling it at all around all these other engineering students and we're having study groups and pocket protectors locker protect yeah just like this man. This is a me man. This is not gonna be doing something that's given back some other way more physically fucking boring and it was at absolutely brother you hit it so so i ended up a winner backpacking trip with my future brother-in-law jeff more he's now my baja racing team partner and one of my best friends since childhood and jeff hike in henrico state park second-biggest park california with data winner right before christmas. There's nobody in this part. We're gonna pack worse name muggy with saddlebags. It's pouring rain day friday afternoon. I've just finished my finals and now we're going to find this this lake that we've ever been to in the dark golden shit out of a country song. A patent is named lucky lucky and then almost sounds like a team mission. You're gonna go out on a thirty mile hump at night. You know except we didn't have we didn't have g._p._s. So we finest taking lake after a downpour and we're hypothermic were frozen. Were just rained on so we build this illegal fire. We knew we shouldn't have a fire in the parking is supposed to whatever but we we did. We had a driver stuff out and the next morning here comes the green four by four truck compound low range winding down the hillside coming up to us and i thought is that is that one of the rangers checking dennis out and it was a game warden and what he thought what he was patrolling for. I had no clue at the time is he was looking for black tailed deer trophy black hill poachers teachers in the deep road when your seasons long over in a state park that park happens to have amazing during it so he finds out some dumb college kids you know having this backpacking failure failure and he's going to let go and i go wait a minute. You're not a park ranger so i kept there for two hours and benazir and as he's telling me oh yeah you know i'm a law law enforcement guy for wildlife by work mostly alone outta the truck. There's no backup. This is what i do and i was blown away. My got about as big as silver dollars jeff psalm the whole rest of the the trip after he kicked loose finally pulled himself away from us the whole rest of the trip. I was just talking to my brother about this over and over again and as soon as as i got back to town when we made it back in i went to the criminal justice program advisor at san jose state met him in the middle of the winter break told them my dilemma. He said we we got. You were one of the best schools in the country for this f._b._i. D._a. federally funded local p._d. Game wardens at the state level. This is the degree in need and doc next semester man. I was on a criminal justice program targeting this. That's awesome on that hiking trip camping trip where you guys carrying anything and <hes> weapon wise. We are like what <hes> and i guess when you were growing up you know again. Thinking of teenage kids running around the woods with fucking guns ends now like they'd be arrested and their parents be fucking arrest and whatever i am curious. What did you typically carry at that age and and on that trip. Was there a specific frame. I'm talking about the two forty three. When you're growing up yeah that was my that was my primary deer rifle. That's what i learned on learning to handle it in rounds four and stuff like that on that particular trip. I think it was just a handgun handgun. You know for you know a no crap emergency and at the time it was probably my first auto first and only auto pistol that i had was the old ruger p ninety nine that old nine millimeter d cocker that was before a game warden. The glock was just barely coming out. The glock. Seventeen didn't really have access to that didn't know anything about that platform but yeah that'll ruger was is the first auto i had and that was my standby for years. Toy gun the academy yeah before we talk about kind of your your academy experience and what have you obviously sleet grown up the way that you did and and that story was is what catapulted jr into it was when you were younger any sports that you played or or any influences that the guided you along that path also or was that pretty much the extent of what led you to the line of work that you did yeah you know in in school. It was a lot of football and we had our own football games. I mean my sister is retired. San jose fire captain and she was the one girl with three brothers but dad got us n._f._l. Football like early on she became a diehard steelers fans yeah so and then and then when we were in high school and college and then later even professionally <hes> she would kid referees from the fire department set up line judges. We do thanksgiving game at christmas game we we do you know full blown eleven on eleven tackle. It wasn't flags but we didn't have protective equipment so you know some firefighters will blow in ease out some of us getting chipped teeth and and it got stupid but that was that was the fun stuff we did there and then it was always stuff it was hunting hiking and just kinda learn ways of the woods and getting into and we lived lived in grew up in that you're familiar. I'm sure with your time in southern california the teams and the training areas. I remember in your book. You mentioned the man's anita drops that was our country yeah so i was hunting through that stuff and you know hiking through that stuff and crawling through that stuff and that was that was kind of a growth experience as well when a ah during that time of the ten to twenty. We'll say <hes> spend a lotta time in the woods. Did you do any boy scouts or any courses mrs or read any s._a._s. Survival manual or even the boy scout manual fit like were there any resources that you used to learn field craft survival shit like that or or was it all just figuring out as you went. I did read manuals. I read a lot of those. There was a green beret survival manual that i got a hold of remember in high school and that's something that was in that engineering program. I was always on the fence of wanting to do something of service rather be the military or law enforcement but i was in that at civil engineering mode for really freakonomics survival but in the engineering program at the opportunity to go into r._o._t._c. and special forces program with the army and that's the direction was looking until i found a game we're gonna change my major and when i was talking to those guys it recommended book and i don't remember the title of it now. I have it in the archive somewhere but it was a it was an s._f. S._f. Survival manual improvised shelters traps. You know everything you know did you. Did you find because here's one thing that i know my same kind of thing like i grew up always was <hes> desiring and finding myself wandering off in the woods and read a lot of the survival books and some of that stuff was didn't work where the shit right you know. I'm i'm i'm curious. Did you have a similar experience. There's a lot of things doesn't fucking work. This is you know jesus shed but then some of it was worth a shit so yeah it was. It was a mixed bag. Woodworking working wouldn't work and then you know everything from honestly it was my dad that taught me a bunch of stuff and i have a couple of uncles of younger uncles on my dad's side that really taught me the ins and outs of mount survival and that all came from montana snow country you know why till deer hunt chasing elk <hes> things like that and i mean harsh conditions stuff you know not what we have that mediterranean comfortable and we have some cold days in california but you know i was running around in oak woodlands lends in the coastal mountains at three thousand feet and then i get up to the northwestern corner montana now. It's a whole different ballgame ballgame when it's ten below your feet of snow now and you're up in those big storms come out of alaska in the middle of hunting season when survival skills really matter and the techniques are really critical. No that's no doubt in the warn of the things that i think you know you just can't replicate or manufacturer. Is that that type of tutelage from somebody buddy that knows how to do it. There's no book or were video youtube series or whatever that you can watch going out and doing it failing fucking things up and right and figuring out your way through things especially if you've got somebody to to kind of help pick you up off your feet as your fucking things up but <hes> you know there's there's no substitute for that. I love that kind of stuff. I mean i take my kids camping every summer and they're both girls but teach them everything i can wa- while we're out some things are interested in some things they're like fucking whatever but a drunken by the fire hose and just over exposing them to that's right year after year. I think some of it's gotta stick but so you have the long conversation with with the game warden. Go back decide to change your your major. Can you walk us through that process of joining because i know there's gonna be some listeners out there that <hes> that may wanna follow in your footsteps in that regard but i'm curious who says to what that process is how competitive it is a cetera when i got hired back in ninety two it was it was really competitive from the standpoint that a lot of people one of the job because i came from the generation where we were raised to be in the outdoors we had a hunting and fishing and conservation background. We love wildlife. We understood that hunting you know enhanced protected protected wildlife in the big picture and so to do that as a career even though it didn't pay the best. That's what it was all about to get back. I had gone ahead but you ask me a two part question awhile ago on kids now and this isn't a judgment or dig on kids now but look at the difference. I mean coming from. Let's say the silicon valley as a template example apple. I look at kids now kids in my own family nieces nephews and you know the children of of other friends and they they just don't have that outdoor exposure yeah either because of the digital age because games because of you know social media or live in the city and you know they they don't get it to this. They're not moved by that. They never had that exposure and they might be if they just had the exposure so we started to see unlike when i was hired we had this long gab have in the last ten fifteen years where it was really hard to get candidates as good cadets. That would be good game wardens. That would be really comfortable around people with weapons because i mean a game warden ninety. Five percent of czechs got a gun and a knife fortunately about ninety. Five two or three percent of them are good americans that you want. You know that you're just like they're your eyes and ears but to get that comfort level around guns. If you don't already have it you know to be really comfortable in cold or super hot conditions when you're having to be out for long hours on state route to take down a poacher if you haven't been in the outdoors as a kid man. It's just a turn off so i mean is it. Now where you're getting candidates. It's in that are just fucking clueless as it relates to the outdoors we actually we had a lot of that to be honest. We had a lot of a lot about ten years ago and something i did right up until i retired as i taught at the academy at least two or three classes season and for me. It was always a tactical stuff. I taught a what we call it tactical surrealness class myself in he's coding it marcos in the book one of my longest on the team back to patrol days we teach these guys just how to hide and camouflage themselves how to sit in a hillside in the brush on a hot day and overwatch surveillance and getting a gilly suit and you see these kids you know from the city these millennial idea they have no idea but then they start doing it and they're like this is amazing and i'm really doing something you know and and kind of light bulb goes off but when i was hired that was on the case we had a lot of hard core veterans and a lot of hard our core police p._d. Guys we had young guys like me growing up that just wanted to be in the woods so when i was hired we were getting ten thousand applicants a year for like twenty positions yeah jesus and we were getting military veterans coming back and since i wasn't technically a veteran and had served they were at the top of the list with some veteran preference points rightfully flee so and the most i could. I could rank even if i maxed the test. Which i did was ninety. Five percent a veteran come in with one hundred ten percent one hundred percent so veterans and lateral some other agencies had preference but i was very fortunate to be one of four civilians scored high enough through the testing protocol phases to get into that fourth academy in nineteen eighteen ninety two so i was surrounded by season military veterans law enforcement guy from other agencies unlike twenty one years old wet behind the ears and i'm with some real real good dudes like in their thirties and forties that have seen it all you know overseas special forces guys in the military and that was that's what i i was going up against then so getting it was the holy grail fortunately fast boorda right now. We're getting great candidates now because something that was kind of a mixed bag with me is is you know. How much do you want to send the message. How much do you really reveal in what you're doing in special forces realm or slob rations but with the books and the tv show and stuff like wild justice when my chief decided to jump on the bandwagon and try the first game reality show and nat g._o. They're four five of us that they kind of hubbard with all three seasons because because we brought really good cases had a lot of energy passionate about what we do our canine handler. We're gonna talk about later. Brian was one of those guys i was one of those guys a few others throughout the state but that showed the world the diversity and the challenges of game wardens really do especially on progressives daylight kelly so we were getting veterans now coming back from the sandbox. Oh you know this is two thousand and nine two thousand ten war on terror that you and your teammates have been fighting the seals and in every other group they're like and i didn't realize it but so many any seal team veterans as an example our outdoorsman yeah they grew up in fishing and just love to protect the heart of america so we were getting guys like that coming on board yeah and i'm training the academy and i'm going man. I've got third special forces sniper. I've got a seal team. You know <hes> an air force series instructor as a cadet and so now we're getting tier one guys guys doing the job but we had. We had to blow up some outreach now to even show where we did so. I think it's kind of a necessary evil. I know there. There's a lot of mixed emotions. I think when it comes to guys like me and from my line of work that write books and interviews and shit like that you know it's <hes> in in many ways frowned upon within the community but <hes> but in some ways it's also embracing. I think again just whether it's my realm or or yours yes. I think it's it's similar in that. You know it's just a necessary evil to be able to inform the public enough about certain elements to where you to attract the nation's best to fill those those spots you know and i i know i was influenced by reading a lot of the vietnam team guidebooks right in articles written and shit like that and in <hes> you know i'm i'm glad that you wrote like i said i i love the book read it straight through and and really really enjoyed it <hes> and it made me think of and we'll talk about you know kind of what the fixes toward the end of it but it made me think of a lot of ways to some ideas that i had that you know of potentially potentially helping kind of employees guys like me and fill some of the roles which which will get into but appreciate brother and and i'm glad you liked it. You know oh and it was the same thing and you do and so much outreach with this format and this medium. It's a fine line but we always fell and you know our our last couple of chiefs of always fell felt that outreaches key for a small little agency doing big things you know they don't have that reach and so i think i agree with you have to tell the story to attract <unk> throw people and just to educate america. What's going right under their noses. You know yeah no absolutely. I mean the the p._r. Aspect is it's. It's necessary. I am curious of the academy <hes>. How long is it for us. It's just over seven and a half months since the flood see center down in georgia or not. We have our own in in california. 'cause we're technically a state ossie. We are federally deputized three u._s. Fish and wildlife service but since we're state agency under the resources don't director of the governor and right now. It's a college <hes> right near the town of orrville when i went through it was napa valley college and our kadam is an interesting program where it's a full police academy that every you know post peace officer standard enshrining mandate for any california law enforcement officer doesn't matter who you are. You're going through with like chips and we're doing our own. It's actually our own academy but we're doing their exact curriculum so we have to get all the basics and that's usually five and a half six months and then we go into eight eight or nine weeks of just the wildlife stuff so we do like that tactical surveillance class. I mentioned that's not a standard police academy training where you learn what it's basically about a day out of a sniper school would teach with my colleagues with other agencies and what we're doing sniper training things like that and then wildlife i._d. Wildlife forensics how to how to you know take a dead animal animal. That's been poached and treat it like a dead body you know and know how to go through it and analyze it and solve a crime based on everything from d._n._a. We do the same thing with wildlife crimes as we would with a human murder and all those different wildlife specific things that game wardens do the traditional law enforcement don't have to so. It's a long stretch. I mean to me it's surprising rising to hear that that it's that heavy on just the law enforcement side which means i think it needs to be especially in today's day and age where cell phone cameras and everybody's he's got their fucking juris doctorate water. I know my fucking rights cameras out there so i understand why it's so heavy on that but but i am curious to me eight or nine weeks seems a little short given how much you guys have to be good at what you have to know on the on the wildlife side. Is there like a an extensive komo j._t. Kind of thing where you go out in the field and you get mentors that wyatt so short or yeah. That's actually the key right there. Mike is we go through all of that. Then we have a field training officer program what's called an f._d._a. Program and that's where the cadet just graduates the academy than the immerse with a veteran trainer for one month and they do that three times the three different trainers all over the state and they're evaluated and like twenty six critical task areas it might be twenty seven or twenty eight now since i left but they're evaluated and all those areas daily daily and it's a great program. It's a stressful program is so one on one and the all like play any jokes and there's there's some of that going on and you can you give us like the you know. Go get the fucking metric crescent rancher shit like that. Oh yeah there's all that kind of stuff going on. There's also the kind of thing where and again it's just kind of like <hes> talk about say canine training right talk about new team guide training for special ops on med. You know it's like take him right to the limit mitzi their stress level is how multitask how they decide how they prioritize and then back down just to make that better to make us better and i had a lot of that and i had three three amazing efthimios. They were legendary guys that i was just like freaking out about and these are the men towards you know they have on the teams and and i got three really good ones and and they really didn't mess with me that much but what i do till now i was an f. t. o. For over a decade i trained eight cadets lieutenant after that program in love that training and being part of that train curriculum but <hes> one thing i always tell cadets is like when i went through it i think i was i was going in about eighty percent of my potential because that was so hyper concerned of house i do in this was a look like am i missing something rather than just during flow in you know because you're so off these guys yeah and i just tell cadets now. I'm like look they're. They're there to help you. Yes they are all that in a bag of chips the legends but they're the legends for being good at what they do do not just being a tough ass so try to flow you know and but it's hard you know when you're driven. You know what i'm saying. I'm i'm preaching to the choir. Yeah i mean the seal teams are notorious for hazing using and getting fucked with and whatever they do a lot less of it now and i think it's reflected in the culture teams. It's a podcast of itself. Ah there's an element of that. I think that is not only good but it's it's fucking necessary ultimately in that <hes> police your own and and you know there are certain aspects of being hard on each other that <hes> that save lives and keep shit tight but i need to read about you know you very quickly gloss over the twenty eight year career the first half of it the first fourteen years your service seem to cover kind of all spectrums of of the department commit writer within which <hes> you know i think is good and necessary in terms of you know any good boss supervisor manager whatever you're gonna coach for that matter knowing kind of all aspects of the job could you in in terms of being able to lead and train and whatever you have to know what everybody's done and been through and and what they're going to be doing cetera. Could you kind of synopsis for us that first fourteen years obviously the bulk of what we're gonna talk about is the book but before we just before we get into that just kind of walk us through that that first half of your career and what all that entailed