Gene Ehmann worked in law enforcement for 17 years which included many years as a special agent with the FBI. Now in the private sector, he's provided investigation executive protection and security for individuals and international corporations both domestically and internationally in Asia the Middle East and Latin America. He specializes in providing vetted connections for businesses in Latin America. And he's an expert in travel security and a certified firearms and personal defense tactics instructor.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 135
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Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[03:00] Tom's introduction to Gene Ehmann [08:29] Crazy, cool, intriguing life with a fedora [19:11] Starting out as a police officer [27:05] Doing undercover work [32:31] Transitioning to being a private detective [46:37] The business aspect of being a “super sleuth”
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Maryann Ehmann – https://screwthecommute.com/134/
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Episode 135 – Gene Ehmann
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:23] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode 135 of screw the commute podcast we've got Gene Ehmann here now this guy is an international private eye and and one of my team members on my TV show in development Hollywood called scam brigade and he's a darn cool guy who's going to bring some international intrigue to this show. Yeah and you might want to recognize his last name because we had his wife on the last episode. Maryann and that was episode 134 and Maryann was a prosecuting attorney and a ministry leader. Wait till you hear her story. You see those two very often together as the combo. But she helps spiritually inclined business owners bust through limiting patterns so they can fulfill their dreams and soar and their calling. So that was episode 134 and I've got a big freebie to thank you for listening to the podcast. It's my twenty seven dollar e-book how to automate your business. It's just one of the tips in this e-book has saved me over seven million keystrokes and and I also might have a little extra bonus over there for you at screwthecommute.com/automatefree and of course all the links and things we talked about today will be in the show notes for episode 135 now our podcast app's in the iTunes store you can also go to screwthecommute.com/app and we have complete instructions to show you how to use all the fancy features so you can take us with you on the road on your cell phone and your tablet and also please tell your friends about the podcast I mean the more successful it is the more freebies I'll be able to give our faithful listeners. All right. Our sponsor is my mentor program. Check it out it's the longest running most successful and most unique and what they didn't tell you when I've talked about this in the past is we gave you a scholarship also to my school which is the only school of its kind in the country that's dedicated and separate just on internet marketing. So you also give a scholarship to that anyway the Mentor Program myself and my entire staff work with you one on one to help you achieve your online goals. So can check that out at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com.
[00:02:56] All right. Let's get to the main event. Gene Ehmann worked in law enforcement for 17 years which included many years as a special agent with the FBI. Now in the private sector, he's provided investigation executive protection and security for individuals and international corporations both domestically and internationally in Asia the Middle East and Latin America. He specializes in providing vetted connections for businesses in Latin America. And he's an expert in travel security and a certified firearms and personal defense tactics instructor. And he reminded me to tell you he's one ruggedly handsome dude. That's a plus. And I'm sure you. Now I'm sure you've heard other people say you had to had your head examined to be on a TV show with Tom. Well that's me. So while he was having that procedure having his head examined for dealing with me they actually found a brain tumor. And he beat the heck out of that too and we're glad he did. So Gene Are you ready to screw. The commute.
[00:04:23] Let's get together and screw 'em.
[00:04:25] There we go. How are you doing man.
[00:04:28] Doing well doing well Tom thanks for. Thanks for asking. Happy to be here. Happy to be here. We've had a long relationship brother.
[00:04:35] Yeah. Yeah. It goes way back. You. You scared the hell out of us for awhile.
[00:04:40] Yeah it was a surprise to me almost almost three years ago while talking to Maryann. I started going kind of haywire and we went to the went to the hospital got diagnosed as a brain tumor. It turned out to be a metastatic melanoma.
[00:05:02] It sounds bad.
[00:05:03] It was and as they say four stage anything metastatic is four stage. Now lest anyone get too excited about that it. When the surgeon opened up my skull the the tumor literally popped out. Wow. And his assisting surgeon actually made the sound of a cork popping out of a bottle. And he said it it was not attached to my brain tissue whatsoever.
[00:05:33] Amazing. Now I bet they still charged for removing it.
[00:05:37] They charge that they charge my insurance company. A lot of money and we had a little bit too. And it was. It was money happy to be paid.
[00:05:49] Well see first of all you are lucky because you know you. You said you got a little bit wacky and then they took you to the hospital. Well for me they wouldn't even have noticed. So it's been a long haul but you're back in the saddle again right.
[00:06:13] Back at it. Yeah actually the only downtime I really had was Really not even after the immediate surgery. It was after I had an immunotherapy treatment. The surgery itself took 48 minutes from open to close and put me on the gurney. The immunotherapy started and took three months and just immediately after my last treatment then I started having some symptoms. And that that kind of took me out of the game for probably three and a half four months and then I really started getting back in. But that time away really depressed my work. But it's getting back up there and it's taken some time frankly when when people hear that you've had a brain tumor they they kind of think you're done.
[00:07:08] Yeah well for sure but when I don't get it. How could something grow without being attached to the rest of you.
