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Meth Dealer Faces Loss of His Comic Book Collection 317

cultiv8 writes "According to an article from The Smoking Gun: 'A large-scale methamphetamine dealer who allegedly laundered drug profits by purchasing valuable comic books is in danger of forfeiting his 18,753-volume collection to Uncle Sam, according to a new court filing. Federal prosecutors yesterday filed a US District Court complaint seeking ownership of the comic book holdings of Aaron Castro, 30, who is facing a May trial in Colorado on narcotics distribution and weapons charges. The comics are valued in excess of $500,000.'"
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Meth Dealer Faces Loss of His Comic Book Collection

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  • by Kosi ( 589267 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:29PM (#35398122)

    It is absolutely normal that the assets made with crimes get confiscated. Maybe except for the not so usual form of investment, why is this worthy mentioning?

  • War on drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damicatz ( 711271 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:37PM (#35398190)
    The war on drugs is nothing more than a war on the American people by a bunch of holier-than-thou moral imperialists. It has squandered trillions of dollars in taxpayer money and claimed tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives over the years. It doesn't stop drug use and merely floods our prisons with people whose only "crime" is simple possession. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol and it certainly isn't working for drugs.
  • Re:War on drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kosi ( 589267 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:44PM (#35398244)

    I totally agree with that. The war should not be "on drugs", but on the reasons why people chose taking them.

  • by mschaffer ( 97223 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:52PM (#35398338)

    The guy is allegedly laundering money with the comic books. The police are confiscating the evidence. What makes this unusual?

  • Re:It's Big Pharna (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @01:56PM (#35398386)

    That's not true. When people say meth they mean something that's cooked up by somebody without any quality controls and it's really not the same thing as the chemical equivalent produced by pharmaceutical corporations. Suggesting this is a tug-o-war about legitimate distribution completely misses the point. There is no QA that goes into street drugs, no screenings about medical necessity, counter indications or any way of knowing how big the effective dosage is. And the main goal of the dealer is to get the buyer hooked.

    It's a very different case on either side, and trivializing it isn't helping anybody out.

  • by spiffmastercow ( 1001386 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:11PM (#35398502)

    Post something derogatory about ObamaCare or that the extraordinary claims of the global warming alarmists aren't backed up by extraordinary proof and see where you get modded.

    For the record, it's not the fact that you're against the health care law that makes us write you off as a right-wing nutjob. It's the fact that you feel the need to use thead hominem portmanteau "ObamaCare", which indicates that you were merely handed your view from Glenn Beck. There's a lot of things wrong with our health care system, but the solution is NOT to simply be against health care in general. We spend twice as much of our GDP on health care as any other country, and we spend a greater amount on Medicare (divided evenly among the population, not just those who benefit from it) than Canada does on universal health care.

    As for "Global Warming", it's the same problem. It has been long established that "global warming" was a misleading term, and we switched to "climate change" somewhere in the mid 90s. But yeah, tell you what.. Go get a PhD in Climate Science. If you still think it's a hoax, then we'll discuss it. Until then, I'm going to listen to the scientists who have actually studied the subject.

  • Re:It's Big Pharna (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:28PM (#35398648) Journal

    When people say meth they mean something that's cooked up by somebody without any quality controls and it's really not the same thing as the chemical equivalent produced by pharmaceutical corporations.

    So let me get this straight: the difference between somebody cooking meth to sell in the Wal-mart parking lot and somebody cooking meth to sell in the Wal-mart pharmacy is quality control?

    What if some illicit meth dealer did everything by the ISO standards and industry best practices?

    So then what's the difference between somebody selling high-quality Blueberry Yum Yum with the little purple hairs and buds as big and juicy as cucumbers and Big Pharma selling some pills that deliver THC without the "making you feel good" part and charging $45 per pill to cancer patients who can't eat because of the chemo and their insurance company won't cover anyway?

    If your point is that pharmaceutical companies are a very ugly part of the corporate tyranny that's working to keep people from having options or power, then I absolutely agree. If your point is that "illicit" drugs are a scourge because they don't come with a page of contraindications and possible side effects in 3-point type that's usually full of contradictory and misleading information anyway, then I'm not sure we're on the same page.

  • Re:War on drugs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by orphiuchus ( 1146483 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:32PM (#35398692)

    Just because the laws on Marijuana are poorly thought out, ineffective, and unnecessary doesn't mean that all drug laws are.

    Prohibition is necessary in the case of hard drugs. Its true that we need to attack it from all angles, but legalization and taxation of most of the illegal drugs would be a societal disaster the scale of which we have never seen.