so that people understand where all of your experience came from in terms of the second in half no you bet it. Was you know like we said in the beginning of the show it was it was pretty traditional stuff but it was diverse and even though i'm from the bay area silicon and valley i kinda wanted to work at home most game words. Do you want to work at home. We don't want to have to do the big move for the family and <hes> but it was so impacted when i was hired ninety two the only vacancies in southern california california so i got i got sent down to a place called lake elsinore <hes> when my captain and the academy said that i thought he said like eleanor nor which is a prestigious outlaid northern california and everyone you know kind of all my colleagues in the academy kind of kind of perked up and they're like do you understand me could at norris. That's it's like elsinore now so i'm going down and riverside county. I'm going down the empire right over the hill from l. A. and it was not far from you know he's got skydive area in lake elsinore up-to-the we go to a lot but that's i was working right and watching it and watching those shoots fall so i went down there for my first three years. That place was crazy. That place was gang bangers from l._a. Coming over the hill going into my little rural canyons k. forty-sevens spotlight for rabbits and deer really and gill-netting at the back end of lakes and dams that fed these creeks and i would be out there in my thing after the academy stories and listening to those legends on the big cases they would make is i'm gonna get the hard core guys killing wildlife illegally at night spotlight newman thinking they're immune so i was taken on some spotlight irs knowing that they were gang members doing vehicle stops by myself because we didn't have backup we didn't partners and i was getting gangsters nor tena and all this crazy stuff you know from from the l. a. basin with felony weapons and converted machine guns and i was getting some crazy cases show and it was free and that was like the first second year on and so that was the learning curve that i wasn't probably supposed to dive into so quickly but it happened by just by design and then i started making relationships with other agencies right away. I mean riverside county. Only sheriff's office would hear about me. I'd finally meet these guys and there are who is this young game warden running around the canyon by himself. Is he crazy so they'd other patrol helicopter up at night and they'd hear me go out on a call and i call for backup blacked out chasing disguises. They're banging away with their lights and here the fire. I'm not taking him alone. No way i've learned the hard way on the first couple of stops and they're bringing in their helicopter with the spotlight with their floor. They had all that stuff. We didn't and they're just lighten. That guy up is i'm doing vehicle. Stop and these guys are coming in their sedans hands trying to do the back breaking axes and stuff you know to to make the stops but that's what that's how it started getting into that and after three years of being down on there i got to go back to my home area yeah and that was a blessing because my home area had all that same stuff but to a lesser extent <hes> it didn't quite have the level of criminality gang gang issues like l. A. did in the silicon valley. It was much different so what i learned in riverside county in three years of doing that and developing into a firearms instructor early early on and developing outdoor education programs for women and kids that hadn't been involved in that. I was kind of tasked with developing a program program called becoming an outdoors woman. That's a nationwide program that takes women and young ladies that have traditionally not been exposed to those hunting and shooting sports that the men in the family have and get him exposed article and it was really cool. I was doing that. You know like two three years on so the teaching role was starting early. Then i went home and then i spent the better you're part of the rest of my career there but it was getting on the coast and dune marine patrol get on our big patrol boats and i wasn't really a big ocean guy. I didn't grow up on the the ocean per se before you get into the water stuff. I'm still reeling a little bit from the gang. Banger elmer fudd cultural crossover. That's a good one but you were like that like there's gang bangers ks rabbit hunting. Yeah you believe fucking crazy. Rabid coyotes shit that i would have never thought was brother. We have seen corozzo falls and applies it dies. That's that's all these so cal. Poachers were it is wanted to kill anything that moves yeah. It was crazy anyway so yes you go up the coast and then you get some water work in now. We're doing doing some water work with some academy classmates that are now a big patrol boats and i'm learning that whole thing commercial fishing violations guys poaching fish you know how just operate on the ocean you know offshore that was that was a real need development in the career to get to know that and then i started specializing in illegal bating operations and this is something that really kind of brought in what will later lead to some special operations stuff as far as stealth and stocking all all this kind of tactics what we do in sniper craft both military and law enforcement these guys that weighed in california's state and we would we have so much impact on our career resources all over the state but especially like our black tailed deer and what we call the as zone of the central coast area where i was from and we would have these private landowners the way this may twenty miles into the back country putting illegal bathing operations together and just sucking in not only the bucks from the property and all these deer but they'd be bringing in changing the whole diversity of how the hurt supposed to go they'd be bringing in big bucks from miles away off a parks off of other properties and basically to shoot them over bait very unsporting but it was is also changing the diversity of where these supposed to be so there was a biological component to but they were never getting caught because to catch him you'd have to get so far into the back country and you have to have be so tight on your your field craft how you set up your hides where you observe them from how you do take downs. It's what later was like running. A special ops mission on a mission. We're doing it from a patrol standpoint with hardly any help so it'd be mean a partner you know maybe sitting on a location my first bathing case in ninety six when i came back home was a guy that had been doing this affluent rancher that had a pepper farm agricultural operation in the silicon valley and you'd run all these culpepper bell peppers like truckloads truckloads of them flatbeds and take them into the backcountry dump them oliver's property it was going on for twenty years and he had been worked by my agency to two times previously with previous wardens and the sheriff's department and never been caught so when i heard about this guy i consider that the ultimate challenge that's total bullshit. He's doing this and if i can just not not have to do the traditional stuff and just be real visible check in licenses all deer season. I want to dig in komo style. Just steve get the right partners and if we have to sit on the sky all six weeks at your season. We're going to sit on him until we watch him. Try to take an animal this bait because that one poacher was catching more than one thousand fishing license tickets because he was the guy i make the impact on the wildlife and he was intentional yeah so you mentioned the field craft encounter going balls deep so to speak. Was there really any any of that. In the academy or or on the ti- is do they focus on field craft type stuff at all they do but at the time it wasn't nearly as advanced as it is now so they spend more time now yeah they spend much more time largely because of the class we brought in that class was developed and i was asked by the academy coordinators to develop that class because of what we you're doing the baiting arena and that those skills actually came from me and marcos going on her own time and dime because very crazy out of the box kind of freaky rickie for game wardens to be going to swat operator schools or a car bean or go to a sniper school but me and mark did that yeah we did that because we knew at some point in the future of the direction in california with wildlife poachers. It was a crossover to anything from domestic terrorism homeland security. You get a lot of people in the woods doing a lot of weird. The things and it's not just wildlife crime wildlife crime is secondary to something else. They're planning and game. Wardens were starting to run across this. They were starting to run across. You know al qaeda groups training training no exaggeration some of that was happening in southern california for <hes> in parts of way eastern san diego county now when i was starting out so we knew that a team like what met developed into was going to be needed at some point. We knew the agency wasn't ready for it. At the time <hes> probably other agencies weren't ready for it at the time because they weren't taking games seriously seriously so we went to our sniper schools we built guns. We got in with some good barrier swat teams saab what we could do and we're backing us up on some of these crazy wildlife keepers and they weren't really paying attention to who worked for we know brothers and thank them for letting us in because that's sir kind of looking at you like fucking game. What are these bird bunny cost sir. I mean what what what these these fishing license guys and what are they doing in in a swat operator school on a team and <hes> but but it did it really. We did all that training on her own. You know it wasn't supported by the agency. They have a budget for now so so we pay for it ourselves built rifles <hes> best if we ever got really on that was that was pre nine eleven and then you know i mean again. I think i'm preaching to the choir brother. When i say after nine eleven everything changed only on your front military but domestic law enforcement everybody was looking at who could provide something for a force multiplier. You know what we call. A mutual aid allied agency relations and when that stuff started to happen you started to see and not not every game warden was into it. They wanted to do the traditional stuff and there's nothing wrong with that but some of us saw bigger pitcher and we knew that we can quite got into the marijuana cartel thing yet but when we did and saw that as a domestic mastic threat and then some of the other things we could help other agencies with we knew those skills really valuable and and that's the bane stuff started that because you had to use all of that fuel craft aft to catch these guys. Did you catch the guy we did. You did get caught him. Six weeks. We set them the whole six weeks we would go in and this is how you know kind of stubborn i was and my party is now retired joe but he was an academy classmate and then marcos when he joined my squad later we ended up doing ten more cases in the span of about about five years but in that case it was every weekend parking and hide naranjo taking a ride doubled up up to another ranch backpacks going a coupla gla miles setup cameras your weapons and surveillance side about four or five hundred yards off a particular bay pile and then have all that ready to be broken down in a minute. If you had a scout coming now looking for you how to cover tracks we had counter surveillance going on by these guys where they would get to the gate and put an accusers and look right at we're hide was three hundred yards away so i'm face painted in full camby's behind a brush barrier have created layer back to hide all our surveillance equipment and i'm with my binoculars. There's looking at him with his binoculars going. Oh shit jesus talk about the areas feeling ever filling violated made right. I'm just looking at this guy. I i can go in and you know and i was okay but i wasn't the most patient at that time my career but joe was fifteen years older than me been a die hard hunter much longer than me and he goes just. I don't move yeah trust movement. Trust your cammo even though he's got optics. Don't move and sure enough. He watched me for about three or four minutes. He's scan the area. Ah he put the minos down he unlock the gate he took the low debate in notion business as usual and i'm like okay yeah big learning day. That was a teachable moment. You know asshole pucker factor it was it was crazy but we ended up catching. That guy is a last sunday of the last weekend after seven weeks when he brought a whole crew and he made it all season looked around but never actually hunted till last week and we got him on that sunday night it was it was a major celebration with the surrounding land owners and the friends we made in in the community to work that case so for something like that what <hes> at that time like what what does he get slapped with penalty and sentencing wise or whatever like what what was the punishment for that yeah it was misdemeanor so it wasn't real heavy but they lost their weapons forever and they had nice weapons nice optics nice stuff like that they had one hunting banned for several years where they couldn't hind behind they pay big fines and restitution of several thousand dollars so and they got some convictions against him so on on a guy from the valley that was basically a farmer but you know oh kind of a corrupt one on that on the wildlife crime side it was a pretty good hit for the time considering yeah <hes> in that first fourteen years in between the first three down at lake elsinore orion moving up the coast and the water stuff. Were there ever any instances where you know. Shit got into it with people whether it's a gun fight or just you know gnarly stuff where your life is essentially on the line. There were a lot of that with <hes> with spotlighting stuff and it was a lot with the gangsters. I never gotten a gunfight down there fortunately but there were a a lot of close calls yeah. There are a couple of times where you know it could happen but because they gave up at the last second or they decided you know or i had tactical manager manager at a partner with mir backup arrived that we that we we were able to not have a gun fight but there are real close calls. I remember one of those spotlighting cases not far from lake elsinore. It was head on stop with three guys and they had everything from bolt action. Heavy caliber hunting rifles to lever actions a couple of cases. Is that a bunch of tequila pretty drunk and tequila beer. I mean even lying us. Raise the painting a picture of going there but anyway anyway. I stopped these guys and one of them had a fifty thousand dollar. No bill warrant was wanted in mexico and i didn't know it at the time but that was that was a cartel guy that was a grower yeah and that was starting down their way back then win. Those details of drug trafficking organization groups were just starting to come across the san diego county line and start their clandestine grows and riverside san diego county and these guys were from grow it turned out but they're out recreating out of the growth for the weekend and i call him to spite consob. Got him back up. We took them all the jail. I mean this was felony heavy stuff so it was a big night. They decided not to fight but that was an oh shit shit moment in time but we didn't know a lot about what we know now so yeah now again a lot of fascinating stories which will get into the book now in terms news of the second fourteen years of your career prominently starting in august of oh five if you could kind of talk about the the transition if you will in where this book stems from as it relates to that second half of your career in how the team and <hes> and how how the focus shift <hes> toward illegal grows men battling it out with the cartels where we're all these awesome stories come from how did that come about talk in terms of leadership. Where you guys are all form yeah it was. I think it was a matter of everything aligning in the right time. In the right right places certainly was seeing this and discovering. It and i actually saw my first grow in santa. Clara county are in silicon valley on the home in front and i was a wasn't award and still it was just a couple months and promoted lieutenant and i remember i got a call and my first book goes into the story because it really started the whole ninety degree shift of where we would not go traditional. You know we were both to quote bully go where no one's gone before the wildlife front. We're getting pretty radical michael after we discovered and the thing was is i got a call from a good friend will remain nameless that we grew up with hiking hunting big outdoor guy and he's doing his master's study at san jose state fisheries is a biologist of fisheries by a white biologist any <hes> this was very close is that co park where i meant that game warden and it was on a property that was the headwaters of this place called coyote creek and coyote creek. Just in a nutshell is one of our last remaining steelhead troud migrating tributaries all the way from the south bay the ocean and those fisher threaten endangered all over the country. I mean they're like four thousand dollars a fish right now. There's almost extinct so he's studying in fish. He's studying endangered frogs watching these waterways for like a three year study and i get this call early morning one day like late april and he goes john john. This is crazy man. I'm up here in dexter canyon. You know i got two creeks. I'm studying. We got all this winter runoff. There's no reason they should be dry. Ones bone-dry ones running fine he he goes to the one that's dr. Fisher dead. Everything's gone frogs are drying up and it shouldn't be dry. Someone's diverting water of tob and i'm seeing a lot oughta like plastic and bisque queen little debris. That's washed down he. Can you check it out as yeah yeah yeah. I'm gonna check it out and you gotta jump in the car with me. Let's go up top and we'll dive into the canyon and you will find out what the heck's going on well. We didn't have any real knowledge that any of this was going on you know from the cartel front and they had anything to do with cannabis production so i'm thinking some bars i divert water up top. We're going to have to go track down and we're going to deal with it so i grabbed my soul rifle my backpack. He's an unarmed civilian. He's got his survival survival stuff savvy in the woods. Fortunately we parked at the top of this big mountain. We dive straight down the steep canyon to find the water source. No cell coverage radio doesn't work. We're on our own and sure enough. We find where the creeks been dammed up. There's a water diversion pipe in it and mike that we followed that pipe down you know carefully and quietly kelly and about two hundred yards later we start to see ahead of us about fifty sixty yards to foot marijuana plants and then we see what looks like a almost like a hooch coach jungle taibbi at phnom hidden camouflage to lean to look like there was a cook setup in it but everything was spray painted camouflage and i'm like this isn't a rancher richer. Yeah this is trippy. These guys are hardcore. Something's going on and then we saw the to growers and they were working through their plants coming from further down the creek but you know l. a. k. forty-seven in one hand big machetes saw pistol in the other guys waistband mexican guys definitely hispanic in nature didn't look like they belong there. Taff did not fit look more like a sandinista camp something going on you know completely completely out of the ordinary and they work that canyon and we hit the cut cut bank and i had my red dyed with my a._r. Pinned on these guys thinking. This is going to get really bad really quick and this is going to be a weird one to explain explain yeah. If we get into a frigging gunfire down your have civilian with me and this is a marijuana situation that doesn't have anything to do with the traditional violation well they got about fifteen yards and then they they hook the bank we stayed hidden see us and they went about their way back and we made it out of there undetected and that was the change of everything that was sometime in april role of two thousand and four we brought a tactical team in of narcotic skies turkey narcotics grew because game wardens didn't do drug work. Yeah that's not their job but i know the terrain so they wanted us in there to be the bird dogs to be the guide to get him to the trail so about three weeks later i had another game partner with me and and we had four or five different agencies we had the military counterdrug team air force pave hawk pilots for moffett field to support a sad day had never worked with the military domestically. Do you know anything yet and we went in. We gotta these guys in. We got down to about fifty yards from the bad guys having their breakfast early in the morning and end the team leader decided to make an announcement really far away. What are these guys do. They got up the other escape. Trio figured out the running down the canyon and we had had this conversation well. If these guys are close we can get to him safely. Run them down. Let's catch him and there was a sentiment at the time this mission. We're not going to run anybody down. There's too much risk in it. We just get out of there safely and they don't have weapons. We're just going to radically the plants and get out of there so nobody chased and then finally i talked to the team leader. There was running the mission. I said can we just track them and see what direction they went. He said that's on you guys so myself and my game word partner we ran down after him and they had too much of a head start to catch but we tried and a couple of sheriff's deputies from the santa clara county sheriff's office in his co. New snake in the first book and he is referenced in hidden more. If you're a certain parts he he was there as a guest of this operation are run in either and that's when you know you meet those right guys at the right time. You know what i mean on the teams and you're just bonded forever. He saw the way i worked. I saw the way he worked and he was the only guy that wanted