[00:07:13] Yeah. Who knows. Who knows. Tom you know what I'm going to say is it was God for me. Yeah it just it it was. Yeah I can't I can't. They couldn't explain it they couldn't explain it but it would. There was no attachment of the tumour to my brain.
[00:07:30] Well here you have an angel in your court.
[00:07:32] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yep. So I had a great surgeon too. You know. In fact it's very interesting because just three days ago the surgeon who did my brain surgery was interviewed by BBC about Tiger Woods. He had done Tiger Woods surgeries for his back.
[00:07:54] Oh crazy. Yeah. So. Yeah. So. So yes you had the good team around you and especially Maryann that's for sure. I just realized the kind of. I mean I could imagine what she was going through but I didn't realize how how bad it was. I talked to her yesterday. But boy she's she's a trooper that's for sure.
[00:08:18] Oh couldn't couldn't have asked for any better treatment in the world. I mean she. She just loved me through it man. That was it. She just I just sat on the couch and smiled. He took care of everything.
[00:08:31] So let's talk about this. That's crazy. Cool intriguing life you've had in the law enforcement community and the FBI special agent and now you're. You were like a long jacket and a little fedora hat and sleuth around. What are you.
[00:08:49] Well and a Meerschaum pipe.
[00:08:55] So tell us about what you actually do and I don't really understand about you vetted business. What does that mean.
[00:09:03] A lot of businesses go into business in a foreign country. Specifically U.S. companies we're probably the best or the worst about that. We'll go into business because one of their corporate attorneys has met a business person usually an attorney from a foreign country and they'll shake hands and hit some golf balls and have too many toddies and they'll go into business go into business together. And that often doesn't work out very well. They don't know the culture of the country. They don't know about the government. They don't know about the regulations. A lot of my work Tom has been involving counterfeit products. And a perfect example of it is a major company that whose name everybody would know here entered into a business arrangement in Paraguay and they had problems with their product being counterfeit. And the the short of the story is when we investigated the law firm that they were doing business down there we found out that they were actually cooperating with with the counterfeit pirates. Because they hadn't taken the time and we knew that because we'd done other work down there and we knew that law firm to be dirty. And when we found out that was their law firm we let them know and they changed law firms and lo and behold the counterfeit of their particular product stopped.
[00:10:35] So a big company that sells in the United States was finding that there was counterfeits coming from Paraguay or they were trying to do business in Paraguay or what.
[00:10:49] Well what what happens. Probably in 80 or 90 percent of the time as most counterfeit products are made in China. And even Bill Gates went over and tried to stop them from counterfeiting their very expensive products. And they smiled at them and said Certainly. And they literally put their business on wheels and moved it down the block and started producing again. Chinese don't care. The government's involved in it because they make so darn much money so the products are made in China and they shipped him to a variety of countries and in order to avoid design and patent infringement they'll send them over in a in a condition that they call. Neutral. It's not it's not. They call it not patented because there are no marks on it that indicate for instance counterfeit batteries will come over and there's no labels on them. And when they get to a country like Paraguay Paraguay is one of the biggest where they do it because their labor is so cheap when they get to Paraguay way then they'll put labels on them and they'll package them to look original and then they put them out on the market and Paraguay isn't isn't a community that buys those products. They don't have any money. So they'll send them over to. They'll send them over to Brazil. They'll send them to Miami. And they'll send him to Argentina. And those consumers are the ones that'll buy them. There's a bridge between Paraguay and Brazil. And two days a week. Wednesday and Saturday. The people come over from Brazil by the butt load. They'll come over two or three hundred thousand people a day because that's one day. That's when the shipments come in. I've got videos of that. And when they come over they they come over empty handed and they go back with with all the products stacked on them and I've got I've got videos of people on mopeds with boxes on their head going across the bridge and there are people that'll rent a moped for you for a dollar and a half to go across that bridge and a dollar and a half to come back and we can know exactly what they're doing because you can stop them and ask them what they're what they're bringing. And they'll tell you.
[00:13:21] There's no qualms about it.
[00:13:22] No there's not a not a qualm about it. And and the counterfeit business there is bigger than the gross national product of the whole country. Well they'll do 15 to 30 billion dollars a year in counterfeit products.
[00:13:36] So how I mean are you actually stopping. I mean how would you stop that.
[00:13:42] Well you don't. But the companies will will hire me and a group that I work with. And we have investigators in a variety of countries. Paraguay is just one of them. And they'll go out and do shopping and they'll find the people that are we know the stores there's is an area in a little city called Ciudad del Este. And it's right on the border between Paraguay and Brazil. And we know the shops where they sell the electronics and we we have one of the local investigators go in and make purchases and then we get a search warrant and we find a as clean a judge as you can find.
[00:14:21] I was going to say you know everybody's paid off anyway right.
