Monday, March 14, 2016

Crime 101

Patty Bouvier enjoys a Laramie

The other day, Maryland Transportation Authority Police stopped a car for speeding along northbound I-95, which is the superslab running from Maine to Florida, built mainly for drug mules and Winston smugglers to run up and down America's east coast.

I don't do drugs and I haven't purchased cigarettes since 1988, so I have no interest in either vice, but here is some advice I can offer for those who seek to make a living plying the smuggler's trade.

Don't speed on the highway when you're carrying 20,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes!

Ammar M. Shamakh, 32, of Pikeville, N.C., was pushing his 2015 Chevy Suburban Cigarettemobile at 72 mph in a 55 mph zone when he was pulled over near the exit for I-695, the Baltimore Beltway, on Saturday.

Shamakh had been hauling the smokes from North Carolina to New Jersey, and when he was pulled over, the police saw 30 cases of ciggies in the car.

That many tobacco tubes would have sold for more $133,000 in Maryland, and brought in tax revenues amounting to $41,340.

So instead of adding to the state's tax coffers, Shamakh, charged with willfully transporting and possessing unstamped cigarettes, will cost us money for a trial and possible incarceration.  He appeared before a Baltimore County District Court commissioner and was released on $75,000 bail.

I always like how they say someone "appeared" before a commissioner or judge, as if they were there to do a nightclub act or something.  
"Appearing nitely at the Sin Bin Room at Baltimore County District Court, the song and piano stylings of Mr Ammar Shamakh, for your dining and dancing pleasure..."
Incidentally, those interested in following Mr Shamakh on his carefree lifestyle can read 'n' heed the following advice from veteran police:

  • Don't speed and smuggle
  • Don't paint "GETAWAY VEHICLE" on your car and then expect to break traffic rules
  • When using the trailer hitch on your pick-'em-up truck to pull an ATM out of the wall down by the VFW hall, make sure your bumper doesn't come off and lie among the rubble
  • Spelling counts, especially when you're forging a man's name on a check
  • It's only polite to look up and wave at bank cameras.  No one likes a surly holdup man, one who scowls and looks away from the surveillance equipment.
  • When committing residential breaking and enterings, if you forget to bring your gun along, ask the homeowner to lend you his.

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