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The Prince of PentiumA Life of a Hustler and a Computer Hacker
By Sherard H. Adams
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 Sherard H. Adams
All right reserved.
Chapter OneStrong Island, New York
"Get on the ground!"
That's the last sound Prince Jenkins heard before the Nassau County Police Department's secret squad put him in handcuffs. The date was March 21, 2001, a cold, rainy day—certainly a day that called for staying indoors. Something had told Prince not to go, but that little voice had said, "Let's go and get this last $10,000."
You see, two years back he had moved to Baltimore, Maryland, about three hours from Strong Island—better known as Nassau County and Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. Like always, there ain't no money like New York money! Hip hop, drugs, guns, clothes, scams—you name it. It was all there on Strong Island, back at Prince's old childhood stomping grounds. And most of were he discovered the White Colloar craft. Strong Island was not only a place to get money. It was his second home.
You see, Strong Island was a breeding ground for fraud in the New York metropolitan area. You got Brooklyn, Queens, and the other three boroughs, where every corner you turned there would be some hustler outside selling CDs, movies, and whatever else you wanted. Strong Island, you see, was a state by itself. You got the five roughest towns in Nassau County, from Hempstead, Roosevelt, Freeport, Uniondale, and Elmont, to the five roughest towns in Suffolk County: Wyandanch, Amityville, Brentwood, Wheatley Heights, and Central Islip. Growing up in these ten towns could be a challenge. Strong Island mixed in people, from the rich and famous, to the Bloods and Latino Kings on the streets.
"Yo, can you loosen these fuckin' handcuffs? I can't move back here. And what the hell am I under arrest for?"
A voice came from the passenger seat of the unmarked police car. "My name is Detective Valentine, and I just have orders to arrest you."
"Well, first of all my name is Prince Jenkins, and you might have the wrong nigga in custody."
As the traffic got thicker, the two officers did not blink to put on the sirens to make their way through traffic. The roads were bad. And if Prince didn't know any better, he would have thought this was some kind of hit the Nigerians put out for him. You see the Nigerians deal with 30 percent of the nation's fraud overseas and about 5 percent of the scams that happen in the tri-state area. That the two officers were white didn't help much, even though Prince knew the Nigerians liked to use their own soldiers to do their dirty work.
A voice came, from the driver's seat this time. "It won't be much longer until we arrive at the seventh precinct."
"Yo, is there any way you can loosen these handcuffs?" Prince asked again. They ignored him.
Just as Prince was regaining his composure, the squad car pulled into a parking lot. A big splash from the puddle that might have been there all day hit the passenger-side windows, front and back. As the car pulled in, all Prince could do was hold his breath and think of a way to con his way out of this situation. Or better yet, talk his way out. Prince thought to himself, Why would the Nigerians want anything to do with me? It's not like I crossed any of my connects. Surely this has to be all about law enforcement. But in this game, once you've crossed that hundred-thousand-dollar marker, you might as well put on your new suit, because there ain't no turning back.
The squad car came to a stop, and Detective Valentine opened up the back door. "Get out so I can loosen your handcuffs. All we need is another punk giving us a lawsuit. Prince, that is your name, correct?"
"Yeah, Officer Valentine's Day."
The officer responded with a deep tone in his voice, "You got jokes, kid."
As Prince wiped the smile from his face, another car pulled into the parking lot. Damn, Prince thought. Really thought I was going to be all right.
There was a brief moment of silence in the street traffic as the new car approached the police car. Could it have been that there was a red light, and none of the cars on the side street could move? As Prince sat back down in the unmarked police car, he looked at the driver of the dark-blue Ford Taurus, and he thought he knew that female face from somewhere. Could have it been from a nightclub?
As the Taurus came to a stop right next to the police car, the driver exited with such sex appeal that she could've been mistaken for a model from a playmate magazine. With light skin, she looked like she was of Spanish descent. No more than five-foot-seven and one hundred and thirty pounds. Long, dark hair and lips that only Angelina Jolie would be jealous
A voice came from the woman. "Hello, officers, my name is agent Maricel Castro I'm with i the United States Secret Service."
Now not only did Prince's eyes lit up, but his memory was jolting about this woman. Where do I know her from?
The other detective exited the driver's side of the vehicle. Both were eager to see some kind of badge from the new arrival. Prince was still in a daze trying to remember where he knew this female from.
