Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When 2 Wrongs make A Right: Another Fascinatingly Stupid Story From the Net





(Pueblo Deputy Police Chief Andrew) McLachlan said a patrol officer was tipped off by an off-duty detective to a car making an illegal lane change on Interstate 25, about 115 miles south of Denver.
The north-south highway has long been a drug-smuggling corridor, he said. When the officer pulled over the rented Chevrolet Malibu, he discovered that (Mark) Bailey's California driver's license had been revoked.
Bailey, 37, told the officer he owned an auto body shop in California, and was en route to Iowa to look at a 1955 Chevy, police said.
The officer became suspicious because when (Lisa) Calderon, 35, was questioned she appeared nervous. She said the pair were going to visit her brother in Iowa but couldn't say where, police said.
When the officer noticed that the back of the car appeared to be weighed down, he summoned a drug-sniffing dog and its handler to the scene. The dog, name Raleigh, "alerted on the rear of the Chevy," McLachlan said.
A search of the trunk uncovered four black duffel bags stuffed with bricks of cocaine, and the pair was arrested, he said.
Bailey was also cited for driving with a suspended license, and no proof of insurance.

Now I have to be honest, my first thought after reading this was, "Couldn't the cops have come up with a better story as to why they pulled the car over?"  Here in the Northeast, I've been pulled over many times for what is known as "profiling", though the cops don't necessarily call it that.  They use excuses like "tail light wasn't working" or "one headlight was off" or "what are you doing around here?" but never in my life had I been pulled over or issued a ticket for "illegal lane change"... on an interstate highway, no less.  What is that? Cops in New York hardly bother with speeders anymore, so I can't imagine.  But during the course of a "routine traffic stop," the stupidometer rotates in another direction and starts calculating quickly as the driver and passenger tell their stories, leading to a reasonable suspicion to search the car, thus turning up 220 pounds of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $10 million. 

That's $10 million dollars... cool. 

What tipped them off? Old boy from California, dude, says he's going to Iowa to look at a 1955 Chevy because he owns an auto shop, and naturally that's the kind of thing an auto shop owner would do; drive halfway across the country to look at an old car that you could otherwise find ALL OVER CALIFORNIA or even Arizona if you're retired or in witness protection. So they ask the lady, and she's saying that she's visiting a brother in Iowa.  Oh, where does he live? "Uh, I dunno..." Oh, Des Moines you say? They have nice corn silk from what I hear.  Would you mind stepping out of the car, please? I'm certain she had to have been nervous at this point if she already wasn't before.  

Because that's when they bring in Raleigh the Dyno-mutt (he's from Pueblo) who sniffs around and says, "DY-NO-MIIITE!" because he's found over 200 lbs of pure snow in four duffel bags in the back of the car... enough, apparently, to weigh down the rear of the car which eagle-eyed traffic officers also noticed when Dude made an illegal lane change and tipped off their brethren down the line about.  So they arrest the two of them and charge Dude with driving with a revoked license and lack of proof of insurance.  Oh, they also charge them both with suspicion of trafficking (across state lines, no doubt).  Why suspicion, you ask? Because Dude was driving a rental car.  

Now lets think about this a little more objectively.  A rental car? Holy Nineafreakinleven, Batman, how did this guy rent a car with a revoked license? Could it have anything to do with, hmm, lets see... CALIFORNIA?  And what rental company does not provide registration and insurance material inside the glove compartment of a rental vehicle... actually, a lot of them don't.  I know a few that don't and it almost bit me once at the airport, but I talked my way out of that pretty well.  But that still doesn't excuse the fact that they rented the car to a guy with a revoked license, which is suspicious when you think about it.  What's their involvement in the trafficking of $10 million (I repeat, not chump change!) in uncut cocaine? "We didn't know" does not apply here, and neither does "the system was down."  Someone did someone else a favor and was expecting a cut, but if they had vested the merchants they were dealing with, they would have realized the P/E ratio, not to mention the I/Q ratio, was kinda iffy. I'm not buying it. 

So the auto shop owner doesn't make sure his license is legal and up-to-date for a cross-country trek to the cornfield to look at an old car.  Then his friend, who is obviously from another planet, doesn't think to come up with an address in said cornfield so that their story can seem the least bit plausible.  Being that there's not much to choose from to begin with, you would think that would have been an easy enough task.  But no, she either forgot, or she was lazy or maybe she didn't think any of this would happen.  Not doing your homework on time has far reaching consequences, children.  So next time,  parents and teachers, when a child questions the necessity and importance of homework, or forgets to do it or Raleigh comes to your town and eats it, you have a ready teachable moment right here.  Prepare for the future, yungins, or you might end up like Mark Baily and Lisa Calderon, who are Not Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.  And if your child or student has already developed these tendencies, make sure you tip off highway patrol when they get on the bus.  Preparation and teaching doesn't end when the bell rings. 

But enough about them.  How about those police officers? Dedication to your craft and Communication are key; when an off-duty officer saw Dude on an interstate highway making an illegal lane change (hop the divider? what?), he got on the radio and called his work buddy and told him, "Hey! I know this is a major drug corridor and all, so I thought I should tell you I saw someone changing lanes illegally!" and the on-duty officer, who might have thought he was talking about something lewd people do in public (because that's how police officers think, don't deny it!) thanked him and proceeded to look for him, because he obviously had nothing better to do and that's the kind of thing a suspected drug smuggler would do. So they pull him over because a few miles back, someone (not saying who) saw him do something stupid and he has to explain why.  "It was the biggest bust this department ever made," the deputy sheriff later told the news wire.  I'll bet. Nah, it wasn't a tip-off by a narc or a snitch, it was dedication and communication.  The bottom line is they caught some major breeze.

Ten million dollars is nothing to scoff at, ladies and gentlemen, even if it is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Just look at pro-sports; when an athlete gets ten million dollars a year to play better than you would, a lot of people get uptight about it.  $10 million in raw sugar? Now that's a blow to anyone's steelo, never mind their pride.  Someone is going to receive a Colombian Necktie for a Christmas present; that is if they still have a head and neck to handle it. To an overlord, that might be the cost of doing business.  But let's face facts: do you know any overlords?  Is he coming to your neighborhood to ask you what you think?  Not exactly. He's gonna do what most business folks do and examine the process down the line with his underlings and functionaries carrying out the orders.  You might know Tyrone , who answers to Money Grip who in turn answers to Nino.  But Nino doesn't talk to you, either, and Money Grip might say only a few menacing words to you at best.  And either way, that's none of their problem, because it was a royal screw up in the Operations department.  Oh, maybe Nino coordinated to transport with a supplier, but then the transporters didn't do their homework in school and it finally caught up to them.  Maybe Dude actually is Nino, who couldn't trust his minions with such a major shipment.  But then, you don't get to be Nino by not doing your homework...

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that even the blind squirrel occasionally finds the nut.  And for whatever reason, be it by pure accident, pure generosity by the overlords to make the police department and the feds look good so Congress can keep supporting them with tax dollars to fight the War Against Drugs (while the real shipments pass by unnoticed) or whether it was by sheer and utter stupidity, a few months' worth of cocaine was taken out of the system between Park County and Dubuque.  That's more cocaine that ends up as Exhibit A for the time being (before possibly being eased back in).  Let's look at it from a positive light.  Less crack, less snowballs, less China White, blow, sniff, coke, freebase, whatever that ends up in a person, particularly a child's body and causes them to do irreparable harm to themselves or others.  I honestly don't care how it happened, as long as it's gone.  To me, it's just funny how two wrongs can sometimes make a right.  

And remember the old saying: "Don't be gentle, it's a rental!"  >;)