FUGITIVE RECOVERY AGENT - SULEIMAN YOUSEF
"If I don't do it, who is going to do it?" Suleiman "Sully" Yousef, Fugitive Recovery Agent, Bodyguard
ABOUT SULEIMAN YOUSEF:
Suleiman Yousef, or Sully, is a professional weapons trainer, fight coach, bodyguard and fugitive recovery agent. We met Sully in Miami to talk about how he got started, the training he has gone through, and how it has changed his life. Sully also talks about the term 'bounty hunter' and how you shouldn't go looking for a job in that field. Finally, we discuss the pros and cons of social media in the fugitive recovery business. (Transcript below)
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Jeff: How did you become to wanting to be doing something like that?
I'm sure you got training for it, right?
Sully: Yeah. So it's very technical and it's very loaded question. The reason why is because I've been in the security/firearms industry for about 16 years, since 2002, later 2002. I was a lot of private security details. One of my details, my partner at the time, he's name was Briton McDowell, and he was doing the fugitive recovery on his downtown or what not. So he's like, "Oh, this will be good for you. This is what you should do. You seem like somebody who can handle this kind of stuff." At the time I was like, "Ah. It's not my thing." I was heavy onto the detail at the time. What detail were we on? I think we were working for Washington Mutual and we were bank robbery suppression agents. What that was was that we wore plain clothes and we would sit in lobbies or the front doors of Washington Mutual that were getting hit by bank robbers. So we were there to intercept them. So at the time, whatever, we were busy with that. So I didn't really think much about doing anything else because I was always busy with that because we were always there two hours before the bank opened and two hours after the bank closed. So we were there all day. I didn't have to do much or whatever.
Dustin: I have to ask, did you run into bank robbers?
Sully: So I didn't. They usually stuck me in the worst neighborhoods so I would work in Little Haiti, which is not too far from where we're out right now. It's like the worst neighborhood. They ended up hitting the bank that I swapped out of. So they ended up catching the guys or whatever, and then I think that was the end of our ... Once they caught the guys, I think we were just done, and then we moved on or whatever.
So that was how that seed got planted was during that detail. Then I think years past or whatnot and I kind of like ... It's kind of like a character in a game. I kind of like maxed out all of my accomplishments. I was just like, you know what, there's nothing else I can do in what I'm doing. Because on the security side, I've already traveled the world. I've done all Central South America. I've already been in civil wars in these countries. It's like I've already maxed out where I think I can be, and then I've already worked for diplomats. I worked for a Saudi prince for six years. He's actually the one that got arrested last year in the corruption scandal where they arrested and he's the main guy. I worked for him for six years. I did it for three of his kids.
Dustin: How is that? Was that an experience or was it pretty mellow?
Sully: It was pretty mellow and the reason why is because since he's an executive, he's a diplomat, he owned MNBC, which is like the competition to Al Jazeera in the Middle East. So he was always state sides, and he's educated on the state side. So all he did was just travel and buy dumb shit and spend stupid money. He had what I call fuck you money. He can just do whatever. We would go to a movie theater like on Lincoln Road on South Beach, and he would smoke a cigar in the theater. He just did not give a fuck because if you had a problem, he would like buy your soul on the spot. He'd me like, "What are you worth?" He could give a shit.
Sully: So worked for him for awhile, whatever. I've done tour security for every fucking band. I've done security for a lot of rappers, a lot of producers. I worked for a lot of executives. I was kind of bored because I kind of got to a point where I'm just like, "Ah, what do I do with this part of this game? I'm like stuck." So I'm like, "Ah. I can't like level up or prestige." Can't prestige, you know? So I'm like, "You know what, fuck it. Let me look into the fugitive side." So over time throughout my contacts or whatever and over the years I became good friends with Leland, which is Dog's son.
Sully: Me and him actually like really good friends right now. So it's crazy how you grew up watching something on TV and now like you guys are best friends.
Dustin: Did that influence you at all as far as going ...
Sully: So that's what happened. So we became friends and I was a PI at the time. I have been a PI for a lot of years. So at the time, he had hit me up because I was referred to him. He was like, "Hey, I need a help with a case. It's in Florida. Can you help me out?" So the first time we actually met was on a warrant. So we actually grabbed Alabama's top three most wanted. This guys been running for years. So me and him, and at the time I had a partner and at the time he had a partner. Me and him, we went to a location where I found where the guy worked. I did my homework. I found him. We ended up hitting the job where he worked at, and we arrested the guy. Then they transported him back to Alabama. So that's where my relationship with him came into play.
So it's kind of like just a lot of outside influences made me do it, and then just with my history of being a PI for fucking years and finding people and then I kind of did a lot of ... I don't know. How can I say this without fucking incriminating myself? I did a lot of like asset recovery.
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sully: So if somebody had something that was yours or owed you something, I kind of went and got I for you.
Sully: So with my experience from doing that, I kind of put my skills together and said, "You know what, let me just get into the legal kidnapping side." So technically it's kind of like legal kidnapping. I go and find people and I kidnap them. Not illegally. Have to have warrants, but it's just legal kidnapping. So I just kind of did on the legal side.
Jeff: Legal man-napping.
Sully: Yeah. Man-napping. So like hide and seek, adult hide and seek.
Sully: So that's kind of how it got into place. I mean, nothing really was like a specific factor. I just got bored and said, "Fuck it. I want to do this.
Jeff: I feel like people have this glamorous idea of what a bounty hunter is, right? They think it's this dude chasing down outlaws like a fucking cowboy, and I know it can't be. It's got to be grueling hours. Can you talk about like what that grind is like?