[00:14:26] They are. They are. And we have local prosecutors that we've used before that are that are pretty good. And they'll they'll cooperate with us and we find a judge that is that is good because what happens what has happened in the past is we've gotten a search warrant authorized by the judge and then he'll send it to a clerk and the clerk will then notify the shop the shop and then before we before we get there the products are gone. So we've gotten wise to that we're able to use federal police again whom we've known and they they are off duty but in uniform and with weapons and they get in pickup trucks. And as soon as the warrant is issued we'll have them out at the location before the clerk can even get the thing stamped.
[00:15:14] So. It would seem like you would stand out like a sore thumb there.
[00:15:18] Oh absolutely. I mean once again I'll I'll show you the videos we go in and were the were the big Anglo people growing in and in a community which is basically dark skinned and the the the population there is mostly Wuttunee Indian. And there is a European influence Spanish influence. So the community itself is substantially wuttunee. And we have to have somebody who speaks wuttunee as well as Spanish to go in.
[00:15:53] It's like a revolving door though. What are they going to do to the people.
[00:15:58] Nothing. They do nothing. They in fact will pick up several million dollars worth of counterfeit product. We have to then provide this storage for the police because when we've put it in police storage the product disappears. And it's it's really difficult and really it's kind of come down over the years to only the really high quality products the Rolexes the high end high end stuff. And Johnnie Walker that they counterfeit whiskeys with. Yep yep. And anything that doesn't have a lot of high technology to it. Now the Rolex watches are actually not Rolex watches and so they're pretty easy to counterfeit. But when you get into that well a good example was Bosch & Lomb sunglasses. Easy to produce. The lenses are really difficult to manufacture but they can do the frames and the packaging and that even even the dealers themselves don't know it until they send it to the lab and test the lenses so they'll produce those those those rims and the packaging and then they'll put crappy lens in them and they'll sell them to the local people for a buck and a half a pair and then they'll send him out the door for 40 50 dollars and they're ninety dollars not normally 90 dollar pair of sunglasses.
[00:17:33] Well I think a lot of this stuff is getting into Amazon. Because it's hard to trust anything anymore on Amazon unless it's coming directly from the manufacturer.
[00:17:47] Yep. And you got to make sure that the labels look right and I mean eBay was the biggest violator for years and years and now they're creeping into other other areas. But the thing is and the thing that I got to tell the listeners is Don't don't go buy in the counterfeit products. The counterfeit products and the business that that supply the counterfeit products are also supplying sex slaves. And illegal arms and heroin it's the same process the same businesses that do this counterfeit products that do the you know the other terrorism. The biggest. Business that provided multiple millions of dollars every year to bin Laden. We're coming out of Paraguay Well the only the only bigger provider was out of Pakistan.
[00:18:43] Wow. Wow. Yeah. I mean they even make it to the streets of the U.S.. Right. I mean I mean people are you know doing purses and things on the streets you know.
[00:18:54] Yep. Purses and you more. Almost every big city has a flea market. Go to those places. Net New York City is notorious for having shop after shop after shop and they got counterfeit product. There is. There are different businesses that are focusing on on New York City.
[00:19:12] Wow. So let's take you back to the law enforcement career where you just start out before you start got into law enforcement.
[00:19:22] Start off in Long Beach California. As a police officer 21 years old. First job. I was moving furniture until I saw an ad in the newspaper that was advertising for policemen.
[00:19:35] And you're from California.
[00:19:39] I'm from California. From Long Beach originally up born there raised I went to school there. And so I I went into the to the police department and I ended up working on the street for a while. I did undercover work for a number of months and then. Got to working as a special uniform detail that worked a plain car with uniformed officers in some of the more difficult areas. Yes in Long Beach. And I ended up arresting a guy that had been giving us a lot of problems that night. I had to take him the hard way. If I could just be tender about that. and that incident made it to the newspapers and at the time. This is in back in the times when civil service vs. civil rights unrest was really high. And that incident made the newspapers and the FBI got that and they opened a case. And. They investigated it and they went to Freddy was his name. They went to Freddy and said we see that this occurred and they. Freddy told him to put their case where the sun don't shine. And so they came to me and they said well we went to Freddy and he declined any any kind of. He didn't even talk to us. So they said you have your degree. And I said I do and they said Have you ever been interested in joining the FBI. So that's how I got into the FBI and the senior resident agent of the Long Beach office was the guy that was doing the interviewing with me. And then he actually went up to the senior the head of the Los Angeles office which was the the the area headquarters and introduced me to the to the Special Agent in Charge SAC. They called and I got into the FBI.
[00:21:43] Well I doubt if it would work that way now.
[00:21:46] Oh nothing. Nothing Tom. Nothing works like that anymore at all. I could never be a policeman again I. I was. Yeah. That's for sure.
[00:21:57] And taking somebody the hard way means you go to jail.
