The morning sun blasts down on local Swamp Scouts as they follow their Troop Leader through chest-high sawgrass on a birdwatching expedition. Topher and Lucas, looking bored and sullen, lag behind in the marshy soil as the Troop Leader tells them to keep up with the group. But Lucas smells something horrible so the two stop and follow the scent until they find a dead, rotting boar with its head missing. Lucas sees something shiny in the entrails of the boar and reaches for it. He plucks out a zipper tangled in camouflage material and when he shakes it, a human finger falls out.
The grassland now a crime scene, Carlos Sanchez kneels over the boar and bags the finger as evidence. He tells Detective Jim Longworth that, guessing by the diameter, the finger most likely belongs to an adult male. Judging by the degree of tissue necrosis, the man has been dead for five or six days. Carlos tells Jim he'll call Callie Cargill to have her see if anybody in the ER has lost a finger, but Jim whips out his phone and tells him he'll tell Callie instead. He then realizes he has no cell phone service. Lab tech Daniel Green tells Jim that he probably won't get any service since cell phones towers are banned from state-protected land. Kneeling down next to the boar, he asks Carlos if he needs help dissecting the animal, since he knows a lot about them, but Carlos doesn't want any. Daniel then tells them that the area is a protected hunting land and boars are out of season. Jim gestures to a gash on the boar's behind, pointing out that it was most likely made from a crossbow and not a gun. Carlos frees his hands from inside the boar and holds up bloody piece of bone. He tells the team that it's a human lumbosacral vertebra, belonging to a male in his 30s, and points to a shiny bullet lodged inside. Daniel suggests a hunting accident was the cause of death, but Jim doubts whatever happened to the victim was an accident.
Showered and in a clean lab coat, Carlos catches Colleen Manus up on their fieldwork. He reveals that while the victim died five days ago, likely from the gunshot wound, the boar died just a day ago. Jim walks in and Daniel tells the group that he ran a fingerprint on the detached finger and it belongs to John Jackson, a former Marine Supply Sergeant, who was most recently serving as a reservist in the Coast Guard. He worked two weekends a month ordering supplies for patrol ships in the Gulf of Mexico. Jackson's listed address is right outside of Fort Myers. Jim says he'll go check out Jackson's house and Manus tells him to take Daniel along. But Jim, who wants Callie to join him instead, suggests that Daniel go back to the grasslands to search for more clues that may lead them to other body parts. Manus agrees and tells Carlos to join Daniel. Carlos, although bothered that he has to go back to the unpleasant crime scene after taking a shower, agrees.
Callie and Jim enter Jackson's house, a tricked-out man cave with comfortable seating, flat-screen TVs, pricey guns, and video games. Callie looks inside Jackson's gun case, notices an empty space, and tells Jim that there is probably a gun missing. She continues bagging DNA samples, while questioning how someone who only works two weekends a month can afford such luxuries. Jim sits at Jackson's desk and flips through photos on Jackson's iPad. He notices several pictures of a pretty young woman on the device. In each one, her smile gets progressively larger. Callie says that the woman didn't look like she was into Jackson at first, but he must have eventually worn her down. Jim notices the timestamp on the photo and tells Callie that the photos were taken two days before Jackson died.
Callie walks into Jackson's dining room and spots a photo of him in camouflage gear on a hunting trip. He's kneeling over a dead boar next to a swamp buggy. On the buggy's side is a sign: Colonel Forey's Swamp Adventure. Callie tells Jim that she's been to the place before on school trips, and it's basically a tourist trap with snakes, gators, and hunting guides.
Carlos, itchy and annoyed, stumbles after a focused Daniel, who's tracking the boar through the tall marshy sawgrass. Telling Carlos to watch out for poisonous plants, Daniel crouches down and sniffs the air. He smells boar urine, so they must be on to something. Daniel pushes the sawgrass aside to find a large patch of trampled sawgrass and muddy hoof prints. Some boars must have had a feeding frenzy there. Daniel kneels in the grass and finds an expensive, programmable sailing watch with a broken band. It's sticky and covered in grass and dirt. Carlos says it smells sweet. Daniel takes a blade of grass and tastes it, telling Carlos that it's high-fructose corn syrup, something boars go wild for. Carlos says somebody killed Jackson and then doused him in syrup to get mother nature to eat the evidence.
Jim's car is stuck in the mud. He pushes it from behind while Callie, at the wheel, guns the engine. The tires spit mud all over Jim. He screams at Callie to "cut" the wheel, but Callie, thinking he said "gun it!" accelerates, burying the axle in the mud. Callie gets out and surveys the car, which is now nearly impossible to move. The two bicker about the situation they're in. Looking to her cell phone, Callie realizes she has no service and starts walking towards the service road. Jim follows, a few steps behind.
