CSI: NY s09e14 Episode Script

White Gold

I'm surprised the paint isn't frozen.
Thought you wanted to do this.
I did.
Defacing personal property at 5:00 in the morning sounded great last night.
It's not about defacing property.
It's about disseminating a message.
But maybe you've got more important things to do, like play Call To Duty.
Hey, I'm here, aren't I? I think you got your point across.
Can we just go get coffee now? I'm not finished.
It's Call Of Duty.
Abby, come on.
You don't need coffee.
- It's a car accident.
Somebody could be hurt.
- Abby It's just a fender bender.
Everybody's fine.
Well, what if they're not? The fewer people that know we're here, the better.
Maybe we should take this as a sign and just get out of here? Look, just one more.
Don't you think that's a little overkill? Abby, wait! Oh, God.
So you were just strolling the streets at 5:00 a.
, taking in the beautiful sites? We were taking pictures for a photography class.
You must have gotten some real close-ups.
Your girlfriend has red paint on her hands.
Look, right now, I don't care about murdered cows.
I care about a murdered human.
So I need to make sure that you're telling me absolutely everything.
Yeah, I swear.
All right.
She's cute.
Just use your head.
It's so amazing what a guy would do to impress a girl.
Well, some of you are harder to impress than others.
You don't have to impress us.
You just have to be honest with us.
Oh, be honest? - That's it? - Simple as that.
Oh, it's mornings like these that make me wish I was back in Alabama.
Oh, it's whining about a little chill in the air that makes me wish you were in Alabama, too.
Got a white male, no wallet, nothing.
Looks like two bullets in the chest.
Any witnesses? Couple of animal rights activists who have a beef with beef.
They were busy leaving their mark when they saw two cars, heard the crash, heard the shots.
They didn't see anyone, other than the vic when the vehicles left.
And their stories match up.
We're looking for a late-model BMW four-door rear-ended by an unmarked beige van with rust and some dents.
At least ten years old.
Two vehicles, two drivers.
Looks like we're looking for at least two people.
Whole thing was very fast and efficient.
Could be a hit.
Junker rear-ends a luxury car sounds more like a carjacking to me.
That's one way to trade up.
Out here in the fields I fight for my meals I get my back into my living Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
No hit on the fingerprints in AFIS, which leaves us with a Caucasian male, five foot, ten, 174 pounds, between 23 and 27 years of age.
I'm guessing COD is no surprise.
Uh, one bullet shattered his sternum.
The other severed his left main coronary artery before lodging in his spine.
Blood loss was rapid and fatal.
Stellate tearing.
These are close contact wounds.
A couple more things.
I found a trace of white powder in his nostrils.
Just got the results back from the lab.
- Cocaine? - Flour.
Bleached and all-purpose.
Our vic liked to bake.
Well, I'm hoping that, uh, the other thing is a bit more helpful? I have saved the best for last.
Three scars.
I'd say about a year old? More bullet wounds? That's what I thought until I opened him up and found he's missing his gallbladder.
Laparoscopic surgery.
That's pretty rare for a guy this young.
Very rare.
Probably no more than a couple of dozen patients in the last year in local hospitals.
Well, who needs fingerprints? Hey.
Almost done with the, uh, reconstruction here.
So, how you feeling? - Uh, fine, thanks.
- Yeah.
How's, uh, Lucy feel about her possible baby brother or sister? She's excited.
That's-that's great.
That's great, you know.
You know, my brother hated me.
Just, he was so He was so pissed all the time that I was there.
He was just, like, "Here's the little thing" Oh, we totally worked it out.
Uh, I mean, uh, eventually, it was totally, totally cool.
It was totally Um, anyway, what do you got? I have the year, make and model of the car if it helps.
That helps a lot.
Did you get - the fingerprints off the taillights? - Microdots.
Thieves are targeting high-end lenses now, so manufacturers are dotting them.
I'm running the VIN through DMV now.
You gave me the "who"" I gave you the "how"" Uh.
And, um, look.
He wasn't, like, super pissed.
- You know? - Oh We we worked it out.
Yo, Mac, want to go grab a quick slice? A slice? Bullets didn't get a hit in IBIS, but hospital records gave us 17 guys in their 20s that lost their gallbladder last year, and only one of 'em looked like our vic.
Paul Tortucci.
Lives at Carmine and Bleecker.
Above Tortucci's Pizzeria.
He bakes pizzas.
Best in the village.
