This story revolves around an incident which happened in the middle of August 2015. An incident that shook the entire nation and placed a small town in Texas on National TV.
Eddie Terrazzo was a regular guy who worked at a lumber mill. Eddie was in his late 60’s. He lived in the small town of Brackettville. His wife passed away and his kids have grown up and moved out. He had two sons; Joey Terrazzo and Matteo Terrazzo. Joey was 25 years old and he worked at a local pharmacy. Matteo was the older brother, 30 years old, and he worked in a power plant not too far from the town. Eddie was left alone working towards his retirement.
In Brackettville the biggest news that ever broke was about a cat who got stuck in a gutter and unfortunately died. This news, even though minuscule, was running for three straight days with many twists and turns in the story. Some were blaming the local officials on the gutter design and some blamed it on the cat owner.
Eddie worked long hours at a local mill every day. The mill was his life. He didn’t have many friends. He once had bigger dreams than just working in a mill. He wanted to be an entrepreneur, but when his wife got sick, he was forced to find a job to cover her medical expenses. After his wife passed away he didn’t have enough interest left to pursue another career. Eddie didn’t see anything interesting happening with his life in the future. Oh, how he was wrong…
It was a Saturday afternoon with the temperature in the triple digits. Half of the town was at home enjoying the weekend. Eddie had just got back from his work and he went to a local grocery store to buy some vegetables. As Eddie was walking back to his house he realized that he was being followed. Eddie knew that there was no point in running so he stopped and waited for the guys to catch up to him. There were four guys. Each in their twenties. They didn’t want to attack Eddie. They needed him. These people weren’t good people, and that was quite obvious to Eddie. He was not familiar with their faces and they seemed to be new in the town. They also seemed to part of a cartel.
As they began talking to him he could tell they weren’t from Texas. They had a deep Russian accent. They wanted Eddie to drive a transport across the border. He wondered why they were asking him of all the other young people whom they could have easily rounded up. They said that he looked innocent enough to pass through the border security and that his age would make things easier.
Eddie was not interested at all. He declined as nicely as he could. As he was walking away one of the guys told him, “you have wonderful kids Eddie, it would be a tragedy if they were found in the sewer, don’t you think?” Eddie froze. He could no longer breathe. How did they know his children? How did they know his name? He stopped and turned back to them in anger, but he knew he did not stand a chance against them. Going against his own heart he asks: “what do you need from me?”
“Before we tell you anything you need to know a few simple rules, Eddie,” they said.
- You can’t tell the authorities.
- Take as few or no stops if possible on your trip.
- If you are caught, you will take all the blame.
If he followed all of the rules his kids would stay safe. They went on to tell him:
“The transport is set to leave in one week. You will be given all the details the day you are about to start. So till then you don’t know anything about what we discussed and what we asked you to do. We will provide transportation for you on the day of the transport. So sleep tight and take rest for next few days and act normal. Don’t draw any attention because we will keep a close eye on you.”
Eddie couldn’t digest anything that was happening. There were more questions than answers. He had never been in a situation like this and he had no clue how to react. He couldn’t sleep the entire night. He kept thinking about what he should do. Should he inform his kids about what was going on, or should he risk calling the authorities? That night looked so long and scary for Eddie. He knew one thing for sure. That this would not end well. He was stuck in a complex situation where he couldn’t do anything. Every day after that was a blur for him.
The day of transport
Eddie woke up that morning knowing what was ahead of him. He was hoping that the entire thing had just been some bad dream, but that thought did not last long. An early morning knock at the door shook him to his core, and he could hear his heart beating hard. There was a guy at his door and a car on the road with three or four people in it. The guy had a gun on his waist which Eddie could easily see. Eddie knew that he meant business. He was told to bring his passport and other vital documents needed to cross the border.
As they got into the car the guy started talking to Eddie.
“Eddie, you will be driving a transport across the border. It will be a 13-14-hour drive. We will send you the exact drop off location once you enter Mexico. At the border, you will tell the guards that you are carrying wood. We have placed trackers on the truck so if you try anything we will know.You will be transporting drugs”
Eddie was surprised because he had never heard of drugs being transported from the US to Mexico. He had always thought it was the other way. His suspicion grew of something being really wrong.
Eddie began his drive. He thought that if he followed all their instructions carefully, he may have a chance to come out alive and save his family. With that thought, he mustered up all his strength to complete the task ahead. He prayed to God and asked for his forgiveness.
Eddie received a text from his boss asking where he is. He told him that he is sick and that he will not be coming to work for the next few days. As this was happening, Eddie had a much bigger problem coming for him. He was approaching the Mexican border.
