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Calendar >  Nickie Got Nabbed – Thomas Calabrese

Nickie Got Nabbed – Thomas Calabrese

By   /  May 6, 2016  /  No Comments


Nickie Got Nabbed – Thomas Calabrese

Nicola “Nickie” DeAngelo was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the youngest child of Riccio and Virginia De Angelo. Riccio or Richard as he was addressed in professional circles was a shrewd international businessman who was also influential in local, state and federal politics. There was talk that Richard DeAngelo was connected to organized crime and this rumor were primarily based on the fact that his grandfather Nico DeAngelo and Charles, “Lucky” Luciano had built a massive crime empire in the 1920’s and it was part of the DeAngelo heritage. There was not a shred of evidence to substantiate this, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true, it just meant that there wasn’t any conclusive evidence.

Even though Nikki and her two older brothers; Frank and John went to a prestigious private school with an excellent academic reputation that wasn’t enough for their father, he wanted his children to possess practical knowledge and specialized skills. Richard DeAngelo was building a global empire and he wanted to make sure his children were completely capable of inheriting it.

When Nikki was eight years old, she began studying business, politics, foreign languages and started training in martial arts and and by the time she graduated high school she had an well rounded and expansive education, an eighth degree black belt in Jeet Kune Do and was proficient in Krav Maga, Israel’s national martial art. She was fluent in Italian, Spanish, French and Japanese and had a basic understanding of Mandarin Chinese as were her brothers Frank and John, but what distinguished Nikki from her siblings was her athletic abilities and natural instincts. Frank and John were more like their mother, quiet, studious, reliable and predictable, but Nikki was like her father; cunning, daring, intelligent and willing to take calculated risks.

Richard Angelo was a firm believer that it was better to be powerful and unknown then it was to be weak and famous or infamous so it was mandatory that his children maintained a high level of secrecy from everyone outside the immediate family and live an unassuming lifestyle. The De Angelo family adhered to two basic philosophies; “Pride Comes Before a Fall” and “Walk Softly And Carry A Big Stick.”

Richard DeAngelo even hired a retired F.B.I. Profiler to teach his children on how to pick up clues from a person’s behavior and read their body language and then use that information to their advantage. He knew how important it was to have good instincts in this ever changing and high tech environment where the new generation was so much into Facebook, Twitter and texting that they lost their interpersonal skills and to have the ability to read and understand people especially in adversarial situations would give his children an added advantage that many others would not possess. He was also keenly aware that there would always be individuals that would say or do anything to get what they wanted and to know their ulterior motivations would be invaluable in any important business negotiations. Nikki not only excelled at the skills of reading people, but thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of it. Gamblers call it a “tell” where the slightest inflection in the voice, a sideways glance, an additional blink of the eye or a movement of the fingers could give away whether a fellow gambler was bluffing or not.

Richard DeAngelo knew before his three children had graduated high school what their strengths and weaknesses were and he was pragmatic enough not to force any of them into a career that was contrary to their nature. Frank and John were hardworking even tempered men who would be content to spend the rest of their lives working at the same office in the same city, playing golf on weekends and having Sunday dinner with the family for the rest of their lives. Nikki had a completely different personality, in fact he was often amazed by his daughter’s skills and he was not a man that was easily impressed. When the DeAngelo business holdings expanded and increased in diversity, Richard delegated the daily operations of the real estate and property management division to his two sons although he continued to hold final say over any major projects.

Even though Nikki was only twenty eight years old, she was a savvy businesswoman who had traveled the world on behalf of her family’s business interests. There was no deal that she couldn’t handle and no CEO or Board of Directors who could intimidate or out negotiate her; in fact even Donald Trump called Nikki one of the toughest negotiators he ever faced.

“How fast can you leave for Southern California?” Richard asked his daughter,

“Three days,” Nikki replied without hesitation.

Richard reached into his briefcase and pulled out a large folder, “Take a look at these before you go.”

Nikki went back to her office and read the contracts that her father had given her. The company in question, Oceanside Global Exports had filed for Chapter 11 protection because of declining business. Her father bought the company and all its assets then negotiated with the creditors to pay off its debts for ten cents on the dollars so that he would own the entire company then two weeks after acquiring Oceanside Global Exports, he purchased thirty per cent interest in Hydranautics ,a desalination water filtration reverse osmosis membranes manufacturer that was also located in Oceanside and one week after that he obtained contracts with China and South Africa  to ship Hydranautics products to their country.