Sully: All right. So in the state Florida alone, I can't speak about another states, but the word bounty hunter or the title bounty hunter can't be used. It's illegal.
Sully: So we're considered what's called a surety agent.
Sully: So us a surety agents, it's hell. The reason why is because let's say you go to jail, right? Let me give you a background of how bail bonds. I mean, I don't know how much time we have.
Jeff: We've got it all.
Sully: Okay. So everybody knows and at least can have some sort of education on the background of how this works is that when you go to jail. Let's say you go to jail, right? And he wants to bond you out. Your bond was $100,000, right? I'm a bond company. You come to me and say, "Hey, my buddies in jail. It's $100,000." Okay. Well, I need 10%. So you have to give me 10%, which is, what? $10,000. So you don't have the 100k to come out of jail. So I'm going to front you what's called a bond, and I'm going to give the court a check for ... It's not a check. It's like a legit paper, it's a bond. It's got what's called powers. It's going to say $100,000 on it. I'm going to give the court $100,000 to promise I'm going to put you back in court when the time comes. Now, court comes, you don't show up. The court now takes my $100,000 and says, "We're going to hold this until you bring him back," but every set amount of days ... Well, technically months. We're going to take a percentage back of how much you can get back until you bring him back.
So I think it's after two years in total they can take 100% of your money. So right now I'm on a time crunch to try to bring you back in jail. So now what am I going to do? As a bond company, I signed your bond. 95% of the people who write bonds won't do the pick ups. They're called pick ups. So they'll hire guys like me to do the pick ups, but I have to be appointed by that bond company. So meaning they have to give me the power to say, "Hey, go get this guy."
Sully: Now here's the way this works. I'm the bond company that bailed you out, but behind me is the insurance company who gave me that bond. So from that initial 10%, they keep like a percentage or whatever, but now they're linked to what's called a buffer count, which is a back up fund account. That money now got taken from my bank account from the insurance company. The court took the bond. The bond company, which is the one that's backing me, took the $100k out of my bank account. So now I'm on a scramble because now the insurance company took my $100k. The court took the $100k from the insurance company. So now it's like a trickle down effect. So now everybody's mad at you.
Sully: So they call me, I hunt them down, I bring them back. I normally get the initial 10%. So the initial $10k is what I'm going to get paid to bring you back. So people are like, "Oh, but how's that fair to the bond company?" I'm like, "The fuck you mean how's that fair? At least they get back their $100,000." So a lot of times I'll work with the bail bondsman if they've given me repetitively ... Fuck, I'm going to fuck up that word. Whatever. If they've given me enough work, I'll only charge them like 8%. So they can keep at least 2% and their overheads ... At least they made something from that bond and no losing their ass on it. So that's how that works.
People think it's just like oh, you get an address and you go and you fucking knock on the door, take down the door, whatever. No. That's not how that works. So when you forfeit, which is called forfeiting, when you forfeited that bond from what you gave the information initially, which is the intake form, a lot of times that information is not real or right. So by the time you forfeited would be a month or two when you got your court date. In a month or two, you're already gone. You're fucking in another state, another county, new phone numbers, new car, new whatever. So now I have to go and start from the initial form that you signed, and that form I've got to go through all your references and I got to start doing my homework and my homework and my homework. So it's hell because you earn your money. The risk versus reward is not there.
Sully: So if it's a small bond, like your bond $100,000, very rare. Very rare. A lot of times it's fucking possession charges, traffic charges, domestics. So what, that's like $5k bonds, $10,000 bonds. So what I'm going to get $500, $1,000. So that's 90% of my bonds. So what's going to happen? I'm going to kill myself for two, three weeks trying to find you for $500. So people think, "Oh you make so much money." No, motherfucker. I don't. I actually lose money on these fucking things. So I'm going to spend fucking two weeks of tolls, gas, hotels because you're never in the same fucking city, food, overhead, paying off CIs, for what? To make $500. So that's where I'm at. So people think, "Oh, you live this life." I'm like, "Yeah, motherfucker, but you don't see the shit that I put behind it." So it's like, yeah, I grab these guys, but what I get paid is like what I call my karma bank. I am happy knowing that I put these scumbags behind bars. So I don't touch like possession charges. I don't give a fuck if you had weed. I don't care if you were smoking. That shit don't bother.
Dustin: It's a victimless crime at that point.
Sully: Exactly. But if you have like ... If you're trafficking heroin or fucking ectasy or some crazy shit that you can die from and you're hurting kids, yeah, I'm going to come after you for that. That's a different possession charge, but if it's like cannabis bullshit, I don't deal with it. I'll get the warrant. They'll give them to me, but I'll make a call. I'll be like, "Hey, look. You have a bullshit cannabis charge. Don't make me come out. Turn yourself in and we'll deal with it."
Dustin: I've even noticed when you take in some of these guys, you'll give them a heads up. "Hey, do you have shit in your pockets you don't want."
Sully: Yeah. So I do that for two reasons. One, I'm not going to fucking take them to jail with shit in their pockets because one, they'll probably get another charge. Two, it could be like I planted it. How the fuck would they know because I don't have the power to add that charge of a possession on you. So for me to remove that headache of going to the jail and being like, "Oh, but he had drugs on him." The guys like, "Oh, but he put it on me." How do I prove that? So I'd rather get rid of that.
