ATF agent trashes phone and reputation

Maybe Dean Wormer in “Animal House” got it wrong.

Maybe fat, drunk and stupid is a good way to go through life.

Just ask Brian “Butt Dial” Higgins, the ATF agent who was a very dear friend of dead BPD Officer John O’Keefe, even though he couldn’t be bothered to attend his funeral, despite the fact that he flies around the country for other funerals of people he never met.

Yesterday, after a very bad day under cross-examination Friday, Higgins waddled back onto the witness stand. He looked like he’d spent the weekend swilling his favorite – “Jameson and gin-jah” – and brushing up on his favorite self-help book.

“Testifying Under Cross Examination for Dummies.”

Karen Read’s lawyer asked him about how he (among others) just happened to decide to trash his phone almost simultaneously with getting a preservation order for it from the court.

Being the very high-class citizen that he is, Higgins had no trash service when he was squatting on the Cape. So he would drive to the nearby military base, Otis, and surreptitiously drop his trash into a dumpster there.

I guess Otis doesn’t have those warning signs like most places do, saying something to the effect that this dumpster is to be used by tenants or residents only – don’t even think about using it as your own personal trash can, Agent Higgins!

So Higgins takes his incriminating, er, “beat-up” cell phone, removes the SIM card, destroys it and then tosses it into his Hefty trash bag before making his weekly sneaky run to Otis.

So much for getting that discount from the phone company for trading in your old phone!

Let’s pick up Higgins’ testimony with a question from defense attorney David Yanetti:

YANETTI: “And you’ll agree with me that you took that destroyed SIM card and put it in a trash bag, did you not?”

BUTT DIAL BRIAN: “I believe it went in a trash bag, yes.”

YANETTI: “Well, you used the passive voice. ‘It went in a trash bag.’ Did it fly out of your hand unexpectedly into a trash bag, sir?”

BUTT DIAL BRIAN: “No sir, it would have been disposed of with the phone.”

YANETTI: “No, I understand. But are you reluctant to say you put it in a trash bag?”


HACK JUDGE: “Can you answer that? Are you reluctant to answer that?”

BUTT DIAL BRIAN: “No, Your Honor. I put it in a trash bag.”

Then he went to Otis. Except that he didn’t drive to it, he “cut through” the base. He said “cut through” twice.

I wonder where he was “cutting through” to. Probably to a place that served Jameson-and-gin-jahs.

As the days drag on, patterns emerge among the prosecution witnesses. They have a tendency to destroy their cell phones as soon as the cops take an interest in grabbing them. Someone might almost think that these cops are getting tipped off by someone in the district attorney’s office.

Another problem they have is the cops make up stuff about them in their reports. Jen McCabe said two, maybe three cops had filed false reports about her.

Yesterday, it happened again. Yanetti read into the read a report by “other people” (meaning the FBI, which he’s not supposed to mention) saying that Higgins had told them he’d had a “factory reset” of the phone he later dumped into the DOD dumpster.

Yanetti had to hand him the FBI 302 to read. Higgins looked at it, but I don’t think he actually read it, because his lips weren’t moving. He finally looked over, a vacant look in his bloodshot eyes.

“I don’t recall that. No, I don’t recall making that statement.”

When you’re drinking double-digit Jamesons-and-gin-jahs every night, recollection can become hazy. So Higgins threw his fellow feds under the bus.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

On and on he stumbled. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. As they used to say of Brendan Behan, Butt Dial Brian had a thirst so great that it would cast a shadow.

It was tough, being an ATF agent. Sometimes they ran out of gin-jah ale and he had to get a Jameson-and-Sprite. Once, he said with a shudder, a “tah-get” of an ATF probe got his phone “num-bah.” That was in July 2022. He had to get a new phone – two months later, just after he was told not to get rid of his old phone.

Yanetti asked Higgins if he’d ever discussed his text messages with Karen Read with anyone else.

GRAB ASS (for indeed that is another of his monikers) BRIAN: “Not to my knowledge, no.”

Again, his memory is a bit cloudy. It must be the poteen talking.

YANETTI: “Why not?”

GRAB ASS BRIAN: “To be honest with you, I mean I I I’m a personal on a personal level I I kinda keep things to myself um I was a little embarrassed um wasn’t really proud of ‘em uh kind of maybe didn’t show me in a good light with respects that I was John’s friend.”

He didn’t say “with respect,” he said, “with respects.” To repeat, he respected John O’Keefe so much he was a no-show at his funeral, like all the rest of these low-rent losers.

He shifted nervously on the witness stand. It was 9:50 a.m. When does the Waterfall open?

But Brian Higgins wanted everyone in the courtroom to know that, even though he couldn’t be bothered even texting Karen Read back after she told him his close friend and brother-in-blue John O’Keefe was dead, he would have done something had he known, being in his “profession.”

“If I had saw John O’Keefe on the side of the road, I woulda done somethin’ to make a difference.”

If he had saw him… not seen, but saw.

Not for the first time during this trial, comes the recurring question:

How the bleep does a fat, crapulous load like Higgins ever get to be a “cop?”

Maybe fat, drunk and stupid is a good way to go through life – at least if you’re a cop in Canton.

No more trial for the rest of the week – it’s the hackerama.

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