Chapter 9

"How bad is it?" Moreno asked his lawyer Barry Roberts.

"Pretty bad Tony. Alex apparently gave them details of specific orders you gave regarding assaults, extortion, murder, and other crimes. His testimony in itself could be dismissed but he mentioned collaborating witnesses at meetings and the cops are in the process of rounding up these people now and getting them to talk."

Tony turned to speak to his brother-in-law Nick. "You know pretty much everyone who's been in a meeting with me when Alex was present. Get the word out to them NOW that they had better keep their mouths shut. Also, I need for you to find out where they are keeping Bannion."

"Believe me Tony, we've been working on it since the cops have picked him up. They had him in general lock-up but we're pretty sure that they've moved him out of the station into protective custody."

"Well, damn it, find him!" yelled Moreno. "The more he talks and the longer he lives, the likelihood increases that someone else will start talking. We need to make an example of him, and fast."

Nick replied, "We're on it Tony."

"The DA plans to amend the charges of your current indictments and plan to bring Bannion in front of the jury for your current trial as soon as possible," Roberts said hoping to steer the conversation away from likely criminal activities. "Of course, we're going to fight it, but it's possible that the judge will let Bannion testify at your current trial."

"We'll see about that. The longer we can keep Bannion from testifying, then the less likelihood that he'll testify at all." Tony leaned back in his chair and narrowed his eyes until they were almost closed. " As I said, we'll see."

At that moment, Dara and Mac entered the interrogation room. Dara sat at the table where Moreno, his brother-in-law, and his lawyer were seated. Mac stood and leaned against the door as Dara started to speak.

"Mr. Moreno," she began, "We asked for a continuance in your trial for a week as the DA's office is amending the charges against you. I am sure that your lawyer has informed you of the new charges and the new witness. Mr. Roberts asked that we'd meet with you today."

"What are you offering Ms. Jensen?"

"Our case against you is much stronger now because of the new witness Mr. Moreno. We aren't offering anything. If you have something to say which would help us in prosecuting other cases or help the police with their investigations, we're willing to listen and will take that into account with your case."

"We have nothing to say," said the lawyer. "And we're going to ask the judge for a long continuance of the trial so that the defense can prepare in light of the new developments."

Dara noted, "You can ask for more time but the prosecution will vigorously oppose it. And knowing this judge and how he likes to move cases along, I think that we'll be in the courtroom next week."

Moreno looked at Dara and leaned into the table as he said, "It would really be in your best interest to make some type of offer and for you to agree to another continuance."

"And why in the world would I want to do that?" Dara said evenly as she looked directly at Moreno.

"As I said, it would be in YOUR best interest. It would be better to get a continuance because you agreed to it, rather than, say, because a new DA is needed to take over the case."

Mac, who had been leaning against the door immediately straightened and walked towards the table saying, "What the hell is that suppose to mean? "

Dara raised her hand to stop Mac from talking any further and said, "You know Moreno it is a crime to threaten an officer of the court. And it certainly won't work with me."

"He did no such thing!" exclaimed his lawyer while he was thinking how to deal with Moreno. "He was just giving an example of the many reasons a trial could be delayed. It was just an unfortunate example that he picked.? The lawyer cut his eyes at Moreno hoping that his client would keep his mouth shut.

"A.D.A. Jensen is an intelligent woman," continued Moreno. "She knows exactly what I meant."

Dara rose saying, "I don't think that anything productive is going to come out of this meeting. Mr. Roberts, I expect to see you in the judge's chambers soon." Dara looked at Mac who was still glaring at Moreno. "Mac, let's go."

Mac looked at Dara and decided that it would be best to speak to Moreno later out of Dara's presence. He moved to open the door and they left the room.

"What in the world do you mean by threatening a D.A. in front of the police commissioner?!" Roberts said as he stared at Moreno.

Moreno silenced his lawyer with a steely look. "Don't even think that you can begin to tell me what to do Roberts. Remember, you work for me. One way or another, Bannion will never testify at my trial. Nick, I need for you to take care of this for me. Do whatever it takes." Moreno looked at his brother-in-law and repeated the words, "Do whatever it takes."