to run any said a fucker we doing not trying to catch these guys and it was after we finish that mission i realize is these are cartel operatives from mexico here illegally deportable felons and we didn't try to put the grab on them and they're just thinking this this group of cops or just <hes> you know they're never gonna gonna catch. Anybody and we didn't know what the time that these guys will just diverse in another grow. They're just a commodity in the organization. So then we rotated seven thousand plants didn't know they had ban. Dan poisons on him didn't know anything about that yet. So we were touching this stuff without gloves face protection much to you know are are negative results and then mm-hmm. We took all the plants out pave hawk in that was cool. I did my first choice right into a pave hawk. That was the ticket had worked under choppers quite yet before we got immersed and <hes> i was looking around going. What are we going to do with all this stuff guys. I mean the creeks dust. The water diverted that water diversion still there. We haven't restored creek nick. We haven't taken out any of this trash. All these poisons and fertilizer bags that are on the edge of this creek are gonna go forever. They're just gonna keep destroying wildlife and our waterways and they're like well. We don't do that. That's that's up to the property. The park that this is on they're gonna have to handle that and i'm looking at this pair hawk hovering above us with a net capacity of forty five thousand pounds they can pull a ton of stuff out almost and i'm like we have free military resources. Not only can we try to catch bad guys better but besides his getting really plants. Why don't we do something for the environment. Maybe deter these guys from coming back. They don't want anything to do with it and i understand that was that was the mindset but that changed the exposure and then five happened and and getting into five real quick before you do that on the on the cleanup thing it makes me think i mean shouldn't the e._p._a. Have fucking teams that like you can just call them and say this is all fucked up on. Come clean it up and that half of what they're supposed to do brother. I wish that was the case yeah but it it's nine it really comes down to individual jurisdiction of who owns the property and if it's private land unless we have funds where we can operate in private land the private landowners responsible for it and that gets it's a whole other issue that we learned a lot in the days hidden more covers but no there was no no capability of that so it was really on us trained convince the other agencies to stay a little longer that day with all the resources and just help out on that phase and it would take another ten years to get there before we were effectively doing that. One on the stats that i read that that i found surprising was the forty four percent you know about about just under half of these grow operations that you're busting. You're actually able to clean up and it's like the holy fuck e._p._a. Has fucking billions of dollars to me is just me but it should be like e o._d. Right we we come up with a bomb. You call yo di and they handle it. You mean to me you guys come up to an environmental fucking catastrophe. You should call the epa and they should handle it. Help us out yeah for sure but you you know so. I mean again i. I know there's a lot of politics right. You're fucking congressman if you're right if we expose the issue enough yeah with things like the book and you know the t._v. We've done on it. Maybe we'll get enough. Americans pissed off yeah to say hey this reclamation of these grow sites. It's necessary. It needs to be a inner border priority and i agree. We do something more with it because we're not getting it. All yeah no absolutely yeah to me. It seems like fucking no brainer but all right so then moving into the next operation operation where we're accountable kicked off and shit went downhill if you could walk us through that one yes we're talking august fifth two thousand five as we're going into that and there's a date that you know is kind of burned in forever. That was a career changer. The real blessing of that day out of all the bad things that did happen on august fifth was the people i got to work with breath. I mentioned snake who i met on that one ray that he was a guest and i was aghast but we instantly have that bond. We're gonna we're gonna do this little more aggressive well. He was one of those is guys was a top steinbruner swat team. You know pennsylvania woodsmen and hunters his whole life. I mean he just tireless mentally tub could go forever. Verve martial arts instructor humble. You know just the right personality. You wanted to do the jobs and he saw that same thing in me and we clicked and became came instant friends so he started bringing me as an equal from a game were inside much to the question of some of his his supervisors. Improvises are like what are what are you doing with norris these game wardens man and you know he would he would throw kudos like have been on grow rates with them and these guys are so good in the woods because of what they do he goes. I will take john and anybody he vets for from his agency more so than one hundred different deputies that was a big that was a big statement yeah so he called us in on this rate in two thousand five. He said look man <hes> it's big. We don't have a lot of personnel. Everybody was short. Nobody knew the magnitude of the dangers had been shot. We hardly ever found bad guys. <hes> <hes> you know no one had been in gunfights cops. It's certainly been shot. There've been some civilian shot at before but not not part of the state so snake called me up and said hey. We got this big asira zule. It's right above las gatos. You know kind of an affluent little suburb of the silicon valley mean mike. This site was surreal because we're in. I shot a like google ebay facebook. We're an eye shot. The silicon valley tech capital from where this gunfight went down. I a- too young game warns with me. I had my partner santa. Clara county warden mojo is he's code-named. Oh named and he had wanted to do marijuana work ever since he got of the academy and heard what we were doing and he was really motivated. Kicked ass in the academy was a great partner been my squad would make for about a year and i had promoted his boss about fourteen days before the gunfight so i'm a supervisor and friend and partner. He's coming on his first rate fired up. We got another young that came out of that same academy and <hes> codename bulldog from san mateo county and he's all fired up and they're painting up. They're getting tactical tactical getting their stuff ready to go and were three words three sheriff's deputies and at the time there were a lot of things we didn't have that we should have had. We didn't have radio compatibility. You know they were on separate system when we had handy talkies without earpieces that's how archaic the technology was at the time so we're going up a team of six to get to this grow side. We've got an open space park ranger that was unarmed but very savvy in the woods being our bird dog and our guide so seven of us and we get up to the first grow site and we crawled through brush tunnel. We surveilled it. We do all the surveillance we can. I carry pocket oculus to pick apart little things ahead of me before i you you know breach a trail and we didn't see any threats so we crawled through this. I grow you know plans for about three or four feet high. They weren't mature yet weren't ready to harvest and then they went went to another brush. Walla heavy man's nita was manziel country. You know you're familiar with that yeah and then we get into a second tunnel and we crawl under that tunnel and same thing we assess zest. Visually you know kind of survey. Everything's weight about ten minutes. You couldn't hear a bird chirp. No animals removing around it was one of those <unk> areas that are just too quiet and the oh shit pucker factor immediately for those of us that are familiar with how you should fill in woods. We all felt like something was off but we just couldn't see the threat threat and we waited and we went through that tunnel very carefully covering each other and then we formed a skirmish line once we went through the man's anita tunnel into a much bigger grow and and this grows like probably fifty yards by fifty yards square. We're on top of a pressure ridge the kind of rolls off edges and the plants tall five six feet. They're all butted. They're ready to uncut so it was harvest time and you know between the man's anita and marijuana plants you could see about two three inch little visible windows as you're going through this maze of vegetation mostly marijuana and as we as we were assaulting and during a skirmish line to clear the grow we heard one shot and and that shot i knew another pucker factor because very familiar with seven six to fire from ak or thirty thirty. We shoot a three oh eight. We were shooting fourteen. I'm on a at the time is about rifle are sheriff's. Deputies were shooting a five six standard for and those are two distinct booms the big three seven six two versus a five six crack. This was that middle ak sound and when i heard that round go off i knew right away that came from a bad guy that i didn't see and no one to call it out on the radio and i know somebody else hadn't seen it and in a nanosecond after i heard the concussion. All i heard was mojo of shot fugger shaab bob me and jesus yellen but he was pissed. You know he wasn't wasn't screaming out like a victim. He was just like pissed. I behead he drops and he drops to my left oft just out of sight and now all i have is marijuana to my left and i start to. I'm looking around and scan for threat. I don't see this thread and then all of a sudden. I start to see <hes> i start to hear craig's a._r. Fifteen or snakes banging away and i can't see him and i can't see you know his threat it but i can see gases like pushing the marijuana in my peripheral vision. That's how close we were only about three four yards from each other but at a visibility and so i start to you know scan over the right with my weapon and as i'm starting to turn see some movement out of my left side a little bit just peripheral and i look over to the left and here's a grower and not like annie grower. I'd seen quite dressed up the same but in green b._d._u.'s kind of battlegear had what i thought was an ak type and he's got an import arms and he's coming around the brush pile unbeknownst any of us at the time but that was the guy that shot my partner and now he's coming around to scan and finish the job or assess what he had done so. I just make an announcement. As soon as i got out how i say police because he was he was latin mexican. I started to say paul and i got through about p._o. L. and all of a sudden that weapon turn on me and i just started engaging with my fourteen and backpedaling ended up at kyle's feet real quick r._o._i. Lies rule of engagement engagement wise. I mean at that point. You know somebody has has shot or you guys bound legally to not engage until they shoot at us specifically or they don't have dropped him. I'm just for holding a gun in one of your partners being shot. They don't have to shoot at us but that gun has to be a threat to me or my partners under our rules of engagement so even though we had a gun and it wasn't pointed pointed any of us it was one of those fine lines and because i hadn't done this work that much and i was thinking about. I certainly didn't want to analyze our rules of engagement to the point again hurt or get my partners heard but that's something that's constantly in our minds law enforcement on the domestic side and mike. That's what's so fucked up about it. No i don't envy your position. You know what i'm let's say an enemy and this was this was about silicon valley. I mean we're seeing our gunman running around but the guns pointed away so i basically let out that announcement knowing pretty much intuitive that he wasn't going to give up yeah. I'm pretty familiar with. I'm getting the hang of what these cartel guys are like so as soon as he made that turn and didn't give up and that gun started to break. Take the plane toward me and my partner. I wasn't at the time we didn't really know he was the shooter. I mean i was certainly suspecting that in in rapid time but we didn't know how many threats out there and what i did also realize the gunfire from snakes weapon was engaging that gunman's partner that was behind a parapet seven yards of front in front of me where they had dug out us almost like a parapet and had some trash and debris behind it behind the wall of brush where they're marijuana field so as tactical overwatch position on up into the grow and he had a sawed off shotgun twelve gauge a twelve gauge shotgun with buckshot pistol grip job training me and bulldog but we couldn't see him so i'm starting to go to engage and see what's going on over here and craig is neutralizing this guy that's about to pull the trigger on me with a shotgun and i wouldn't be here today of craig had identified him and engaged him and all this was happening without radio communication so the domino effect of who was reacting the right way. We were super lucky. We have the right people on the hill because even though we haven't trained a lot together at that point they worked under the same tactical firearms and tactical movement training we did. We just didn't know it yet which was good that we had done tactical training that i mentioned marcus jumped into because we were training our guys that way on the game more in front we had reinvented them. The tactical rifle qualification course we got away from a static kline accuracy course to a movement course from one hundred thirty three yards that i had put together moving shoot. Don't stand still. I mean it was a muscle memory thing if i hadn't backpedal pedal when it engaged i would've taken fire from the sky was fifteen yards away and craig got low and he engaged with his a._r. And he got civil rights civil vital rounds into that bad guy that had the shotgun on on me so that he drop him he did drop them. He an apache who's another sniper. A veteran beirut marine core sniper on the team has actually come up around the backside to support the gunfight when he when he heard the first gunshot that that hit my partner and then we heard craig's five five six start going a he knew we were into stuff and then he heard three big boobs three shots. I got off with my with my fourteen but all happened in seconds as as you know how that goes and so this guy disappears drops. I don't know if i've hit him. I don't know in the movement what was happening if he was injured wounded just scattered gathering whatever and then kyle's feet and basically he is bleeding four holes. He took that steel core seven six two ak round you know through one thi- it went through the inner fi and tumbled through his second leg so he had four holes and he just was bleeding now so curious about it. <hes> sounds like that was ball ammo then yeah. Did you guys. I know you found a lot of ammo. That didn't match up to guns or you know found different for an armaments were they using higher speed you know hollow point or you know designed to do more damage than just tumbled ball ball ammo or later on we would see that and it would depend on the weaponry we'd find you know <hes> sometimes i in the heavier gross with more armed groups that were more violent <hes> a lot of s._k._s. a. k. forty-sevens some of it was the lead tipped so isn't expanding hunting around that we need more tissue damage. I saw that some ours. It wasn't just f._m. J. fifty-five grain stuff it was some of that sixty four green power point lead headed made to expand and that'll came down to how they were preparing right yeah and we would just bury so we started to see specialists five years when when that was in its heyday just more aggressive ammunition and more firearms geared toward anti i personnel not like the twenty two long rifle. There's a squirrel gun that they happen to have in the grow so it was that type of deal yeah yeah all right so shit goes down in a matter of seconds. Couple of their guys are down. One of your guys is down. He obviously made it <hes>. Can you walk us through how that yeah that was so for the next three hours we vernier rescue and i'm working with my partner and try and keep them from bleed. Now we had minimal trauma supplies of the time all that good combat trauma data from you know the battle title your team members were fighting overseas. We didn't have a lot of that yet. That was five so this changed our trauma medicine program obviously what the story i'm going to tell next but but essentially we used all the battle dressings we had to slow the bleeding down not completely stop it keeps them from going into shock and is a testament to mojo his will will his mental toughness for being a new guy. He was pissed off. He didn't want to be a victim. He wasn't fighting at a fear. He was fighting anger. He was protecting the team and not just himself himself and when he dropped and couldn't hold up big eleven pound and one a scout he dropped out pull this clock and kept one hand on the inner fire where the biggest hole in most of his bleeding was was any covered all of us with his glock and just got to some concealment and we ended up together. I ended up obviously treating them for trauma all day while we waited for that era skew well. We put it tight three sixty perimeter up. We had one guy down. We might have a second guy down. We were all trained in tactical tracking for suspects but none of us could go after we were too small of a team so finally after all of the confusion with administration of how do we get a chopper in there. Who's going to come rescue. You you know certain air support ford asset sand. We don't fly into a hot zone. Where fire chopper or are we worked for this company. You know whatever we had. No idea counterdrug pave hawk would come in and flown in hot. What if they were at moffett field spoiled up twenty minutes away or california highway patrol helicopter were the coastguard that'll change so we didn't have a dedicated medevac back plan for something like that happened. We had a metabank plan but it was the wrong. People yeah our admin basically the sheriff's administration because it was their operations planning again. We're helping in them as as wardens from the state do this mission. Their plan was that hey you have a problem. We'll call i flight or we'll go up and back you up on foot. We'll even though we don't agree. We were about a mile up that that ridge line. Maybe a mile and a half. It was like this one hundred degree august day so straight up. You're not going to run a medical team of there fast enough and when you call life flight you get with a blade they can't land and they don't have short haul capability or longline capability. I mean they need a flat surface to land on so we need to bird that had hoist and a basket and ended up cal fire. You know one of the forestry choppers they finally came in and you know i put out the radio call and they said well we can come into the whole hill is secure and i said you know what guys we're secure. This field is yet to come on ships good because my partner's dying and i was frustrated. I was calling their dispatch and the sheriff's deputies rails and snake their codenames. They were both doing some radio traffic with their people and we were getting on self. We have cell phone coverage so i can make it calls but the choppers kept coming over that day were that we kept expanding. Our smoke canisters onto give them our location for rescue. They were news choppers. Yeah jesus so we had bay area. News choppers got national news bleeds lead dreaded bleeds. It leads brother. You know they were putting out bad information so long story. We got him off the hill. He went into surgery had an agonizing recovery but thankfully recovered. Did you turn it get him or no. We did yeah we. He did his best we could yeah and we did and we didn't have designated tourniquet. We just use in gaza. Go as tight as we can. Now obviously run onto turning is a dirty and a stay in the secondary in you know anticoagulant and arklow type stuff yeah and everything that that <hes> you know that the military teams doing were reversed in it now but but that was rule new but when we saw that that level of danger and aggressiveness from these guys and again all that environmental crime yeah so i saw you know dead animals and i saw that white sheen that was on those plants and we still didn't know at the time of that. Was that carbo fear. We'll talk about later in the new book right then. I knew this is the biggest environmental criminal we have in california and i know they're not just in california and for game wardens not to be involved in this. This fight is a travesty. We need to stay in the fight. If we're really going to protect our sealife anywhere in the country and this is this is not a typical poacher we can do from a patrol deputies <hes> pity standpoint we need an op steam dedicated and supported and that was the big battle for ten years to get going so on that operation specifically typically. Obviously you guys engage several of their dudes. Did you guys ever find out if <hes> do you ever catch. Those guys ever know what happened to them or what we we know. There were more than in two. We didn't catch anybody else. We had some intel that one of them was injured severely a made back to mexico and we had one that was didn't make it out of the grow site that was neutralized. No found his body we didn't find his body and forensics got that and and that was one of those things when you start talking about being a hand loader and into ballistics dixon sniper and all that stuff we start talking about you know ammunitions effectiveness in brushing man's anita heavily wooded conditions in how that was where we were on the fence is because my partners with their five sixes even with those sixty four green power points which are pretty good penetrating by six rounds snake in apache fired about nineteen rounds sounds you know from those weapons in two of them made it in to get heart and lung shots to take down that guy that had that shotgun train on us and it wasn't because they were bad shots anticipating. It's is just because there was a lot of deflection. They were