[00:22:07] You don't want to get me started. It's because I had police experience then when I went into the FBI. In fact that's still true. Mostly FBI agents do a lot of street work and back then it was even less. When they got all of the information that they needed it to arrest somebody then they'd get an arrest warrant and they'd send a couple of people out and arrest somebody and there there was nobody like the FBI for report writing and processing and sending out leads. And because their work is domestic. The FBI can only do work in the United States. They can't do work outside of the country. The CIA can't do any work in the United States. So they've got this kind of nervous handshake. So because I had police experience the offices that I was assigned to Oklahoma's city first. They said well you've had police experience you know how to arrest people so we're going to put you on the fugitive squad. So I was working worked fugitives there and then I went to language school in Monterrey and took Spanish there and because I was first in my class I got the choice of offices and my choices were Puerto Rico Boston New York City or Phoenix. And you probably can't guess which I took. So I took Phoenix and once I got there then I also got on this on the fugitive squad and I transferred to Tucson from Phoenix. And so almost every every arrest that that happened there I went out on most of the time and I had some some pretty good ones. We rescued a couple of murderers and some international fugitives and I got involved with the FBI. Good friend of mine in investigating Joseph Bonano. And Bonano had been with quotes around it a little air quotes and over here retired. They'd never gotten him arrested on any any felony charge they'd arrested him once and he got out right away. But he had never been convicted and the case files at the time were there were 50 volumes of files on the guy. And we ended up just wondering what he threw away in his trash and we picked up his trash and then we did some legal research and found out that where he put it was on an area known as cartilage. And basically it's an area where you throw away your trash assuming that it's going to be picked up so it becomes public domain. And we went through his trash and found out that he wrote notes to himself. And as he wrote notes to himself he was writing down phone numbers and people. And so we put together a system where we would record the phones that he called and what we surveilled him. I followed him to California and we ended up going to Montreal and in New York City. And after three and a half years we we got enough enough information to end up putting him to send him to prison for. For jury tampering. Out of his garbage. And when we did we did a raid on his home. And after three and a half years and. After that he didn't know who are informant was our informant was his trash. And he ended up throwing away. Eighteen hundred notes. Eighteen hundred pages of of documents that he had in his in his private area when we raided. We had a basement in Arizona which is unusual. They mostly don't do basements because the ground is so hard here. But he had a basement and he did all his work. We ended up realizing that he threw all his notes in a little trash can next to his desk and then yet he had to take him out to the trash and throw them away. But he threw away another eighteen hundred pages. He didn't know that it was the trash collection.
[00:26:33] Oh that's a cool story. So is he still alive.
[00:26:39] No. Well he died in 2003 and he was born in his born in 1905.
[00:26:47] Does he know. No. Heck no. He got out because of health reasons. He had done that pulled that deal before he went to federal prison and he ended up doing I think his sentence was 18 months but he actually did six or seven months and he got out and lived another 20 years.
[00:27:03] So very cool but oh I take back to the. You said you did undercover work. Tell us about what that's like.
[00:27:13] Well it's different then than it is now. But we we we focused on prostitution and gambling and basically what I would do is we knew the areas in in Long Beach and sometimes. Out of the city but mostly in Long Beach where those activities would take place and. We had other informants non police informants and they would tell us that there was a prostitution ring that was happening and they had mostly they'd give me a name and a phone number and I'd call up the phone number and make arrangements to meet with a prostitute. We'd make a deal and and we'd arrest them. We arrested some fairly high. Quality prostitutes. Executive. They call them executive prostitutes who would do business with corporate people and they were. At the time they were you know hundred dollar an hour people. Long Beach didn't care particularly instead they'd arrest everybody. We we would mostly the street the street gals.
[00:28:22] But we just try to turn them to find out who was in charge of the whole thing.
[00:28:27] Well yeah in. Yes. A lot of the executive gals were on their own. And what they found we had we had one gal who was a secretary for a major corporation and she found out that some of her own people were we're looking for girls and they started that way and then they found out that there are other corporations and businesses. So they'd go to business conventions and so forth and they'd hook up that way. But in Long Beach the prostitutes would would travel between Los Angeles and Long Beach and Long Beach was a. A Navy town. And so the street the street prostitutes would mostly focus on the sailors. And we begin to have a relationship with the Shore Patrol chief petty officer who is in charge of the Shore Patrol people. And so a lot of the a lot of the Johns were sailors. And at the time what we could do is we would find the sailors involved in prostitutes or sexual deviancy which is no longer a problem in Long Beach or in California at all. And we'd arrest the sailors and we'd take him to the shore patrol. So there was no paperwork involved. We would take him to shore patrol. The other thing that happened was the shore patrol also had a lot of AWOLs and they would they would put warrants for fleeing AWOL sailors. And we could arrest them and we'd arrested them and we get twenty five dollars apiece for everyone to be arrested.
[00:30:10] Thinking back is that sexual deviancy or is the problem anymore. Because everything's so normalize.
[00:30:16] Everybody's a deviant.
[00:30:20] Wow. But so you didn't have to like infiltrate any big drug rings or anything like that I'd ever.