Nikki left Corporate Headquarters in Blue Springs, Missouri by helicopter to Kansas City International Airport where a private jet flew her to Carlsbad Airport on Saturday night where a car was waiting for her at the executive terminal. She checked into the Marriott Residence Inn in the Oceanside Industrial Park and on Sunday Nikki drove around Oceanside and joined Planet Fitness and a martial art studio which were only a couple miles from the Marriott and worked out at both places late Sunday afternoon. She had her schedule in place before she went to Oceanside Global Exports and Hydraunatics on Monday

For thirty days Nikki worked diligently during the day and exercised liked a demon in the evenings. She had boundless energy and only slept four hours a night, fueling her body like a finely tuned race car with a special organic diet. She picked up three more deals with Italy, American Samoa and South Africa and then leveraged those Hydranautics agreements to get imports contracts with foreign companies whom she had dealt with previously. Oceanside Global Exports soon became the exclusive importer for the entire Pac Rim operations of DeAngelo Enterprises and it had been a very profitable month for the family.

Nikki called her father and told him she was ready to proceed to the next phrase.

“Affirmative, let me know if you need anything,” Richard said without hesitation. Nikki contacted several realtors and told them that she was representing her family in purchasing property in Morro Hills near Wilshire and Sleeping Indian Road.

“What is your price range?” The realtor asked.

“Let’s leave that open for the time being,”Nikki answered.

“Have you already pre-qualified for a loan yet?”

“I am only interested in this area and since this will be an all cash purchase,” Nikki emphasized, “we’ll move quickly from that point on.”

Nikki looked at nine properties before she decided on a foreclosed equestrian center and horse boarding stable. It was a sixteen acre parcel with a three thousand square foot house, four barns and two corrals. The house was located on a hill with a view of the San Luis Rey Valley to the south and east, Camp Pendleton to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The place needed a lot of work, but for the right price it could be exactly what Nikki was looking for.

The bank wanted three million dollars, Nikki low balled with a first offer of one million nine hundred thousand and eventually they agreed on two million two hundred thousand and a bank draft was sent.

Nikki wasted no time finding a general contractor, interior designer, landscape architect. She met with engineers from Hydranautics to discuss installing a desalination system for the property. Nikki made it emphatically clear what she wanted before any work began and anything less would not be unacceptable, there would be no “is this close enough” or “what difference does it  make.”

Once work began, Nikki sent weekly video accounts of the progress to her father and alternated working at Global Exports and meeting with the contractors to inspect completed work and discuss future plans. Nikki knew how to motivate people so on every Friday, she had different local restaurants cater lunch for the work crews at which time she gave a one hundred dollar bill to each worker with a sincere thank you for their hard work. Nikki figured it might cost her an extra seventy five thousand dollars, but she knew from past experience that when you show appreciation, workers respond by doing an excellent job.

The landscape architect and his workers converted a significant portion of the landscape to drought resistance vegetation, Hydranautics engineers followed up by constructing a reverse osmosis desalination system and water storage tank and connecting it to a drip irrigation system for the trees, flowers and garden. Since San Diego County often experienced extended drought conditions, Nikki now put herself in the position where the Pacific Ocean was now her personal reservoir. She also put in a few hundred solar panels and took advantage of every state and federal subsidy to reduce the energy costs.

Nikki contacted the family law firm told them to work out a plan to turn five acres of the property into a nonprofit animal sanctuary that could be used by local rescue groups. This allowed significant tax exemptions and combine that with moving the office of Oceanside Global Exports to the property and using that as a business deduction, the Oceanside property would become a became a major tax shelter and another way to legally launder non reportable income.

The DeAngelo family expanded their real estate holdings in Oceanside from sixteen to one hundred and sixty acres and Nikki’s preference was property that bordered Camp Pendeton.

When Richard DeAngelo came to Oceanside, he saw major changes with the DeAngelo holdings.

“Very impressive,” Richard said, “You’ve done a very good job.”

Nikki replied, “Land, water and money are the key components, once you got those, everything else falls into place”

“You’ve got cattle grazing, farming, nurseries, animal sanctuary and storage facilities and a warehouse filled with Hydranautics products.” Richard smiled as they toured the grounds in a customized golf cart, he didn’t say anything when he saw a small building in the distance with a fence around it and men entering and exiting it.

“Once we started expanded Hydranautics sales they needed more space for their products; so now we make money off sales, storage and shipping and they maintain a desalination system for our property.”

Nikki and her father drove up a private road lined with fruit trees and bright flowers and when they got to the top of the hill a metal gate opened exposing four custom built homes. Every structure had panoramic views of the valley, mountains and Pacific Ocean.

“I contacted mom, Frankie and Johnny and got their wish lists for a vacation home and then told the general contractor this is what I wanted, my house is pretty much the same as yours and mom’s, but I was careful enough to make sure that Frankie and Johnny came out and did their own walkthroughs after each phrase of construction.”