having to shoot through small whims man's and eat them branches leaves. It's just so dense and even big three zero eight. They were penetrating better but but but still we had that issue penetration does environment so if you guys done any ballistics work with any f._b._i. Stats or i guess my first thought is i know horny makes those critical defense zuhdi rounds that are pretty good at bit penetrating. A bunch of shit slanted glass auto aslan. Is that something you guys user we do. We do right now. We've we've used already for. Some are indoor entry stuff and when we met we got to really get picky you you know and myself and a lot of the gun guys on the team brought that in where like on snipers we a barrier rounds are standard duty round out of our our standard entry carving is it's still a seven six two and it's a bonded you know led to court projectile so it penetrates really well expands really well. We have some lighter stuff for indoors. That'll fragment men versus over penetrating walls but the stuff we use for men and the reason we stayed with the bigger and heavier seven six two is because of lack of penetration issues we had with the ladder calibers yeah. We're we're that dense. Brush man's anita as messed at all with i know it's it's a more controversial platform but the three hundred blackout at all some of the lighter i'll tell you man since becoming a montana resident at my first blackout and i love it i love that calendar and it goes for you guys you hit it on the head brother it would be the ideal met caliber in a small platform hits hard you know after the nine inch w thing it would be perfect for our canine guys. The biggest thing is our canine. Guys don't normally push that big big fourteen point five inch p. o. f. just because we have a new lightweight revolutions and they're still pretty featherweight there two thirty cumbersome for canada and got a hand with dog so we always got to have a rifle or a secondary handgun or both with our canine handler on deployments but i see that blackout account like you're seeing mike is really the ideal med gun and i told my guys in california. When i see evan we get together and hang out periodically like oh man. I wish we could have that type type nine handler in that environment i would roll a six hour the five and a half inch cain break three hundred blackout and use like one one hundred ten one hundred twenty grain shit any of them 'cause you're still didn't rifle velocity of fourteen fifteen hundred foot pounds of of of energy dumped into a target and a lot of penetration little package. It's kind of a good mix of the that happy medium between lean five five six seven six two it is and it's funny. You mentioned that the rattler but that's the system i just acquired all of the montana one training on it all the time and running that one ten is the way we go to so. It's bad ass now. Now we're getting off into the listrik dorks but bring it back to the little more mainstream here but one question i did have the entire book talks about outdoor. Grow facilities did you were there any indoor. Grow facilities involved. Yes yes in in some of these absolutely and the other question well you speak to that. I i guess what yeah there's there's a distinction we go to kind of put out of of who legalize legit cannabis a lot of it is indoors and then there's still the whole cartel infiltration indoor gross and what we saw when win we regulate in california couple years ago the beginning of it and we saw this before regulation started somebody would get a cannabis growing license right and it would be a landowner maybe vacant vacant land owner alesi if you will or whatever and then a bunch of guys would come in and just kinda take that over under unsanctioned by uh-huh landowner absentee and might be twenty cartel growers that just worked in the deep forest but now they can kind of do it a little easier. They're not going to get a lot of heat because it is regulated. Now on this person's applied for a permit so we especially my last year of ops in two thousand eighteen we did a monster on in the city hall which is kind of the central hot valley near sacramento and it was in excess of four or five greenhouses like i don't know seventy eighty thousand plants. It was a mongo and we had it was one of the coolest canine ops though that i've been on because we had our two canines some federal elliott canine that are canines that worked with extensively for this particular type of bad guy and i want to say we probably had seven or eight on mission jeez which which wasn't ramada for our dogs canine heavy and we were like levin dogs. It was sled. Dogs could drag your ass into the hvac. Gosh mike and they deployed. They were running all over because he's guys fucking can cool. They were like rats leaving a ship and we hit all those greenhouses and they were running out in these farm fields just for miles but carry a body cams on fucking. Do you have any further you know some agencies do <hes> our agency is trying to achieve <hes>. Davis is working real hard to get body cams and we're going to see that happen and that would be cool to see. It'll be good to write on every level to have that in. Go back and have that you know for liability reasons but just record like you're saying the event a lot of good lessons. Uh-huh learned can wise to see absolutely that many dogs go on at the same time but <hes> sorry go ahead yeah but so the indoor stuff definitely does happen and it all depends. I mean you gotta think that these these these cartel groups are very smart about. They're gonna do what's most effective. It's a cash business and they're very organized. It is the business model of cost benefit analysis and if they don't have to risk being eight miles into the back country risk canine savvy team like ours or four service service routined up with coming in and taking it down. I mean that could be a twenty million dollar. Loss forum a couple other guys are probably going to be out of circulation for a long time if not indefinitely frozen canine bites deployed it properly but if they can do it indoors and and get away with it they can they can produce more so now we have the private land issue and the public land issue and when i my last year ops when i keep all those stats right for the monthly report than the annual it was interesting because we are exactly a fifty fifty split a private land indoor or prevalent outdoor. Oh aw end strictly public win parks forests and things like that so and i'm finding i just came from the new conference which is the national game wardens conference and spoke doc to them on this and presented and i'm finding states like oklahoma wisconsin. These guys are getting the same cartels now and is hidden more goes into at the end you know with some of the the appendix stuff of making sure people realize isn't a california problem the hub of its there because we're mediterranean we'd state. We grew really good weeden kelly but it's an every every state to some extent and methamphetamine fenton all human trafficking. I mean these guys are embedded in every state of the union. <hes> in other states are starting to experience it now go to private land as well but one thing on the on the private land in terms of the big outdoor grow operations that you encountered some of them obviously ron private land and were some of them on private land and that private land owner was naive that they were on their or were they all in on it. You know it's mixed. We've had a couple of situations nations and i'll have a little war story talk about the private land guy that actually sanctioned it and had a kickback coming but nine times out of ten what we've been able to ascertain as they don't know like these these guys fuck. Do you not know that's the crazy part because some of these guys have ten thousand acre ranches their cattle ranches right. They're also like black tailed l. deer hunting clubs or maybe you know wild hog hunting clubs and until they get into the deepest reaches that were their water sources are grow set up. They're not aware of them the most of the time at least over sixty seventy percent of the time by one season of them going someone on their ranch. That's either out running cattle or he's hunting hogger a deer. They're gonna smell it or see a sign of it or going to cut a track or we're going to find it but these cartel guys were getting really smart and saying okay well. We'll try it on this. Ranch will come in off off the highway will infringe a little bit and maybe we'll get away with it for a season and they do and it might be three four or five seasons before and they get greedy and they started blowing up the operation then they finally we get so big that they get a little too close to that one jeep trail that some guy's gonna find but yeah i've seen them on you know some and he's ranchers. I grew up with actually hunted their property. You know grown grown up as a kid and next thing i know we're raiding grows on their club and so that's that's a hard hit for those guys personally because we talked about the reclamation the e._p._a. Thing nine times out of ten we won't have a budget or be authorized to reclamation private land and we got this great rancher that hosted us could handle it himself and you know might not have a ton of money in the coffers to do some cleanup so we'll find a way to go in there and clean up with and he'll usually provided truck or a couple of cowboys and we'll do the cleanup they they get taxed with this and it's just it's a real bird man. That's that's hard to wrap your mind around. I guess in explaining it. You know if you've got that amount of land and attend some little you you know remote corner were there instances of private landowners that would get into gunfights with any of the guys are getting into it with them. We had some close calls. We got some guys you know the true american cowboys and it's my property you know and i can't believe these guys are here doing this and they're they're threatening and gunpoint. The growers are running off. There's been some gunfire exchanged. There's been nobody injured that i know of and it got to a point when that was is kind of out of frustration because those those land owners weren't getting the response quickly and then when they started to get to know us on the team and something that was cool about when we built matt is we have you know with alternates from patrolling fulltime guys we have about twelve guys on the team and a couple of really canines but they're spread read out in a way that they're responsible for a number of counties and so every county in the state was covered and response was quick because even though it took a long time to get to the point of having this one team the point was we didn't have any other things we had to work on. We didn't have patrol duties. We weren't efthimios anymore. <hes> we would still teach were we did. We would still do the outreach we needed to do. We needed to respond and come grow season between may and september. If rancher had a problem we better get there within a day or so or they were going to have to take into their own hands or they would go out and try to do something say at hunters come and they had cattle moving so our response time was a lot better it lesson that one's the brand started to trust and know about the team yeah and so speaking on the team you mentioned there's twelve people yeah yeah a lot of good day yeah so that basically was in response to the august fifth of five operation now so you're tasked with with forming this team team or co forming this team <hes> can you talk about kind of getting your feet wet building team getting the initial team together and and <hes> you know in terms of what worked what needed needed what you needed to be successful and how that rolled into into the full-time gig that it turned into sure and i gotta go all the way back to to the o five shooting our chief at the time time was nancy fully and was a big supporter of what we were doing when she saw the environmental damage is there and she and our director of the time who was an ex game warden in the director which was really good for us roderick. They were in the hospital. The whole time. My partner was was recovering being operated on they were there to support us and the big thing that was coming coming down from the governor's office and even press cruise was what our game wardens doing on a drug case why they get that kid shot you know and they nobody had a clue the environmental impacts impacts but my chief nancy and bless her for this stood up on camera with all those press crews in the in the you know basically in the in the in in our base of operations and said hey. There's environmental crime game wardens. Are there for that reason. That's their mandate. They're tactically train. I'm real proud of what they did today. They're trained with the best law enforcement at we're going to continue doing this elbit of heat on that no doubt true media fashion of of <hes> you know making accusations first and then and then doing the backstory worked later so she she had the the lady balls walls and told him to fuck off in a nutshell. That's exactly what she did and ended read. That's perfect. I mean that's it's so fucking rare especially in the state of california. I mean that's awesome to hear that she was like it's fucking deal with it. I don't understand why more not just politicians but more specifically police chiefs and sheriffs and things like that don't do that. They you know that the second they get accused of something or somebody says something that maybe shines or or they try to shine a negative light they start to tap dance and bad battle on the policy is out yup. She starts. Yes the wrong fucking answer. You know yeah we did it and if we're presented with that same same issue. Guess what we're gonna fucking do it again yeah. Th th there needs to be way more of that. It's really refreshing again again especially in california to hear that so that kind of gave you the the blessing if you will to move forward and inform the team that wasn't quite that was the start nancy the always believed in the fact that we needed at team but when my first book came out <hes> we had never had a book opportunity like that you know where a publisher wanted to do a book deal and and tell the stories especially from this type of thing it's just nontraditional for a game warden story <hes> an intranet with my chief and had one of those long meetings of hey you know we're we're getting a book deal and obviously the department had to screen it you know because i was still employed by the agency. This is going back to two thousand ten and <hes> you know. I wasn't sure how that would go over especially in our state with the political environment but she was super proud. She believed outreach. She said this is a legitimate part of what we do. It doesn't replace all the other stuff. We do because all that traditional patrol super important. We didn't format to say hey. We're going to go do the hard job now and you know those patrol guys are just doing the old school stuff. That isn't that important. We're just handling no another another challenge that game wardens are taxed with and hence we call ourselves a thin green line and my whole push right now in retirement nationally as support your finger in line enforcement efforts for the sake of public safety sovereignty but also protection of our wildlife wetlands and waterways and like i told nancy i said well nance. This is a huge environmental crime that we got to deal within a different way. Sore fingering lines never been thinner because we're not getting more bodies yeah. We're gonna pull special operations guys out of control. Something's going to give a little bit and even though she really thought we needed a team. The politics even with an agency couldn't bear it. Yeah chiefs and captains didn't believe steve. We should be doing this. I was i was really supported and like by you know some administrators and i think i was not so much liked and you know like kind kind of a radical cowboy for putting so much emphasis in the marijuana enforcement and trying to go play special operator out there so it was perceived but had nothing to do with that nance finance knew that you know nancy new and that's why i was on her firearms training committee for eighteen years of advancing our tactics to be ready for any law enforcement situation inter out out of a marijuana garden but more importantly if we did get a team so we didn't have a team yet that was oh five we had another gunfight in two thousand seven you know and then another one a couple of years after that and we were getting out of those uninjured but there were close calls and we didn't have canines yet so we had like brother brian boyd loyd up running around with the chace county sheriff's office really seen the same thing i saw the silicon valley of now. I have an environmental criminal. That's the most violent the most most dangerous as these cartel guys they're armed. I'm going after them because they're making the biggest dent and i can handle this. This is my challenge now. The risks are higher than usual tool but this is what i'm gonna do with my sheriffs buddies but not other other game words. We're helping them out. I'm down in santa clara county doing my thing with the sheriff's department developing tactics using and light runner schemes of making a couple of us really lightly laden with gear and handgun supported by rifle basically being dogs and doing the rundowns when we can do it safely and then a couple of officers were doing it and then need arnold now are deputy chief who was a captain at the time was was doing stuff and coordinating operations in the fresno kings canyon what we call her central enforcement district but we were all doing it differently. You know we were compare. Notes a little bit but we're all in districts and we had district boundaries can like mainline forces says you know you don't go out of your box and so we kept politic for a team didn't push too hard because i knew in that administration it wasn't going to happen happen and then we're doing more and more of it more and more guys or get involved more gunfights. Were happening where you're getting really close to get hurt again. <hes> and the nancy retired tired and they might carry on became our chief patrol. Mike was one of my mentors in the academy and i can't thank him enough believing all the way back when he trained me on defensive tactics in two in nineteen ninety-two but we developed a friendship over the years. He grew me up to be an instructor to outside agencies as a firearms instructor d._t. Instructor he he saw what i was doing and tactics and instead of thinking i was getting radical and being something i wasn't supposed to be as a game warden he wed wow that's getting progressive. That's legitimising us this. This is going to be necessary and the whole time while all these gunfights were going down and brian was starting to develop that apprehension program and we're getting our canine program back jack and phoebe came into the came into the mix he was the chief for brian and those guys up north and he actually broke broke the mold old and let brian come down with keynote in two thousand twelve and start working with me actually twenty eleven in two thousand twelve and we brought that great canine and brian skills skills to santa clara county the silicon valley that didn't have a dog in ever worked around dog and then we started getting apprehensions yeah and i go in hidden more new you know one of the chapters goes into to that pivotal engagement where phoebe made by and you see the value in everybody saw the value and mike became the chief sheaf. He got settled and i just asked him i said. Can we have a conversation about next steps. When you're settled he said sure and we so now off campus meeting myself nate arnold captain at the time and we met met with mike breakfast meeting october of would have been twenty twenty twelve delve and we all the stats from all over the state or what we thought we had and we had all these examples of barely getting out safely and things is not going so right and not having the right equipment and not having the right training and having to do five thousand jobs typical game warden problem right jack-of-all-trades and mike said so. You're a pro rose. You're basically proposing a specialized a strike team. You want your tactical unit. I said yeah we need to dedicate it to this. When you defy just these cartel growers there's we need to bring it all apprehension aggressive canines and everything to the table one team. No district boundaries go anywhere. We need to go. Take some pressure off patrol roll patrol help us out. We need helicopter assets when he medical training when you'd better firearms night-vision we need to do it all and we need to pick the right guys and end tested out and makes it. You know what let's test it next summer. We'll do a three month pilot program. We'll test you from july to september. Go three months us and let's see how it goes and we did. We did that in two thousand thirteen and you know when it comes to pick the guys that was another thing that was real radical for whereas because i was picking guys that were the best at what they do. They were really really accomplished. Traditional game wardens. I mean like five five guys on the team have been officer the year her lifesaving awards awards valor and completely humble and selfless about you know kind of like picking the right team where you come from and my other seal team buddies. It's like we want the guys with the best skill sets with the least egos that are about each other first and foremost and man talk about a blessing in the last six years career to work with guys is it or my brothers that are jumping front ballitser each other and just with no attitude and tireless and those are the guys. We were very lucky to get we got we got the best we could <hes> and they like doing this. Not everybody does in my world. Not everyone wants to do this and they shouldn't but but that's how it happened at mike really made the next step happened and to <hes> to make the team go and six weeks into the pilot program. We're running out of money and eight nine where we're called onto the mountains to meet with all the chiefs have in their quarterly meeting. Mike lenient is the head honcho and we're like okay well. We're going to try to