Operation Little Havana

A Jonathon Stone Mystery Short Story

Jonathon Stone teams up with FBI Agent Maria Sanchez in Miami to try to solve the murder attempt of an exiled Cuban baseball player. As news stories continue to fuel the growing tension between the US and the Cuban people over a government change in policy, Jonathon is thrust into the middle of an international crisis.

After another murder attempt of a ballplayer, the op takes a sudden shift from the Little Havana area of Miami to the Everglades. While Stone and Sanchez struggle to find out who is at the bottom of this, their focus abruptly changes to a freelance reporter and a mystery man.

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Jill, the cocktail waitress, had just delivered another Jack and Coke when my cellphone started vibrating. Well, there were only a handful of people in the world that knew this number. This was the third time in the last hour the phone had gone off.

I motioned to the pit boss that I needed to leave the table and to watch my chips. I looked at my caller ID. It was Wiley, my tech guy in San Francisco. I looked at my watch. It was midnight on a Thursday. What is going on?

When I got to a safe location, I said, “Wiley, what you got?”

“Russ has been calling you for a couple hours. You need to be in Miami tomorrow. Debbie has you all set up to leave John Wayne at 0700.”

“I only got a couple calls, I think.”

“He was calling your home phone. Finally, he gave up and put me on the task. What is that noise in the background?”

“It’s a bunch of winners. At least for that spin,” I said laughing.

“I sent a text to your computer with all your travel details. FBI Agent Maria Sanchez will pick you up at the airport. You’re staying at the Airport Marriott.”

“What is this all about and why me? There has to be a bunch of CIA Agents closer to Miami.”

“I don’t know the details but it has something to do with the President, Cuba and the murder attempt of Jaime Lopez, the Cuban pro baseball player at a nightclub in Little Havana yesterday. One of the papers earlier this week ran a story that President Simpson was going to stop travel to Cuba unless they do something and everyone down there is uneasy. I didn’t read the article.”

“What does the Agency have to do with baseball?”

“Nothing. Oh, Jon, take your Sportsman Magazine ID package. That will be your cover. I got to go back to sleep. Early morning tomorrow! Good luck.”

When I first moved to the Long Beach area, my cover was unique. I was a reporter for the Real Sportsman Magazine. The paper was a front for the CIA operation in Southern California. It allowed me to move freely and interview people without any legal wrangling. That cover is long gone but I still use it sometimes to move around freely in the states.

Miami in the winter time. The population doubles and the traffic triples. I was glad someone was picking me up. I was still wrestling in my mind why I was picked. Russ Evans, my boss and the head of the CIA domestic division called DOT, must have thought I was wasting away in Long Beach.

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