Ever wonder how the cartel manages to acquire the most jaw-dropping jerky photos the world has ever seen? Wonder no longer, friend…
Almost a decade ago, in a run-down Brooklyn shantytown, caddy-corner to the now famous Roberta’s Pizza, Mike Cawley, a founding member of the Jerky Cartel, was summoned from his daily DragonBall-Z binge to help an unassuming German belle on the lower floor open a stubborn jar of tomato sauce. You see, Mike had built up quite the reputation around NYC for an uncanny ability to open jars that up until that point, refused to open. Ask any tomato jar that lived in Brooklyn during the early 2000s and they’ll tell ya, “if you saw Mike Cawley walking down the alley with two unoccupied hands, you turned around and walked the other way. Period."
After Mike opened the jar, he noticed this German belle that he just rescued from imminent flavorloss had quite the collection of photographs sprawled across the table and soon learned that this innocent little German wasn’t so innocent at all – but was none other than the internationally feared food-propagandist that went by the street name “Flash”. Flash was known for photographing foods, particularly citrus fruits, in a way that was so mouth-watering and appetizing that it produced levels of dopamine that far surpassed the levels achieved through traditional narcotics. For this reason, the DEA and FBI placed Flash on the international most wanted list and flash was forced to provide her services to the food industry in secrecy. Through the years, Flash had numerous aliases, the most well known being Julia Holtkoetter. Mike instantly knew that he had just stumbled upon the ultimate asset for Righteous Felon. One photo alone by Flash would quadruple the Cartel’s foothold in North America and increase European volume tenfold. Mike immediately propositioned her for several “jobs” that she’d be perfect for, but she explained that he couldn’t afford her and even if he could, her visa was about to expire and she had to return to Muenster, Germany – her hometown and not-so-coincidentally, the namesake for one of the world’s most revered cheeses.
Unaccepting of the current circumstances, Mike devised a plan to smuggle Flash back into the US and use her to build the Righteous Felon empire. In July of 2012, he flew to Muenster, Germany and sold Flash on his elaborate plan to smuggle her back into the US with promises of a life full or wealth, riches and an unlimited supply of masterfully cured meats. The next day, the two threw together a make shift wedding, because after all, the US couldn’t deny entrance to the wife of one of it's own citizens. Certain that the DEA had followed Mike on his transatlantic trip and had eyes on him at every turn, the two invited 80 random people from around the world to come to the wedding and pose as friends and family to give the wedding an authentic feel – and the whole ploy went off without a hitch. Within two weeks, Flash was back in the US, and she didn’t waste any time getting to work for the Cartel. Jerky Shots, Black & Whites, Felon T shirts, Baby Felon onsies, you name it – she shot it. In 2013, as RF’s power hit an all-time high, the DEA picked up on the scent and realized the marriage was all a disguise and Flash was working for the Cartel. The DEA subpoenaed Flash in the landmark Flash vs. The State trial. In an ingenious ploy to throw them off, Flash went full-blown vegetarian and started a separate food blog titled lizandjewels.com – a vegetarian blog in which Flash and her German counterpart battle each other weekly from across the Atlantic – in a recipe/food photography competition. The Supreme Court, after reviewing the blog and verifying Flash’s oath to a vegetable only diet, threw the case out of court and threatened the DEA never to waste their time with such flimsy case ever again.
Soon after, just to rub it in the DEA’s face, Flash gave birth to a baby girl and fittingly named the baby “Clementine” serving as the ultimate “FUCK YOU” to the agency that prosecuted her for the past 2 years. The shame of the child’s name was too much for some and several of the DEA agents that were on the case resigned the day of the child’s birth - one even jumping off a the City Hall building to his death. There’s two you should know about Julia "Flash” Holtkoetter...That bitch is cold…cold as ice and second, she’s an assassin with that Nikon d5200.
Mike and Julia have kept the cover story going through the years and still stage a happy life - living in Brooklyn with a little baby girl named Clementine. When Julia’s not pushing propaganda for the Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel – she runs the Liz and Jewels Food Blog, Photographs newborns under the alias Deer Baby Photography, and also runs food photography workshops in New York City and Germany.