  • Fucking good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <clipper377@ g m> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:49PM (#35398854) Homepage

    I don't hold any sympathy for anyone in the Meth food chain. If this were Joe the pot guy losing his collection, I'd be just a bit bummed. But this is an entirely different ballgame. There's a whole class of drugs out there that really are "bad" drugs, and meth is one of 'em. Show me someone who's been smoking pot for 30 years, then go and try to find someone who's been doing meth for 30 years. Aside from a lack of motivation and a glorious set of man boobs, the pot head's probably ok. The meth user has probably either been dead for twenty years or in jail. The incredible screw job that meth does to your neurochemistry makes anything Glaxo SmithKlien is doing look like two cups of coffee and a mountain dew chaser.

    A couple of apocryphal internet stories for you; A friend of mine moonlighted as a prison shrink while stationed in the Pacific Northwest in the AF. He ended up dealing with a lot of the royally fucked up folks. Those who weren't either A. genuine psychopaths or B. the products of horribly fucked up situations were meth addicts. According to him, the nicest guy he dealt with was an actual axe murderer who hacked up a couple of people while tweaked. Once he was in prison and clean, he wasn't a bad person.

    My wife is a librarian. When we lived in northern Indiana, one of the more common problems that rural libraries faced was the loss of children's books due to meth lab exposure. The kids would check the book out, take it home, and it would come back reeking of the various chemicals the poor kid was being exposed to at home. If this guy spent any time around production, these comics are toast.

    In short, fuck this guy. You want to bitch about the big bad government and your civil liberties? You want to be all cool and snarky by throwing a (tm) after the phrase "war on drugs", go do it on a norml forum. When it comes to tweaks, fuck 'em, there ain't a hole deep enough.

  • Re:TRWTF is YRO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @02:57PM (#35398922)

    Yeah, what does the government seeking ownership of your property before you're even found guilty of a crime have to do with your rights?

  • by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @04:20PM (#35399638) Homepage

    Geeks have a predilection toward the libertarian view.

    I think you're confusing correlation with causality.

    Poorly-socialized people, who think they're smarter than everyone else and that if other people weren't stopping them they'd basically rule the world...have a predilection towards the libertarian view. (Unless they're poor, then they usually become criminals, instead.)

    Read what you will about 'geeks' from that. ;)

    I can say that, I used to be a libertarian. (And am a geek.) Then I realized I pretty lucky in life and not as smart as I thought. I'm intelligent, but I can't out-clever the world. No one has enough knowledge to never be conned. No one can be smart enough or aware enough to keep all unscrupulous people from harming them. No one can see the future to always predict every disaster, and even if they could, they often couldn't deal with it even if they knew in advance.

    Once you get into the actual world and start interacting with society, you realize just how vapid libertarian thought is, or at least how those people understand libertarian thought, which is basically 'Smart people don't need protection or safety nets, and I'm a smart people! I should get to choose what I'm protected from, and never have to spend any money on taxes to cover me in case something bad happens!'.

    There are, indeed, non-vapid libertarians, actual libertarians, out there, and the test is currently 'Do you care more about a) the government forcing you to be insured, or b) the fact the military is forcing an unconvicted Bradley Manning to sleep in the nude?'. If you said B, this post is not about you, even if you intend, at some point, to get around to dealing with A.

    But almost every libertarian I've met in real life, including me when I was one, and about half the 'libertarian writers' online, are incredibly vapid and shallow and whose entire idea of freedom is 'People should be able to sell things that are dangerous, and not pay taxes to cover them if they happen to buy things that are dangerous', instead of, you know,actual freedoms, like a right to a trial. They are as I described in the first paragraph of this post.

  • by cptnapalm ( 120276 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @05:59PM (#35400362)

    Except the story didn't say anything about him selling comics. Just buying them. Buying over 18,000 of them.

    “Gwinn said that Aaron began to struggle with money because he would spend his drug money on comic books.”

    It would be funny if he turned to meth dealing as a way to finance his addictive comic book collection habit.

  • Re:Illegal fines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreampod ( 1093343 ) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @06:36PM (#35400700)

    They could freeze or seize assets until after the trial finds someone guilty or innocent if they wanted - but they don't. Instead they sue the items themselves under a rediculous legal theory so as to bypass the owners 5th amendment rights and get the lower burden of proof required under civil law. If the accussed drug dealer is found not guilty there is no return of assets, replacement, or money received from the sale given to them. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial the assets are permanently and irrevocably gone and typically the money from the sale goes into the police coffers. This creates a perverse incentive to lay insufficiently founded drug charges against people with easily disposed of assets to fundraise for chronically underfunded police departments. Worse yet, in some jurisdictions, the sales go primarily to police and their friends at dramatically below market value who then turn around and sell them a second time at more reasonable rates and pocket the profit. Even in the cases where the charges are laid in good faith, the disposal of assets prior to conviction and failure to compensate is profoundly contrary to the way the legal system is intended to operate.

    In this particular case, the charges are probably legitimately laid against someone who there is reasonable evidence of commiting the crime. The farce is that even if he can prove that he didn't, he is still out $500,000 without legal recourse.

Loose bits sink chips.