As soon as she went to flash her credentials, another vehicle pulled into the parking lot. This time it was no Ford Taurus or Crown Vic! It looked like Prince's New Jersey connection, Archey! And then he put the woman's face together with an identity. Oh shit, that's Archey's crew's mule that they use to go into banks to cash high-amount fraudulent checks. And she's the fall girl if anything gets sloppy or hot! Oh my God, this nigga is trippin'. Archey pulled into the parking lot and went straight to the corner, where he got out and walked into a nearby deli. Prince's heart was pumping one hundred miles an hour, just as if he was on a street bike doing one-eighty on a rainy day.
The officers looked at the woman's federal badge. Valentine pulled out his radio to check the information before going any further in conversation with this mystery woman. "Detective Valentine to base."
A brief pause, then a voice came over from the radio. "This is headquarters."
"Yes, this is Detective Valentine with the Special Crimes Prevention Unit. I need to confirm a check on an agent with the United States Secret Service. Over."
As the detectives both fell very quiet, Prince stayed in the backseat trying to remember any connects he had in the Nassau County Police Department. None. And if so, how did Archey know about his arrest? Nevertheless, if this was his way to get out, then Prince would ask no questions.
As the woman sat back in her car to prevent getting too wet, a voice came over the radio. "Base to Detective Valentine. Over."
"Go ahead, base."
"The information you gave us checks out. She's clear."
That was a con of a relief. Prince sat back and noticed Archey getting back into his Lexus. He must've been doing something in real time, either on his laptop or on his cell phone. Either way, Archey was behind this Secret Service scam.
The windows inside the police car were starting to fog up from the rain outside mixed with Prince's breath. It was getting hard to see what was going on outside in the parking lot. About ten minutes had passed by when the rear door of the unmarked police car opened again. A not-so-happy Detective Valentine pulled Prince up and out of the police car, uncuffing him to be recuffed by the makeshift agent. He was put inside her Taurus.
Even the air inside this car felt refreshing. Prince figured any air smelled better than prison air. She shook both of the detectives' hands, and Prince saw a sigh of relief pass through her eyes as she turned around to face the Taurus and Prince. The detectives both got back in their car with no debate or confusion and drove away.
As the woman entered the Taurus, her perfume was so vile that Prince held his nose in the air, wondering what brand she was wearing. As she settled down in the car, a voice came from the driver's seat. "Baby, are you okay?"
"Yes I am."
"All right. Now don't make any movements until we clear the area. Then I'll get those cuffs off of you, all right?"
Prince knew he'd just gotten deeper than he'd ever been with the law. The window wipers were moving slow, and the rain turned to drizzle as they pulled into the traffic. His eyes were glued to the rearview mirror, wondering if they were being followed. The traffic light took forever to change.
A pearl-white Cadillac truck pulled up alongside the Taurus, hip hop music just being turned down. The driver's window rolled down to blow the smoke of a Phillie blunt out into the rainy air. Prince, still handcuffed, saw his window roll down. A voice came from the other car's driver's seat—a deep voice that matched the face it belonged to. "Damn, it just keeps getting better and better."
Clawdell Jones, better known as CJ. Now CJ is that nigga if you need address, mules, IDs, retagged cars—shit, this nigga was like the black white-collar Escobar.
Prince's window went back up, and the light turned green. I guess this was a way to let Prince know the family was behind all of this. As the Taurus drove off, Miss Makeshift Secret Service Agent told Prince it wouldn't be long.
"Hey!" he said in response.
"What is ya real name again?"
"Oh, I thought you knew, Prince! It's Regina, but they call me Diamond."
"Well, all right, Diamond. Could you please hurry up and get me somewhere to get these cuffs off of me? I'm starting to feel like a prisoner in transport, baby."
Her voice was so light, with an accent that only a New York Spanish fly could speak. "Papi just one minute."
Prince's patience was not something he practiced, but due to the circumstances, he would have to accept her answer. He sat back in the seat to relax and wondered how he'd gotten this far in the game. It was only a couple of years ago he was living with his grandmother and his aunt in a two-bedroom apartment with very little, if any, money every week. Time surely flies when all is going perhaps too well, Prince thought to himself. He was now so well connected that not even the local police could touch him. Money, power, respect—this very well must be what he'd heard about. Prince had no clue how deep he really was.
Diamond's voice interrupted his thoughts. "Are you all right back there?"
"Yeah, Diamond, I'm all right."
"Well, Prince, we are here!"
As Prince looked up, he recognized the area he was in. It was an empty Nassau County Fairgrounds parking lot. I'm getting to not like this parking lot thing more every the minute.
As the car came to a stop, Diamond hit a number on her cell phone to notify whoever was on the other end that they were there. "Baby, let me get those handcuffs of you now."
As she opened the back passenger door, Prince stood up to stretch. Diamond uncuffed him. "Oh thank you, baby, much better."