As Eddie approached the border security he was questioned ferociously. He was asked where he was heading and what was the purpose of his visit. He was also asked for his documents. Eddie told the guards that he is carrying wood, as he was told to say by the drug cartel. The guards did an inspection of the truck. As they were inspecting, Eddie thought it was the end of his line and that he would be behind bars for rest of his life. To his surprise, the guard gave his documents back and asked him to drive off.
Eddie crossed over the Mexican border and he thought the worst of his worries were gone. The cartel sent Eddie his dropoff destination. He placed the addressed into navigation.
Eddie was about 100 miles away, another 3-hours. Eddie stopped at the gas station to fill up his tank. He bought a pack of soda and a sandwich. Once he got back on the truck he got a call from the cartel. The cartel asked what the status was. Eddie told them that he stopped for gas and that he was getting ready to move again. The cartel was not so happy and warned him of some bad consequences if he played smart. With that, they put Eddie’s kids on the phone. Eddie knew that things had gone from bad to worse. They had Eddie’s kids. Before he could say anything to them the cartel was back on the phone. “If you try to do anything other than what we are telling you to do then you will not see your family again.”
After the three hour drive, Eddie was close to his destination, about 10 miles away. He was thinking it might be an abandoned location, but he was surprised to see he was entering a large crowded city. As it turned out Eddie’s destination was Ecatepec de Morelos, México, the biggest city in Mexico.
Eddie reached the location. He was surprised, as his final destination was a crowded city center. Eddie’s phone rang. The cartel at the other end asked: “where are you?” Eddie told them about the city center and asked, “are you sure this is the correct place?” They told him:
“Yes. You are at the right location. Now this is the last thing which you have to do. Under your seat there is a small keypad. You need to type the code which we send you and then hit execute. Once you are done you should calmly walk away from the truck as fast as you can and try to get as far away from truck . You just have 20 minutes. Remember get as far away from truck or else you will be killed. If you fail to do everything exactly as we say your kids will die.”
Eddie realized that he had not been carrying drugs, he had been carrying a bomb. He could not believe what he was being asked to do. His mind was not able to comprehend what he had just heard. He was being asked to murder thousands of people. He would be known as a terrorist responsible for the murder of so many innocent people.
Eddie knew that they needed him to activate the bomb. Eddie talked to the cartel and put a condition. “Before I activate the bomb I want my family to be released.” There was silence on the other end of the line. Finally, after a long wait, they said they would release the kids. They also said that if Eddie did not follow the instructions they could easily find the kids again and kill them. Eddie called his kids. He was relieved when they picked up. He asked them if they were okay. The kids were surprised and terrified of what was going on. They asked Eddie what was going on. Eddie told them
I can’t tell you. I’m in a really risky situation. Please get as far away from the town and find some safe location to hide. Inform cops that something bad is happening. I can not tell you more than this. Stay safe at all costs. These people are really dangerous. Please go quickly .
With that Eddie disconnected the line. He knew he had to activate the bomb to give them a chance to escape. Eddie knew that the cartel was checking the status of the bomb every second and he knew he did not have any other way. Eddie activated the bomb. He called the cartel to tell them that the bomb had been activated. After a few minutes, the cartel called him back and asked Eddie again what the status was.
Eddie wondered why would they be calling him on the status of the bomb if they had sensors everywhere. Eddie began to question if the sensors were still truly active. To test it he moved the truck a few feet. He knew that if the sensors were active they would call him, but to his surprise, no call came. Eddie knew that now the dice were in his hands. He needed a plan to get the bomb as far away from the city. There was no time to inform the police as it would have been very difficult for him to explain everything. He started driving the truck away from the city. Eddie kept looking for an isolated spot where he could park the truck. He knew he didn’t have much time. He came across a massive river with a flyover bridge. It took him no time to realize that the river was the only way. The bridge’s side railings were short. Eddie knew that if the truck hit them hard enough the truck would fall into the river. Eddie drove the truck as fast as he could, and as he approached the center of the bridge he gave the steering wheel a sharp turn and he jumped out of the truck. As he rolled on the concrete he noticed the truck jumped over the rails, as he wanted it to, and went straight into the water. He got to the side of the bridge and saw the truck drowning in the river. Within a min or so, there was a huge fountain of water which hit him as the bomb exploded at the bottom of the river. There was no damage to the bridge or anything. Eddie took a sigh of relief and without wasting any time he called his son. He explained to them what had just happened and asked them to be very careful and to inform the police about the cartel. The Mexican police arrived at the scene and arrested Eddie.
The cartel had no idea what had happened. Eddie walked away saving thousands of people…
The next day the news was everywhere. The cops slowly started closing in on other members of the cartel. Eddie had become a national hero in Mexico and US. His town also gained a spotlight. The ordinary guy from Texas had become a national sensation. Eddie: the guy who took on the cartel.
This story is meant to show the strength of good. Even if the odds seem against you, there is always a way to beat the evil.
All events and characters in this story are fictional.