answer some money because we're going seven days a week and we had the military not helping us with a pave hawk crew at off it and we got to the meaning we started to give our pitch and he goes guys just stop. We've been talking about marijuana work. What you you guys have been doing for the last two hours before you got here and this is so much better. We want a full-time team testing protocol. We want you guys out of patrol by january first next year. You're you're gonna leave. Patrol will backfill or we can. You're gonna work just for headquarters in this is how it's going to go and even nate night. We're looking at your like you on the fucking lottery we did. We just win the lotto. We just get this team and you know on the heels of that came a sniper unit. I got to form up and was already teaching sniper craft to other agencies with my sheriffs partners military partners you know there was always a need for that for over watch for high risk stuff or in in grows and grows so we jumped right on it and then having dedicated canines that could go anywhere and train with whoever they wanted. It never happened before yeah so we hit the ground running in two thousand fourteen fulltime but it really started in two thousand thirteen with my blessing yeah yeah yeah it's it's really neat to hear kind of the process with which it developed in for the listener you know if i have no no doubt that there's probably some of you out there may even potentially still be questioning the validity or the necessity for the validity of a program like this first first of all fucking joke yourself number two if you could speak to and then this is where i found myself being pissed and i saw the the need coming together if you will of you know legal growers and fucking drug runners and hippies and rock climbers and law enforcement all kind of coming together of a a mutual pissed off at us if you will in that and we're all of this stems from not just from okay there's drug traffic organization illegal cartel cartel guys grown we'd like that's bad enough in and of itself but where the real travesty comes in that you'll gleam from from reading the book and what i'd like you to spend a couple the minutes on is talking about the environmental damage yeah these guys do in two main key areas which is water reclamation or diverting of water assets in a in already drought ridden <hes> bone-dry fucking state to begin with and then even more so with the illegal pesticides rodenticide died things of that nature that they're smuggling from mexico that are enormously fucking catastrophic and that they're in the tons of gallons. Can you speak league to those two key areas that that really justifies putting this level of asset and manpower and resources behind to combat bad for sure and i get that california's going to be an example of this because it's so wide spread but again we got national impacts on our waterways like you just mentioned mentioned my and these band poisons are everywhere in the country so up until about twenty fourteen thousand fifteen. We didn't know the magnitude of how how much water these guys divert for these grows so when we were in our peak drought and this was one of the biggest routs california's had century in texas has droughts montana has droughts and all of the states go through it but the thing about it is we didn't have the science to quantify how much water they need for these marijuana plants and in hot outdoor grow where most these cartel hillgrove are. You're talking ninety five hundred degree days through that whole ninety day window for that one harvest to happen <hes> you're looking at ten to twelve gallons of water per day per plant in an average grow is five thousand plants yeah for ninety days and that's kind of a small grow we get in twenty thousand plant grow ninety days at ten to twelve gallons a plan. You're talking hundreds hundreds of millions of gallons from just a few grows of the water. These guys are diverting right. Whether it's a drought or not that's catastrophic <hes> and then not only are you stealing all that water that our resources need whether it's farming wildlife drinking water and drinking water we had you know native american tribes in humboldt county in twenty fourteen when we restart the med programme peak drought literally a couple of days from turn on their faucets not having drinking cooking or showering water because cartel growers were point so so much water from the rivers that are now dry. They're getting the underground sources so that's a huge issue and not only are they stealing it but they're diverting it so they're they're drying up a creek that could be two three ten twenty miles long within days so everything in that in that watershed is going to die when you talk about the ban poisons and they've been here for twenty years we really started to learn the magnitude of how dangerous the they are about ten years ago then we started to get even more science about five years ago when they started to show up not in one at every two cartel gross but about nine out of ten cartel grows and their carbon they're called carbo fury in their mm-hmm trade names like metaphors q. iran for it in and essentially they were ban by the e._p._a. Twenty years ago because they're so toxic it's a felony to possess awesome in anywhere in the u._s. and they're now still made in third world countries so all those cartel elements get outta tijuana primarily and the only thing they have to smuggle mogul besides their tier one bedded growers across our border very easily is the poisons the guns the infrastructure waterpipe site location all the camping supplies is the marijuana seeds and clones. That's all supplied. It's all embedded here but they have to bring those poises with them so they're like a a big high-dollar commodity to bring in like a twelve sixteen ounce container the stuff so we started to see that extensively way back in the beginning. We didn't know how toxic it was. Put it in perspective like this water bottle. I'm drinking confront is a little smaller than carve your container but it's kind of a crystalline powder form until diluted with water mix like pink drink and i have some pictures in the book as you saw aw looks like a pink energy drink anything but but one container if you took an equal amount of minute doses would kill twenty six hundred people fatally just ingested this stuff was made direct originally for one container say twelve ounce container to mix with somewhere accessible us a five thousand gallons of water before it we get sprayed on legitimate agricultural crops and that was determined by the e._p._a. Toxic these guys mix it in three to five gallon backpack sprayers <music> stuff is nasty and we've got trail camera footage or or selfish from cell phones of these cartel growers even silicon valley by yosemite national park whiskey town national park. I mean all over the state and in other states where they're they are their backpacks bear in full cameras. It's going over the plants all over the flower in the bud that people are smoking okay on the black market kids in the mid west because that's where all this stuff goes on the soil. It's in the water and they're posing with all the animals killed. I've got a pitcher and it's in the book of one grower that we caught a year later. I had tackling with one of those backpack sprayers on fortunately we didn't get contaminated because the state contained but we found his phone from the earlier before the golden eagle you know protected raptor with one that came in ingested some of that water part of the plant within minutes. Just active ingredient reading in this stuff is a nerve agent that the nazis developed in world war two so it's basically a nerve toxin can seize up and you're done so nasty nasty stuff and what people need to realize is this is on a large majority of most almost all of all the black market cannabis. That's going all over america not only from california but grown and all the other states too and it's twenty five twenty seven percent teach c._e._o. Really potent people don't know what they're ingesting about. Half the cost of organic certified a dispensary weed and you're just you're smoking a slow death. Yeah kids kids in in medical patients now and again reading the book you know the those two components components you know the water and the environmental hazard through the poisons or something that again i never thought fucking twice about when it came till you'll grow when i started doing it yeah yeah currency and the pictures of fucking cougars and bare ma you know female bears with their cubs you fucking dead poisoned just all over the place ace and to me like if you're listening if nothing else pisses you off that fucking auto piss you off to see scores and scores of some some of these endangered and protected species big beautiful majestic creatures there there are being poisoned to death because these people are growing weed as well as poisoning the weed weed and flooding the u._s. market. Give everybody fucking cancer but you know so yeah. It's really nasty shit in. It's a really neat <hes> <hes> you know story about combating as you guys get fully sanctioned now hit the ground running and the two things that you alluded to that will will dive right into that. <hes> became really necessary. Components to your team and force multipliers were the canine teams and the sniper elements and what's neat eight and reading this this book and seeing parallels between really a notion special operations unit is is you guys mirrored both in necessity and operationally you know what a special operations unit in the military is in terms of needing kind of all encompassing right. You know the right weaponry. The right guy is the right training the right platforms. The air assets the different components of the team. I e canine sniper overwatch to be able to truly be effective. You've combating some of these guys in the tactics that they're using like to talk about the canine teams i because i'm a canine guy. I can't wait for that. You know so if you could talk about the the canine experiences and the full force multiplier that they brought to the table and bring bring the listener up to speed all things things canine canine i mean again we could talk about canines for days man experience you have and and how much you love your dogs and and what you're doing great on the canine front and and really what our departments do and it really started about two thousand seven two thousand eight on mission croix road mission encroach road up yeah that was a two thousand twelve ob- <hes> that was the one mission where canine fabian in her hammer brian boyd came down to help out and their help santa clara county operation that santa clara county sheriffs were running. We didn't have a formalized team yet. So we were members of the team equals but from the game warden front and and brian had he was becoming kind of legendary. I mean he and phoebe developed into a well oiled machine. They had that symbiotic relationship that i read about yearbooks books with your handlers and the different dogs man it was one of those just you know one thousand one million canine handler combinations. They bonded instantly instantly now when they started and i wanna backstory it a little bit because i think it really appreciate this. There was a lot of trial and error you know we were coming from different techniques and different trainers how certify these dogs and these are mostly belgium mills like we use them. You know your special forces dogs and they're trained and sent detection and everything else in in addition addition to biting when they need to and phoebe had all of that going on but she tested really well in kind of rural flatlands and rolling hills in an urban environment because at the time it was mostly police canine apprehension dual purpose dog training and we trained police do but then we had to go out into the game world and not only work on a track for poached the animal in the woods but now you're doing after cartel guys in one hundred degrees and you know sent is doing weird things when things heat up and you know it's it's hard on the dogs eggs yeah because it's a long day just hydrating him can be a problem and then identifying that type of suspect through all of that cover and not miss identifying that suspect and buying our officers and phoebe had for the first couple of years. She never been officer. She was one of those dogs that had like goldilocks not to hard not too soft. Social had great prey drive. You know her ball drivers great. She did really well but she was missing bad guys some of these guys because she was just getting a glimpse of him losing sight of them maybe getting confused with other officers terrain obstacles or whatever the case may be but after a training that brian brian kind of had ad hoc himself and he kinda work himself into being our lead trainer in the agency <hes> for that particular mission. She just became one hundred percent dog ugh. Yeah i mean certainly she would miss a bite. If a guy got you know slipped down a trail or she got into an obstacle or it was longer deployment but very often than nine <hes> <hes> especially for the last five years of her career. She never missed a by the cool thing about that dog and it just you know we lost her to leukemia here in just last year just last july and in two thousand eighteen and we knew it wasn't gonna last forever and the fact that she got twelve years of operations in those conditions was miracle. You know we were we were betting against time and we when we when we lost a lot more on her to see one hundred sixteen bytes. Yeah i mean for for anybody listening outside the canine industry i mean that's you really almost don't ever hear that where a canine has that many certified legitimate fucking live bites. You know there's been some dogs done seven eight nine. Fucking deployments in afghanistan on iraq did have triple digit numbers but in the full spectrum of of the canine industry. That's an absurd amount of his craze of apprehensions and again. It's just really cool to to read all the stories the the sizzle reel video that will include if with your permission epsilon the on the <hes> when we post and promote the show will will include that in and it shows her dog generally speaking in this environment working that and <hes> i think paints a pretty good picture as to aid the environment that they're working in and how challenging it can be also just the good work that those dogs are putting in in that environment. We were talking about it before. We sat down you know is is absolutely a challenging environment. Were there protocols. How's that you guys had to kind of. Learn the hard way in terms of you know once you put that that dog through its initial academy with the handler and they're certified and ready ready to go live on the street so to speak in the field in this case. Can you talk us through some of the challenges of of incorporating them in early on in some of the problems that you encounter yeah for sure getting back to how we got phoebe really delta as premier dog it was training her in those environments. We worked magro sites clothing and sent you know these growers wear and obviously a certain smell that develops when they're living and they're living no medically in these encampments and hot days five six seven months straight if they're not caught so you know developing around clothing seen from the dog or from the growers different instruments that are in those camps and just getting our dogs familiar with that environment and putting them through you know our testing facility and the facility we train on for for med for dogs. Enter operators is a real site. Yeah i mean we take them through man's anita trails and they go on a long long hike and follow man tracks or the dog has to follow us in on those man tracks and then get into a grow site where all these visual obstructions and physical obstructions and going through man's tunnels down rocks and then finding a guy that's in abide suit obviously and doing a canine apprehension style but reacting like these guys do and the hard part about it is obviously these guys have a lot to lose and everything to gain everything to gain if they can get away from the dog and they know that hat so they fight a lot you know even under a good dog with a good bite and phoebe bit hard you know in some of our bigger dogs bite a little harder but on these guys you know l. hit him with rocks. They'll stab him. I mean we we started to see our dogs and our federal partners dogs getting so effective from about twenty fifteen twenty sixteen on the cartels knew that and they knew that if a team comes in with a dog and they're a tight team is going to be a bad day and more and more grocer being lost more and more growers are being get lost two bites so they developed tactics to have one of their guys take a bite and instead of pulling a gun and probably a little bit longer deployment before for catching up to that dog those guys take that bite on the arm or the shoulder in the leg and then they'd have fixed blade knife you know eight ten inches or maybe a carb dearborn sheath or you you know a little shake and go for that jugular vein and we lost a federal dog to establish. That was an effective dog that puts the halt on teams operations. They know that you know trips this everybody up <hes> we had another federal dog a great partner dog that was stabbed. Almost critically survive surgery came back to work and phoebe. Was you know i'm a football fan and i think in the n._f._l. Concussion protocol that crazy. I missile of ours. You must've been mike no joke. She was concussion protocol. I can think of six or seven times throughout or tire. Fire were hit with rocks and she was hit with rocks or that. You know they'd take a big hatchet or they grab like a pan or or some big heavy implement a big big heavy dense would log or something up in camp on these run outs and what we noticed that was really interesting when we were filming wild justice fee would have like a gopro tiber contour camera on her and sometimes she would stay on a pursuit and the guy would shake her but she wouldn't give a and we might be a little too far behind that dog and brian's fast but he's not a thirty two mile on our fast guy chasing chasing that firm missile and by the time he catches up. She's got him but she's a little shaken quite acting herself. In what's up sweet you know and then we go back and look at the footage skillet yo you see the blows come into her head from a big piece of granite. You see blade coming out. I mean she was taken hits. It made us realize that the time that dog is away from us for even a couple of seconds and that suspect might be screaming or going silent if he's a real tough one. There's all kinds of drama going on the dog. So it gets to change in tactic shorter deployments we are we're right on our dogs and after losing a few you you know but you could see what effect they were having for for these guys to actually take a heart bite avoid getting shied pulling a gun and then go ahead and try to take that by take that dog out they they knew it was that that effective or or your dogs typically not wearing vests because of the heat usually that's it and i get that question a lot by guys the no and we do have s for them. We have some of the best you know. We have the best equipment and really when you mentioned how the team was formed. My whole thing was there's no reason the domestic game working team with these guys skill sets and their commitment to the job can't train on par with like a seal team and having a twenty year veteran seal on the team <hes> <hes> having the best trainers on the team. We wanted our dogs to be trained in the highest level with the highest best equipment and by the time. I left the team when money was starting to come in. We were getting the lightest body armor. You're really good night vision but still it's if we're doing a short yeah. We're early in the morning doing an urban rate on a home. The dogs are always data and they are armored anytime. We can't in the woods but the is you know is just it's gonna crush them. Yeah i mean even mess with canine storm at all. They've got a stab proof often ballistic vests. That's probably as far as i know is the lightest out there and it's a lot lighter everything by quite a bit yeah. We're actually run. The store company. Great stuff can't recommend enough. It's pricey but you pay for well worth it in my opinion but the problem is is that while that's fucking way better than nothing that's not a guarantee guarantee either you know and it's not going to protect us actually a cast iron skillet the fucking melanie either so you know yeah and it doesn't really get much of their neck protected and and <hes> so yeah i mean for sure i'd rather have them the not then again you're balancing act of one hundred and seven fucking degrees and argue call you're covering the entire dog's body also even if it's light it's still extra material and weight and whatever else you know so. It is a tough tough balancing act. Were there any i know the talk about the first season where canine champ came on and had some miss deployments or missed engagements and then kind of went back to square one and came back and has been an impressive force multiplier star these days hungry and would you say that there were a number of dogs where their first few deployments or even the first season they were struggling with without or very much because because of the has the is that pre when you had this magro facility or since since sandman that as that curbed a lot of is curb a lot a lot of it if it's the right dog and like like i read your book and how well you articulate the differences dogs. I think somebody that really doesn't know you know operational canines to do the hard jobs they gotta do rather it's apprehension detection or whatever in the environments you both worked in. You can have the best trainer you can do. The best is training. We can do a magro. We can train them for months and sometimes they just don't have the spirit yeah we've and we've had some brother in the agency that our apprehension dogs but but you get them in a grow and they freeze up or they they hesitate halfway into the deployment and these are these are really these are the most violent violent like we talked about so. There's no room for a hesitation dog. We need that can't just like that