Now frustrated, Callie asks Jim why he dragged her out there if he doesn't need a forensic nurse. Jim explains that she knows the area better than he does and that he's sure he's dragged her out into much worse. Callie says he's dragged her INTO much worse. Understanding what Callie is hinting at, Jim tells her that he thought they were beyond this angry point. Callie says that just when she started working things out so that no one had to live with regret, Jim started seeing his old girlfriend, Sam. Jim says that Sam's gone now, but Callie says she seriously doubts that she is "forgotten." Jim says that he figured that after two tries with Sam that if they were meant to be, they would be together. But obviously they're not. He tries to blame Ray, Callie's husband, for the reason why they're not together, but Callie said it's not about Ray, it's about her. She was scared. Callie admits that she thought she found something amazing in Jim, perhaps the "love her of life," but makes it clear that she was wrong. Jim, surprised, excited, and slightly confused by the fact that Callie dropped the "L" word, tells her that next time she shouldn't set the bar so high. Callie says she won't and turns around and walks away. Shouting after Callie and trying to catch up, Jim steps on a hidden snare trap, which wraps around his ankle and sends him up into a tree, hanging upside down by one leg. Slightly amused, Callie walks up to the tree and tries to figure out how to get him down. They turn to see Benjamin Forey, holding a 9-inch Bowie knife and sporting a crossbow slung across his back.
Jim sits on the running board of a swamp buggy as Callie checks his ankle. Forey stands nearby, telling Jim that he should be thankful that he didn't shoot first and ask questions later because they're on his private property. Jim holds up a picture of Jackson and asks if that's what Forey did to him. Forey shrugs and tells Jim he doesn't recognize Jackson and that he runs 200 hunting parties a year. Callie tells Forey that some of Jackson's body parts were found inside of a dead boar just two miles from his location. Jim adds that the boar was killed with an arrow similar to Forey's and he assures him that he can get a warrant and turn his place inside out. Considering the threat for a moment, Forey tells Jim that he recognizes Jackson and that he and his "jarhead" buddies have been up there before with AKs. Jim tells Forey that they found a .45 slug in Jackson's spine and asks him where he was five nights prior. Forey tells him that he was having dinner at Country Crocker, a restaurant that his friend owns. He tells Jim that he has to leave to give an eco-tour. When Callie mentions she'd been on that tour before, Forey says that's when his grandfather ran the place, before the area became filled with golf courses and outlet malls. He says he's a survivalist and that he does what he needs to do in order to survive. Forey spits tobacco juice on the ground, barely missing Jim's shoe.
Jim and Callie join Carlos in the lab. Jim reads from Forey's FDLE file which says that he was on a watch list for illegal hunting guides. His background check also says that he was dishonorably discharged from the Marines in Iraq and was in Jackson's unit. Carlos leaves to call a friend in NCIS to find out more information as Daniel walks in, carrying Jackson's iPad. Daniel says he doesn't have any information on Jackson's guns yet, but he does know a little more about his mystery woman. He doesn't know her name but he can tell from the photos that they were taken at a chain restaurant that his grandparents frequent. Jim beats him to the name: County Crocker.
Jim and Callie walk into County Crocker, a low-end chain restaurant. They spot Juliana, the mysterious girl from the iPad photo, working as a waitress. Juliana walks up to Callie and Jim asking if they need any help. Jim comments on her accent and she tells him she is originally from Columbia. He asks her how she knows John Jackson. Juliana tells Jim that Jackson is just a customer. Before she can continue, restaurant owner Robert Landry slides up to her and places his hand on her shoulder. Landry asks Jim why he is questioning his fiancee. Jim explains that one of County Crocker's customers has been found dead. When Jim tells Landry that Jackson took photos of Juliana and was obviously interested in her, Landry tells them that he bought Jackson a beer and explained that Juliana was his fiancee. He was a gentleman and stopped coming around after that. Juliana turns away and sips from her mug, looking uncomfortable.
