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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | How Marijuana Changed My Sister-in-Law’s Life (Part 1)

How Marijuana Changed My Sister-in-Law’s Life (Part 1)

It’s not what you think.
And furthermore, it’s not my story.
This is the story of how Larry O’Donnell (my brother-in-law and sometimes guest blogger) became a member of my family.  He’ll tell the story, although I might interject comments here or there. It bears only slight resemblance to the Richard Dreyfuss movie Stakeout.
How I Met My Wife by Larry O’Donnell
Dianne has asked me, on a number of occasions, to relate this story.   As with many of my life’s turning points, distant events were the precursors of big changes for me.  Osama Bin Laden started the sequence of events that led to my meeting Deb.  It was not part of his plan, but an unforeseen consequence.  I was well acquainted with OBL since the mid-nineties but that is a tale that can’t be told.
(Yeah, there are still some stories he won’t tell us.  It just boggles our imagination.)
On September 11, 2001, I was one of millions glued to a television watching the fire in the first tower as a jet hit the second tower.  My boss, the Agent in Charge of the U.S. Customs Office of Investigations in Philadelphia, was trying to reach our New York office, located in number 7 World Trade Center.  After the second impact, we knew it wasn’t an accident.  Miraculously, all our personnel escaped injury, though one agent was trapped in the basement for a while when the first tower collapsed.

My boss had me form a response team in the event that other attacks might ensue or that we might have to help in New York.  So, when a two ton load of marijuana was intercepted in Delaware and we needed an arrest team to reinforce the operation, we had twelve agents ready to go.  It was at this point I met a DEA agent named Dave who would play a significant role in my marriage to Deb.

My group’s priority was to locate and dismantle terrorist financial networks in the United States, arrest the principals, and seize their assets.  In January 2002, our narcotics smuggling group needed help for an operation near Kennett Square, PA.  I volunteered.  On Sunday, January 27, 2002, I reported to the State Police station at Avondale, Pennsylvania. 
The briefing addressed concern for the safety of the cooperating truck driver and the undercover DEA agent riding with him. An information source suggested that the smugglers might ‘silence’ the driver. The delivery location was known, but surveillance could only be established by remote camera. If the smugglers turned violent, observation would not protect the driver and our agent.  The solution was to insert a well concealed “observer” team hours earlier.  My DEA friend, Dave, and I agreed to do this job. 
My life was about to undergo a change that I could never have foreseen.  And I wasn’t the only one who was going to be surprised.
(Wondering how my family could possibly be involved in this story? Come back Wednesday to find out …)

21 Responses to How Marijuana Changed My Sister-in-Law’s Life (Part 1)

  1. That almost does sound like something straight out of a book! You can be sure I’ll be back Wednesday for the rest.

  2. Sarah says:

    I am completely riveted. I’ll be back bright and early Wednesday!

  3. Wow. Absolutely fascinating!

  4. SA Larsenッ says:

    Sounds intriguing! Whoo…I don’t blog on Wednesdays but I’ll be back to check out the rest of the story.

  5. Jaime Loren says:

    Now THAT’S how you start a story!!! Bring on Wednesday morning!

  6. Linda G. says:

    Oh, no! A cliffhanger!!

    I’ll be back Wednesday.

  7. Margo Kelly says:

    Interesting! And, I’ve tagged you on my blog today. 🙂

  8. “Miraculously, all our personnel escaped injury”

    Thank goodness!

    I’m really interested to what happens…and the promise of a love story in the middle of this is extra intriguing. =)

  9. Ahhh! I can’t wait to hear the rest! Will definitely be here Wednesday!

  10. Incredible. I’m hooked!

  11. Good story! Can’t wait to read the rest and it’s of personal interest to me. My husband worked downtown across from the World Trade Center on 9/11. He was missing until 2:30 that day.

  12. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be back Wednesday to hear “the rest of the story.”

  13. LTM says:

    Wow! That is a super story, and what a great tease for Wednesday! I can’t wait to read what happens next~ :o) <3

  14. TC Avey says:

    Intriguing. You know how to gather an audience.

  15. Lydia Kang says:

    Intriguing is right! You know how to write a nice cliffhanger!

  16. Huh! I dunno what happened. I THOUGHT I left a comment here hours ago. Oh well. All I said was this post reminded me of one of those rare TV show episodes that sucks you in and then has the unmitigated gall to say “to be continued” at the end. Crud. Pbbbbt. (an unladylike raspberry) But I’ll be here on Wednesday. How could I not? Intriguing story.

  17. I’m not going anywhere until the next post goes up. This is the kind of stuff that gets me excited. 🙂

  18. mshatch says:

    Can’t wait to hear the rest…I’ll be back 🙂

  19. First of all, I love how he tells this story. Hehe. Just like my brother who is in law enforcement. I can’t wait to find out the rest!

  20. !!!!

    Well NOW you’ve got my attention…

  21. Oh yes, I’m hooked. I’m glad it’s Wednesday and I won’t have to wait too long!