The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV

By Pete Crooks

The pitch went like this: Chris Butler, a retired cop, ran a personal investigator company in harmony, California. His enterprise had a desirable angle—his enterprise was once staffed totally via football moms.

In truth, Butler hired PI great mothers: beautiful, geared up, shrewdpermanent, and proficient in investigative thoughts, self-defense, and weaponry. This American Life host Ira Glass defined them as “MILF: Charlie’s Angels.”

When this tale stumbled on Pete Crooks’s table whilst he was once operating at Diablo journal in 2010, he was once immediately hooked. He’d heard slightly approximately Butler and his great mothers within the information; they’d been featured in People journal and on Dr. Phil. What Butler’s publicist used to be delivering was once too tantalizing to move up: a chance to trip in addition to Butler and some of his horny PIs as they ready to begin filming a truth television show.

But after the ride-along—and after he all started receiving mysterious emails from one in all Butler’s employees—Crooks began to detect whatever didn’t appear correct. After doing some digging, he chanced on the “sting” he’d obvious in basic terms had one actual victim…him. The PI bust have been a setup.

Crooks wasn’t a hardboiled crime reporter. He did way of life items for a local journal. The extra he discovered approximately Butler’s operation, the extra he learned he was once in a long way over his head. yet swallowing his fears, he made up our minds he was once going to put in writing an disclose on Butler and his complete association. He quickly chanced on himself deep within the underbelly of pretend sting operations, wannabe celebrities, police corruption, drug-dealing, truth tv, double-crossing staff, and extra twists and turns than a dozen crime thrillers.

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First, the assumption of wasting touch with such an inside of resource nagged at my internal journalist, yet I had made up our minds that the allegations of fireside revenues on stolen narcotics and weapons-grade explosives outweighed my journal tale approximately Chris Butler mendacity to Diablo journal. moment, i used to be apprehensive that Rutherford will be tossed right into a pit of snakes and never manage to get out. It used to be my touch that will increase the research, and that i wanted that Rutherford can have found out how you can touch legislations enforcement on his personal.

As he labored his approach up during the ranks, he did good with narcotics investigations. In 1998, Wielsch utilized to the state’s division of Justice and used to be employed to paintings for the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. by way of 2002, Wielsch was once operating the valuable Contra Costa County Narcotics Enforcement workforce. Butler acknowledged he was once very desirous to support CNET every time attainable, and labored as a private informant on quite a few drug and prostitution situations. throughout the interview, Butler advised investigators that, someday in 2009, Wielsch gave him a bag of roughly 400 Oxycontin capsules to promote to at least one of his decoys.

I'm ravenous. ” “They don't know we’re staring at them,” stated Charmagne. “We do that form of factor forever. ” She marched correct over to the desk and sat down with Al and secret Date. Denise and that i joined her. I sat down throughout from secret Date, smiled, and stated hi. The midtwenties brunette jogged my memory of the actress Megan Fox—if Megan Fox’s complete correct arm used to be a tattooed sleeve. Charmagne sat down and placed a wide leather-based handbag at the desk. The handbag had a cellphone case, which housed a small video digital camera, hooked up to its external.

I do know he won’t movement the stuff out at once simply because they're filming on the workplace now . . . Please suggest . . . This must take place now . . . i'm keen to speak to somebody so long as this occurs this present day . . . i do know he may perhaps attempt to set me up someway . . . Please and thanks . . . The clock is well ticking. the e-mail freaked me out—how might Rutherford were compromised already? I had no concept that Butler had lots of incentive to gather no matter what unlawful medications which may be tied to him, as he knew he had a mole in his association and that the mole used to be aggressively sabotaging Butler’s dream of changing into a truth express megastar.

I argued passionately that this used to be now not a narrative we must always kill simply because the significant characters could be shadier than the folk Diablo has a tendency to have a good time in its editorial pages. “Everyone desires to recognize if fact exhibits are staged and scripted,” I stated. “Here’s a man who can have lied and faked his means into getting a convey on nationwide television. ” Rivera used to be intrigued by way of the basis and concept if Butler had lied to the journal, he can be uncovered. He got here up with an concept to place Butler immediate.

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