Jim tells Landry that he knows his friend Forey was at the restaurant the night of Jackson's death. Landry admits to knowing the guy, but explains that they are old hunting buddies and that he buys alligator meat off of him sometimes. Before Jim can ask where Landry was the night of Jackson's death, he produces an alibi, saying he was at the restaurant with Juliana the night Jackson was killed. Jim is suspicious, since he has not yet told Landry the specific night that Jackson was killed. Landry claims that the specific night is irrelevant since he is at the County Crocker with Juliana every night. Callie asks Juliana, who looks increasingly uncomfortable, how long the two of them have been engaged. Before she could answer, Landry answers for her, saying that they have been engaged a month and are extremely happy. He says if they were any happier "you'd have to shoot us." Jim is interrupted by a phone call from Daniel and leaves the restaurant with Callie, grabbing one of the restaurant's famous biscuits on the way out.
Daniel leads Carlos and Jim through a wild, inaccessible place near the Gulf. Spanish moss hangs from a canopy of old-growth mangrove. Daniels uses Jackson's watch to navigate the swampy terrain. They are searching for the area that matches the last set of coordinates plugged into Jackson's watch. When Daniel announces Cancun, Mexico as only being 500 miles southwest of their location, Jim realizes that Colonel Forey's Swamp Adventures is three miles in another direction — the group has been walking the wrong way. As an annoyed Jim turns to head in the right direction, he stumbles upon fresh blood and tells Carlos and Daniel to hang back. Jim follows the trail of blood to four dead alligators, mouths duct-taped shut, hanging from a tree. Gun drawn, Jim comes across an old cabin and kicks in the door to find poaching supplies — bleach, bags of salt, rubber aprons. After Jim clears the place, Carlos investigates it and finds a generator, toilet paper, and a lot of boot prints. Daniel finds white-tail deer and boar bones in the fire outside of the cabin and tells the group that those animals are out of season. Hunting them could bring someone about $20,000 a month. When Jim finds tire tracks and an empty package of Forey's brand of chewing tobacco, he determines that the site is Forey's illegal hunting camp. He guesses that Jackson would bring his jarhead friends to the camp to hunt. Jim tells Carlos and Daniel to process what they can from the camp and then leave. Forey is dangerous and he doesn't want them hanging around. Then he follows the tire tracks and disappears into the woods to find him.
Forey's swamp buggy plods through the mud, his voice crackling over a small speaker. He sits high up navigating via headset to a buggy full of preteens and their chaperons. He looks down to see a pair of lifeless legs sticking out of the tall grass. Concerned, he jumps out of the buggy and heads toward the body. As Forey raises a knife to the body and turns it over, Jim springs from his motionless state and holds his gun to Forey's neck. Jim takes the knife and stands up to arrest Forey for felony poaching and the murder of Jackson Jackson.
In the interrogation room, Forey tells Jim that by state law he's allowed to kill two gators a year for personal use. Jim shows Forey pictures of four dead gators from his camp, which he found Forey's fingerprints on. He says that because Forey has gotten in trouble for killing black bears and sea turtles before, this third strike was a felony. After Forey starts complaining about government-imposed regulation, Jim tells Forey he's aware that he and Jackson had served in the army together in Iraq and suspects that they both ran the illegal poaching operation as partners. He guesses that Jackson must have grown a conscience and wanted out, so Forey fed him to the boars. Jim says he'll be able to get a warrant to search Forey's complex so that he'll be able to find the .45 that killed Jackson. He offers to make Forey a deal if he tells him who really killed Jackson. He suspects it's Landry, the owner of Country Crocker. But before Forey can respond, Jim is called out of the room by Manus.
Daniel, Manus, and Jim read over a court order as Forey is escorted out of the interrogation room. Landry has bailed out Forey. Manus reveals that Landry and Forey have a history of being crime partners. Landry received a year of house arrest after shaking down Chinese restaurant owners and Forey was kicked out of the Marines and did three years in jail for smuggling heroin out of Iraq. It seems like now they're in the drug smuggling business. Forey supplies the drugs while Landry launders money through his restaurants. Jim realizes that Juliana and Landry must have met while he was getting drugs from her home country. As a member of the Coast Guard, Jackson fits into the scheme by ensuring the transportation of the illegal goods. Forey unloads everything and takes it away to his secret cove on his swamp buggies. Jackson was able to keep his hands clean of the whole mess, but he made a mistake by falling in love with his boss's fiancee. Jim rushes out of the briefing to talk to Juliana.
At the Country Crocker, Landry tells Jim that Juliana has returned to Columbia to assist her sick mother, and he does not know when she will come back. Jim tells Landry that he knows about his criminal past and thinks he's in the business of drug trafficking. Landry laughs off Jim's charges and leaves to play a food supplier. Annoyed, Jim randomly picks up Juliana's mug and finds her full name on the bottom: Juliana Amparo. He quickly has Daniel connect him to Immigration and Customs to run her name and pull a travel history.
