August 11, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
And for Local Links to Terrorist Arrests
The activity seems to be more than just a coincidence. All three men are from Dearborn, MichiganAnd they had ... CELL PHONES!!!!!
"They are digital for detonating car bombs and they have a particular digital frequency and that's what they're using them for," said Sheriff Larry Mincks.Althought there were no car bombs involved... Just cell phones. But wait, there's MORE!
Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash. An alert clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County central dispatch. The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart.Headed toward ... BAD AXE! Where there is ANOTHER WAL-MART!!!!!
But wait, there's MORE!!!
The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas.Sigh...
... The men have been "cooperative, upfront, not hiding" anything according to police. They also told officers they get stopped frequently and say they buy the phones for $20 and sell them elsewhere for $38. They sell them without the packaging or charger.
Update - Even the FBI is rolling their eyes at this one.
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Utterly amazing! Those of Arabic descent in the Dearborn area have mostly been living there since around WW I or earlier and have been totally integrated for generations. So their crime is that they buy cell phones cheap and sell them elsewhere for more? Geez, I thought that was called capitalism, the American Way, not terrorism!
Why is there a restriction on the number of cell phones one can buy? That's parallel to placing cold medications where you have to ask the pharmacist for them because you might be planning to make meth out of them. Seems to me they could just refuse at the counter to sell to those who want to buy zillions of packages of Advil Cold instead of making those with the sniffles feel like they're committing a sin. I wonder if anyone has ever actually tried to buy that much, or to use cold medications to make meth? How crazed and off-the-wall is this country gonna get?
If anyone sets up a fund to defend those poor guys, we should all contribute to it.
Way to leave out facts. There were ONE THOUSAND cell phones in the back of their truck.
Usually you SELL some of them if thats your plan, not keep them stockpiled in your van.
Way to totally get your facts wrong. There were "150 to 200" cell phones in the van. A week later, there was another arrest with "several" cell phones and "thousands of dollars in cash."
As for how many is a "lot", let's do a little business planning. If I buy at $20 and sell at $38, I get $18 profit / cell. To make $1000 gross, I need 55 transactions. Take away costs (gas, shipping, packaging), and I need 150-200 phones to make $1000.
But I'm not working alone. $1000 in profit for a two- or three-man crew is not a lot of money ($500/wk is $25k/year). I'm guessing the 150-200 cell phones are well within the limits for a single shipment, and I'd want to make two shipments of that size a week.
Next, we look at the cash. Why cash? If you use a credit card to buy dozens of phones from a Walmart, guess what? They're going to stop selling you phones. At $20 / cell, to buy 200 cell phones, you'd need $4000. That's called capital.
So, is 150 to 200 cell phones unusual? Yes. Suspicious? A bit. Incriminating? Not at all. How about the "several" thousandsd of dollars? It fits right into the scheme, doesn't it? Imagine, for instance, a Caucasion, Asian, or African American man in that situation. Just a guy trying to make a buck...
Also to the point -- they aren't rounding up Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph look-alikes for "suspicious activities."
Posted by: Dave Johnson at August 13, 2006 9:16 AM
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