The second reason why is because if I gain that confidence with them, they'll be truthful for the next question. If they have anything on them that's going to hurt them or me, which if they have a gun, a knife, things like that. A lot of times they'll have guns on them. So what I do because people are like, "What do you do? Do you take the gun?" I'm like, "No, I don't fucking take the gun. I take the gun, I throw it behind a dumpster because I can't do anything with it." What am I going to do? I'm going to put in my car. I get pulled over. I get fucked for it. So what I do is I dump the gun and I'll call local PD. "Hey look, I found the gun. This is where it's at." So PD will come out and grab it. I'm not on the scene. I'm out of there. The guys fucking safe for that firearms charge because it doesn't bother me. But the problem is that I remove that risk of getting into a fucking unnecessary shoot out.
Dustin: Right. Right.
Sully: So they'll tell me, "Look, I got a gun." I say, "Okay. Where it's at?" I keep it calm versus a lot of police officers, not fucking dogging police officers. I'm pro law enforcement. A lot of them will escalate a situation if they find out you have a gun or tell them, "Oh, where's the gun," and they start fucking freaking out. But what they don't understand is if they're willingly telling you, "I have a gun on me," they're not going to fucking use it. It's the point of if you come with respect, you'll get respect. So they don't understand that a lot of law enforcement, a lot of other bounty hunters ... I'm only going to use the title bounty hunter because it's easy to reference because saying surety agent is like, "What the fuck is that?"
Sully: A lot of the people will show up to a fucking scene screaming, yelling, dealing with bullshit, but if you're respectful with these people, they'll be respectful with you.
Dustin: Right. Right.
Sully: Sometimes I come out 100%. The reason why is because they've already ran or they've been blatant on social media or I've already made contact and they've been disrespectful and I know that they're going to fucking be 100 miles an hour when I get there. So then I have to up it and fucking diminish the threat.
Dustin: So you must deal with a lot of ... I mean, that's got to be an intense situation when you come out and you're busting a guy. You know he's got a weapon. He's even bragging out the weapon. He's already giving you hell. That must be a pile of nerves at that point. How do you keep your head level?
Sully: So people always ask me, "Oh, do you get nervous? How's your anxiety?" Whatever. The funny thing is that it never bothers me until I'm on the way home.
Jeff: Oh the after.
Sully: The after effect. The after effect, I promise you, every fucking time. The second I close my door and I'm done, I tell myself, "Why the fuck do you do this?" I legit tell myself. I'm like, "Why do you do this?" Here's the fucking kicker, I work alone. I don't have a team. Everybody else has teams, and the reason why I don't do that is because one, I split the $500 between four guys.
Sully: Then the second thing is that no body will ever work like you.
Sully: As much as you can trust somebody or you have faith in their training or their whatever, they're not going to be you. It sucks because ultimately I have to get a partner or figure something out so I'm not fucking in a suicidal situation that I'm always in. But what I try to do is I set up my cases in a sense where it's like I minimize my risk. So I find out if they're at school, if they have work, if they are going to be somewhere public. I'll follow them places where it would minimize a problem.
Sully: Sometimes it doesn't work. I grab the guy at a Chili's in the middle of lunch hour, and he fucking back handed me and ran. There's a video on my Instagram.
Dustin: I missed that one. I got to go looking for that one.
Sully: Yeah. I came up to him, I grabbed him by the elbow. I'm like, "What's up, Thomas? Let's go." He goes, "Hey, hey. What's up?" He goes, boom and back hands me and fucking just books it. Yeah, I tased him twice. It was like he took me on a fucking run. It was hell. But it's not fun. It sucks and especially that depending on what kind ... I always wear a kit. I always wear gear. So I'm wearing a fucking 30 pound vest, which is level four plates, ceramic plates, with all my fucking kit on. I have my duty belt. It's like I have to deal now with runners. It's like fucking bullshit. So a lot of people are like, "Oh, why do you wear gear?" I'm like, "You know why? It's because I don't feel like dying today." Because there's like this fucking nerd on Instagram. He's like a bounty hunter supposedly. I'm not one to throw shade, but he threw shade through his story talking about, "Oh, you don't always have to wear ..." I know he was directing towards me. He was like, "Oh, you don't always have to wear a plate carry like you think you're fucking Rambo," whatever. Talking shit. But the guy wears fucking Prada belts and skinny jeans and skinny slacks with Gucci loafers to go apprehend people.
Dustin: Was he busting tax invaders?
Sully: That's the problem is that's what people don't understand. The level of people that I grab are ones that no body wants to touch. They're battery on police officers. They're fleeing and eluding. They're fucking aggravated assaults, armed robberies. This guys grabbing fucking heroin possession. Okay. What? The guys going to stab you with a fucking needle? Of course, fine. Whatever. It is what it is, but for me I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. So there's a lot of people in my industry that are good and give off a good image and good for the industry, and there's some people that are just like fucking they're like the ones you were talking about earlier. Like, "Oh, people must think that you do this and you're this." It's because of those assholes that think it's that easy. But it's not because if it's that easy, then anybody could fucking do it.
Jeff: So it sounds intensely intense and very difficult and not a lot of pay off. Is it the karma that really gets it for you? I mean, you mentioned your karma bank. Is there something else that makes you do it because it doesn't really sound like it pays off.
Sully: No, it doesn't pay off at all. The risk versus reward is not there. It's just I guess I do it to keep my skills in check in my off time between security contracts.
Sully: So I kind of feel like it keeps me on edge and it keeps me keen because I feel like kind of like that bicycle you throw in your garage and it's rusty now, and then when you want to jump on it, it'll work but not to what it was when you first put it in.