perfect balance. A dog and phoebe was that and it took awhile to get there. I'm like you mentioned champ. There's there's a dog that had it. He just needed the time and you know we were so pressed to get phoebe after she was at she was about about two hundred fourteen bytes. I think was number and on top of that. We had eight or nine nine hundred arrests where she bathed. The guy in the guys gave up yeah so so you know she did a lot of arrests outside of having to buy it which was cool. I had to outer a couple of times when brian was tied up on an arm suspect and get into a quick dog story will relate to this question. Get the dog that won't be hard out. It will always come off on the on the outcome and even in the most crazy situation she was that one champ some other harder dogs not so much took a while to get there but we just wanted to see phoebe healthy and make retirement because she was old she was twelve years old and but she was the best dog we had advil and and business wasn't stopping for the cartels so she ended up like you mentioned earlier going back to work come out of retirement and we took that retire unit back in and to work a season so jam needed one season and she got through that season safely got to one hundred sixteen got to deploy with her on that last by that last ass mission and then we you know semi retired and before she got sick but to your point that's exactly the situation champ had 'em. He just needed time to get there and he needed a handler that understood him and push him too hard to break him. Just like you write about your book so my handlers now are all about your book. Just letting you know and we're going to do more with that man off the air but yeah but that's just so tough man business. Oh it is it's weird or animals there and then can explain it to them and find that that happy medium we use the term unicorn a lot right in the head it really is it's hard to find couple of things that i thought fascinating and really cool to to read about and if you could speak to it a little bit as multi byte engagements or deployments women were you know on on one grow. Bust dog is getting two three four bites. Can you share one story where there was a multiple bite. I sure will we had had well. We have a couple of differences where phoebe in her career she got. She got doubles a lot of doubles. Where there we go in quietly and we work. You know just very safely. We get in quiet and the these guys are spread out. You know maybe have some of cam. If you have someone to grow maybe some coming down down the trail. We just you know get him quietly in custody and we know that the way the topography is it's amazing how much noise you think you make but no one hears wind yeah right with with rolling hills where you happen to be in the wind stack and we were all that one there in the santa cruz county when i talk about sierra zule that massive massive one that was no doubt my mind it was the same organization that ran the one that shot my partner in two thousand five now they're over the hill and santa cruz county because no one's enforcement over there and we get in there and we had three missions in there in three years every season and it was always called asshole alley panetta somewhere. I'd live right right. Mike red hot. It was asshole alley. All those growers were violent. They never wanted to give up. They either gonna fight us with fists. They were gonna pull knives. We're going to be guns so when i would plan missions with the team on that. It was like okay. This needs to be a dog festival so we'll take we'll take brian's dodd and nick right buck our new handler and he groomed up under under brian a little bit outstanding handler has a great dog so we you got two of our dogs on point doing their thing and then we bring in the sheriff's office and we bring in you know the santa clara dog who brian and phoebe and our team helped kind of grew up in entrain with and now they're out there an amazing male big big big biter good guy you know more drive than the your he's rock solid and and we're hunting some of those those canyons guys are coming in coming in you know it's like one guy we grab and one guy doesn't quite give up and he starts pulling. The knife. Phoebe gets that bite. He doesn't make too much noise too quick. We get her off the bite and we just kinda. Go silent just like we're still hunt and you just wait and just listen and go kay we middle noise that sounded a little dramatic but was only it might have been twenty seconds and it was a short engagement and no one the wind was in our face early morning. We're going uphill so hey. This is as good. Let's keep hunting so we just keep moving up that we see a couple of their processors and they got guns and it's quite an announcement. It's good for our safety as well and without go into much into all of the particulars she goes and she gets a second deployment. He doesn't give a she gets her second by and we got him she never had had more than a double and then fast forward. We go back to my old stomping grounds with riverside county. This actually happened right. After i retired i was talking the guy's a great story. I was hearing from on this and phoebe retired. She's sick and we haven't lost yet but bryan's down when champ camp and we got our other dog down there you know next dog and we're doing our thing and all of a sudden i started getting calls from bolt handlers as soon as they have cell coverage there in the middle of nowhere miles deep in the canyon and and it's funny because the calls and texts coming in like seconds apart and they're just trying to get covered so they can tell the story and knicks like i got a triple knows oh shit. I got a triple brian never got a triple. Brian's got a triple but he wants his one of those things is where i went. Oh guys i just did anything to see that but then you know get the phone call the debrief and that was one where it was just armed guys everywhere yeah so like you know brian's dog got to that day but got a couple three and it just because they were hunting very meticulously and carefully and and my thing if we have the time and we can be patient we could spend seven tenths of the of the fifteen hour twenty hour that window just hunting with canines and it's a fine line operationally like how how long do i keep my guys out there on the hunt when i know we still got ten thousand plants to eradicate and that's physical yeah probably have contaminated so we're going to be wearing natural stuff protective protective equipment. It's one hundred degrees. Take three or four hours to do that and we're gonna try to reclamation or at least stabilized for reclamation later. It's a fine line and sometimes i've. I've we've had to pull back and just call the hunt yeah and there could be more guys but we've got the area secured. Our dogs are good enough like dogs you work with we could track those guys five miles away and probably catch him if we put another two days into it but there's kind of a point of no return churn brian's and brother and he would always go. I it just just a little farther. John and i get tired. I mean we're we're getting to the point where your dog and i'm losing calms with. You're getting out there and your support. We're too spread spread out. There was a parallel to vegas that fits that like it's just one more fucking one more batman. I'm just going to spend more time yeah. The <hes> i mean we again. We can talk about the dog stories all day. One thing that i i did think of just in in hearing you talk about you know the pain in the ass at the reclamation. Is i wonder you may maybe something bring up the flagpole. I don't know maybe it's a role in the days too big but you know the same way that they have correction facilities. People picking up fucking can trashy side of the road. Obviously you'd have to shake shake down hard before they come back so they're going to have we'd shoved up their ass fucking hidden in their gums and their nose and their the fucking wherever you know put them to fucking work you know like whatever jurisdiction whatever the nearest correction facility is you know outsource. Hey here's your list fucking shit. Go go cleanness. That's a great idea that would be the most relevant effective way for community service to work off and it would work and we even have the idea well. Hey if a if these deportable felons aren't getting deported and they're going to be processed through our courts with some some non sanctuary state counties and courts due to a point. Why can't we put those growers back into cleaning up their mess yeah. Let's let's supervise them if we had the infrastructure to do it. It's kind of a good way yeah yeah. It is back to canine real quick before we get into the snipers. There's two things one is there. Is there one bite that stands out as being just because i'm more fuck. Is there a nastiest bite that that comes to mind. That was the most damage done that you can talk about yeah. There's one <hes> an it's too i wanna talk about one wasn't as morbid but it was pivotal twenty twelve case with corrode that i want to share if you don't mind <hes> but the most pivotal one that was the most damaging <hes> was mission. We did up aso alley so it was like the first year in there and <hes>. We didn't have our dog that day. Hey brian was even though we had our team. Brian was needed somewhere else. Already committed to emission nick wasn't on the team didn't have a dog yet and then we had the whole problem them of what we really need a dog in this area and the nice thing is we had our our brothers from santa clara county sheriff's and now they have a dog and they have a really good dog anybody's real he bites hard and he's a big mouth big big male. I'm gonna say eighty aviation in wait. He's a big boy and he's fucking. Angry is a little angry and he's light speed you know and he's just one of those dogs and his handler has him. You know <hes> bark does a great job with him and we had those guys with us and and this was it's an aggressive crew. This was three processors all in cam and we're hiding behind a brush pile their fifteen yards from us but you can't get directly to them. We had to literally go around a big brush obstruction russian and for the listener these guys are so skilled that wherever that and the grow they have escaped planned and they've been in this train ride two three four five months already so it's their backyard hard. It's the bedroom it's their kitchen. We're in their world and trying to know how to be quiet to get to them and where they're going to the rabbit out to they have the advantage and these guys had off caught off shotgun a forty five automatic pistol and some other guns and sure enough one of them had the gun was going for it and we finally made the announcement and and their canine nas he just i've never seen a big dog move so fast and do a u-turn a hairpin and literally flip his hips out flying through the air to get around that brush pile and then we just heard the screams on the other side. The gun was dropped and when we got up there there team leader was covering me with the rifle. I was back in barka barca and there we are with this guy and he was armed it. It was a big boy but there was a lot of the inner are missing me. It took a big chunk of flesh and there was a big chunk of flesh on the ground and i just went. Oh my gosh. I'm going to get this guy and i was able to stop the bleeding. We did an israeli lepage nice and tight but he was demoralized man. I mean it was there was there was a lot of arm missing and you know unless he wasn't on that very long but but he didn't want to give up we had we had to do a heart out that down but so you save the day and save some lives well yeah. I mean and that's the in canine. There's that disparity or that fine line of you know every one of them that will actually engage will will fuck somebody up but there's there is a different level right where where i don't give a fuck who you are or how hard you are like that that notion that tactic of law give them the arm and then bring. This is not gonna work with some of them like that. They do so much damage so so fast to where it's it's just it's i think it's a primal instinctual reaction of of you know self preservation of that that you know you're not gonna try to stab it like you're going to try to minimize the amount of damage that the dog is doing and those dogs are different level but in that case brother or other we needed that level of force and because this guy was a big guy he was tough and he was pulling a weapon hardcore and if nas had gone any lighter on him i still think because it was this arm and he had the other arm free and the other side and the left side he would pulled you know so he we needed. We needed to have you by that day. It was the right dog sure absolutely the last dog question. I have or will spend the rest of the time talking about them. Is i did notice <hes> something that was that seemed to be atypical. Canine world is it looked like it had three females right. Phoebe luna zoe is up yeah <hes> which to to me. I was like christ you you. You rarely hear of a female. It'll run. Three on one small unit was at just total coincidence or were was there. It was really getting down to <hes> what dogs look the best and you know our our canine command staff in our trainers helped. Choose choose those dogs but when it comes to a dog that's gonna go to the mat team. Especially it's real critical that buck and ryan are in that selection process s. and brian. Can you know like you said so much experience around dogs he knows exactly what to look for in the initials and then gets you know we usually work with breeders that we can work with them for a while and it's kind of like a warranty if you will and if it starting to work or their signs that it's not gonna work and we're going to give it the college try. We're not gonna just take a dog from a breeder here and we're feeling a little weird you know after a couple of weeks i mean it's going to be a season or half a season. Whatever but the thing we kept finding is phoebe was one of those wanted a million females. She just happened to be the perfect balance and that was splurge talked about the relationship with brian zoe happened to be a very small dog but but she had all the trades and like when you talk about canine warriors of having all five of those traits balance that you hardly ever see so we for a little micro missile had had all those traits and buckton only see it but bryant side and when the two of them looked at that dog together and said you know what she small but she's actually ideally suited for this environment. She'll be super fashionably hard to stab and she was biting pretty darn hard for size so she just bydesign. We didn't look at gender. She just happened to work out great and then the craziest thing about that like i put the book is she's having a a i i mean like an olympic gold medal career first season and she's she's approaching thirty bytes in a season working side by side with phoebe working her own missions together apart were spread out and be because we had gone through all the trial and error that phoebe went through so we were ready and this dog comes in and this dog. Was you know she she had at the heart to be with the team. She loved the team you know she was a energy drive of the her pray drive especially high for female crazy and she went to work out of the gate and just immediately immediately because again another great handler combination with bone in her second thirty bytes crazy. What for the listener. What is the season spam. Uh our seasons starts as early as late april on a real dry year on a wet year. It starts in may and we're going to be going till about october. Yeah give or take and we're doing. You know we're doing a mission. We we're doing a mission day somewhere in the state every week and we're working weekends too because we mix it up so nobody can predict when we're gonna come so there's a lot of missions dogs do no more than one mission day and if it's been a couple of days a real hot weather and she's both those dogs of deployed several times or they've done on long hikes we get to a point where they're gonna need arrest thirty to hydrate. You know they might have an injury. They might have got concussed which you know maybe informally and our handlers handlers are good buffers at that but zoe was on her way to doing exactly what phoebe was doing in her career even quicker because a learning curve was eliminated by two or three years and then all of a sudden she's sick and we get this leukemia thing diagnosed and she comes straight from belgium checked out through a breeder. She had no signs of any issues and we get into the poisons yeah. That's what i was going to say for the listener. That's a huge environmental hazard for the dogs with you. Guys got close on gloves. You're also so self aware that hey these things are covered will they. They're fucking oblivious to it so they're running through. You know getting the shit on missour- obviously that's a huge component on it. I mean are you guys battling the dogs right afterwards and you know to that point mike and it got really really things got really western on the poison talks toxicology ecology front with these poisons two years ago when some federal officers not even in california were exposed to it <hes> the carbo feron on another marijuana situation back on the east somewhere and i mean almost fatally these guys were really sick and federal osha came down on four service national parks and said wait a minute. No we're going into gross till we sort this out. You know all the protection protocol d-conn onside a uniform day. You're not wearing the same cameras hammo you gotta wear boots that are slick you can econ- with the right wives and we were doing all that protocol and we followed suit from the state level. We kept doing missions but there was no canine. P protocol really being developed officially. We started to see it and it was that it was washing them down. It was get him at getting them out of the grow environment firemen as quick as possible especially on a growing considered contaminated. We do a site assessment every mission we go on and if we see kind of it looks like white bird poop or splotches and it's actually selena white forum and it hasn't tried to be invisible when it's about a fourteen day window when this stuff is at its maximum toxicity. We won't even touch the plants in with protection gear. We want to advocate located. We won't contaminate. Nets you know it's one of those things where we're gonna have to give it some time. We'll watch the gross someone just come in and rip it but what we won't do is risk us or the dogs but if we see this stuff oliver gross side we keep the dogs out of that area we keep them in a clean water source good soil even then we're looking at some sort of natural pop protector where they can still have traction and that's a new science getting some sort for that absorption problem through their paws. You know making sure they they never drink water and a grow even if it looks like a pristine check dam or it's come round the creek. It's always camelback extra water bottles because these guys put the crap in the water source. They're not like dominant on each plant so we can't prove it. We can't prove that zoe was poisoned but given our experience. There's a high likelihood that was the problem and for a dog like that to the sudden just out of the blue she was barely to ya 'cause i think is pretty pretty much there but with heaven three female kinds i know my thoughts on at night but i know the listener is gonna want me to ask did you guys spe them or are and if you didn't did their heat cycles impact their workability at all did that play any any factor or role in their operational it didn't and and <hes> and they were they were spe yeah yeah early on it was one of those things where after that happened to phoebe and everybody saw phoebe developed into trainers operators breeders canaan but they're like oh man we would really like to have some puffs phoebe in another good mail. It was one of those things that just didn't want to risk that you know any type of you know distractions any type of problems in the heat cycle happened to happen in the middle of operational season and they're working with a lot of male dogs it was it would have just been a mess so that that's what arcane canaan guys in canaan coordinators elected to do yeah yeah <hes> so what the sniper team integration that you know was there a specific acidic mission that kicked off or was kind of the the light switch of realizing holy shit we need sniper integration and if so what what was that and how did it get born into the program program that's a great question my two reasons we felt a sniper program was going to be really beneficial in med but not only format but to help all of our divisions asians in in in the wildlife branch and also other agencies first and foremost we had been on so many grow sites and a lot of them are too dense where an overwatch is really going to work but you get a percentage of gross at a really big <hes> that you can kind of be a bird's eye view and you can see everything going on you can get you know <hes> patterns on the growers what they do how they move what time they move where they operate what they wear what guns they're pushing all of that and when i can put a pair of our delta team snipers the numbers up with good optics and capable of reaching out they can watch all morning all night and then cover the entry team coming in and something we made because we're a small team is we made a small lightweight intermediate two long-range platform that was high qabail so as soon as we're done and overwatch sniper element. We're not just packing it up and going to wait and you you know the i see we're going to integrate back in and be mobile to jump into something else. It was kind of a you know taking a little bit of stuff that we were seeing from seal team snipers being very mobile in the war on terror overseas and you know taking equipment and a lot of it had to do with good ballistic and you know weapon technology that you could get the right system hit accurately to the rangers you would need an optics that don't make the gun too heavy but great observation potential where you're not gonna shoot which most of the time we don't <music> obviously so they held a lot of we were able to get a sniper team