Just has he said this two vehicles pulled into the parking lot: a gray Lexus GS300, which could only be Archey, and the same pearl-white Cadillac Escalade that had pulled up to them at the light, which was CJ. Both drivers got out and were smiling at Prince as if they had saved Superman. If only Prince felt the same way.
As Archey strolled up to Prince, the tone in his laugh was of joy and evil mixed together. "What's up, nigga? Tell me ya boys Archey and Clawdell are not the number-one computer hackers in New York."
"Listen to me very closely," Prince responded. "What y'all niggas just did was off the records. But now I must become a ghost to the system."
"Yo, Prince, what do you mean, become a ghost?"
"Just that it's not going to take long for the police or the feds to know that they themselves were just scammed. Now Archey, CJ, thank you. Death before dishonor. In this day and age, there is no more honor among drug dealers and thieves. What you both have done is something out of a Hollywood motion picture."
Now Prince wanted to ask the million-dollar question: how the hell did they know that he was to be arrested, and why didn't they notify him if they had all of this planned out? But Prince had a strange feeling that if he would have asked, he wouldn't get an honest answer anyway. Prince knew in this game, this life he was living, that when you do a favor for a person, it was only in due time that they would come running back for something in return. Also, the game is meant to be sold, not told! And in any case, Prince knew that when it came to scamming or hacking, he was still the Prince of Pentium.
CJ offered to give Prince a ride back his house, but Prince knew the safest plan would be to get out of Strong Island ASAP. It would only be a moment in time before the detectives would be back on their hunt for him. Prince knew he had to erase his identity. He'd hack into some vital records department in some small town's town hall. That would let him get a new birth certificate, Social Security number, and whichever state driver's license. It was a sixty—to ninety-day job, but it surely needed to be done since the cops were curious about him. Prince still didn't know exactly why they wanted to talk to him, but couldn't be anything good.
"Yo, CJ, I'll take you up on that offer, but first we have to contact some people out of state," he finally answered.
CJ wondered why Prince didn't just wait until they got clear of the tri-state area before making any phone calls that could jam them up in the long run. "Yo, Prince, why don't we just wait until—"
Before CJ could finish his statement, Archey came over and gave Prince a black plastic card that looked like a credit card. Prince reached over CJ to grab the card. "Yo, Archey, what's this?"
"Now listen to me really good. This card is a corporate American Express card with an endless limit."
"Say what?" Prince said, shocked.
"You heard me. There is no limit on this little black card."
Prince knew about the companies that could be hacked into. But American Express was surely not on his top-five list. Plus, if you have been in this game long enough, you should know that companies like American Express and Discovercard all have their own investigation departments. And believe it or not, they follow up on all of their leads.
Prince gave the card back to Archey and explained to him that using that card would only bring him a bigger federal case down the line. Then with a slight grin he said, "I'm the Prince of Pentium, and I got this under control."
CJ And Archey both turned and looked at each other. CJ said, "Brotha please, you was just about to go to jail."
Prince knew nothing else could be said, but he still wasn't about to take the black card. "Yo, Archey, hold on to it. Never know, I just might come into a jam that may call for your financial hacking skills as well as mine."
Archey accepted this and gave Prince one last embrace, then Prince and CJ got into the car and pulled off. "Yo, CJ, this shit you all did was truly some movie, Hollywood, gangsta shit. Damn I wonder what those cops are up to?"
"Yo, Prince, I wouldn't even worry about that. You see there is a operation going on as we speak regarding the "NCIC system."
"Yeah, the National Crime Information Center. Every fucking cop and FBI and DEA agent uses that system to log or de-log warrants into the network. Each department has a main drive hardware system, and each district is given usernames and passwords."
"Wait a minute, you mean to tell me—"
Before Prince could finish his sentence, CJ's phone rang. "Hold on, Prince. I have to take this."
Prince sat in a criminal state of mind while CJ was on the phone, thinking to himself what kind of money-making moves he could do by hacking into the NCIC network. But money was not what a hacker would gain from hacking into the crime network. The sole purpose of getting access to that kind of data was to keep an eye on Big Brother to see what the feds or the locals were up to.
With the window cracked and CJ still on his cell phone, Prince reached into the glove box and pulled out a pouch of what looked like some high-grade marijuana. He looked up by the passenger-side visor and pulled a honey Dutch Masters cigar from the box he found there. He cracked the cigar in the middle and emptied the contents out onto the rainy road, then he filled the cigar up with weed and rolled it back up. He used the car's cigarette lighter and lit the blunt, took a few inhales, and passed it to CJ.
Excerpted from The Prince of Pentium by Sherard H. Adams Copyright © 2012 by Sherard H. Adams. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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