“Things are moving quickly,” Richard asked, “How is everything going on the government side?”

“About the same,” Nikki answered.

As Nikki and her father were looking at the homes, a pick up drove up and a gray haired fit looking man in his late fifties got out of his truck and walked up to Nikki and Richard.

“Dad, this is retired Marine Corps Colonel Mike Williams, he is our property manager and liaison between our interests and the government’s.”

Mike Williams extended his hand, “I’ve heard a lot about you, sir.”

“That is not always a good thing in our business,” Richard smiled”

“Or in mine, I have a few things to take care of so I’ll let you finish your tour but if you need me for anything,” Mike Williams responded, “you have my cell number.”

“I’ll be leaving soon, but I’ll look forward to seeing you on my next visit, Colonel.”

Mike Williams got his truck and drove off.

“Mike lives at the far end of property,” Nikki said, “We’re working on leasing a thousand acres from the base.”

Richard pointed to a construction site, “What is going on over there,”

“That is going to be a five hundred thousand gallon water tank, the land around here is a combination of federal, state, county and city jurisdictions and all of them have some responsibility for fire protection,” Nikki pointed to a canyon, “That area over there is a habitat for several endangered species and is also a fire corridor so when the Santa Ana winds blow in from the desert and there’s a fire, it funnels the flames through that canyon and burns everything in its path, but when this tank is completed I will be able to provide water to all the fire departments.”

“This is a major undertaking,” Richard inquired, “Will all this time, effort and money be worth it?”

“Every project is fast tracked with no fees and you already know we don’t pay any taxes, well now we’re also getting paid by several agencies and getting free use of dozen of pieces equipment to maintain the area and haul water from the ocean. I just made three donations of a hundred thousand each to the Oceanside Fire Department, Police Department and the Congressman from this district. The agency has a structure on site too which you already noticed, but chose not to say anything about.”

“So what you’re saying is that everything is going to according to plan,” Richard smiled, “Quick, efficient and professional, just like always.

“I’m getting to ready to submit my long range projections  so if everything goes according to plan, the family should be bringing in ten million tax free dollars annually within five years.”

Over the three months Nikki hired five young individuals to help with the ever increasing workload of the property; Chris Bryan, Julie Forrest, Camille Stevens, Manny Garcia and Catlin Powell.

During their first staff meeting Nikki told her new employees, “I hired you because I know you have the business skills to do this job, but during your probationary period of employment I will be evaluating your performance and looking for dedication, honor and integrity. Remember that even though this property is part of my family’s business, it is personal to me because I have been here since the very beginning so if you make an honest mistake, we’ll deal with it, but if you make an error because you were lazy, careless or try to hide something from me, I will fire you immediately, no second chances. I don’t micro-manage so if you need to be supervised than this is the wrong job for you, but on the other hand, I have an open door policy that is available to you seven days a week and twenty four hours a day. If you can’t find me on site then you call me if you got a problem.  One last thing and this is most important of all, the DeAngelo family expects your best and in return you can expect the best from us.” Six months later and the probationary period for the five employees had expired. Nikki would now have to make the decision on whether to hire them full time or terminate their employment. Nikki would have been happy if she could have found two employees out of five who met her high standards, but in this case, all five individuals were worthy of retention. Mike Williams approached Nikki and volunteered to take on the duties of dealing state and local agencies since everything with Camp Pendleton was going smoothly and required so little of his time. There was a downside to all this good news, Nikki came to the realization that the Oceanside venture could function without her and it was time for her to move on.

“Everything is done on both sides, nothing more for me here,” Nikki informed her father.

“There’s something in the wind and I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out, but I’m going to China tomorrow and I’ll be off the grid for a while and by the time I get back I should have more details.”

“I was already thinking about entering the Oceanside Triathlon which takes place in ten days, training should keep me busy,” Nikki said, “Get in touch when you get back in country or know anything.”

“Whichever comes first, love you,” Richard responded.

“Love you too,” Nikki answered.

Nikki was already swimming a mile every morning at the family compound’s saltwater pool and was running, biking weightlifting and doing martial arts during the week. The Oceanside Triathlon was a half Ironman and consisted of a 2100 yard swim, fifty six mile bike ride and thirteen mile run.  Nikki had already competed in five full triathlon, ten half ones and twenty mini triathlons so she knew what to expect and how to train so she would do two sixty miles bike rides, three fifteen miles runs and four two miles swims then get a deep tissue massage on the Friday before the race then rest and carbo load on Saturday and be reading to go on Sunday morning.

It was Thursday and this would be Nikki’s last exercise session before the race, she had completed ten miles and was on her way back to the property when she turned down a small dirt road and climbed over a gate that had a large sign; No Trespassing and ran two more miles. A high tech drone was flying a thousand feet above her and transmitting video footage of her to an unknown location.