[00:30:26] I never did work drugs. I did work gambling and I infiltrated gambling rings. And we would there I've got some old yellow newspaper articles about about some of the Rings we we infiltrated and some of the Affordable tables that they had. And and yeah we did some of that and wasn't particularly difficult. I was I looked young and so it wasn't particularly easy I had to had to infiltrate based on looking ignorant and naive with a big role you know. And so as soon as I got inside then we did have good communications we had wires that I could wear. And soon as I got in and we saw that the game was going that I'd alert my people outside they'd come in and raid the place. Well there's a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And I never got in any real trouble in and didn't had very few fights although we did. Back then you had a lot more than you do today. And every time you get in a fighting today it goes to the newspaper.
[00:31:31] Right. Right. But you know I always wondered like though if somebody was infiltrating a drug ring wouldn't the the the drug ring people like want to make you do drugs that make sure that you were a cop or something when you get with the feds.
[00:31:45] Yeah. Particularly with the feds. I mean with with the locals it's it's not quite so bad although as the years have progressed they're actually doing they're actually some of the undercover agents are actually doing drugs. And here's what the whole process was and it was. It was true even then that you could allow minor crimes if you real if you believed that they were going to lead to larger crime. And that's what would happen.
[00:32:13] You do them yourself.
[00:32:14] Yep yep. I never did. I never did I wouldn't do that I never did it. I never did any drugs. But yeah. I mean even some of the DEA agents so they'll they'll smoke marijuana or some of them were sniffing coke because they're they know that they're gonna be led to to the bigger ringleaders and the big big drug busts.
[00:32:33] Okay so then how did you transition to your own business of being a private detective.
[00:32:38] Well I wasn't particularly. I didn't do well with big organizations and ike the FBI. Yeah great people out there.
[00:32:53] Everybody loves them now.
[00:32:55] Yeah. Yeah. And it's different. You know I I met J Edgar Hoover and I I spent an hour with him and he was as kind and gracious as could be. And basically the whole hour he talked and told me stories about what he had where he had been and what he had done and who he met. And that kind of thing. Very very interesting interesting story. But after he died then the FBI began to change and it's changed as as it's now become. And it's a. Mostly you know of the at the time when I was in there were nine thousand agents I think there's probably 20000 now and there. It may be you know it may be but when I was in there were nine thousand agents and they had 18000 support personnel so there to support people for every agent. And it was very well organized and. I you know I loved it. It was there were great guys but I just didn't fit into the big organization mold and I left and I went to work for a starting a new state agency in Arizona. And I stayed with them for five years I ended up directing a federal project of theirs. But I kind of worked myself out of a job and by the end of about five years I decided that I needed to go out on my own so I quit that went into my own business and I started off in security and personnel security and executive protection. And then I branched out and started doing some minor criminal defense work but that's difficult because you got to believe that the the guy that's being defended is is clean or at least is getting a raw deal. But I then also went into then early.
[00:34:55] When you say criminal defense. What do you mean.
[00:34:59] Well if somebody got charged an attorney would come to me and they'd say I've got a guy who's being charged with any any number of any any crime you can think of. But he's innocent.
[00:35:10] Oh and they go find the evidence.
[00:35:13] Yeah. Get the evidence. And mostly it's interviewing witnesses and mostly what the FBI did very well and still does very well as they do great interviews. They do wonderful interviews and they do wonderful reports. And that was the strength that I offered when I went into the private sector and just as as sort of an aside notes the difference between investigators and detectives is significant and the police have the best detectives in the world and the FBI weren't so great as as far as detectives were concerned. But they did great investigation. Investigators in any of the federal agencies they have informants so they'll have informant information and that'll give them leads. But detectives are the people that sniff around and dig up dirt locally and they they crack cases. And the FBI mostly receives information or they develop information that leads to arrests and the detectives are the ones that are really hit the streets and they they are the ones that have the best informants. The FBI often goes to the police to use their informants or to develop informants for themselves. And the FBI is real has relied on on local police for forever because they have the system of investigation that the FBI don't.
[00:36:45] So. So let me take you back to that when you got yourself out of a job in your first open your business did you plan for the job money in the bank. Were you married.
[00:36:57] Absolutely not. No. No.
[00:37:00] No on all counts.
[00:37:01] No on all counts. And was as foolish a business person as you could imagine. And I had a friend who at the time was an L.A. policeman and we had worked together in Long Beach. And he also helped us on the Bonano case and he said I've got a contact. Here we go. A police officer. I've got to contact who has a an airplane business and he's starting a route between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and Long Beach in Las Vegas. And he said he needs help in in vetting his pilots and some of the business arrangements that he was making so I started almost exclusively working for that company. And from there then he also had he. As an example he had a large a lot of of his equipment stolen. And he believed that had gone to Canada. So I went up to Canada with a with another partner and we found is is equipment in a warehouse up in Canada. And we managed it getting it back for him. So that then kind of spread the word and I had other other very hard marketing that you just did a good job for somebody. That was it. Yeah. And it was. It was word of mouth from from then on. I've you know and I think I've talked with you Tom I I've been a terrible marketing person and because it's always been in marketing of courses is word of mouth but it's always been word of mouth and it's gone from from mostly from attorney to attorney and then from corporate people to corporate people I've done quite a bit of executive protection for corporations when they travel as an example my last trip a few months ago is to Jamaica.