Dustin: Use it or lose it.
Sully: Exactly. So that's how I kind of feel like I justify why I do things in life, which I shouldn't do that. But I do it in a sense where I feel like I need to do it because it's like my own training to keep up to par in my normal career, if you want to call it a fucking career.
Jeff: You talked a lot about too social media. You're very active on social media. I think it's interesting because you get a window into what you're doing, but you're also very educational with what you do and how you do it. I think that shines a light on this type of thing, but on the other side of that, is social media a tool for someone in your field now? Like do you use social media to help you find these people?
Sully: Without giving out too much away from the craft, just to like people who are ... Because a lot of people who have warrants actually follow me and they've admitted before like, "Oh, I knew you were coming to get me."
Jeff: They follow your social media?
Jeff: That's so good.
Sully: So fucking I've had two people admit, they're like, "Yeah, I knew you were coming because I saw my house in your story."
Dustin: Oh no.
Sully: But the funny thing is that people will talk to ... The amazing thing about social media is that it gives people who don't need to be heard a voice. To explain that, people love to talk shit in my fucking comments. The funny this is I do read them. I read a lot of this shit because I'm bored. I'm fucking sitting on a surveillance for 12 hours straight. So I'm going to go through my shit. The funny thing is that like I wish there was a button to just poke and I could just punch you right in your fucking chin because it's not so much what you said, it's the thought into what you said and how you said it. It's like you really are that fucking stupid that I want to fucking pop you in the mouth. I've always said that you should be able to punch somebody once and it could be legal. Then if you punch them twice, then it could be a felony. Fine. If it was warranted and you do ...
Dustin: One free one.
Sully: Yeah. If it was warranted, you're allowed one open palm. Just one slap. Then after that, then you need to justify why you did it. Yeah, sure. Fine. But sometimes social media just like, "Bro, why are you alive? You're the reason why there's warning labels on shit."
But moving on, social media ... I'm very passionate about things I believe in like slapping people. But fucking social media is my first number one go to. If they're between 18 and 40, I'm on social media. I'm hunting them down. I'm chasing them down. I'm looking at them through social media, and eight out of 10 times, they're always on social media. Then unknowingly they're tagging where the fuck they're at. Like on Facebook, they're geo locations on. I already know where they're at. They're screwed.
Sully: So I go to social media to find these people, and it's not per se let's say it's them. There's like two people I'm looking for. They're federal bonds, which are big bonds. They're $100,000 each. It's a boyfriend/girlfriend. It's not per se let's say theirs, but people like to tag people.
Jeff: Oh, right.
Sully: So what I do is I'll go through their history and look through their older tags, and then I start from those. Then I go through their pages, and then I'll find them in their stories. They'll be in the backgrounds or they'll be here or they'll be there. So it's not per se their social media, but their social media was my starting point.
Dustin: Does that freak you out at all as far as like where we're headed with technology? You have shear insight ...
Sully: You can't hide from anyone.
Jeff: You can't.
Sully: No. Like I could give the government a run for their money and they know that. I've already dealt with the ATF, the FBI, whatever. Hi. They know that. They know that I could give them a run for their money, but because I know the craft. The problem is that what they don't understand is that I let them see what I allow them to see.
Sully: So where that stems from is a lot of times when I leave the country I come back, Homeland Securities waiting for me at the door of the plane. No lie. I don't even get out to general population. I'm at the door of the plane. They take my phone. They take my wallet, and the interrogate the fuck out of me. It looks like Locked Up Abroad. I was in the fucking Virgin Islands. In the Virgin Islands, before I even got on the plane, they kept me in a fucking room for three hours by myself, sweating me out.
Sully: So bad.
Jeff: Oh my god.
Sully: So it is what it is.
Dustin: What's their reasoning for shit like that?
Sully: Because I have a background in not liking bad people per se. So there's a lot of media going around that got spun through the Russians that I was on a team that hunted ISIS.
Sully: The RT thing. So that spread, and then it was so bad that once when the FBI showed up at my house, there was like a 47 minute fucking meeting. It halted all my plans with my team and what I was doing just because I knew that I was already under the gun.
Sully: So at that point, a lot of people were like, "Oh, you end up doing this. You end up doing that." I leave things to the perception of what the fuck you think I did or did not do. The reason behind that is because I've already been pointed fingers out by the alphabet boys. So it's like I'd rather just not say anything.
Jeff: Nowadays, if you're doing things right, you're going to deal with a sea of assholes telling you that you're doing it wrong, especially on social media. It's just part of it. I always see them as just gnats, just black flies trying to fly into your eyeballs.
Sully: This is what you're always going to remember and you're going to remember that I said this. People will see you walk on water and say it's because you can't swim.
Dustin: I like that.
Jeff: Yeah. I like that a lot. Yeah.
Sully: People will see you walk on water and say it's because you can't swim. It's funny because people will point one finger and not realize there's four pointing back at you.
Sully: So it's like why pay them mind? There's another saying ... Sorry, I'm full of ... I love sayings.
Jeff: Love it. Love it.
Sully: I love to read. I'm big into the Book of Five Rings, the meditation mark. So I'm very into sayings. So it's like there's another saying. It's like the people who do less, talk more.
Dustin: Yep. Actually I say this a lot.
Jeff: Yeah. Said it on this show before.
Dustin: Yeah. That's definitely one ...
