On paper, anyway, Ryan Walker Grant, the owner of Flashdancer Cabaret in Arlington, agreed to shut down the troubled strip club in January, after the city and state both leaned on Grant to close shop for a year. But as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday, and as the FBI affidavit you'll find below suggests, Grant wasn't going quietly. Or sanely.
According to the FBI, Grant sent a text message just before 1 a.m. last Tuesday, to someone identified only as Individual A. "Call me whn u can," Grant wrote. He had some "formal business" to discuss.
His guy called right back.
"I really need somebody to take a vacation up here to do a job from down south man," Grant told the man.
Things then got cryptic. He gave the man "an example," saying that if someone was watching a movie in Miami, someone from Cuba would come up to Miami to "watch the movie," and then fly back to Cuba never to return.
They were not, it seems, talking about Titanic in 3D. Investigators say Grant often talks in code. "Watching a movie" is apparently code for murdering someone.
His guy showed up that afternoon, the feds say. Grant handed him a piece of paper with the identities of two men. Those men aren't named by the FBI, but the Star-Telegram reported that the men are Mayor Robert Cluck and Dallas attorney Tom Brandt, who represented the city in its attempts to shut down Flashdancer.
"They just jacked me for a year of business and they're trying to track me indefinitely ..." Grant told his guy. "We had a deal, and they just reneged on it." The city was costing him $800,000 a year, Grant said.
Hence, the plan. Grant requested that some "wetbacks" from Mexico come to Dallas to take care of Cluck and Brandt. The price: $10,000 a head. "I can't just call up my dude and say go hit them," Grant said, by way of explaining his "wetback" request. "This is too high profile." He worried about getting "pinched."
The plan was hatched. On Monday of this week, the man met Grant at his home and told him that the guys -- the "wetbacks" -- were ready to go, just waiting for the green light from Grant.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Grant confirmed the plot, adding that he would use his child as an alibi. Before he sent the man on his way, he asked him to lift his shirt. He was worried he was wearing a wire.
It's unclear whether the man was or not, but there was a microphone somewhere, and the FBI was on the other end. Grant was arrested at his home in Kennedale that day.