It's a beautiful night, all the stars shining bright For my donna molto bella The moon's on the rise There's a glow in the eyes of my donna molto bella We drank sparkling prosecco And the music is echoing our favorite tarantella It's a night for amore An affare di cuore with my donna molto bella Raphael Tortucci? That's what my mama calls me.
Only when she's angry.
It's Ray.
Hey, New York's finest.
What can I do for you guys? You want a slice? Let me give you a slice.
No, thanks.
We're here about Paul? Paul.
My nephew? What? He didn't do anything wrong, did he? Why don't we step over here for a sec? What's going on? What do you guys want to talk about? I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but, um, Paul was found shot this morning.
Shot? What do you mean, "found shot"? I don't know what you're telling me.
He's okay, right? I'm sorry.
Paulie my Paulie's dead? Why don't you have a seat? Sit down.
Hold on, now.
He was going snowboarding.
What do you mean he was shot? He was shot by who? We don't know that yet.
He lived upstairs? Yeah.
You know how we can contact his parents? Oh, God.
They're dead.
They died 16 years ago.
I promised them I'd take care of him, I'd watch over him like he was my own.
I mean, he was my blood, he was my boy.
- He worked here with you? - Yeah.
After the funeral, he didn't want to go home.
He just wanted to hang out around here and and help us, you know? He was nine years old, so I-I gave him an apron, and I put him on a stool, and He worked beside me since then.
And the trouble, I mean, bad trouble and we're just finally, we're getting out of the red.
And I was gonna retire and I was gonna I was gonna leave I was gonna leave the place to all for nothing.
Will you tell me what happened? We think he was carjacked.
Carjacked? talking about? He had a fender bender, and they must have pulled him out of the car, and they they shot him and took his BMW.
Paulie never drove a car like that in his entire life.
He drove a piece of crap van.
Now, who would kill someone over that? Nobody.
We got this all wrong.
The vic was driving the van.
Then he rear-ended the car.
So, the vic's the carjacker? Picked a target that wouldn't give up without a fight? Except the kid has a clean record and his business was picking up.
Carjacking at gunpoint feels like a stretch.
Well, maybe it was road rage on the car's part.
Then why take the van? That's something you might want to ask the owner of the car.
DMV just gave us a name and address.
That a new jacket? Actually, it is.
Well? It's fine.
Just fine? Hey, I'm just being honest.
Rowena Black? In person.
Are you the owner of a black BMW 528? Are you gonna give me a parking ticket? Where were you this morning? Here.
Can anybody vouch for that? You mean, did I sleep with anyone last night? No.
You're gonna have to do better than that, Ms.
Your car was involved in a shooting this morning.
A murder.
Wait what? My car? You sure? Positive.
So, unless we can confirm that story, we're gonna be talking at the precinct.
Okay, look, I don't know what happened.
Last time I saw my car was three days ago.
I haven't left here since I did this.
Nothing on the car? Owner says it was stolen.
You believe her? Well, she has no priors and her boyfriend checks out.
I'm just hoping we can pick up her car's anti-theft signal before it ends up in a chop shop.
So, what do you have? Now, what don't I? All right, I found four sets of skid marks at the crash site front and rear for the van, front and rear for the car.
Check this out.
The rear skids are lighter than the fronts, and the drag sled gave me a surface friction value.
Plug everything into a velocity formula, and you get a virtual model of the collision.
Eh? Impressed yet? I'm getting there.
Go on.
I picked up faint acceleration marks starting here, and shadow marks where the car swerved sharply.
Then it started braking here.
Curving skid marks indicate the van tried to avoid it, but no chance.
The car caused the accident? Looks that way to me.
Which would mean the luxury sedan carjacked the van? Mm, doesn't make any sense.
Two vehicles recovered at Amsterdam and West 57th.
Both the van and the car are intact.
This isn't about auto theft? Doesn't look like it.
Looks like our vic was hitting the slopes, huh? Found his wallet in his jacket pocket along with his passport.
So, maybe he was going somewhere more than just the Poconos, huh? According to the stamps in his passport, he's been in Canada four times in the last five months.
Take a look a this.
Note the matching damage.
Impact site is The van, 23 inches.
So, something was weighing the van down when they hit.
Something that isn't here anymore.
Well, that explains the hit on our vic.
This kid was delivering a lot more than pizzas.
This is the car, this is the van.
The red marks are the point of impact.
When both vehicles are empty, there's a difference of 4.
3 inches.
Okay, well, we know there are two people in the car.
Okay, so add the average weight of two males.
And our vic weighs 174 pounds.
