Friday, December 14, 2018

Quickies: Policing For Profit

     Do you ever travel with a substantial amount of cash on you, or with valuable articles in your possession? Beware.

     Alex at has alerted me to yet another compendious, almost definitive article: Civil Asset Forfeiture: Policing For Profit. And once again, it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to keep what’s rightfully his out of the clutches of Bad Blue.

     The incentive structure erected around civil asset forfeiture guarantees that police departments at every level of government will be in on the action, and determined to stay there. As John Ross alluded in his blockbuster novel Unintended Consequences, such seizures can touch any item of value – and are often “engineered” at the moment of impact. In the following, gun expert Henry Bowman is invoking a favor from FBI agent Mike Garland, to aid a friend in getting a “contraband” gun into the United States:

     “[It’s] an elephant gun, made in England seventy years ago that Ray bought in a Boston sporting goods store in 1959. Customs guy’s not asking for duty. He's trying to steal the whole gun because of the front sight. It’s a piece of elephant ivory about the size of half a grain of rice....
     “Mike, I know the way this works. I’m trying to save everyone some time here....If the guy at the airport wants to be a prick and make Ray miss his plane and have to get a hotel, fine, but he’ll eventually get all his guns back.[1] If you tell him to let him go now, your guy can keep Ray’s .38 as consideration for expediting his clearance, okay?
     “But Mike? As we speak, Ray is watching his guns. There is no way that any drugs are going to miraculously appear inside any of them, as can happen sometimes with vehicles. Particularly expensive, fast, German vehicles.[2] Okay?”

     Note 1: Ray does have the documentation attesting to when and where he bought that “elephant gun,” but he doesn’t have it with him – and if the gun should leave his possession, it could easily “get lost:” i.e., wind up in some Customs agent’s private gun safe.

     Note 2: An earlier scene involving Mike Garland shows him boasting, oh so delicately, about his acquisition of a high-end BMW through “snowflaking.”

     Draw the moral. Never, ever carry anything with you that might tempt an act of “policing for profit.” Ship it instead.

     UPDATE: Apparently I rely too much on my memory. John Ross has just informed me that Mike Garland was a Customs agent rather than FBI, and the "snowflaked" car was a Porsche. Apologies. (Hey, at least I got the nationality of the car right!)


Unknown said...

Hey, thanks for the nice plug! BTW the publisher has books in stock now and is shipping daily--none of this ridiculous overpriced nonsense on Amazon.

John Ross

Unknown said...

Oh, and as a postscript, in UC Mike Garland was a Customs agent, not FBI, and the car he acquired by snowflaking was a Porsche, not a BMW...


Francis W. Porretto said...

Damn! I rely too much on my memory. Thanks for that, John.