going about five months into two thousand fourteen when met was officially full-time and and i also had the very hand small handful of guys that were already sniper trained obviously frog that was nine years seal team sniper and tots sniping. You know what a godsend right now so bringing him in. I had some experience i was already teaching it. All over the place you know had sniper systems and a lot of history there marcos was was a certified sniper. I had another operator. They're sharing. It's in the book he had already years ago. Come over to some of our santa clara county basic schools. It was very good rifleman and then we got a younger <hes> we got mac who is a younger sniper and came on later my number five but a a guy that was just a great shot in great shape motivated and we rounded out very nicely with guys that have the experience <hes> and it just it was good integrated training where it was seamless. You know we we get together multiple times throughout the month as it unit to train tactically rather it's canines grows defensive tactics snipers and then we integrate sniper training with canines ends with with entry team training all the time because the team works so tightly together so from a med standpoint that's where they were really good and then surveillance operations thanks for doing doing over watch for our patrol guys or other divisions commercial wildlife doing some high risk entry warrant where the threat matrix on the guys we're going after because there may be selling poaching abalone and selling this stuff on the black market but they've got an extensive island criminal history kind of nice to be able to watch those guys early on you. You know give a little eye in the sky that can they can. They can keep our guys save so after we reform. We're doing four five deployments a season. We were training all the time we're working with other agencies and still going strong so it was a nice added force multiplier and a little more officer safety enhancement to have that yeah i mean to me i i think just like with you know the natural aversion or the thought process of fuck you guys doing here. I think a lot of people like like why does game. Warden needs sniper yeah but you know the tactical side of of my experience like yeah. It's fuck a no brainer for for what you're doing to have one or two guys at different vantage points that are elevated that they can see shit and if need be take a shot. Has there been any real world sniper shots in your unit <hes> we have had we haven't had to shoot two legged bad guys but we've had to shoot some four legged notion. We've had to take out some some problem public safety the animals that without going in too much detail because some of it's pretty quiet and i didn't really go into it in the book by <hes> problem predators that were threatening seen some some real sensitive species and threatening people actually and it had to be sharpshooters that hike it really high elevation and get behind the right people tracking the animals to do a quick and clean and so we did out yeah yeah that was that was an somebody foresee coming yeah again another out out of the box morton deployment because so many different things yeah yeah no doubt one thing that i thought was neat man again you see it even with some of of our guys in terms of of being electra sneaky but if you could talk about some of the <hes> unconventional obscure methods that some of these cartels the guys are using the cover their tracks some of the over man yeah i know you're referring to some of those pictures and stories in hidden war but you know aw i show a powerpoint when i teach this to other agencies and different groups and even guys at work this just blown away by some of the stuff we find on trail camera what we find in some of these backpacks in when you see guys showing up on trail cameras with one hundred pound bags full of gross applies maybe they got a long long rifle shouldered with the with the sea bag they got a big spoonful of black poly pipe and a shovel sticking out well clues tell you pretty good chancer grow around but on the bottom of their feet feet or like these big white felt slippers and they're all tied off and they're doing across a gravel road leaving no tracks and i and i have a photo that actually shows that from two thousand fifteen case right santa declare a county in my you know my home of silicon valley and had we not seen those bad guys on camera we would've never attract them until somebody turned the grow in late in the season but they're so oh good at masking their tracks because we're looking at them on the ground there even doing stuff to try to keep their send down because they know dogs can track we even saw something as crazy as has wooden carved cattle hooves that with leather straps that they would put on the bottom of their feet and mass themselves cattle and you know for service in our national forest have cattle leases and so we're seeing an inordinate amount of cattle in areas and we're getting tips on gross hunters and hikers and i think it was in this canyon or maybe we see something something from the air. Someone's smells it and we're gonna look every avenue. We're not just going to drop in on that. Grow helicopter be a couple of guys on short-haul line being that pin you. You ought to get out of the sky. We're gonna go in on the ground inviting him the hard way. Do it safely so we would you know mile after mile trying to find this trail and we're seeing her cattle-tracks. Cadillac cows are getting high. Yeah whatever cows cow's stakes have never been higher right. No pun intended right uh-huh and sure enough brother. That's what they were doing. They were integrated with the cattle and then they were getting way into the deep into the woods taken the tracks off now now they're in an area where no one's looking thereby waterhole and then we found some of those in some in some bad guys backpacks we caught clever fucking treadmill trip yeah pongy pit pictures shit straight outta rambo or yeah i mean there there i mean we laugh about it but it's dangerous shit and they're dedicated and in and disciplined to their fucking 'cause going just one thing i forgot to ask about <hes> from the sniper standpoint and just armament in general i know we talked a little little bit about the beginning of the interview but you reference patriot ordinance factor which i have one of their five five six rifles but i'm i'm curious as that kind of your go to brand that you guys are using for both sniper in normal day-to-day and was it always the three guys rockin different calibre yeah yeah yeah good questions there. It is now our standard brand because we <hes> up until i want to say mid two thousands. We did not have a ah formalized standard patrol rifle for the entire agency. <hes> we had a rifle program. You provided your own and we have everything from thirty thirty lever actions to bolt actions to some guys a._r. Fifteen if they were a our guys are veterans from vietnam conflict because a lot of veterans from all the forces on our in our force and we need to do we needed to kind of change that when you solidify that and we had an opportunity to get military fourteen in great shape through the program on loan to us when we didn't have a lot of money as an agencies we got one hundred forty four true and fourteens valued about thirty thousand each these were full auto with the auto you know what basically data select removed but mil spec beautifully made by the four manufacturers they were big they were hefty but they were bulletproof shot great so we use that we supplemented the rest of the agency because we are about three hundred and fifty officers at the time with them when a scouts the fourteen with the twenty two inch barrel was cumbersome but i i had i had a a winchester am fourteen made by the winchester company that was just amazing but it was it was it was a big piece of equipment. We you're cutting down barrels. You know making them into just like you guys did on the teams. When you're in the fourteen early earlier we're making them as short as portable as possible putting red dots on them scout sites delta collapsing stocks but they were still a little big for the brush. We wanted to stay with three hundred because ballistics penetration in man's anita dirt in that type of country and then we tested weapons to replace that with something more efficient lighter more functional more economic and have we we decided our platform and we test just like twenty weapons on firearms committee kind of coast scene this whole test and you know we tested tested sieg. We tested f. n. We tested peo- f taste bravo company. We did five six direct impingement. We did piston drivers. We had like twenty guns out there. In in various calibers three hundred blackout wasn't wasn't happening quite yet unfortunately and you know a lot of us like the lighter weight five five sixes for the brushwork but ballistic tests. The overall vote was is. Let's stay with heavy calibre. Just suck it up. It's not gonna be pleasant every day but at least we know we're going to have this keller and from our patrol guys we weren't just developing a really you you know progressive weapons system for special operations because we don't have a formalized met team yet but the marijuana fights we are having catalyzed doing this for the whole agency so this pro this rifle nope was going to be for everybody which doesn't really happen in even any other police force so everybody was going to get a red dot a tactical light that we're going to have the sink colored you know cody green and tan <hes> it was going to be multiple magazines. We're gonna have a true. Do everything gun rather you had to shoot a you know public safety outlander bear with the big caliber. You had to be a perimeter on a bank robbery or you dealth active shooters a game warden i and you jump into that diamond stack or you're on a admission so we tested everything the only three companies that ended up putting bid at our specs were sig with seven sixteen but it wasn't quite finalized yet peo- f and f n for their scar heavy the h k didn't therefore sixteen we really i was really a big fan of four sixteen larry vickers come out. We i trained with larry. We had done stuff together and he was actually working for h. K. and he brought the four sixteen out to my santa. Clara buddies all those guys we talked about in the early days and i wanted a four sixteen four seventeen but they wouldn't build it the way we wanted. We needed with shorter barrel now. We needed it colored right. We needed an optic in h k with such big powerhouse we were. We were gonna order. Four hundred guns small fish was it was a little too small so we looked at the city we look to the f. <hes> and then we went ahead and the scar heavy was was the third in price and it was based on price point g._s._a. We with the lowest bid. All three were good companies. Sings league's technology wasn't quite there yet but they really really be in progressive and lovesick platforms on on every level but they didn't pass the test. We had a six thousand round torture test which is mimicking the five five six four test that all the military branches use but there's no real torture test higher pressures of three oh eight. We said hey if a if for three away day or platform can hold up to what they florida's and actually make it. It's probably going to be a pretty good platform so sigma came in slightly under cost cost of peo was under scar the f. n. So we just went in order and when unfortunately the six seven sixteen didn't pass us we tested franks piston driven three away the bigger version that what we call the heavy guns because they have a new revolution and and it ran on rails. It was sewing machine. We did six six thousand rounds and cleaned. Every five you know we had there's items like extractors and seven six to go quick the extractor kind of broke it like twenty six hundred rounds. It's only supposed to go about twelve hundred fifteen hundred of the time we were fine with it. It didn't fail. It was replaceable part. That was a lot of punishment frank. The owner was kind of pissed off watching test. He goes. I can engineer that better so he built a bigger extractors for ten thousand or whatever did but it held up and then we rent those guns runs for for years and a lot more economic you know i been pushing to have some sort of red dot in some sort of light system like my shares. There's partners had no five. When we have the shooting. I mean i was trying to find my target in dim light at first light through brush with all this movement through a peephole standard ironside inside and a front blade on eighteen inch barreled m fourteen and obviously working off a died and training on a dog with all these other weapons. Yes it was it was an extreme disadvantage that day and i said if nothing else let's get dots but again we weren't in the mindset agency to have special weapons for special guys yeah but when the p._o. Came on board. We said well everybody special. Let's make this a patrol rifle that s the special ops can use and that's what we've been running and then and just last year we went to the new revolution and they made a nice fourteen and a half inch barrel version from their sixteen inch version so it's it's an enforced sized platform on an informed frame holds up well to seven six to the whole thing ways right at seven pounds yeah so that's what we're running now now now. That's a that's a damned rifle. No doubt about it. I know i was a big fan of their p._d. W shorter cool v._r. Things pretty bad ass but they said with the with the rattler for me the perfect mix of everything really because with a with a lighter grain hundred and ten hundred and twenty grain bullet. You can absolutely go as far as you need to with it. Yeah it's got crazy. Drop on it but just accommodate for it the same way you would anything else van brother you hit it on the head with that platform and now that i have one and i'm shooting montana. I jokingly like i said i told my buddies back home in there like you know what sucker and we just can't have that in callie riot that short bill restriction on that but it is such a good platform and you know and that's really what teams like this that can do that in other states need to look at. I was just at that national conference talking to game words all over the state that are no having this problem and they're looking at forming airman teams and they're in states where they could run rally yeah and they just might yeah so it's good ship or it's so moving forward towards the end of the book and in getting into some of the kind of political challenges that you face you talk about the sanctuary and ice restrictions that some of these yeah assholes of implemented that makes your job way weighed more dangerous on and much harder if you could talk to the frustrations that you've we've had specifically in the state of california with with some of that stuff yeah i think the biggest thing is everybody understanding that you know we uh we didn't put him out to be anti immigration mess age or to be you know a build a wall message or any of that i mean the reader's going to derive what they're going to derive from it and something something we learned to answer the question kind of multidimensional like one of the chapters i go into debriefing some of these upper level grow bosses telling us your borders nothing. You know they're laughing. They're like you deport. One of my tier one growers that i want back up there to make money. It's going to cost me four to seven thousand dollars. He'll be back in a day. He's going to do his thing things so that's just a speed bump on texas highway four seventy two. It's not even really anything so we know that to be a fact of how that's perceived from the bad guy aside but in california we are sanctuary state and there's other states now that are and something we experienced firsthand. Was you know when you're told by your upper echelon that you can't talk is you can't talk to homeland security or your federal brothers and sisters and my policy where we're mandated to because we are federally lee sworn that's frustrating and i know that's politics but it's politics. They don't really add up to the fact that i don't think anybody i would like to think anyone under the sanctuary state doctrine of making that you know a policy say in the state of california or thinking. They wanted to hide her protect deportable felons. I mean these are not legitimate. People trying trying to do legitimate immigration chase the american dream. These guys aren't going to be legal anywhere. International watch list or connex history convictions rape and weapons use and we gotta remember what these guys are really about and what they really lacking respect for humanity in health and human safety or wildlife so ah being told that when were you know into a case with a deportable felon in a gunfight and told you can't work with federal authorities that can do something with this from their mandate. Hey that is frustrating and it's contradictory to i think what we will what we should be doing for national security and also the preservation of our the protection and of our wildlife wild lands and waterways. Yeah i agree a hundred percent. I found myself <hes> becoming era irritable not too hard to do and frustrated in reading some of the things most specifically in the punishments in how lax they were right and so if you can you give us for example of of a will say a run of the mill where an average sentencing for some of these guys you're busting most time seems like it panned out to be a slap on the dick. If that a lot of times it was next to nothing the only way we got real good penalties on a cannabis cannabis case or we even get them prosecuted and i've just thank heaven for environmental crimes and left and the right the users and non-users cannabis everybody the agrees. No one wants to see poison water. No one wants to see all the wildlife in america destroyed and so we have a sympathetic jury no matter how you know no matter how pro cannabis cannabis somebody is to what these guys are doing in the environment when we bring in the ban poisons in the felonies when we bring in the water diversions poach deer. You're starting to get into felonies status status. You're starting to get judges and prosecutors that will give these guys several years in prison and our prisons yeah in our prisons and a lot of times unless unless it's a state that's gonna work with ice and there's not a sanctuary state where i can handle this. They're going to get deported and hopefully handled you know out of state and and not tie up our tax dollars as well as continued to any more damage that we have in our wildlands but by and large. It's taken a lot of years to get decent. Penalties and i still feel they are two. They are two light and so you're i'll pose a hypothetical me being a former seal when an american citizen if i go to the state of california and i have an a._k._47. Fully auto bright ran and i pulled over with that what's going to happen to me yeah exactly i'm i'm fucked. You're done -pletely fucked your fill and renegade man but but here you've got people who aren't even american citizens that are fucking up waterways that are poisoning wildlife that are shooting at law enforcement officers not citizens with full auto fucking guns foul. Just kick you back to your fucking country and you'll be here tomorrow or they give them. You know the the harshness of their penalty stems more from from polluting water than it does a firearm charge. I i and i would just ask how the fuck is that possible. Yeah it's baffling to us and you know when we go into this from the standpoint of wildlife officers and start to you see this type of environmental criminal and look at all the things that are wrong with the program <hes> and you know it gets down. I've always said this. I mean take any particular personal bias out of the equation. Where do you draw the line and finally say there's a black and white line. It's just gotten so gray of one agenda that wants to promote legitimate immigration which i completely understand anything against that but when you start kind of downplaying what's really are we going on from the standpoint of these deportable felons that kind of taint that image of that agenda. You've lost it. You know you've lost it for loss for. I think national security for one in for to be passionate about wildlife and growing up the way i did and why wouldn't the direction as a game warden <hes> it just infuriates me and it's disgusting to see this impact. Now one thing i can say is there's a little more of a distinction in california with our new governor to say okay. What are these trespass growers ores. How different are they. Oh they are deportable felons. They are cartel okay well. We're not going to hide that anymore. We're gonna bring the national guard. We're gonna support met so <hes> i didn't. I wasn't sure what what was going to happen with the new administration and i wasn't sure what was going to happen in lieu of the retirement and the next phase from it but they are getting the support and there is that distinction between that deportable felon and the sanctuary state for immigration however that's that's perceived well. It is good to hear for sure. I mean there's plenty of room. I'm to grow but <hes> you know that's step one. I guess one thing that i have no doubt the listener maybe thinking and i know i did and you and you address it towards the end of the book before i go there just on the youtube channel. One thing i thought was awesome fucking. We we plan foil foil embossed on the hardcover. Publishers are really out of a man who said we're we're gonna make it vivid that fact a former state game warden with a book the we'd leave on priceless in any rate p. People are undoubtably thinking okay. We'll legalizing. It should fix that right. You go to pretty pretty great. Lengths in some of the appendices had the end having some other other people's contributions to part of the problem talks talks about that. Can you talk to legalization the pros and the cons and the little impact that at first you would think we'll legalizing. It should help with abbott. A bit really hasn't can you. Can you talk to that yeah absolutely cannon. I it's interesting mike that it's funny how so many people look at an easy solution and and they don't look at the bigger picture when you try to