All right, so add that to the van.
Now, we'll add the weight of the mysterious cargo.
He was smuggling over I don't know.
Could be anything.
Guns, liquor, drugs.
I would go to option C, since, uh, I didn't find any prints in the van, but I did find some drug trace P.
That's a mild amphetamine.
A lot of reasons to kill somebody.
Not exactly Tony Montana's mansion.
Paul was probably just the middleman, taking a cut like everyone else.
Still, it looks like my son's apartment.
He loves sports, gross-out comedies.
Mom and Dad.
What are you doing here? What's going on? We're trying to find some answers, Ray.
We have a warrant to search your nephew's apartment.
For what? Why? We found a hidden floor compartment in your nephew's van.
It was carrying Looks like he was hoping to smuggle it into Canada.
What are you talking about? Wait, hold on, smuggle what? We're not sure.
It was gone.
But whoever killed Paul didn't want the van.
They wanted what was inside it.
I told you, he was going snowboarding.
He said that Quebec had the best snow and the prettiest girls there.
He bought the van used.
All right? So, if there was a hidden compartment in there, it was there when he bought it.
Look, all right Detective, I know you don't know me from Adam, but Paulie, Paulie, he he he wasn't a drug smuggler.
He was a good boy.
We found some drug trace in the van, Ray.
Mac? There's a couple of thousand, here.
You know those little metal pellets I found on the passenger mat in the car? They're castings from an oxyacetylene torch.
- So, our passenger's a welder.
- Mm-hmm.
I also found GSR on the outside of the driver's door.
Our driver's the shooter.
Tall shooter.
He had his seat all the way back, I put him at six foot four and a half.
You know that from the car seat? I know that from his rap sheet.
When he hot-wired the car, he pricked his finger.
Left a little blood trace.
Reno Martell.
Auto theft, assault with a deadly weapon.
Just got out - of Fishkill.
- Yeah.
His P.
gave us his last known.
NYPD, open up! Boom.
Jack cheese, maybe.
What? Think we just made the largest cheese bust in NYPD history, buddy.
It's-it's Martell with two "L"s.
Now, any friends, any family, known associates.
You know the deal.
Guys, why don't you start canvassing the building? Yeah, sure.
Low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella.
Same stuff they use on pizza.
If you had told me this morning we'd be investigating a cheese murder, you know what I would - have said? - Please don't.
"No whey.
" Thought I said "don't.
" I guess this explains the drug trace in the van this cheese contains small amounts of P.
Doc, people don't kill each other over dairy product.
Which means the perp thought it was something else.
Maybe that's exactly what the vic wanted.
I mean, the way he packaged it up, stored it in a hidden compartment, maybe he was trying to con a bunch of people into thinking he had a whole lot of coke or heroin, maybe meth? Yeah, but the buyer caught on and tapped him.
What about the fender bender? I mean, if this was a revenge hit, why take the cheese? Yeah.
Does that part of the floor look cleaner than the rest? Yeah, since when does someone clean a dump like this? Yeah.
When they've spilled a lot of blood.
You're here to tell me it was the mozzarell, aren't you? You knew about that? If I did, Paulie would probably still be alive today.
I just figured it out.
We think maybe he was trying to con someone.
Make them think he was selling them drugs.
He wasn't trying to con anyone.
He was just trying to make a few bucks.
Couple years ago, some Canadian greaseballs came in here, and-and they start going on and on about the cheese, how it's cheaper here and more expensive there.
They said if I could figure out a way to get it over the border, I could make four bucks a pound.
Smuggling cheese? Low risk, high reward.
"White gold," they'd call it.
But that stuff never flies with me, so I threw 'em out.
And I never thought about it again.
Until you found that money in the apartment.
You went through the books? Yeah.
Last year, we were doing really bad.
We were in trouble.
It was grinding me down.
So when Paulie offered to take over the books, believe me, I was thrilled.
But turns out he was good at it.
I mean, he raised some prices, he lowered some costs.
Before long, we were showing a profit again, and I had no reason to look at the books.
These are my dairy purchase orders for the last five months.
Paulie went from ordering 200 pounds of mozzarella a month to 700 pounds.
These delivery dates are consistently a day or two before the dates of the Canadian border entries in Paul's passport.
And the delivery times are all late in the day, after 6:00.
I had the lunch shift, Paulie had dinner.
I was gone every day by 6:00.
He was getting a little action on the side couple of thousand a month.
Yeah, I guess that's what it would look like.
But that's just not Paulie.
So I looked at everything, and then I realized none of it was adding up.
For the last five months, the daily receipts aren't even synching with the final balances.
You think he was skimming from the till? He was adding to it.
$50 here, $70 there.
Little bit every day.
That's what was putting you in the black.
And that's why we found that cash in his place.
He knew that I would never retire as long as this place was in the red.
He was doing it all for me.
Excuse me.
You think he really didn't know? That this is the first time he heard about it? Yeah.
Something isn't sitting right.
The perps stole a car, stage an accident, commit murder? That's a lot of downside for a few thousand dollars.
We thought it was drugs.
Someone else did, too.
Ray said Paul always backed the van up right here.
Which means this is where he must've loaded the bundles.
What if someone happened to see him? Saw him loading those white bricks wrapped in tape into a secret compartment at night.
It'd be pretty easy to think he was loading a whole bunch of cocaine.
Worth a few million bucks.
Plenty of motive to kill.
No foot traffic, any vehicles would be conspicuous.
Let's go pay George a visit.
We'd like to ask you a few questions.
Last time a cop asked me questions, I ended up doing three months.
What do you know about your neighbors the Tortuccis? They make pizzas? Look, I'm kind of slammed here.
What's this about? The nephew, Paul, was murdered this morning.
Are you serious? I mean, I went in there now and then.
I don't know.
He seemed like a good kid.
Where were you this morning? And here we go.
You know, I knew that was gonna be next.
I don't know anything about that.
Then you shouldn't have any problem telling us where you were.
Same place I am every morning: at Nico's on the corner having coffee.
What time was that? if you don't believe me.
We will.
Mind if we look around? Without a warrant? Yeah, I do.
Well, if we come back with a warrant, we're gonna go through every single part in this place, and for every missing or unmatched VIN we find, you'll be doing another three months.
Looks like that could add up pretty fast.
Knock yourselves out.
Hey, Jo.
Perfect view.
So what? You think I've been spying on the pizza boy? Looks like somebody has.
Those are Felipe's.
Who's Felipe? He works here.
Where is he? Taking a "me" day.
He can weld like a son of a bitch.
If he could speak English and learn to show up for work, he'd be a rock star.
All right.
Felipe have a last name? Felipe Zacharias is in the wind.
Chop shop guy's alibi checked out, so I'm liking Felipe for this.
You think he's our welder? Yeah, and Martell's accomplice.
Unfortunately Felipe's not in the system, any system.
Probably illegal.
Which explains why the DNA from the cigarette butts I ran through CODIS - didn't get a hit.
- Ah, neither did the blood on Martell's floor, so I'm guessing that could be Felipe's, too.
Good guess because I ran the blood and the DNA against each other and got a match.
Sounds like Felipe and Martell had a falling out.
And Felipe lost.
Got it.
Thank you.
Ticket-taker says this bin was emptied yesterday sometime around noon.
So that means Felipe was dumped sometime after that.
Makes sense.
Body temp is ambient.
That puts time of death between 24 and 36 hours ago.
We got two stab wounds.
Explains all the blood at Martell's SRO.
Also couple of defensive wounds there and here.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
What's that? What? On his shirt.
A matchbook.
So if the Dumpster was empty except for the body, this belongs to either Felipe Or Martell.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I'm really starting to feel like we're wasting our time.
The bartender said that Martell's been here almost every day.
Bartender's a drunk he sees a lot of things in here almost every day.
It has been a few hours.
Come on.
And don't say I never take you anywhere nice.
Hold on.
Lock and load Lock and load Lock and load Lock and load Reno Martell.
All right! Drop it! Cheese? You murdered two guys over some cheese? I'm thinking you better come up with a better story, because when you're doing consecutive life, you don't want anyone to know it was over a bunch of mozzarella.
Hey hey, listen to me.
I didn't murder anyone, all right? This was all Felipe.
It was his idea.
He stole the car.
He capped the guy.
He attacked me with a knife.
The only thing I'm guilty of is listening to a moron.
Well, you ran like you were guilty of a lot more than that.
I don't trust cops.
It sounds to me like maybe you were just having a bad day where everything goes wrong.
So why don't you walk us through it? Starting with how you knew Felipe.
I sold him a car.
I'm, like, a car dealer, you know? Wow.
One car deal and you guys are thick as thieves.
Eh, he was new to the States, he didn't know a lot of people.
You're, like, a one-man Ellis Island? You must've made an impression on him, because as soon as he came across an opportunity, - you were the one he called.
