The Metro-Dade Young Crimimals Unit (or YCU) is a specialized investigative team that deals mainly with crimes involving younger suspects, specifically working cases where senior detectives would be too conspicuous to successfully operate undercover. The unit was the brainchild of Captain Paul Cutter, who saw the need for such a group after operations involving regular officers had repeatedly failed to apprehend suspects that were wary of fellow adults. Cutter's initial team, formed in 1989, included Jack Andrews, Ray Mundy, Tania Louis, and later Crockett protégé Joey Hardin.
Structure and OperationsEdit
Andrews, Mundy and Hardin were the YCU's main undercover detectives; Louis' role was primarily as a data gatherer/interpreter (akin to Abby Sciuto's role in NCIS and Penelope Garcia's in Criminal Minds). Hardin's arrival caused a rift in the team, with Andrews and Mundy resentful of Hardin's inclusion (particularly given his opinion of himself after working several successful cases with the Organized Crime Bureau); the new detective's arrival palpably upset the team's balance.
Their first case involved child prodigy-turned-drug manufacturer Terry Baines, a professor at Miami's Bradfield College who created the hallucogenic designer drug Bliss, originally intended for use on terminally ill patients. However, following an internal disagreement with the school that prohibited the development of Bliss, Baines began testing the drug illegally on unwitting pupils, a process that often resulted in their deaths. The YCU successfully infiltrated the school, but during the course of the investigation Baines became suspicious of Mundy, leading him to arrange for both the detective and the fellow student he had come to care for, Claire, to die in an "auto accident". Enraged, Andrews attempted to take on Baines alone, an act that results in his being given a large dose of Bliss and almost committing unintentional suicide on a freeway.
Despite the team nearly splintering as a result of its crushing setbacks, Hardin and Cutter managed to pull the remaining group together. They offered themselves as new test subjects for Bliss, getting Baines to admit his crimes on tape, before a scuffle led to the professor's death, ending his homicidal experiments. Distressed at the loss of their comrades but pleased with the outcome of the case, the team agreed to continue working together.
- The YCU was to be the subject of its own television series, but the Miami Vice episode that served as its backdoor pilot, "Leap of Faith", was not picked up. Had it been developed, Crockett and/or Tubbs were intended to make occasional appearances in the series (an idea that also influenced the ending of the Miami Vice finale "Freefall", in which the death of either one or both of these characters had originally been considered).