[00:38:49] Now would you make a distinction between being a bodyguard and executive protection.
[00:38:55] Yes. Yes. Well executive protection you you mostly provide the the body guards if you will and when you go to a particular area we have a system where we have we have a lot of networking with different companies who provide bodyguards. And as an example in Jamaica there is a company that I work with down there and they they provide local people who are licensed to carry. And we had I had an a couple of people that I work with had two businesses in and one in New York and one in Los Angeles and they sent people down to look at produce in the farms in Jamaica. Because Jamaica produces some wonderful produce. But. In Montego Bay there was a lot of crime going on in the big business down there is guns for narcotics and there were there was at that at the time there was a spate of murders in Montego Bay because of the interaction between the arms dealers and the. And the coke dealers. But. What spins off from there are people who do highway robberies and so these businesses knew that if they went into rural areas and went on the relatively bad highways down there that there was a chance that they could have been robbed. So they wanted executive protection and I provided that for these two companies for about a week and traveled with them and I hired these local guys who went out with me and and we toured Jamaica.
[00:40:30] Seems to me that might be so risky because the locals could get bought off.
[00:40:37] Well they can. And you have to know that and the guys in it specifically in Jamaica the two guys that I work with had been both been Jamaican policemen and they didn't get paid very much so they get paid a lot more when they're when they're working in the in the private sector but they know they're local people. And on point when we went out we started in Montego Bay. And my people flew in to Kingston and then they they went down to Montego Bay which is which is where we headquartered our activities. And they they got great hotel accommodations for us five star hotels and we then hired Suburbans a big big vehicles one of them was a suburban one Another one was a Toyota. And our guys would drive and we then had a chase car also. Yeah. They were there that these particular cars weren't armored when we did. I did some work in Mexico City and they had armored cars there and armed people.
[00:41:48] Yeah everybody and they tell that you know automatic weapons.
[00:41:52] They do they do. And once again in Mexico particularly I did I did some work for Executive Protection which is the headquarters of the Sinaloa cartel. But once again the people that I work with know the area they even know some of the cartel people and they get a pass for allowing people down there I mean it's it's it's it's a it's a whole it's a whole corrupt system you know. And and we work around it and we know everything works out. I've never had an incident. Yeah it's worked out very well.
[00:42:26] Are they more interested in getting the money than actually killing you.
[00:42:30] Yes. Yes. Kidnapping and you know you hear about the exotic kidnapping but most of the time you don't hear about the minor kidnappings because what happens is they end up either their companies have kidnapping insurance and nobody can know which companies have kidnapping insurance because that just inspires the kidnappers you know. So that's a whole big secret industry and they have some of their own personnel but mostly those people go out and they hire the local the kinds of people that I hire. To recover the kidnapped people and they'll pay ransoms. And they do just what the United States won't do as a country and that they they mostly they mostly recover they kidnap people they pay off ransoms. They negotiate with them and they they negotiate really often down to you know 20 30 thousand dollars instead of the two million that they demanding. And but you know I've I've worked in Colombia and in Brazil in Argentina and Paraguay and Chile.
[00:43:50] So you're pretty able to communicate. You were first in your class. Yes.
[00:43:54] Yes. I speak Spanish. Thank you FBI. They sent me to language school and so I speak Spanish and you know most of the time the languages are slightly different in every country right. It takes me a while to get used to it. And I speak generic Spanish in most of the time I deal with people who understand me and I understand them and I don't have any hesitation and tell him to slow down.
[00:44:25] They laugh when I say I'm a stupid gringo.
[00:44:28] Yeah. And they love it Tom. They love it when when you say that they love it if you try at all and I see that talk to our listeners if they go to Latin countries at all just say ollah that's all you have to do. I mean you know you can. And when you go to China you say Ning how and near they they smile and they look at you and they're happy. Any any place you go any place you go.
[00:44:51] Do much with China.
[00:44:54] No not too much.
[00:44:58] You know people in China.
[00:44:59] Oh yes.
[00:45:00] Okay I'll tell you why. Because they just did a report on how U.S. companies might want to get listed on Baidu which is their search engine. There's like a million searches a day in English. But you've got to get a Chinese cell phone number and somebody in China to help you with this. Nobody knows what to do so they just don't do it. So that could be a side business.
[00:45:25] Very interesting yeah. I have a couple of people I had had work over in in Shanghai and in Shenzhen on mainland China and then also in Hong Kong and I've got people in every all those areas and they in fact they they do work. In other Asian company countries Vietnam and Thailand and Singapore and I mean it's yeah there's a network over there.
[00:45:51] Keep your antenna up for anybody that would just help facilitate U.S. companies getting in Baidu because it's an emerging thing. And yeah I'd love to have my school in there because Chinese students are very studious and and a lot of them have money.
[00:46:07] Well you know and to mention your school. Tom I was there when you were just getting it going and you've got great work going there. Brother I'm telling you anybody who hasn't taken advantage of not your teaching and your school are missing out.