Sully: It's always the people that have fucking opinions are the ones who have never done anything with their fucking lives. It's like people like to judge me and like to compare and this and that. I'm always just like, "Bro, my pinky alone has done more than your whole fucking life." I've been to fucking ... I'm already on my third passport. I've been fucking everywhere and a million times. I could go to anywhere, Central South America, and I have fans just like the clients that I work for. Just because I'm so in tune with the fans an I befriend them and they're cool. I'm a representation of my clients. So I'm not going to be an asshole like the rest of the guys in my industry who are like shove them and fucking rude to them. I will prep them. I will talk to them when I get there in the airport, and I speak to them and I help them. I get them meet and greets. I talk to them. I make the band talk to them. I make them sign shit and we keep it moving. So it's like why not go that extra mile to make your life fucking easier?
Jeff: Well, I feel like when you approach life like that, you start dealing with less friction all around. If you're not creating friction, you're not going to experience it coming from other people. Now, I want to flash back a little bit because I ...
Sully: Sorry, we're going back and forth.
Jeff: No, I want to flash way back though because I mean the first thing that I found while researching you a little bit, and I noticed it instantly because I'm a big fan of this stuff, is like you're fighting, which is crazy. It's doesn't really look ...
Sully: I always try to avoid this part.
Dustin: Again, social media will never let you avoid this.
Sully: I'm a nice guy.
Jeff: Well, it looks like it was from ... First of all, it looks like it was from a while ago. But yeah, it looks very ...
Sully: Was it like the article on me in the New Times?
Jeff: No, I'm looking ... There's a bunch of YouTube videos of like gym fights.
Sully: Oh, the backyard stuff.
Jeff: Yeah, the backyard stuff.
Sully: Yeah, so I have a background. Okay. So professionally speaking, my training background is shoot fighting.
Sully: So I was under Bart Veil and then I kind of got bored. I branched out, and then I started training under Alliance with Tarsis Humphreys and BJJ. Then I trained with Sinistro.
Jeff: Alliance is Marcelo's ...
Sully: He was with Alliance. I guess he's under Alliance, I think, or it's called Alliance. I think he's still under Alliance, but Marcelo Garcia's I think in New York or something. I don't know. He has his own logo. It's like an MG.
So I was with them for a while, and then I added traditional Muay Thai.
Sully: Because I added traditional Muay Thai and I was under the TBA, which is Thai Boxing Association, which is the oldest association in ... I know for sure the United States. I'm not sure if the world. I was with them for and that's where I got my stand up from is through them. So I kind of just mixed my BJJ and my Muay Thai, and then I just created my version of MMA because people have a misconception. "Oh, I go to this gym to learn MMA or I train MMA." People don't fucking understand it. Stupid motherfuckers. People tell me, "Oh, I train MMA or I do MMA or I do UFC."
Dustin: I train UFC. I love that. That's always the best.
Sully: I'm like, "Okay. Asshole. Let's start with the acronym MMA." Mixed Martial Arts. There's no way you're going to walk in somewhere and they're going to say, "Hey, we have an MMA program."
Sully: No, you fuck ass. You have to learn your traditional martial arts.
Dustin: And mix them in.
Sully: Take what works and mix them and that is your training. That is where your MMA come from. So people were predominantly beginning wrestles. You have Matt Hughes and a bunch of ... Daniel Cormier. They're predominantly wrestlers. That's where they come from. Then they added things to their toolbox. They added more tools and more tools, and that's how that works.
Dustin: Wrestlers were so ... It went over so well for wrestlers because they were able to dictate whether the fight was going to be standing up or on the ground, right? So once you teach a wrestler how to punch a face in the ground, then it's pretty much game over unless you start evolving with the sport. That's what this sport did. So you trained in some really traditional Muay Thai, and you trained in some very traditional Jiu Jitsu. What do you find useful ... I mean, you're the feet on the ground taking down the bad guys. What's the most useful in real life?
Sully: So I get that question a lot.
Dustin: I bet.
Sully: I'm glad I get to address it and then I'm going to touch on background, probably the fight that you saw.
Sully: Everybody is going to push Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I don't dog Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Technically, I'm a Japanese Jiu Jitsu fan, not Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fan, and there's a huge difference. Also I was never a gee guy. Now here goes the fucking Brazilians talking shit in the comments. I already see it.
Dustin: What if they're wearing a jacket? I'm in Miami, motherfucker.
Sully: There's lots of reasons why I don't do gee. I try to do gee. It wasn't my thing. Yes, traditionally speaking, to progress in your belt system, you have to do gee. I never cared to progress. I wasn't a belt kind of guy. I was more what I could use in my life. I trained for what I was doing. So all I did was no gee. So a lot of my stuff all started standing up. A lot of Jiu Jitsu start on the ground or in kneeling positions. I did all my shit standing up. The reason why is because everybody says, "Oh, 90% of the fights end up on the ground." I totally agree with you.
Dustin: That's a Jiu Jitsu saying.
Sully: But let me ask you something, don't 100% start standing up. I'm pretty sure that if I'm at a bar, I'm not going to ... You're not going to beef with me ... Exactly. You're not going to beef with me and it's funny because until recent years, they started the rule in Jiu Jitsu tournaments where you can't automatically pull guard. You have to make contact with the person then pull guard. So I'm not going to walk up to you in a bar, touch your leg, and then fucking pull guard. So technically, 100% starts standing up.
Dustin: Knee bar.
Sully: If I can keep the distance and I can create the distance and I can dictate the fight standing up and get in at least one solid or two solid hits, get in a clinch and control the fight. For me, Muay Thai was my base for that.