Jim informs Manus that no one by the name Juliana Amparo has left the country or entered it, meaning that Juliana is in the country illegally and cannot get a marriage license. Jim hopes that he can find Juliana to use her against Landry, but she may be hiding underground or in danger. After searching through their financials and personal information, Daniel announces that Landry looks clean. The only suspicious activity is to a prepaid cell phone. Manus has Daniel contact the phone company to triangulate the location of phone calls so that they can assemble a team and move in.
Backed by a SWAT team, Manus and Jim move in on a residential home. Jim says that an old lady in the area identified Jackson as a guy who got into a big screaming match outside the home recently. He tells Manus that a big Hispanic family lives there and a van picks them up at 6 a.m. every morning and drops them off after midnight. They are very quiet. Heavily armed, the team breaks down the door and searches every room. After clearing several rooms, Jim kicks in a padlocked door to find Juliana badly bruised and sobbing in the corner on a bare mattress. Manus tells someone to call for an ambulance as she takes Juliana into her arms, telling her everything will be all right now.
Carlos and others collect evidence from the house. The residence had been used for human trafficking and had just recently been emptied. Two dozen people were held there against their will and none of the neighbors heard anything. The house was rented out to someone named Nathan David, but Jim guesses it was a fake name. Daniel says rent was always paid with a money order but that he'll check with utility companies to see if that name comes up anywhere else. Jim realizes that Landry's files are clean because he has been trafficking people, not drugs, and using them for slave labor after taking their money and passports. Carlos finds some blood splattered on the wall — a lot had already been cleaned up from the floor — and a belt buckle with the Marine credo, "Semper Fi" (Always Faithful). Carlos suspects that John Jackson was killed in the house and then dumped in the swamp. Carlos and Jim go around the corner to find Jackson's car with a Semper Fi bumper sticker. They check the inside of the car, where they find some Spanish training CDs, a brochure for Big Sky Real Estate in Montana, and a note written in Spanish, "No preocupe esta a salvo" (Don't worry, you are safe). Jackson was attempting to rescue someone, probably Juliana, but was killed instead. Jim remembers that Juliana had Big Sky Real Estate written on her mug , so Montana must have been their secret getaway. Jim thinks there was a reason the couple couldn't leave for Montana yet and that reason is what got Jackson killed.
Daniel, Manus, and Longworth gather around a computer image of Juliana and her 17-year-old sister Pilar. Daniel found that there was a flight from Bogota, Columbia to Cancun that listed both Juliana and Pilar as passengers. Cancun is a smuggling hot spot since it's the shortest nautical distance across the Gulf of Mexico into Florida. Jim realizes that Pilar is the reason that Juliana and Jackson did not immediately run away together to Montana. He thinks Pilar was still trapped in the human trafficking house and that when Jackson went there to rescue her, he was murdered.
Callie calls Jim and tells her that Juliana is attempting to leave the hospital and that by law nothing can be done to keep her there if she refuses treatment. Jim confronts Juliana before she can leave and tells her that he knows that Jackson died trying to rescue her sister and asks for her help in gathering information on Landry's operation. Juliana refuses to cooperate and Jim threatens to arrest her on the grounds that she is in the country illegally. But Callie reminds Juliana that she can avoid arrest if she is seeking medical treatment. Juliana tells Jim that she is worried for her sister and does not know where she is. Jim gets a call from Carlos and leaves Callie alone with Juliana.
Jim joins Carlos in the lab to review the blood test results from the human trafficking house. Carlos informs Jim that the blood on the ground belongs to Jackson, but the blood spatter on the wall belongs to a relative of Juliana, her sister Pilar. Jim says that Pilar must have witnessed Jackson's murder and someone killed her to keep her quiet.
Daniel rushes in to share video footage with Carlos and Jim. The footage reveals that Forey is the person using the alias Nathan David to pay the utility bills of multiple human trafficking homes, and that he recently purchased over thirty one-way bus tickets to Macon, Georgia, home of the first Country Crocker restaurant. He's sending all the slave labor up north so that they cannot participate in the criminal investigation.
Jim pulls up on Forey's swamp property. Jim spots another chewing tobacco wrapper and proceeds deeper into the property. After walking through a few trees into an area marked "Danger", Jim encounters a slew of gunfire and takes cover. Jim taunts Forey and barely avoids an arrow through the skull. Forey takes off on foot and Jim chases after him with his gun drawn. Forey screams at Jim, "You ain't walking out of here alive, detective. You know too much." He sees Jim's red shirt through some trees, and fires his crossbow, stabbing it with an arrow. Just as it hits, Jim points his gun at the back of Forey's head. Jim used his shirt as a decoy. Forey draws a knife and continues to run from Jim, but trips over his own boar trap and stabs himself through the heart with his knife. He hangs from a tree, dead.