- Yeah.
He said he'd been watching this pizza guy next-door.
Paul Tortucci.
He said he saw him loading something into his van late at night.
Then a couple weeks later, he sees the very same thing again.
It's, like, a regular thing.
Only this time he sees a bit more.
He sees these big white bricks, and he's hiding them in this trapdoor he's got in the floor of his van.
So you figured it was cocaine.
That's what Felipe said it was a ton of it.
A friggin' fortune.
So anyway, Felipe picks me up in this sweet ride he's just boosted.
Hang on a sec.
Felipe was driving? You sure? There was a steering wheel in front of him.
So yeah, I'm sure.
So, you waited at the pizzeria for your guy to drive away, and then you follow? We waited till we found a nice, quiet street.
Then you cut him off.
It was just a fender bender.
We just wanted to stop the guy.
Then all hell breaks loose.
Right away, Felipe jumps out of the car and rushes the van.
Then out of nowhere, he pulls out a gun.
I didn't even know he was carrying.
- That wasn't part of the plan? - Hell, no.
I wasn't worried about the guy rattin' us.
He was running coke! But Felipe, he was on his own planet.
He puts two in the guy's chest, just like that.
So, Felipe dragged Tortucci out of the van and tagged him right in the middle of the street.
We got the hell out of there.
We drove back to Felipe's car, we unload the van, and then we head to my place.
You thought - you hit the mother lode.
- Hell, yeah.
I'm thinking Felipe's a friggin' genius.
So was he.
He keeps saying, "I told you so, I told you so," over and over again, like a crazy man.
Then you cut it open.
He cut it open.
It was his score, it's his honors.
What's the trouble? You must've been pretty pissed when you saw what was inside.
I didn't have time to get pissed.
Felipe went nuts.
He was just so wired.
You know? A-And then when he saw that it was cheese that he just murdered a guy for friggin' cheese he lost it.
So he turned on you? He would've turned on his own mother.
It was totally self-defense.
It was just like she said.
Just one of those days.
You know, I think I believe him.
Oh, like you've never had one of those days? So his ended in murder you gonna hold it against him? We'll try and keep an open mind.
Who are you guys? We're the guys you're gonna tell the truth to.
Oh, come on, I just told the whole story - to the other two - Let's start with the stolen car.
When we found it, the driver's seat was pushed all the way back.
Now, if Felipe was driving, that would be very strange because he's only five seven.
You know what's even stranger? When Felipe hot-wired the car, he left your blood on the ignition wire.
Like she said, we're the guys.
So maybe I boosted the car.
And yeah, I was driving; big deal.
See? - I can be real with you guys.
- Good.
Good, 'cause there's more we found gunshot residue on the outside of the door of the car.
The driver's-side door you know, the one with the steering wheel? Look, th-this is all messed up.
There were witnesses who said that nobody jumped out of the car right away.
I don't know.
I don't know.
Then let me clarify it for you.
You forced the crash.
Paul gets out, comes over to your car.
Maybe he wants to know what happened.
Maybe he just wants to see if you're okay.
You open the window and shoot him, point-blank.
No! I didn't want to shoot the guy.
The idiot grabbed for my gun.
We fought and, you know, it went off.
So it was self-defense? Yeah.
I swear.
Just like Felipe.
You have very thin walls in your place.
Neighbors said they heard yelling.
Yeah, yeah, like I told him, Felipe, h-he went crazy.
Except the person yelling was speaking English.
And Felipe's English wasn't very good, was it? We-we were both yelling.
I mean, he-he came at me with a knife.
Except he had defensive wounds and you don't.
He was freakin' moron, all right?! Who mistakes cheese for coke?! Who?! I just I lost it! After all I'd just done You know the good thing is, you won't be having any more of those days for a long time.
Hey, Ray.
Hey, Detective.
How about that slice? I was thinking maybe I sell the place.
This I don't know, I don't think I'm ready to let it go yet.
Hard to let go of a lot of things.
I keep thinking about the promise I made my brother, that I would always look after Paulie.
That's on me.
We found something in Paul's van.
When this little boy came back from his parents' funeral, he was confused, lost scared.
Kid like that can go wrong in a whole lot of ways.
But instead, he turned into a hardworking, devoted, caring young man, a good man.
That's on you, Ray.
You never let anyone down.
Look at him.
He's covered in flour.
Every time he'd sneeze up a storm.
Oh We'd always have to start over.
For every every one piece he made, I I'd throw away four.
Thank you, Detective.
Thank you.