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Blood Money

When the feds want to raid somebody, they start with an advance man, the kind of guy who you'd say was casing a joint if he were working the other side.

The advance man showed up early on the morning of Sept. 3 at a sleepy industrial park in Burlingame, Calif. He asked some questions at a toy store, then surveyed the business next door, where the occasional fluttering of a small American flag stuck in a mailbox was the only visible sign of activity. His mission was simple: to leave its occupants no way out when the hammer came down.