Alvin Sanders (JAMIE FOXX) is a smalltime thief who's just been incarcerated for stealing a bunch of prawns from a local restaurant. He ends up in jail with John Jaster (ROBERT PASTORELLI), one half of a high-tech criminal team that's just stolen $42 million worth of gold from the Federal Reserve. Realizing he could die at any moment from his worsening heart condition, Jaster tells Alvin to relay a cryptic message to his wife regarding the whereabouts of the hidden gold.
Alvin doesn't know what it means and Edgar Clenteen (DAVID MORSE), the terse and no-nonsense U.S. Treasury investigator working the case, hopes it will lead to the gold or Jaster's partner, Bristol (DOUG HUTCHISON), but it does neither.
Eighteen months later, both Clenteen and Bristol are still looking for that gold. As such, Clenteen decides to secretly plant a tracking device in Alvin's jaw, release him from prison, and then let the word out that he knows where the gold is hidden. Knowing that Bristol is probably observing their every move, Clenteen hopes that Alvin will act as the bait that will lure in the criminal.
To the dismay of Clenteen and his subordinates, agents Wooly (DAVID PAYMER), Blum (JAMIE KENNEDY), Boyle (NESTOR SERRANO) and Walsh (MEGAN DODDS) who are tracking Alvin's every word and move, the ex-con immediately gets into trouble, although he decides to go straight once he learns that his girlfriend, Lisa Hill (KIMBERLY ELISE), gave birth to their child while he was in prison.
Even so, run-ins with his fellow criminal brother, Stevie Sanders (MIKE EPPS) and his two criminal associates, Ramundo (KIRK ACEVEDO) and Julio (JEFFREY DONOVAN), puts Alvin in danger of being busted again, thus threatening to derail Clenteen's plan. Thus, from that point on, the feds do what they can to seize Bristol by keeping Alvin safe and secure, while he slowly begins to realize what's going on.