The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Is Blacksburg becoming "Bongburg"?


It appears that Blacksburg is becoming the “hippy lettuce” capital of Virginia. Today the Roanoke Times reported that agents from the New River Regional Drug Task Force once again seized marijuana plants – and get this – a check for $1,000,000 in a Blacksburg apartment. Wow! I didn’t realize that the drug dealers these days were scratching out checks? Are debit cards next?

Just a few weeks ago agents from the task force seized 331 “trees’ from two different Blacksburg apartments. According to a spokesman for the NRRDTF this find was likely largest of its kind in Blacksburg. One agent from the task force stated, "That is just pretty much the drug of choice in a college atmosphere, alcohol then marijuana." I guess things haven’t changed that much since the late 1980s…

One would think that the demand for high quality “tree” would have decreased in Blacksburg since the dismissal of Marcus Vick from Virginia Tech’s football team (yes, I’m a VT fan, but I couldn’t resist), but apparently this isn’t the case. But seriously, possible the reason why there has been a recent surge in marijuana related bust in Blacksburg is due to increased enforcement activities? (i.e., New River Regional Drug Task Force).

When you consider the insane profits that can be derived from “grow operations” – since high quality marijuana has essentially the same value as gold per gram – it’s easy to see why certain individuals are willing to risk it all for the allure of easy cash. Unfortunately, a whole host of other activities (illegal guns, robbery, organized crime, violence, etc) can be a by-product of this industry too. Regardless, I’d be willing to bet that underground operations – similar to the recent busts in Blacksburg - exist in close proximity to almost all of the Commonwealth’s university communities.

Just maybe the General Assemble would better serve the citizens of the Commonwealth by focusing their energy on evicting a real danger – commercial drug operations - from close proximity to our Universities rather than an occasional – and probably rare - illegal immigrant that might matriculate. Then again, without access to high quality hippy lettuce, there might not be any students enrolled in Virginia’s public universities?!

8 Comments:

  • At 2/15/2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A one million dollar check? I wonder if the person would need an ID to cash that one?

    Crazy to think about what could be going on in some of these student apartments.

     
  • At 2/15/2006 9:32 PM, Anonymous Mike said…

    Hmmm. Maybe those "whole host of other problems" wouldn't be problems if 'lettuce' was legal?

     
  • At 2/16/2006 8:14 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    I guess that is one arguement, I don't necessarily agree with it. It's just mind numbing to think about the amount of money that this trade produces all right under our noses, that is until you pick up the paper and read something like the situation in Bburg..

     
  • At 2/16/2006 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just one point- the million dollar check has to be bogus and just a joke. Think about it! Where would anyone cash it? You know any attempt to cash or deposit a million dollar check will set off bells everywhere. Of course there are million dollar checks that pass through banks every day, but you know that appropriate banking authorities know who is issuing them and who is receiving them. It would be pretty dumb to leave a paper trail of the financial aspects of the drug trade, don't you think?

     
  • At 2/16/2006 10:49 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    I agree, but who said that this check for 1 million dollars wouldn't have been deposited into a legitimate account, and have the (appearce) of being "above board"?...after all isn't that what money laundering is all about?

    If you read the article (from the Raonoke times) it doesn't appear to be a joke..

     
  • At 2/17/2006 3:05 PM, Blogger ED Skywalker said…

    The 1,000,000 dollar check can't be real. You don't write 1,000,000 checks for anything that is illegal; there will always be a record of when and where the money went. Whether you are cashing/depositing the check in or outside the country there is still a record. And, if it is from foreign bank/account it would only make sense that it is going to a foreign bank account. Assuming this is the case you wouldn’t write a check, you would just do an account transfer. When you “launder” or clean money, what you are trying to do is take illegal cash and get it into a bank account from seemingly legal businesses/methods. If you have a million dollar check there is no point in laundering it because it is already in an account and already on record. Regardless if the money is clean or dirty there isn’t anything you can do about it once it is in a bank and on record. The check is straight BS, a Hollywood image of something these kids thought they understood.

    Of course the newspaper, drug task force, and the district attorney’s office will claim that it is real because they want to attract attention to what they are doing for a plethora of reasons. The DA will want to point to his successful prosecution of a million dollar drug ring, and his ability to keep college campuses clean of this type of riff-raff. He will do this more than once. First, when he runs for reelection, and again when he runs for a higher public office. The drug task force wants more money; for their toys, for their “missions”, and for themselves. There is also someone there that probably wants a promotion to a desk job in DC, not to mention the raise that comes with it. And, the newspaper will print anything that sells more papers, because that is a newspaper’s job to sell papers.

     
  • At 2/17/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    thanks for the post, ed, and great comments/observations. Yes, your points about the check seem valid. Your comments about the DA/task force seem right on, who in the hell really writes out a ck for 1 million? the more I thing about the more silly it sounds..thanks again...

     
  • At 2/17/2006 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Right on Ed. You sound like you have been around the block a few times. Your comments are on target and clearly technically correct. Glad someone is listening.

     

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