By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
"I can't believe you'd think I'd leave you hanging!" Fred said. "You're nothing but a gentleman, bro."
"No, but it behooves me to just put it out there -- that, you know, I'm putting my trust in you. And that, you know, I've looked you in the eye and I see straight talk."
"I got no reason to be any different," Fred said.
T-Bone arrived. He dropped a black duffle bag on the floor and went to the restroom. Fred unzipped the bag and showed Glenn the coke: five kilos, real nice flake.
After lunch, the three men climbed into the Mooney. T-Bone seemed reluctant.
"You're fucking nervous, aren't you?" Fred said. "Dude, he said not to puke in his plane!"
They dropped off T-Bone with his bag at the North County airport, in Palm Beach Gardens. "G-Money will meet you and take you back to the house," Fred told him.
What Sandler didn't know was that T-Bone was another undercover cop. He had a pilot's license. He was not at all scared of flying. "G-Money" was Fred's fun little code name for the Palm Beach Sheriff's officers who accepted the coke at the North County airport and returned it to the evidence lab in West Palm Beach. Now they had Glenn on a drug-trafficking charge.
"It's a perfect plane, isn't it?" Glenn said as he and Fred flew back to Lantana. "Very inconspicuous and shit." Still, he wished he had his house, where he could taxi right into the driveway.
Betty would be gone within 24 hours, Fred assured him. When the job was done, he'd call Glenn and say the weather was good. "You're gonna get that house, bro."
"I'll get the house."
"She's gonna be fucking fertilizer tomorrow."
On the morning of November 9, 2005, Betty Sandler tooled around Wellington in her blue BMW with no idea that she was supposed to be converted into plant food. She was pulled over by a uniformed cop; then Fred approached her car and flashed his badge. He told her that her husband was trying to have her killed.
"I'm not surprised," she said.
Betty lent Fred her car keys and cell phone. She left her car in a Publix lot, as he requested. Then Fred called Glenn and delivered his weather report.
By 2 p.m., police officers were swarming around Glenn at the Office Depot. He went quietly.
"At that point, he's listening, he's looking to help himself," Fred later recalled. Fred said he appealed to Glenn's values to obtain the keys to the Mooney. "He understood that if we seized the airplane, we'd have to pop the locks and be ripping things out."
Glenn was taken to the Palm Beach County main detention center. It was the same facility that housed Chris Robinson, who had helped set the murder-for-hire plot in motion.
Six weeks later, Palm Beach officers received a letter from yet another inmate, this one a violent offender who was serving 30 years in prison. He was writing to say that Glenn Sandler was still looking for a hit man to kill Betty. It would have marked his fourth attempt on his wife's life.
The State Attorney's Office did not bring more charges against Glenn Sandler based on that allegation, but it was introduced at Sandler's bond hearing, where he was deemed too great a risk to be released on bail.
If convicted on the drug-trafficking and murder-solicitation charges, Sandler would have faced up to 60 years in prison. His attorney started building an insanity defense. But on June 11 of this year, before his case could go to trial, Sandler accepted a plea deal: 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He would also give up his airplane and motorcycle.
"Fred" chose a new alias and moved on to another criminal. Christopher Robinson completed his sentence and became a free man. Betty Sandler, thanks to those two, did not end up entombed in lime beneath somebody's birdbath.
Just before he was arrested, Glenn Sandler revealed the name of the first would-be hit man he'd tried to hire. If his complaint is to be believed, a guy named "Meats," a member of the Outlaw motorcycle gang, is out there somewhere spending $5,000 he didn't earn.
For Sandler, the bad news didn't end when the jail door clinked behind him. Shortly after he was jailed, his father died, and his son Geoff, the "loser," was killed in a motorcycle accident at age 22.
As part of the Sandlers' divorce proceedings, their income and expenses were assessed. Records show Glenn's salary as $94,243. The inventory of the Deli House, which was accounted for right down to its last bagel slicer, was worth $18,885.47. Betty listed no income and needed to cover her monthly bills -- $150 a month for cigarettes, $500 for clothes, and $750 for grooming. Geoff Sandler's funeral cost $11,043.36.
The divorce became final on February 6, 2007. Betty was granted the home in the Aero Club, while Glenn kept some land in South Carolina. They split their stocks and retirement funds. Betty got "all household goods, furniture, furnishings, and personal jewelry."
Glenn got the restaurant. Betty got the golf cart.
Financial support was decided as well: "The Husband shall remain obligated to pay permanent alimony to the Wife in the amount of $100 per year."
Nothing in the record indicated whether Betty Sandler thought that was enough.