Swain County, NC — The Free Thought Project has reported on some utterly ridiculous wastes of taxpayer dollars so police can lock people up for tiny amounts of weed or some other victimless crime. Police once spent tens of thousands of dollars undercover at a Burger King to make a $75 pot bust. Ridiculous, we know. However, the story below has to be the most ridiculous waste of taxpayer money on an undercover 'sting' we have ever seen.
Last week, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation concluded a six-month long joint undercover sting operation with the Bryson City Police Department and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement to bust a gas station for selling glass pipes. Their entire mission for six months was to stakeout a single gas station who had a glass display case which contained the pipes.
At the end of the six month long undercover operation—conducted by multiple state agencies— police made no arrests and simply seized the glass pipes.
What's more, these drug warriors then went to Facebook to brag about their insanity and gloat on the fact that they wasted taxpayer dollars for six months on an undercover operation that netted them a bunch of glass.
A 6-month undercover operation and joint effort by the Bryson City Police Department and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement resulted in the raid of a local convenience store and the seizure of over 1,000 illegal methamphetamine and marijuana pipes.
Bryson City Police Department of Swain County contacted North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement to investigate illegal activity at BJ’s Quick Stop. Complaints from the community were fueled by the sale of drug paraphernalia and arrests made by the PD of patrons found with illegal drugs. Glass pipes specifically for “meth” and marijuana use were displayed and sold openly, making it a prime location for users. Small plastic bags, marijuana grinders, scales, drug concealment containers, and fake urine used to evade drug screenings were also sold.
Over several months, the two agencies worked together to conduct multiple undercover purchases. On several occasions, the employees even gave recommendations and asked for customer feedback of the items sold. On Thursday, January 24, 2019, Bryson City Police Department and NCALE executed a search warrant of BJ’s Quick Stop.
Authorities have conducted multiple interviews, but no arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.
It is true that entirely legal glass—when shaped into a device that can be used to put weed in it for smoking—is illegal in the state if marketed for actual drugs. However, head shops and gas stations have long sold the pipes as tobacco pipes as a way of getting around the state's ridiculous ban on paraphernalia. Apparently, authorities were attempting to catch the store selling these glass pipes for something else other than tobacco. So they spent six months undercover to do it.
Why, exactly, these people decided to brag on Facebook about such a waste of taxpayer money on an undercover sting to seize a bunch of glass is a mystery—but they do it a lot. They had to know the backlash that they would receive. However, maybe those who think that spending six months undercover to seize some glass pipes, also think that they are doing society justice.
Regardless of their intentions behind the undercover operation and the Facebook post, the internet was unapologetic when they tore them a new one for such an idiotic scheme.
Some of the comments left on the Facebook page were hilarious while some of them pointed out the fact that these resources could've been spent solving actual crimes.
"How many rape kits were ignored so you could waste money doing this?" read one comment.
"Just think about the fact that these clowns are PROUD that they spent 6 months wasting tax payer money raiding a gas station most likely located in a low income area to get some bowls and bongs off the street. Great work guys! War on drugs officially won," wrote another person.
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One of the most hilarious comments was the most obvious as the gas station was not trying to hide anything, and displayed the glass pipes out in the open.
"How's it gonna take six whole months to find that display shelf?" a Facebook user wrote receiving hundreds of likes.
Sadly, however, this is no laughing matter. Police officers across the country squander taxpayer resources going after ridiculous busts like this one all the time. There was not a single victim of this alleged "criminal activity," yet authorities devoted six months of resources to it. A travesty indeed.
As TFTP has reported, when cops stop going after people for possessing substances deemed illegal by the state, real crimes are actually solved.
In fact, a study out of Boston showed exactly that. The study indicated that the Boston Police Department has drastically increased the number of homicides they solved since they stopped making arrests for marijuana. The homicide clearance rate increase by 10% following the decriminalization of marijuana in the area.
“The BPD homicide unit increased the yearly Boston homicide clearance rate by nearly 10 percent […] and by more than 18 percent when the clearance rate definition was extended to include those cases awaiting grand jury decisions,” the study said.
Civil asset forfeiture pays. Busting low-level drug dealers by the dozen and confiscating their drugs, guns, cars, houses, and money pays. Writing tickets for victimless crime pays. Pulling you over for window tint, seat belts, arbitrary traveling speeds, and expired license plates; these are the things that pay — solving murders does not pay.
However, as the drug war toned down slightly with the decriminalization of marijuana, the department was miraculously able to funnel more resources and dedicate more officers towards solving murders. This is common sense.
In the United States, the murder clearance rate in 1965 was more than 90 percent. Since the inception of the war on drugs, the murder clearance rate has plummeted to an average of less than 65 percent per year.
This decline is in spite of there being far fewer murders. It is also in spite of new technological developments to help police solve crimes, like DNA testing, advanced forensic labs, and unethical spying devices like the stingray.
Despite the near complete erosion of the constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure, the clearance rate for murder continued its free fall. This highlights the fact that no matter how many rights are given up or freedoms diminished — police cannot guarantee your safety — and all of this is due to the war on drugs.
The good news is people are waking up. In fact, As the Free Thought Project reported, a paradigm shift, according to a new Harvard-Harris Poll, is taking place in the country. For the first time, 86 percent of Americans approve of some form of legal cannabis.
Soon enough, the paradigm shift will over take tyranny and those who continue to go against the will of the people will be seen for the tyrants they are. To the authorities in North Carolina and all other departments across America who do this, we are pleading with you to stop this madness. Please, be on the right side of history and stop enforcing a law you know is immoral. America's freedom depends on it. Liberty is not granted through people enforcing immoral laws — it is taken when good people break bad laws.