Are You Ready

Read this featured blog post by Pastor Tony Rea

Are You Ready


I Can (series)


From the time I started patrolling the streets of Detroit in 1975, narcotic trafficking was already a huge problem. In the late 1970s a handful of neighborhood teens formed a little group called YBI—Young Boys Incorporated. YBI was a street heroin organization and for about five years, from 1977 to 1982, Young Boys controlled 75 to 80 percent of the heroin trafficking in Detroit. In their heyday (same years I worked the streets), YBI was raking in over a quarter million dollars a day in heroin street sales.


Like many other places in Detroit, YBI decided to set up shop in the 13th Precinct, and a few of us said, “Not on my watch.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t much uniformed patrol units could do to stop them. Most of the street runners and drug sellers were recruited as young teenagers. By the time we processed arrest warrant paperwork through the juvenile court system, the teens were released to their parents and then back out on the street. Besides that, when we successfully shut down one drug location, another hotspot was up and running within hours.


The YBI networking was mind boggling, and hundreds, if not thousands of people from the entire metro Detroit area and Canada made their way to our neck of the woods in order to purchase their drugs.


One evening, YBI took over a small hotel in our precinct. They rented out the majority of the rooms and were conducting heroin sales in the parking lot. It was a perfect location for them because this particular two-story hotel building was U-shaped, and the only way to access the inside parking lot was through a narrow driveway. If the hotel management called the police to report narcotic activity, as soon as a scout car pulled into the driveway, drug crew spotters would signal the sellers, and the activity would cease. There was no way of knowing where the stash (heroin packets) were—so no arrests could be made. Once the police left the hotel, the runners were back in business.


After multiple calls from that same location, my partner and I came up with a plan. We had the manager open the outside rear window to one of the hotel rooms not being used, and we asked him not to rent that room out. The outside window was not in view of any of the spotters because they were positioned inside the parking area. We then proceeded to the back of the building; I climbed the outside gutter and entered the second-story room from the open window.


For the next 20 minutes or so, I watched what was taking place in the parking lot, and it was absolutely amazing. Hundreds of cars, one right after the other, pulled into the hotel parking lot to buy heroin. I was able to identify all the players involved in the sales along with where the drugs were being stashed. I radioed my partner and one other unit standing by and gave them perpetrator descriptions and the location of the heroin. A few minutes later the two units came speeding into the hotel parking lot. They made multiple arrests and located a huge bag of heroin. It contained over 200 little manila packets, all marked YBI. It was a successful operation and a quality arrest.


Instead of calling it a night and coming out of my little crow’s nest (hiding spot), I remained in the same room and continued to keep the hotel parking lot under surveillance. Because of the great heroin demand, we were confident a second YBI crew would show up and continue to deliver at that location. Well 10 minutes into operation “Do it again,” several angry men started pounding on my hotel room door shouting, “We know you’re in there, and we’re coming after you!” 


Talk about being freaked out! Immediately I radioed for help and told dispatch, “Get someone here now!” The entire time I was asking for help, my new friends kept pounding on the door threatening to kill me; at any moment, I fully expected bullets and gunfire to come flying through the door. I flipped the mattress and box spring over and used them as a shield. I was a sitting duck. Yes, I thought about diving out the same window I climbed into, but don’t forget it was on the second floor. I failed to mention, I broke the drain pipe earlier when I made my Spider-Man entrance, LOL.


It took about four minutes for help to reach me, probably the longest four minutes of my life. Eventually my partners came to my rescue and moments later, we all left the location unharmed. To this day, I’m not exactly sure how the bad guys knew I was in that room. Needless to say, I was extremely happy and relieved to see the boys in blue.


Thinking about this story, it may have been the one and only time during my 10-year police career I actually thought I was going to die. You know what they say about being in a situation like that—my whole life passed before me. Please don’t get me wrong, I had many other life-threatening police experiences, and afterwards I always thought, “Wow, that was a close call.” However, on this occasion imminent death was a reality, and I was compelled to think about it.


How about you? When was the last time you contemplated the whole idea of dying? As you well know, unless Jesus returns in our lifetime, we are all going to experience death. Last time I checked, the mortality rate is still holding fast at 100 percent. Are you spiritually prepared for death? Have you secured your salvation? Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, or if you would like to get this matter taken care of, feel free to email me back. I would love to talk with you about it.



John 3:16

For God so loved the world, He sent His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.



Acts 16:30-31

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”



John 5:24

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me (Jesus) has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”



Romans 10:9-10

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.