A small building and several large metal storage bins were located among a stand of tall eucalyptus trees. There were several satellite dishes and a large generator was running.

A man was looking on a monitor, “She is on site,”

Colonel Mike Williams responded, “Do not lose reception, if anything goes south, we’re going in, get the team ready.”

Suddenly two men rushed out of the building with their automatic weapons and pointed them at Nikki.

“Nikki got nabbed! Nikki got nabbed!!”

Colonel Mike Williams walked over to the monitor and looked at the video footage of Nikki.

Another man rushed over, “Are we going in after her? “The team is ready.”

“Not yet,” Colonel Williams ordered

“I’m sorry, I was running and must have turned down the wrong road, is this part of Camp Pendleton?” Nikki smiled.

Another man exited the building and from his demeanor and the way the other men deferred to him, he was the person on charged.

He spoke in French to the other men who had Nikki under guard, “If she moves, shoot her.”

Nikki pretended that she did not understand French then suggested, “Obviously I made a mistake coming down this road, I’ll just go back the same way I came.”

“This was no mistake, you deliberately climbed over the gate and ignored the no trespassing sign,” Man in Charge said in a heavy French assent.

“I’ve been training for the Oceanside Triathlon and I guess I overextended myself and tried to a shortcut home. If you want to call the police and turn me in for trespassing I’ll wait by the gate for them.”

“You need to come inside,” Man In Charge ordered.

The two men with weapons got behind Nikki, roughly searched her then pushed her inside.

“They’re taking her inside, we got to move!”

“We’ll give her three minutes,” Colonel Williams ordered, “We need those hard drives  intact.”

Nikki quickly scanned the inside of the building; it was filled with computers, monitors and weapons.

“Now I know for sure, you are not the least bit surprised to see what is in here,” Man In Charge commented.

“I’m not a person who surprises easily,” Nikki tried to be nonchalant.

“We need to complete our mission so we can destroy everything,” Man In Charge ordered in men in French

Nikki knew it was only a matter of seconds before these men completed their task, killed her and destroyed their equipment. The only thing that the men did not search was the sole of her shoe.

“My legs are starting to cramp up,” Nikki commented and bent down as if she was stretching and removed a mini transmitter from her shoe and palmed it in her hand.

“Nikki activated the transmitter!” Monitor Operator called out.

“Move out!” Colonel Williams ordered then turned to the drone operator, “Give her a distraction.”

The drone operator gave a command to release a small explosive device.

The transmitter was also designed to interfere with the operation of computers within a twenty five foot range when things started going haywire inside the building, The Man In Charge knew Nikki was at fault.

“What have you done?”

Nikki knew the protocol so when the bomb exploded and rattled the building she leaped up and viciously kicked the Man in Charge in the groin then grabbed his weapon and shot two men dead while they were trying to regain their senses. When one of the computer operators tried to delete information from the computer, Nikki smashed the butt of the rifle into the back of his head and  rendered him unconscious.

When Colonel William and his team arrived, Nikki was dragging the Man in Charge along the ground by his collar while he struggled and cursed at her. Nikki quickly reminded him of who was now in charge by slapping him across the face with her weapon and knocking out his front teeth.”

“The computers are still intact,” Nikki said.

“Roger that,” Colonel Williams nodded then turned to his men, “Check it out.”

It was one week later and Nikki and Richard DeAngelo were at C.I.A. Headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Special Agent Amber Celico walked up, “Ready for the de-briefing?”

“That is why we’re here,” Richard responded.

“Sorry we had to move so quickly, you knew that we were monitoring their communications and using that to go after other terror cells and we were content to maintain that status quo, but once we got credible intel that they were planning to go after hard targets, we couldn’t wait, we had to know which targets and who would be carrying out the attacks,” Special Agent Amber Celico explained.

“I was at the end of my run so it was no big deal,” Nikki responded casually.

“When we went through their computers, we also found a connection to the shooters in San Bernadino,”Amber said.

Colonel Mike Williams opened a door, “They’re ready for you,”

Richard and Nikki started to walk away.

“I thought you should know that their four targets were a fuel dump and the naval hospital on Pendleton, a power plant in Carlsbad and the Coronado Bridge, those places and a lot of lives were saved because of your actions,” Special Agent Celico snapped to attention and saluted.

The DeAngelo Empire continued its expansion around the world and used their business enterprises to help fight the war on Global Terror. To the world, Nikki DeAngelo was known as a billionaire businesswoman, but beneath her facade of success was the heart of a true American hero who just happened to be one of the most dangerous covert operatives in the world.

The End





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