Dustin: It's perfect for it.
Sully: I trained Muay Thai first and harder then I went to the Jiu Jitsu and then I just bowed. It's not what I needed. So I kind of made myself, like we were talking about earlier about the character in the game. My attributes would be stand up and ground. If it was between zero and 10 for each one, my stand up would be an eight and then my ground would be a six. So that's where I would be in my attributes in both, and just because I've let it go and haven't trained in fucking years.
Dustin: I feel like wrestling and take downs are in there somewhere too, right?
Sully: I've never trained traditional wrestling. I've wanted to after my training just because the double legs, the single legs are very helpful. The funny this is that every time I've gotten into a fight in the street, I've double legged or single legged subconsciously. Like it just happens. So every time I get into a confrontation, my initial thing is drop, pick them up, and slam them.
Dustin: Change levels.
Sully: Don't know why. It's not something I've actually trained or have been trained in. I guess it's just that everything I've seen in between my training and competing against other people. It's what worked against me. Since I'm six foot tall, majority of the people are shorter than me. So it's like they've always shot in on me. Because I've learned how to sprawl and how to defend it, I use that as my own defense now. I do my own offense. I guess, I could say defense because it is my defense. The second so many swings I'm going for a take down.
Dustin: So do you think it's because you're trying to incapacitate them and not necessarily do harm to them. Because I feel like Muay Thai is going to be that thing where it's like "Oh, I'm going to slice you open with an elbow. Your heads going to hit the ground. It's going to be really violent." Where a single leg or a double leg take down, I'm bringing them to the ground, I'm incapacitating them, then I'm going to do work.
Sully: My answers going to come in parts and the reason why is it's going to push my beliefs of not training in textbook martial arts, i.e. karate. Not hating on karate. GSP and Lyoto Machida whoever the fuck bullshit.
Dustin: Can't talk too much shit about.
Sully: If I say I'm going to do something when something happens or it arise or I have a plan for it, it's not going to work.
Dustin: Yeah, right.
Sully: So in textbook martial arts, they teach you, "Oh, if somebody throws this punch, this is what you can do." I'm anti-Krav Maga. Fuck Krav Maga. I don't give a fuck who sees this. Fuck you. The reason why is because they preach and they use these really special forces as like they use it. Who the fuck cares? The reason behind it is because when have you ever seen training where 100% of the ... How do I say it? The intention is there. If I'm going to fight you, if I'm going to throw a punch or if I'm going to stab you ...
Dustin: Don't fight Jeff, by the way.
Sully: I'm not going to come do this. I'm not going to do this. I'm coming with intention. I'm going to fucking hurt you. So I don't know what slap, what parry you're going to use to fucking parry an intentional punch with power, with fucking hate. That's not going to happen. You're not going to parry me. You're not going to fucking grab my fist, twist it, turn my fucking wrist and put me on the ground. Like no, fuck you. When have you ever seen a fight like you see in the movie theater where it's like one punch. You wait for the counter and it becomes like a fighting ... No, motherfucker. It becomes a flurry of punches, kicks, and just recklessness.
Dustin: Yeah, absolutely.
Sully: Fights last seconds. It's not minutes. You're at somewhere. They're going to separate you or somebody's going down and it's going to be done. It's not like you have that time that you see in the movies like, oh, I smack you. You go back, you come back and you counter. No, motherfucker. Like fuck you. Fuck Krav Maga. Fucking bunch of bullshit. But it's I don't have an answer to what my reaction is because it's per situation.
Sully: A lot of times like I was at a bar once. I got blindsided, I got hit while I was facing the guy the interaction was. I got hit by his partner. So I didn't know. I went to the ground because I had struck ... His hitting me made me trigger hit the guy that was in front of. So because I was already ready to hit the guy because he was already squaring off with me. So when he hit me, it didn't do anything but make me mad. So that triggered me to hit the guy in front of me. So when I hit him, he went down, and I went down with him because he fell like holding onto me. I ended up ... He fell into my guard, and I got him into a triangle. This was at a strip club. He fell into my legs. I got him into a triangle while his buddy was trying to hit me. It was a fucking mess. But you can't dictate what's going to happen.
Sully: So it's like you have to be ready to roll with what's going to go on. So it's like I didn't know I was going to fucking happen. I got blindsided. So it's like how can I tell you what you can do or what you can use? I just think that whatever you do in your life, whatever scenario, train for that scenario. So it's like when I'm at the range, not to go back and forth, I'm going to shoot or go through different scenarios that work for me. Dealing with vehicles, dealing with homes. I'm going to work a lot of shoot houses. Working on reaction drills. Things that work for me. I'm not going to go to the range and just fucking shoot paper for nothing. I'm not these assholes on fucking Instagram that claim to be God's gift of fucking shooters. But sorry we're going back and forth on a lot of shit.
Dustin: No, that's okay.
Jeff: No, it's good.
Dustin: If we can, we'll hop all the way back to get back to that fight because I think you wanted to cover that.
Dustin: The one that I saw on YouTube, you tapped the dude out with a triangle.
Sully: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Dustin: Some cage in some dude's gym.
Sully: That's Dada 5000. He's the originator of the backyard fights. He's a great guy. Love Dada. So the way that fight started, that guy actually trained with me at one point. At the time, I was fighting at 170. I think I weighed in at 168. I weighed 215 now. He weighed in at 198.
Dustin: Oh geez.
Sully: So it was ... That's another thing people don't understand. People are like, "Oh, but you fought backyard. Blah, blah, this and that, bunch of bullshit." Okay. Look, motherfucker, I fought open weight. I never cared about weight class. I didn't care about style or rules. The only thing I ask for was it had to be pride rules, which means I could strike or kick on the ground, while you're on the ground. Because other rules is you have to have like the three point contact bullshit. Whatever.
Dustin: It's way more realistic of what you're going to deal with in real life.
Sully: I wanted pride rules. So whoever I fought, they had to fight pride rules. At the point I didn't give a fuck. I just wanted to fight anyone and anything. This guy, me and him caught beef. Don't know why. I think because he had like a crush on some girl I was smashing, and she turned him down or whatever the fuck. So he got mad at me. Started running his mouth on fucking social media, and then we ended up catching beef. They caught wind of it because at the time I had like a following because I don't know if I did MTV Made at the time or it was coming up or I was in the middle of filming. I think I was in the middle of filming MTV Made when that fight happened. Fucking he was fucking trolling me on social media, different Facebooks and bunch of shit. I ignored him. I'm like I'm not going to stoop myself down to his level. He outweighed me. I wasn't going to fucking go out of my way to fight this guy. I didn't give a fuck.
The determining factor of why I took this fight and why I fought him and how much time it took me to fight him was because he said he was going to rape my sister.
Sully: So I'm not one for like the jabs on social media. People can talk shit, whatever the fuck they want. But because he was a local. He knew who my sister was. I took it as a credible threat.
Sully: Unlike other people, I'm not of this time's norm. I'm still old school. I will fight you over something.
Dustin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Sully: I'm not going to call the cops. I'm not going to use my gun. I'm not going to call somebody else to fight my fights. I will fight you on the spot. Whatever. I let it go. He ends up agreeing to fight me that Saturday. I show up. He was four hours late. This is why he was four hours late, he didn't want to fight me.
Jeff: Oh my gosh.
Dustin: I'm sure.
Sully: They fucking called him, begged him, called everyone around him. He finally showed up because they put so much pressure that I already fell asleep next to the cage of how long I waited for him because I was just so tired of waiting I fell asleep. He shows up. He's like, "Oh, I want ..." He's like, "I want to wrap my heads." I'm like, "Bro, I don't give a fuck what you want to do." So he's wrapping his hands. So my corner guy was like, "Look, let me go watch him because I don't know if he's going to put anything in his wraps." I'm like, "Go, bro. Go." So he wraps his hands, does his shit, whatever the fuck.
We go through the back and forth. The shit talking. This and that. I hated that fight and the reason why is because I was coming off of a lung infection. I didn't feel good. I was fucking 168 pounds. I was sickly. I said fuck it. I'm just going to fight because I don't back down from nobody. I don't give a fuck. I'll give everybody their fight. We go into the fight. I come out with like a front kick or a teep kick and I fucked up because knowing that the flooring wasn't canvas. What it was was like it was MMA mats, the squares.
Dustin: Almost like vinyl.
Sully: Then it had vinyl over it.
Dustin: Yeah. You can see that.
Sully: So when I go to set up my kick, you can look in the video. Pay attention in the video. My back heel falls into the crack of the two mats. So when I kick him, it pushed me back and I fell. That's what prompted when I fall and he tells me to get up. So I'm like okay, fine. He just wants to keep it on the ground. I figured he was going to come bring it to me because I fell. I'm like okay, fuck. He wants to stand. I stand. So I stand or whatever. I get my footing again. I throw like a round kick I think to his midsection. He catches it. Then he goes to swing. He misses, and I catch that arm and I pull guard and I put him in a triangle. So I put him in the triangle. I ended up getting it tight. I sink it in. I hit him two or three times. Then I remember I felt him trying to tap. So I go ...
Dustin: You can see it in the video.
Sully: Yeah, he's going to try to tap. So I grab his wrist so he doesn't tap. So my ultimate goal is to make him sleep. So I was just mad, man. I fucking nothing phased me. I wasn't hurt. I hurt myself more training than the whole fight. So fuck I think the whole fight lasted a minute 30 seconds or something.
Dustin: Yeah, it wasn't long.
Sully: I triangle him. He goes to tap and the only thing that moves is his fingers I think. So Dada comes to grab me, I won't let go, and you see him yanking me. He's a big dude. He finally yanks me and whatever. Fuck it. I get up. I'm mad. I don't know where the fuck I pull off the xpoc thing. I think it was xpoc. Like I did the fucking suck it thing and I was just like, "Where did that come from?" I wasn't even a fucking wrestling fan.
Dustin: It's visceral.
Sully: It just happened. I guess I was just subconsciously waiting for that to happen all my life.
Dustin: That's good.
Sully: My dream was always to fight in the shutl tournaments. I never did it because I saw just how commercial MMA has become. I'm like it's become such a shit show I'm like I'm not going to disgrace traditional fight styles into doing it. So that's why I never pursued like a professional ...
Dustin: It'll be all right. Do the real life shit.
Jeff: Do you still train in any martial arts?
Sully: I haven't trained in like three years. I've been up and down in like weight training. I've been going ... The thing is I battle between like what I need for the fugitive recovery side and then what I need for security side because I have to keep an image of being huge for the clients, but then I'm not healthy enough to chase people. So it's like I have to find a happy medium. I'm around 210, 215 right now. I think I want to go back up to 220, 225 because I feel better at that weight. I just look better at that weight.
Sully: Even though I spent most of my life at 160-165 pounds.
Jeff: So through it all with all of the stuff you do with security, all the stuff you do with fugitive recovery, everything in between, what fuels you to keep going out there? What fuels you to keep taking these jobs, keep hunting down these people, and keep doing it?
Sully: If I don't do it, who's going to do it?
Sully: Like recently I posted on my social media the statistics of Florida alone, of Miami alone of how many warrants. I said there was over 200,000 active open warrants. There's only a few dozen officers that actually work warrants. So it's like how do you battle that? As law enforcement, they're understaffed, they're under budgeted. They don't have the people who can handle that. So it's like I feel like I'm helping out their statistic by giving them these people. Because I've never turned in a prisoner to a prison. I've never done it. What I do is I'll call a friend or somebody who works in that area, and I'll give them the body. They'll turn them in and they get the stat for it.
Sully: Yeah. I still get my stat because I made the apprehension. I have the proof.
Dustin: They make it to their court date.
Sully: They make it to their court date. So on that aspect, they get their stat. They get their arrest, and I get my job and I help them out.
Dustin: So where do you see all this going? What's in the cards for you, man?
Sully: It's funny you brought up the cops thing. So the producer, I'm going to leave his name out because nothing's in writing yet. The producer and the cameraman for Cops wants to do a spinoff show with me.
Sully: So he's like, "I want to do it like the Cops side," but the problem, what people don't understand about Cops is a lot of it was scripted and set up.
Sully: Even though it looked real as fuck, a lot of it was like ...
Jeff: That ruined my world when I found that out.
Dustin: Really, I didn't ...
Jeff: You're just finding this out now? Yeah, it ruined my world, man. I found that out a couple years ago, and I was just like no.
Sully: I found out when he told me. I mean, I kind of had an idea.
Dustin: No, I had no fucking clue. Really?
Jeff: Yeah. There was an expose on it a couple years ago. It came out that some of it was totally set up, totally scripted.
Dustin: Oh, man. I'm so fucking ...
Jeff: I know.
Dustin: Didn't somebody die filming Cops?
Jeff: I don't remember. Maybe. That probably wasn't scripted.
Sully: I don't know.
Dustin: Well, if it was ...
Sully: I don't know. Yeah, he hits me up. He's like, "Look, I want to do this. I'll be in town on the 26th," which was like the 26th of last month I think it was. I have yet to see him. I mean, he's probably going to see this. Sorry, but what am I going to do? You know what I'm saying? If I don't have paperwork in my hand, I'm done. Fuck you.
Dustin: You don't have time to waste.
Dustin: There's bad guys to catch.
Dustin: And good guys to protect.
Sully: I have the highest arrest of anyone in fucking Florida. I'm not sure about the states, but I know for sure ... I do 10 to 12 a week. I don't think warrant teams or swat teams do fucking 10 a week.
Sully: I think maybe they do two.
Dustin: Definitely not like that. No, it's traffic stops.
Sully: They're whole fucking teams. That's where [inaudible 00:46:27] my last post on Instagram was I told them, I go, "There's a reason why Miami cops pull you over for fucking everything." It's because nine out of the 10 of their warrants are traffic stops.
Dustin: So they're trying to ... That makes sense.
Sully: They don't have enough guys to go work warrants. So they're going to get you on traffic stops.
Dustin: Right. Wow.
Sully: So I mean, our fucking podcast is going to be months long because of all the shit I know and I could say ...
Dustin: No worries.
Jeff: No worries.
Sully: We might have to revisit this like a bunch of fucking times.
Jeff: You know what, we will. I just want to say I want to thank you for taking time and talking with us on this because, I mean, you are busy. You're always out there doing what needs to be done, and I'm just so thankful that we were able to meet up with you in person and talk to you about all this stuff. We'll do it again, for sure.
Dustin: So if people want to follow you, @officialhardcore on Instagram.
Sully: Yeah. I don't know where I'm going, but you can follow me. But I have only one thing and one qualm about social media or whatever. It's just like why follow someone if you're going to run your mouth? Live your life, do you, and just like don't let anybody not tell you what you're allowed to do. Fuck everybody, bro. Life's short.
Jeff: Life's short.
Sully: At the end of the day, man, like one thing I want everybody to take, especially you guys, when you guys go to bed at night, just remember this, we're all going to die.
Jeff: Yeah. We're all fueled by death, man.
Dustin: Same as show.
Sully: We're all going to fucking die. So why not like live your life, bro? If there's ever something that you couldn't do or were scared to do, fucking do it. Because right now we all leave right now, bro, and fucking the non-existent God fucking hopefully doesn't happen and we get into accident and we all die. Are you happy with your life right now? Did you do what you wanted to do so far? Think about that. Have you done what you wanted to do? If you died tomorrow, would your fucking epitaph, would your fucking family say something on the fucking podium and said, "He fucking lived his life 120% and he fucking did what he said he was going to say he was going to fucking do." Are they going to say that or they going to be like, "Oh, he was a great guy or he was a nice guy or this and that." Like I'm intrigued. I just want to die just so I can see what the fuck people have to say about me. Because I'm like I really want to know.
Dustin: Everybody's got that secretly inside, right?
Sully: I really want to know. But it's like you don't live your fucking life, bro. Fuck what everybody's got to say and it is what it is, man. I'm just going to do me until somebody fucking tests me. Then at that point I make an example out of hem and it's like okay, can you guys calm down now? See, it doesn't work.
Sully: So keep your fucking Twitter fingers to yourself.
Dustin: Well, cheers to all that, man.