Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Albany Sheriff Cracks Down on Gambling and Marijuana

The Albany Sheriff is really cracking down on the bad guys these days. The Times Union had a couple of articles on November 29th about his team nailing a gambling ring, and another about them bungling a marijuana operation.

In the gambling story, the Sheriff successfully protected the public from four dopes who were engaged in a gambling conspiracy. The story is filled with dollar amounts that are probably inflated for dramatic purposes. Even if you believe them, the "gambling ring" had $1.7 million in bets over a 4-month period, entirely on sports. If the bookie is getting two percent, that's a whopping $34,000 in profit. You can't get much more than that since anyone can gamble online anyway. I do feel much safer knowing that a team of investigators spent so much time protecting us from these dangerous men. And I can still blow my money on QuickDraw.

Next we find out that a team of investigators was cutting down marijuana plants up in the woods in Berne. For some reason they're not wearing uniforms, but instead they're wearing camouflage. So some guy and his dog happen by and there's a confrontation, the guy's dog attacks a detective. Another officer finds a gun and shoots the dog, mostly taking off the detective's thumb in the process.

So I'm reading all of this and I'm wondering ... why are they wearing camo? Why is this operation so secretive? I can't help but suspect that maybe they weren't planning to destroy the marijuana. Maybe, just maybe they were either going to sell it or smoke it. Or both. Now even if I'm off base on that, isn't it nice to know we've got a team of officers in the woods going after about 100 marijuana plants? Makes me feel safe, that's for sure. If it wasn't for them, one of those plants might have stolen a car, driven to a local high school, and then been smoked by a poor teenager who might die 50 years later from lung cancer -- if Bush and Hillary don't get him killed in Iraq first.

But we can all feel a little safer because Albany District Attorney David Soares is prosecuting the poor bastard who owns the dog. You remember Soares. He's the one who opposes the drug war and criticized law enforcement's role on a trip to Vancouver (who paid for that anyway?) a couple years ago. Strangely he's not criticizing the cops on this one. You'd think he could connect the dots ....
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