Mr. Weston says he is always on call; his Bluetooth earpiece comes off in public only when he goes to the barber for his weekly $16 trim. His cellphone, he says, holds the numbers of some 100 potential lineup fillers, mostly friends and acquaintances from the Mill Brook Houses, the public housing project in the South Bronx where he has lived most of his life.
He often complains about how people hound him for the chance to make a few dollars through lineup work.
“I can’t even play basketball on the courts or sit here and drink a beer,” Mr. Weston said on a recent afternoon. “People are always asking me if there is a lineup.”
Detectives often find fillers on their own, combing homeless shelters and street corners for willing participants. In a pinch, police officers can shed their uniforms and fill in. But in the Bronx, detectives often pay Mr. Weston $10 to find fillers for them.
…But Mr. Weston points out that he has never failed to produce lineups when asked, no matter what time of night.
“I never say no to money,” he said.
The article has several other interesting features, and for the pointer I thank Daniel Lippman.