Great Escape For Juan

By Jay Goodman

          I’ve written a few chapters called great escape, where I made fun at some crazy moments in my life. These moments were not funny at the time because I should have been killed, or sent to prison for a very long time. But somehow, I did miraculously escape, and did it in a way that looking back now it’s actually funny. This story is a little different than my past chapters because it happened on the side of the border in Texas.

          Texas is a huge state that drug traffickers in Mexico love to use because of its vast land that borders it’s country. I mean from South Texas at Brownsville, all the way to El Paso on the border of New Mexico is pretty much open territory. Every possible way you can imagine drugs have crossed into the United States. Spending a lot of my life in South Texas near the border town called McAllen, I cannot even begin to tell you all the ways I have seen drugs come into Texas. They have literally walked across at checkpoints, where they’ve walked across the river or boat at it. They’ve built secret compartments in cars, or they’ve stashed it in 18-wheeler trucks full of produce. Let’s not forget they also have it flown over.

          Anyway, in every way possible drugs are being brought across the border. I have laughed through the years because I can never begin to tell you all of the genius idea’s I have seen people come up with. I remember years ago before our President Ronald Reagan start of the war on drugs, a friend of mine bought an ambulance that the fire department was getting rid of because it had gotten in an accident. Him and his family fix the ambulance up and restore it to its original state. Now they got at the back of it where the injured people and the paramedics would ride. Back in the 1970s when someone was in a serious accident down near the border, once they got them stable enough, they will transport them to one of the larger hospitals in San Antonio, or Houston. So, my friend would feel the back of the ambulance with drugs and take off. Right before he would get to the checkpoint, he turned on the siren, the border patrol or immigration officers would see the ambulance and wave them right through. It was truly a genius idea that he used for years. I used to get up in the morning through the years, and drink cups of coffee and watch the news. Because I would always get a kick out of seeing all of the big busts law-enforcement would make. Living anywhere in the United States you will see drug busts daily. But living at the borders of Texas, you will see tons of marijuana, cocaine, math, and heroin seizures daily. And watching all of the different ways they would try to sneak it into the U.S. with at times funny. I mean just when you would think they have done it all, something else even crazier would come along. It’s like they had a strategy room where they would plan new smuggling ideas every day. Of course, years later they came up with their genius idea and build tunnels that ran for miles from Mexico to the United States. And these tunnels have showed up all over Texas, as well as California. And they’re still to this day finding tunnels all over Texas and California.

          Which brings me to my story. Back in the 1990’s I went to school for four years to learn to train dogs for handicap people. I can train dogs for about anything you can think of. People in wheelchairs, blind people, guard dogs, and even drug dogs. One of the best dogs I ever train was a German Shepherd. I actually bought this dog and his brother from an older couple that lived in Germany. I met her grandson here in the United States and he told me about the special breed of German Shepherd called Heidelberg. I had their grandson talk with his grandparents and got one sent over. Once I receive the first dog and started working with him, I liked him so much that I had my friend called back and had the last copy sent to me. From the start I decided to keep both of these dogs, I started the first dog with basic training, and drug training. This dog within six months could find marijuana, coke, heroin, meth. He was so good that one of my cousins called me up and asked me to bring my dog over to his house. Once I got there, he told me he had gotten drunk the night before and had missed placed a small bag of cocaine. He said he was worried one of his kids would find it. So, I took my dog through his house starting at the front door. My cousin stood in the back ground while I took my dog through each room. After 15 minutes my dog never alerted to nothing. Finally, my cousin walked over to my dog and I, and my dog went crazy. My cousin said, “what the hell is wrong with your dog?” I said “he is alerting to the drugs you must have it on you somewhere.” He said. “that’s impossible, I’ve already checked my pockets.” So, he started pulling everything out until his pockets were empty. I said to my dog the command word to find and he went straight to his right pocket. I looked at the spot and seen he was sniffing the small pocket that’s right above the large pocket. I stuck my finger inside and sure enough there it was. After another year this dog got so good, he could find a joint inside a trashcan. People who had put their load inside 18-wheeler trucks would come by our ranch so I would see if my dog could hit on the drugs they had inside.

          It got so big that I would charge $100 per truck. I mean business was booming, because the safest way to get through the checkpoint was 18-wheelers. The only problem is some people would get mad when my dog hit on their truck. They would ask me, “are you sure?” I look at them and say, “do you want me to put my dog back on it?” They say “yes.” So, I would walk my dog back around it again and once more of the dog wood alert. Believe it or not some people would ask me what do you think I should do? I would say, “well you have a choice, you can either fix your problem or go to the checkpoint and when their dog alerts, believe me they won’t find it confusing on what to do.”

          Not long after this I went to the local Catholic Church to put on a demo with a few other labs. I was training for service work. After the show I would receive money from people who would help me support my organization. There were a couple police officers that approached me and asked if I knew anything about training drug drugs? I told him “yes I do, in fact I already have one.” They asked me if I’d be willing to bring my dog down to the Mission Police Station the next morning? I said “yes.”

          I showed up the next day and they took me out to the parking lot and said, three cars have drugs in them, let’s see how good your dog is. So, I took my dog into the first row of cars and he alerted on the second car. They smiled and said okay, there’s two more cars. Somewhere around the middle he hit on another one, and then the last car. They were all excited, first thing they asked me was what I sell my dog? I said “hell no, I’m not selling my dog.” So, after an hour of negotiations we came to a deal. If they needed my dog, they call me and pay for my time. Which I thought was really funny because of what I did for a living. But I never realized something, we are at the freaking border, they were calling me every day over and over again. And even though I was truly making a small fortune, it did take away from my criminal activity.

          One evening I got a call from this cop who tells me they want me to drive all the way to the checkpoint which is around 35 minutes from our ranch. When I get there, I stepped outside my van to see what they had going on first. When I did the cop said to me look, we got some information at this 18-wheeler is loaded, we’ve been trying to bust the sky for a long time. We need you to put your dog on it to see if he hits on it. I saw they asked the guy in the truck to get out and to my Surprise it was a friend of mine. His name was Juan. I knew him from grade school. They put him in handcuffs, when we made eye contact, I could see he was in shock to see me, and I could also see he was scared shitless. I thought a day like this might come so I was prepared.

          Every time they would call me someplace, I would take both of my German Shepherd’s with me. They both look alike but only one of them was a drug dog. I walked back to my van and got my drug dogs brother. I walk down the side of the 18-wheeler giving him the command to find the drugs so the cops could hear me. The only difference was my other dog was not sniffing, he was just walking beside me looking crazy. After I walked my dog around the track for 10 minutes or more I finally said to the cop, I don’t believe there’s anything in it. They looked shocked and frustrated. One of them said are you sure? I said, look you have seen this dog, if something was in it, he would find it. He said OK, thank you for your time. As I walked back to my van, I looked at my friend Juan he looked at my face And I smiled at him and winked. When I got to my van I laughed because my drug dog was going crazy. He wanted to run toward the truck. I had to literally hold him back. As I drove back to my ranch, I received a call from my mom, giving me Juan’s message to please call him. I wrote his number down and gave him a call. When he answered he said my God brother, I have a life sentence in my truck, thank you so much. I don’t even need the money, this is it for me, never again after this. I swear Jay, I owe you my life. I said no my brother you don’t owe me your life. You owe me 10%. And we both busted out laughing.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez