Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Odd news item

Like any reasonably committed blogger, I've set up some news alerts that automatically notify me when stories that may be of interest to me pop up on the Web. Sometimes the results are spot on, sometimes they're way off, and sometimes they're simply intriguing.

A few days ago, the the Poughkeepsie Journal ran a brief item detailing the arrest of a man charged with drug possession. Routine little piece, but with a curiosity-piquing last sentence:
Police said he allegedly had 35 bags of heroin in his possession. Also seized were cash, drug paraphernalia and electronic records.
"Electronic records"? I'm sure that the police simply confiscated his cell phone or pager and are planning to use the data stored within it to prove that he was knowingly engaged in criminal activity. The phrase "electronic records" nonetheless conjures up all sorts of beguiling -- and hilarious -- possibilities.

I'm a big fan of the late, great The Wire, and reading this story brought to mind the first meeting of Stringer Bell's New Day Co-op, which brought Robert's Rules of Order to the Baltimore drug trade. Stringer, who was trying to turn himself into legitimate businessman, discovered that one of his denser subordinates was, per Robert's Rules, keeping meeting minutes. He tore them up and disgustedly asked the guy: "is you taking notes on a criminal f---ing conspiracy?"

Maybe, just maybe, that guy in Poughkeepsie kept a spreadsheet detailing his every pickup, sale, and delivery . . . .

No comments: