It may shock the more gentle of us, but people actually do use Uber and Lyft in the commission of crimes… prostitution, drug dealing, I have probably transported a stolen item or two… stuff like that.
Drug deals are most common. The typical one goes like this:
Pick up Randy @ 2:34am, Saturday morning. Randy’s been waiting a few minutes for his Uber and he apparently realized he smoked all his shit up and has nothing left at home to cap the night off. See Randy sweat…
Randy gets into the car. “Uh…” (it always begins with “uh…”) “Uh… I need to stop at my landlord’s house to pay the rent.”
Fact check: Third week of December. 2:34am. Needs rent paid or faces imminent eviction. Got it!
Take Randy to his “landlord”, who oddly enough, lives in an apartment. Randy disappears for 5 minutes, comes back out in a much better mood, I take Randy home.
That’s typical. Then there are the special cases…
Rhonda called. Needs to be picked up from work at her call center job @ De Zavala/I-10. Got it.
Rhonda comes out, gets in the car. A woman in her mid-30s, Rhonda says that she programmed two stops as we need to pick up her baby… and, yes, there are two stops in the app. (Which, btw, means it’s a Lyft because Uber users cannot figure out how to program multiple stops. It’s the damndest thing. But I digress.)
We go to stop 1, a home. Rhonda goes inside, comes out about 15 minutes later with a really cute 4yo boy in tow, car seat in her other hand. Rhonda expertly installs the car seat, the kid in the car seat, comes around to the other side of the car and gets inside, shutting her door.
HOLY SHIT, BUT THAT’S SOME STRONG GANJA SHE’S GOT THERE!
I roll down my window like having a skunk explode in my car is the most natural thing in the world, and take Rhonda (and son) home.
But it gets me to thinking:
For Rhonda, it’s a helluva setup, right? Her weed dealer and her day care provider are the same person. Talk about convenience and value - I wonder if she earns points, or qualifies for a discount somehow?
For the dealer, that’s some smart thinking: You need a way to launder your drug money, so why not open a day care, take a client or two, then fake the rest of your books?
Then I’m wondering… did the dealer decide she needed extra money and decided to open up a day care center, or did a struggling day care center take to dealing weed on the side?
This job leaves one with a lot of unanswered questions.
Then there is Maurice, my favorite drug dealer of all. I pick up Maurice around 7am, being told by Lyft that it’s a “Long ride”. Yay!
Maurice comes out, carrying a backpack. A thin man in his 20s, there’s little to note about Maurice - just a normal dude.
I start the drive and am immediately informed that there are six stops on this ride. Holy hell!
So I take Maurice to stop 1. He gets out, takes his backpack with him, goes inside (we hit both apts and houses on this one), comes out in 5 minutes whereupon he rumbles “I’m ready.” Rinse, lather, and repeat. 6 times.
(Maurice is not a talker, so there’s not a lot of idle chat going on in this one.)
We drive all over San Antonio, and Maurice did a good job with his route selection - not a lot of wasted driving time going back and forth. It’s like he’s done this before…
The last stop was back at his place. Maurice gets out of the car, hands me a $20, and leaves. Then he tips me another $20 on the app. I look at the fare when done and see that he paid $69 (I got $48, not including tips), so Maurice effectively paid $109 to insure that it’s not his car that’s impounded when/if he gets pulled over.
Now, technically, I am uncertain that Maurice was dealing. Rhonda had obviously purchased a Nice, Fat Sack, but Maurice… if he was selling, he wasn’t selling weed. But all other signs were consistent with drug deals, so I’m pretty certain my guess is correct.
Neither of these is my greatest drug dealing story, but the Tale of Uber, White Privilege, and the Crackhead will have to wait another day, sorry.