Daniel and Carlos arrive on the scene to thoroughly examine Forey's property. They unearth three tin containers filled to the brim with the passports of people who had been kidnapped and a ledger with detailed operation information: dates of arrival, time they were stashed, what they each had to pay off to earn their freedom. In total there were 200 people required to pay $10,000 each. The operation was set to net $2 million. Carlos says Forey must have been hedging his bets on the day that his hunting buddy Landry was going to double cross him. Realizing something he almost overlooked, Jim asks Daniel if there was any syrup found in Forey's cabin — the kind that was found on Jackson's watch that attracted the boars to his body. Daniel says no.
Jim walks into Landry's office to find him frantically stuffing large wads of cash into a duffle bag. Landry nervously laughs and says that his night manger forgot to make the cash deposit drop. Jim questions whether all that money could have been made in one night and then walks over to a shelf to find the secret ingredient in Landry's famous biscuits: high fructose corn syrup. He tells Landry it was the same syrup poured over Jackson when he died. Landry denies killing Jackson. When Jim says he knows that Landry built his biscuit empire using slave labor, Landry says he's passed all immigration inspections since Country Crocker opened. Jim informs him that they have found Forey's ledger detailing everyone's involvement in the operation. Landry tries to put the blame on Juliana, saying that she's from a poor area and Jim cannot trust what she says because where she's from, people lie to live. Landry says he was just helping her realize her dream of coming to America. When Jim calls him a "real humanitarian," Landry reaches for a gun hidden in his safe. But Jim calls him out, asking him to take out the gun so that he can have the opportunity to shoot him. Landry surrenders and is arrested. As he's taken away, Jim finds Juliana and Pilar's passports in Landry's safe.
At the hospital, Jim tells Callie that Landry took Juliana's passport to coerce her into the bedroom. Plus he could keep her in line as long as he had Pilar as a hostage. Jim fills Callie in on what Carlos told him, mostly that it's not looking good for Pilar, since her blood was found splattered on the wall of the human trafficking house. A sad Callie motions toward Juliana, who is at a payphone. Callie says Juliana is talking to a friend from back home who calls every few hours. The calls only last about a minute.
Jim asks Callie to return the passports to Juliana and so that hopefully she can start to trust them. Then Jim calls Daniel and asks him to do something for him.
Back at Jim's office, Daniel hands Jim a gun and says that some crab fishermen pulled it from a trap in the area where Jackson's remains were found. The serial number matches the one on file with the Coast Guard. It was Jackson's gun. Carlos says he will run ballistics to match the caliber. Jim says it was only fired once. Carlos theorizes that maybe Landry and Forey fought Jackson when he had the gun and it went off by accident. Jim says that maybe Jackson fought with someone else that night, someone who isn't really a killer. He asks Daniel about the pay phone records he'd requested, and Daniel gives him an address.
Callie and Juliana pull up to a parking lot in Callie's car, and Callie gets out tomeet Jim. She asks why he had her bring Juliana there, and he tells her they are at the payphone Juliana had been calling from the hospital at the same time every day. They see Pilar at the phone with a bandage on her hand. Juliana sees her and gets out of the car and runs to her. The two sisters have a tearful reunion. Jim reveals that he knows that Pilar killed Jackson accidentally in the human trafficking house. Juliana says that Jackson was going to help them, but he needed to get Pilar out of the house first. It was dark in the house and Pilar was scared. She thought someone else was coming to take her away like when Landry came and took Juliana. The gun went off in the scuffle. Pilar didn't mean to kill Jackson. The two sisters hadn't seen each other since then. But Juliana found a phone number written in Pilar's handwriting at the host station, and she knew she was OK.
Jim tells Juliana and Pilar that he needs to take them both in, but if they help the police make a case against Landry and testify about the abuse they suffered at his hand, then they might be able to fight the extradition. Eventually they'll be able to make a case with Immigration and Customs and then begin the process of filing for landed immigrant status.
Looking relieved and grateful, Juliana and Pilar are taken into custody, leaving Callie and Jim alone.
On the beach, Jim suggests to Callie that they pick up the conversation that they left off. Callie disagrees, saying it's not conversation she really wants to pick up. Jim suggests they start a new conversation. Callie agrees, but says she wants to eat. She tells Jim he can buy her dinner. They share a flirtatious look and head towards his car.