This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue with the headline “The Sting.” In September 2016, when FBI agents first started tailingRedrick “Red” Batiste, he seemed to be an ordinary young man leading an ordinary life. Batiste was 36 years old, tall and slim, with dark eyes and an easy smile. He lived with his two bulldogs in a two bedroom, 956-square-foot house in Acres Homes, a modest neighborhood twelve miles north of the skyscrapers of downtown Houston. By most indications, he was exceedingly straitlaced. He dressed well, usually wearing pullover polo shirts and tightly belted cargo pants. Once a week, he went to a barbershop to get a haircut and a manicure. He was so meticulous about keeping his house clean that he asked visitors to take off their shoes before coming inside so they wouldn’t track dirt across the carpet. “Red even had the toilet paper coming out over the top of the roll,” said Tommie Albert, an older man in the neighborhood who’d known Batiste since he was a boy. “He said it looked better than toilet paper coming out from behind the roll.”Batiste regularly visited his aging parents to check on them. A few times… Read full this story
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