[00:46:23] Yeah it's. We just got approved by the Department of Defense for their military spouse program. So there they have scholarships available for military spouses. So we're we're getting all getting all my military testimonials together. So tell us about the business aspect of being a sleuth super sleuth like you.
[00:46:50] Get your money up front.
[00:46:52] Oh yeah yeah. So. So these companies that let's say they're going to send you to Paraguay to check out the fake widgets. So how do you bill how do you charge for stuff like that. And you know how do you get paid.
[00:47:08] With the counterfeit stuff and the companies we work with let's say companies oh let's say just as an example maybe a Canon or Epson or you know those kinds of companies we work with them long enough that we mostly do our work upfront because we know they're gonna pay us.
[00:47:31] You know that. Yeah you get paid.
[00:47:33] Yeah. We're gonna get paid with with corporations that we haven't worked with or with individual we've done done some work with individuals. Then we'll get a retainer and mostly we figure out what it's going to cost us. Just cost wise not profit wise and we get at least our costs upfront. And then we we hold our our information hold our reports close to our vest kind of like the FBI does. And I say OK now it's time to pay the rest. And then we give him the report.
[00:48:04] So I'm sitting here thinking like if somebody gets hurt. Who is responsible for paying the bill. Do you go to your insurance company and say hey listen I'm going to Montego Bay to deal with some cartel members for a kidnapping. Can you give me some health insurance.
[00:48:23] Yeah. Well yeah. Yeah. Well in fact there is there is if there are travel insurances.
[00:48:28] Well yeah. Travel insurance is for getting you know getting shot with an MP5.
[00:48:35] That's that's more difficult. And but yeah I mean if we have to go down on things like that then the individuals have to pay or if they're if they're working for a corporation in the corporation or corporation would pay.
[00:48:55] Is that in your contract with them.
[00:48:57] Yes. Because when people are working for a business then they're there. If they're working as an employee.
[00:49:04] So you actually get a W-2 for this. When you're working for a company you're aren't you a contractor.
[00:49:11] No contractor totally contract right but so technically you aren't.
[00:49:16] I mean. Oh I'm. Oh you mean if I get shot if you get hurt. Yeah. Oh OK. Yeah.
[00:49:21] No if I get shot it's on me and I.
[00:49:24] You better watch out.
[00:49:26] Yeah. I got travel insurance but other than that there's no compensation for getting shot.
[00:49:32] I would put my contract if I get shot.
[00:49:41] Well and when you get into the areas that are particularly dangerous then your your your your contract is higher you know.
[00:49:48] Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. So. So now if anybody is listed here they would like to get into this kind of field. What would they do. I mean they don't have your 17 years of FBI and street stuff. But let's say somebody is ex military or somebody wants to get into this kind of work. What would they do.
[00:50:09] Mostly people start by joining another investigative company. If you've got credentials and most in most states licensing requires that you have three years of investigative experience and if you've been a policeman or usually a military police or something of that kind then you can go take the test and get your own license. That would be a private investigator license and that's a state by state thing.
[00:50:40] Well how do you do internationals but you I mean what if somebody says if those states are not licensed in.
[00:50:47] Well I have somebody who's licensed there. I have yeah. We have a network of people and we we go in with a straw man.
[00:50:57] And so you go in but you're under under somebody else's right under the auspices of someone else. Right. In most countries well I know definitely in Latin American countries for instance when we do work and we find products or criminals but mostly it's products and we find products that we're investigating then we hire we have in in the instance of Paraguay we we have on staff a an attorney who is familiar. And Mexico by the way too we have attorneys who are familiar with the system there and private attorneys can go in to prosecutors and deal with them directly. Unlike here. Here the police have to do it in Latin American countries. You can get your attorney local attorney to go in and present themselves working with private people and present a case to the prosecutor. And so we have an attorney who will do that for us and then we make the arrangements private arrangements with with with the police to do ah ah ah raids for us or make our arrest for us. And so then we've got the color of law with us if you will.
[00:52:13] Right. But so. But everybody that's that's just ex military or you know can work underneath somebody else's license.
[00:52:22] Right. And a few yep if somebody if you go off the street if you come off the street and you go to work for an investigative agency and you work for them for three years investigating full time you need two thousand hours a year.
[00:52:37] So six thousand hours to go out on your own or you can you continue to work.
[00:52:42] That's right. That's right. And a lot of people do that because they make contacts during their own investigative work and know hey. Unfortunately they'll steal some of your work but they'll they'll they'll go to a local law firm they'll say you know I've done work for you I'm getting my license we we. Give me your business. And that's where they get started.
[00:53:01] Now there be a clear distinction between this and Merc work right.
[00:53:06] Absolutely. Yeah yeah. Mercenary work. Yeah. Yeah. Mercenary works a whole different ballgame. We work with people who have hired out you know I mean for instance these are the Somali pirates hire private companies may you know mostly they're Blackwater types but there are other companies other than Blackwater types that will do that. Are individuals who will make arrangements because they know some of the shipping people and they'll they'll be able to get onboard with their 50 caliber machine guns and protect them from pirates. But that's that's kind of a big business shipping a ship shipping piracy is a significant business.
[00:53:46] Yeah. Yeah. Because there's just enormous amounts of money at stake. And I imagine it doesn't take much to bring down a ship you know to have it in the water.
[00:53:56] Right. Well yeah. And the pirates use smaller craft right on the ship the ships are patrolling along anywhere between five and if they're lucky 15 knots. Right. And the pirates have have that you know the quicker the quicker ships and the ships are mostly not equipped to defend themselves and don't want to get involved in a big shootout so they either hire and equip themselves to do defense work and when they're going through the particular canals over the Middle East that they're shipping on and then they do equip themselves well and. Everybody can go online now and she can. see the shootouts between the ships in the in the pirates and mostly the pirates lose you know.
[00:54:40] Oh gee boy I knew this was going to be an interesting call. You don't hear this kinda stuff. Oh yeah. I started a recruiting firm. Yeah we thought about Montego Bay armored cars smoke cigars.
[00:55:03] Yeah yeah. That's it. Well yeah you know. Well and you know the the Dominican Republic probably produces the best cigars contrary to everybody's belief about about Cubans. The Dominican Republic most of the time when I've gone to the Dominican Republic. My smoking friends asked me to bring back a cigar.
[00:55:22] So as Maryann freak out when you're on one of these trips.
[00:55:30] No. You know she. Yeah she. She knows I take care of myself and that I work with good people and I've gotten really good in Latin America I've got wonderful contacts I've got one my main contact in Latin America is a former CIA analyst. And that person has arrangements that are that are nonpareil. They are the most outstanding and and so we we take care of ourselves. You know there's there's it's not worth it to go out and do stuff that's crazy. And when we do our raids I've got I think I've shown you the photos of our couple of raids in Paraguay and we have 15 or 20 different federal policemen and they've got the automatic weapons and the vests.
[00:56:16] Yeah give us some stuff we'll put it all in the show notes because I know people are going to be interested to see stuff about this.
[00:56:23] Yeah I can I can I can send you some photos Sure. Absolutely.
[00:56:27] How does somebody hire you.
[00:56:28] They call me. I've got a Web site. Probably the best way though is to send me an e-mail and and or call my phone. And that's that's the best way. Besides if if they call and let me know that they heard or heard me you know heard about me on your program that I'll know that they're at least preliminarily vetted.
[00:56:54] We call everybody screwballs that listen to screw the commute. All right. Tell him how to contact you.
[00:57:00] My Web site is EugeneREhmann.com. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
[00:57:36] We'll have all the show notes along with your phone number and all that. We'll put that the show notes Then we'll be able to change it easily for you. So. So Gene is great catching up. Man I'm glad you're you're out of that mess that you were in with the stuff and you're making a comeback. Your energy coming up.
[00:57:56] Yep just just a little blip and it makes for great war stories I can show people you know if I get my hair cut short. You can see a couple of scars in my head that makes it look makes it look exciting.
[00:58:06] There you go. Temporary inconvenience permanent improvement. You get that. That's it. Yeah you got it. All right. So good. So great to catch up with you man. And yeah everybody's checking the gene stuff from the show. You know anybody in a corporation or anybody needs. What kind of work they really are looking for.
[00:58:27] Well I really enjoy when. When somebody wants particularly to go I can help them with China. I can help them with Turkey. I can help them especially in Latin America. But if they got a business that they want to expand because a lot of reason to expand into the Latin American countries because their labor is so inexpensive and it's many of them have really great markets to sell in which to sell their products but if they were interested in doing business in Latin America I can help them get started and know the right places to get them to. And if they need to get products registered or to get to have legal matters I can help them get to to good good law firms. And that's what I really love doing. If they have investigations they need to get started in. Or that they want to get get businesses vetted if they want due diligence I do a lot of due diligence work for businesses that I can help with that as well.
[00:59:18] So on a on a business level or even on an individual level.
[00:59:22] Oh business particularly.
[00:59:23] Yeah yeah yeah. So you got background checks.
[00:59:27] Yes background checks in due diligence goes beyond you know backgrounds it gets into their their their reputation and their other business contacts and it gets pretty broad.
[00:59:39] I think. Right. You got you've got ways to research stuff that is the typical schmucks don't.
[00:59:47] Yeah yeah I do. And I work with I mostly work with contacts. And if if it gets important I'll go down myself and I can navigate my way around most of them. I've done them I've been to most of them and Central America as well as South America and Mexico. I've got lots of contacts in Mexico been down on murder investigation down there and executive protection.
[01:00:11] Wow I said I knew this is going to be very cool.
[01:00:17] Well it only matches your business itself.
[01:00:22] Yes. All right. It's so good talking to you and everybody check the show notes and we'll get some of Gene's cool pictures in there for you too. And we'll catch everybody on the next episode. See ya later.
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