blanket solve a problem and everyone told us when met was formed back in two thousand thirteen we knew regulation legalization was just a couple years off if that and even guys within our own agency are like so you guys are gonna build this trick team and put all these resources into it. It's going to be legal in like two years at the most. You're going to be out of a job okay. Let's dive into the issue and really see if we're going to be out of a job. I had so many people you know with the first book and outreach and training same thing like oh man well now that it's legal man. I'm glad this has gone away and i'm like let me show you pitcher u._b. Powerpoint give you a little story. Here's the rub with with regulation. There's a debate of regulation can work or not to stop this so far in every state. That's regulated that i've seen especially in california. I mean people are trying to do it right to stop op this or allegedly but it's not working the way it's designed and here's why when we regulate on the legal front for recreation or medicinal. You know you have permits you need. You're now inspected by groups. You have organic standards water. You standards all of this just like any legitimate. Enterprise costs money to get ramped up up. You have to pay your taxes. You have to be inspected. You have to have an amicable relationship with us another cannabis inspecting entities or department official wildlife or others <hes> and honestly what i can say in getting to know growers. They're really environmentally support of trying to do it by the numbers it's about twenty percent out of one hundred percent of growers seeing california's an example twenty eighty split. I was told early on by folks in the cannabis industry. There were promoting getting above board trying to do it right trying to protect waterways and wildlife being environmentally conscious. They said you're always going to see this. Whenever there's a black market to be had you're gonna have a twenty eighty split. It was the same way prohibition with alcohol. It's the same with running guns methamphetamine whatever and sure enough they were pretty much right and so my experience has been about twenty percent of the growers in california that are licensed and regulated rated now that abhor any environmental destruction while they produce. They're regulated. You know sanctioned cannabis. They're out there and they're the biggest advocates environmentally true to form and i didn't know that going into this. I didn't have that type of relationship but that group like i point out <hes> at the end of the book <hes> they embraced what we're doing. I mean uneven turned our tactical team the earth warriors which is kind of a laid back type name but three but but you know what hale take we're getting some support you know they're put in a little bit of money and foundations where their mouth is the really into the reclamation aspect of it where we're lacking funding but what has happened since we regulated a lot of these growers of said. I don't want to be on big brother's radar. I'm not going to pay those fees small-time operator. They're gone deep into the black. Market is selling over state lines and the other problem in and how we regulate it was what i said in the beginning of one of the one of the questions you brought up is when we did regulate. We lessened the penalties for the trespass outdoor cartel oh grower so we actually encourage them to continue doing what they're doing with impunity. We took less. We we took the pressure off of him because now many operatives in my agency the others are tied up checking the quasi-legal groups that are that are licensing so it's less pressure on the biggest problem i feel and and that's where we're at in other states are having the same problem they're not stopping the black market and how they regulate so you know from somebody who spent years fighting and putting your life on the line is is there a is there a solution that you can think oh you know. I don't have one hundred percent solution. I've i get the question all the time well if we regulate nationally donnelly and we break the back and we completely kill that cartel that might help it if it's done again where we really go against the trespass trespass grower the cartel bad guy you know and we make sure that if this if the public wants this regardless of what we feel on personally you oh can we break the black market back of the cartel on cannabis. Maybe we can maybe we can. I still think any regulation is going to take oversight and red tape and some people the easy way out. They want to just go to the black market and spend half as much money on good leader what they think is good weed and and get by that way and then we have the other issue of well. If we you did break that market. How are we going breath amphetamine at these guys produce what about federal now and now they're lacing the federal that the cartels are producing. It's going into this weed. So that's a whole nother gamut i guess from my perspective on on math and feminine stuff like that you can at least minimum like i don't don't think either one of those should be you should be able to go to fucking walgreens right but i also think footprint environmental footprint sprint wise. It's a fraction by comparison. We'd so my new to me taking it. A step further of the of the national legalisation just my thoughts on it is i think until we'd is as accessible as a pack of fuck and marlboros yeah. It's you're. You're going to have it because to me. If that works tobacco on alcohol i think are consummate textbook examples of they're cheap enough and readily available off even though they're regulated to where they they've completely undercut any desire. You don't see you know i mean yeah. There's people that make craft beer and maybe distill some shine or whatever but nobody's fucking role and you know tobacco that they grow exactly on their fucking farm or whatever you know you know so to me. That's the only thing were hope. I guess i would say that. <hes> that is even potentially possible of being able to do that right which i don't see that happening for a long time if ever yeah but it one thing i'm curious of this was the idea that i had earlier in terms of as it relates to your guys the met unit specifically <hes> the challenges you face both manpower wise resource resource wise funding etc building. Are there any plans to to bolster the unit that you have an also. Is there a both in your opinion. Do you see a benefit to end or are there any plans to have on the federal side like a national unit type unit. Yeah dow's house super good points and were trying to get met larger. We're definitely trying to get them get enhanced a little bit but we have a number of teams that aren't you know we're the tactical element primarily targeting these groups but we have waterson forcement teams that are growing every year you know up to seven officers officers. We have marijuana permanent teams in just talking to our chief david this last <hes> w car to be conference i talked l._s. I didn't know yet we got twenty. Six positions earmarked for cannabis which is fantastic now. They're not all those aren't going to be guys that are doing the met fight eight necessarily but they're going to be handling more of the regulated cannabis stuff so met doesn't have to get roped into that so i don't know if it's going to grow in numbers we fill to vacancies recently recently very recently so we're going to be power again since some retirements and transfers and promotions but i'm constantly pushing for that and it all comes down to funding and one thing to get to your point joint on regulation is there is funds that do come in from the regulation the taxes and supposedly this year. Were supposed to start getting a bunch of that money back since we did relate late two years ago. That's going directly funding. These positions manpower overtime costs equipment which should help us. It should help us grow in on the a federal friend. I know is a case in point u._s. Four service are doing this very specialized with us especially on the west coast but they're not it just like game wardens you know in the mid west and central america and then going over to the eastern seaboard they're just starting to see this on some of their wildlife areas and their states and they're not really equipped to handle that and i just saw that at this last conference i talked to so our thing is hey. We're gonna provide everything we can to help. We're gonna show you all the building blocks. The you know the failures the trip buffs. We made get in there and try to streamline the way they can. They can solve the problem and do it on a national front. We're all sharing information and we're doing the same type of stuff at the federal level and the state level. I have an idea throw it out. Nobody's asking but that's my so here's my take take that agreed like i think you could take the playbook that has developed in you. Already have the recipe for success in terms of how how you build that unit right tactics protocols all that kinda shit i think at a federal level what <hes> what would be a really neat project or program is to develop a national oh federal unit that responds all over the country and have a schoolhouse built in the first question. Most people are going to have is funding and building one thing i can say in reading this book and knowing all the assholes that i hang out with that used to do what i do for a living is that you would you would have a an overabundance of people like me that would volunteer to do that. Shit now to me where where you can close that funding gap is do a mutual agreement where it's considered a federal reservist nice where you know what what guys like me and they're i mean you'd have rangers. Green berets cag- is every guy's seals fucking para rescue guys for high speed medics for for the units. I mean you'd have more than enough more than than there were positions available but to me the way that you you leverage not having to pay these guys sixty sixty eighty one hundred thousand dollar salaries times several hundred of them and figuring out where all these tens of millions of dollars in funding is gonna come from his you do the reserve thing so the guys have have just like a reserve unit would is that they they're only doing it. You know a couple weekends here and there or whatever you have a national training center where everybody's on the same page and and they get they get trained but one they get to do shit that they are passionate about that helps their country that still gives them a feeling of service camaraderie giving back etcetera a and and what guys get out of it on top of that is that federal credential also which let's be honest. Every asshole in my shoes wants to have a federal liberal credentials to be able to carry a gun everywhere which i don't think a is a bad idea and be much to ask given what what they would be giving in the process. It's a a good double win to me like you've got all these guys who are motivated that have already been selected art the right right kind of guys for that that i guarantee you'd have thousands of them that would wanna and do it that from a scheduling standpoint to just get have it where you know no different than tier one assets where they're on call. Is that you whether it's an on-call window or drilling window or whatever is that you know you know. Hey these weekends out of the year or whatever. I'm either going to go or whatever that's cool. Talk to me you. Could you could develop one hell of a national asset that could respond to a lotta shit all on the same sheet and not have to come so so far out of pocket right funding resource wise to to be able to demand that to where i think it's potentially doable so if you go go ahead and take care of that and get that done with that that that's face to run up the flag pole talk president nobody to that point mike. It's a great idea and what what i found especially after after a while justice dropped and a lot of special forces guys saw some of that marijuana work we were doing you know and they're like oh wow yeah i could be a game warden. Do that fuck yeah i would love to i love wildlife. I love my country and this is a domestic fight. I'm all over this zico terrorism and i thought the war on terror and so that's the thing but the federal federal credential is huge. Absolutely that would be a win win. <hes> and you know we're even getting some you know seal veterans going into reserve programs like in california just to fight that fight but it would be so much more structured and so much more beneficial for the whole country if we did that in something it's interesting you mentioned that solution because the whole thing with me in retirement of face to like i keep telling these talks is guys. I can speak freely now. I'm not just limited to california and we are a country. We're not a state and these environmental. Mental hits are everywhere. These cartels are in every state so let's look at it as a nationwide problem game. Were answer for it. Yeah you know as veterans like yourself are it will be a win win. Anything anything you know. In terms of department of interior within the scope of national wildlife service fish and game is zinke. A former team guy heads that up townhall fucking time you know i mean take him to unite like that. You know in that department. I think just makes fucking sense yeah but it half the battle. Brother other is getting the word out to show how extreme this is. I mean one of the reasons we title the book hidden more and my publisher my lead publisher and jim slender and i talked about this. What are we gonna title this book and he goes. What do you think and i said well. What do you think a hidden more. I said i wrote the first book came out in two thousand ten. We tv on it. We've done investigative news. We're we're kind of semi high profile on it for game wardens and yet i'm an annual launching this book with oliver north endorsement and everyone buying the booker like oh my gosh john i had had no idea this is going on in america and so just the fact that it's a message that i can't push heavy enough and thank you so much for teaming up and helping push it. I think if we get this message out enough and people really see the impacts and they're not going away and could possibly see something like that. Zinc would be a great guy. Yeah tanasugarn the worse thing to team up on yeah. Hidden hidden war is about as apt as it gets other than maybe the stakes have never been higher stakes to that would be title no. It's a it's a fantastic read. <hes> i found myself feeling like i'm there in the moment in honestly just being like fuck. I would love to love that. I'm really glad you enjoyed. It was great book. It's available on amazon hidden or by lieutenant. John norris boris norris n._o._r._a._d. Junior retired google by it. It is a fantastic read and one that everybody honestly should should understand understand that <hes> that is going on. I appreciate that and we we have it on kindle and we're also going to be reading for the audiobook version of this because a lot operators a lot environmentalists analysts just a lot of readers. Now we find that one or listen to this thing as they drive all over the state so we're gonna do that too. It's fantastic for you know having you come speak teacher or anything like that. Where can people find you to get more information. Yeah just find me through my website on john. Norris dot com j. o. h. N. aureus and my email is trailblazer for one three all one word trailblazer for win three at yahoo i still i don't advertise the teaching i do because it's it's kinda select but reach out to me directly. I do a lot of speaking on the topic as you can. Imagine and i still do tactical training. I'm still in that game on every level for the right in groups. You know it's awesome anything you would like to add. I think if you've got room we got one more story that i kind of forgot about. It did forget where we're so fired up on that but we mentioned the corrode mission yeah right twenty twelve brought brian down. This was the mission that the phone call from the grow to chief might carry on nancy back to bag kind of got us on the mode to have the team right that was really the pivotal point they had seen enough drama but when phoebe came down and without spoiling the whole chapter after she basically had to buy the norm grower while brian her handler was dealing with that growers partner who had a big old old heavy caliber taurus judge pistol on his his waist and was pulling it so brian had to take that guy hand because we were in the lead doing canine deployment and it was one of those moments where you just said john take my dog now. Fortunately we've all been trained on how to deal with phoebe but i'm not a handler. Yeah you know and she's the right dog. Luckily she's the right dog. I'm gonna turn right the fuck around wearing them. I would have been wearing them. I would have been no bites. Leave that day buddy <hes> so i'm dealing with this guy that she's got bit and she's got him on mcafee and she's got bite duress going. He was one of those tough ones that wasn't screaming like they normally do and you know she was sunk. In down. We had blood. She was deep into tissue. She was getting a good full active. <hes> you know good angle but he was struggling on the bottom and i'm running up on them. When i make the dive to start jumping on this guy to get his hands where i can see him. He's starting to make that pivot pivot and that's when that russian torque automatic pistol drops out he was a hole in it from his waistband and had we not had the bite dress without amazing firm missile that guns guns right on me. We're gonna gunfire exchanged handgun to hand got an a two riflemen behind me so of all the times i had worked with phoebe that we had on anybody that was the first of about forty times she saved my my life and the rest of the teams and there was that pucker factor going and we all debriefed it and we had him bandaged up sitting in the grow a little bit later and then we had medicating and phoebe tethered over by a little processing area workhorse his dogs done for the day. She's a non-contaminated area. She's he's got lots of water. You know she can get pissed if she doesn't get her bike. She's got that kind of out of town but tongues out you know that happy dog and brian's off doing his thing doing a little a little cleanup. I've been evidence collection and i got to santa clara county operators at you know with enforced covering our suspects all handcuffed right there on the ground and i go up the hill about forty yards. I'm on the phone to my chiefs telling them what just happened. Man it went well. It was close called but we're all okay. This is a big one and all of a sudden lt lt boy get down here and phoebe and slipped off her and she further she crawls up next to the suspect and he's he's bandaged on the calf off and he's sitting there and fee goes right up like hot breath in the ear plots fuck and she just looks at his arm and his arms like this and she put her mouth on his arm but didn't bite. She just rolled her mouth side. I and i just heard no moss patio pat. Oh no moscato he was terrified of the dog and speaking in spanish manage can no more dog dog and of course brand runs up meathead. What are you doing. She bypassed she went up some passive iras forum and look them right in the i like i own you. Try to hurt my people anymore. That's the kind of dog she was great. She was amazing. Yeah we joke about that. Brian felt really embarrassed. I said hey that's the most control dog i've ever seen like i already bitch it for pulling a gun on my peeps yeah and now you're standing here around my peop- so i still own yeah and then you know she did that. I know i shouldn't have gone off by leaked. It was it was a beautiful moment appreciate da vinci expression nuke as well. I can't think of a better story to end on. I wanna thank you again for for coming in and sharing your story making the trip down here. It's been been a great and fascinating interview one that i know everybody needs to hear so. Thank you for coming all man mike. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to meet you and thanks for all you've done for country for canines. Thanks so much for talking about it with me. It's been real treat not my pleasure and onto more thanks thank you again to origin labs for sponsoring during the podcast and having our back i wanna take a second to to thank them is as always for having our back not just from sponsorship standpoint point but not having any stipulations on who we talked to what we say what we talk about length stipulations none of that it's completely my show their you. You know both respectful and good about letting me run my shit the way that i want and more importantly as they provide products that are worth bertha shit and ones that i actually use them for years long before they ever sponsored me or anything of that nature. I am drinking one of the jaakko white t.'s right now <hes> do take the krill oil the joint warfare <hes> regularly down the discipline and there's a host of other products that origin provides that you should check check out in a purchase great american company and they support their their veterans <hes> of the highest level so if you do have a dog iota team dog doc pet. That is the online dog training that i created that has the c._b._d. Oiled collars and leashes the first aid kits obviously the training if you own own a dog and you have not signed up yet <hes> go ahead and choke yourself again. It's the second time and just do it any of the products that i have are available on their <hes> <hes> as well as micro dot com for anything that i have gone on whether it's speaking training dog sales etc lastly but certainly not at least i want to thank you. The listener would not have sponsors. I would not have the ability in the platform to bring such amazing guests like john if there weren't the hundreds of thousands in at this point millions of people who listen to this show and continue to support us and spread the word about it so thank you guys. <hes> really can't thank you enough. You continue to humble me <hes> in your support for the show at <hes> it truly is remarkable and i can't thank enough so <hes> appreciate everybody love everyone and until next time this mike.

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