Virginia

Brave Cops Pose With Drugs, 'Paraphernalia,' and a Single Confiscated $2 Bill

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Loudoun County deputies brag about a drug bust, get dragged, and likely don't learn any lessons.

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Screenshot via Facebook/Loudoun County Sheriff's Office

If there is one thing worse than a drug bust, it is, undoubtedly, the corny social media posting that follows. It is not uncommon nowadays for local law enforcement to celebrate a haul of a few pounds of drugs with enthusiasm similar to the Colombian authorities who shot and killed Pablo Escobar. This week, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in Virginia was the latest to learn that the public is largely tired of seeing these lame brags.

"Kudos to Deputies Gardner, Bucco and Hall for helping get illegal drugs, money and other paraphernalia off the streets last month," read a now-deleted Facebook post from Tuesday. (No worries, there are screenshots.) The Virginia deputies proudly posed in front of their haul of weed, cocaine, and other drugs, kneeling as one would in a junior varsity football picture for a school yearbook.

What's so terrible about this picture? Let's start with the cash.

Per the unofficial Rap Video and Strip Club Code of Conduct, there is a universal understanding that displaying bills of a value lesser than $10 makes one a certified broke boy. If the Loudoun County deputies want to feel like big shots, then what is with all of the $1 bills in this picture? And the random $2 bill makes for an even stranger flex. The only bills we should see are the "ten, twenties and them fifties," and, of course, the "hundreds."

This egregious display is fixable with one simple trick: Stack the bills so that the hundreds are prominently displayed at the top and the ones are neatly hidden in the middle.

Screenshot

Another solution would be to end asset seizure altogether, but what would the county use to justify spending money that doesn't actually belong to them? After all, "legal" asset forfeiture is now more lucrative than burglary.

Perhaps even more embarrassing than the unimpressive cash display is the "paraphernalia" in the photo. A few zoom-ins and observers can see that the bar for what counts as "paraphernalia" is quite low.

This is a measuring cup:

Screenshot

This is a tea infuser:

Screenshot

While the "paraphernalia" label could certainly apply to some of the other items on the table, it truly makes no sense to include simple household items in this categorization. Though used in the process of this drug operation, the items were not specifically created for the manufacture and sale of drugs.

But semantics be damned. States have long abided by legal precedents that allow otherwise harmless items to be considered drug paraphernalia. Because of this nice little stretch, an apple could be paraphernalia. So could baby formula!

After social media users responded negatively to the underwhelming drug bust, and at least one commenter pointed out the similarities between the deputy on the right and a hypothetical Anthony Bourdain/Bill Clinton love child, the sheriff's office deleted the post altogether. Unfortunately for Loudoun County residents, it is unlikely that the deputies used the public outcry as an opportunity to reexamine the role they played in an overzealous and unpopular drug war.

As we have previously reported, a recent poll by the University of Chicago's General Social Survey (GSS) found that 61 percent of Americans support the legalization of weed, compared to just 16 percent in 1990. Reason's Steve Chapman observed in 2017 that access to propaganda-busting knowledge has helped, in part, shift cultural attitudes toward legalization and the drug war. A better understanding of how drug arrests disproportionately affect race, for example, has caused even those who choose not to smoke to be much more sympathetic to legalization.

To be fair to the Loudoun County deputies, they're not the only law enforcement officials who appear to be completely out of touch with what the public now believes is good police work. In January, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department received criticism after bragging about busting an "illegal narcotics pop-up operation." The tweet drew the internet's ire upon the realization that weed, which is legal for recreational consumption in the District, was included in the bust. One Twitter user commented, "There are 90 unsolved murders in [D.C.] and this is what you're doing with your time? Pathetic."

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36 responses to “Brave Cops Pose With Drugs, 'Paraphernalia,' and a Single Confiscated $2 Bill

  1. The Drug War has been idiotic from the very beginning, when it was a fairly transparent “Full Employment for out of work Prohibition Agents” measure, and sold to Congress with some of the nastiest “We gotta keep them goddamned Niggers in line” swill ever found rotting on a KKK web site.

    1. Don’t forget the children.

  2. What? No baggies? No staplers?
    Hardly a first class operation, those druggies.

    1. What? No blurring out of the cops’ faces and uniform details?

      Hardly a first class operation, those Facebook posters.

  3. I like how they lay out the money to look like it’s way more than it actually is.

    1. Imagine how much time they spent laying all those bills out.

      1. Imagine how embarrassed their supervisor is that he didn’t train them well enough to show the haul before they confiscate some for themselves and have to lay out singles all by themselves.

    2. It’s ~$500. Maybe not even that much. The highest denomination is a $10 bill, and except for 1 stack, each bill appears to be laid out individually.

      Hardly worthy of a Hero Shot.

    3. It really doesn’t though, they should have stacked them all with the largest bill on top, so it looked like a solid stack of all 50s or 100s or whatever the largest one it

  4. Where’s the dope on the table? Obviously these guys need to watch The Wire for how to properly display a drug bust.

  5. The only bills we should see are the “ten, twenties and them fifties,” and, of course, the “hundreds.”

    What, nobody buys meth with Grover Cleveland?

  6. Granted, I’m not a druggie and am unfamiliar with the oeuvre, but I’m not seeing a whole lot of what I would think of as “drugs”. Frankly it looks like they grabbed someone’s personals stash and dragged along the contents of the kitchen drawer it was found in.

    1. It looks like there’s around 600 pounds of dope in that picture, in 3 bundles.

      1. It took me a minute to get it. It has been a long day.

        1. i didn’t get it until you said something I was all “that’s like 3 pounds not 300”

          fucking hilarious, Unicorn.

      2. Ah, that’s why I didn’t see it. I was expecting the shit to be in bags.

        1. It was, at the top of the picture. 3 shitbags

    2. Looks like enough to fuel a good bachelor party weekend for 20 hard partying frat boys.

    3. What are all the little black boxes on the left?

      1. My best guess is some type of manufactured pot product from a state where it’s legal, e.g. Juul pods.

        1. Probably empty vape pens that they were filling with THC juice (the tea infuser is a clue there)

          As I said in my comment below, this is a minimum wage side hustle, not a trafficking operation worth looking so pleased about lol

    4. I’d agree with you, except the 20 or so vape pens gives it away. The relatively low amount of marijuana, the tea infuser, and the vape pens indicates they were probably making THC oil and loading it in the vapes for sale

      That said, its hardly a bust worth advertising, this is basically some McDonald’s fry cook’s side hustle

  7. >>>And the random $2 bill makes for an even stranger flex.

    what you don’t carry a Jefferson on you @all times for luck?

    1. Much good it did for the busted guy.

      1. word.

  8. Per the unofficial Rap Video and Strip Club Code of Conduct, there is a universal understanding that displaying bills of a value lesser than $10 makes one a certified broke boy.

    OK, I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

  9. So even the cops have embraced the “everyone gets a trophy” culture.

    1. nice

    2. funny

  10. Per the unofficial Rap Video and Strip Club Code of Conduct … The only bills we should see are the “ten, twenties and them fifties,” and, of course, the “hundreds.”

    Please stop.

    While the “paraphernalia” label could certainly apply to some of the other items on the table, it truly makes no sense to include simple household items in this categorization. Though used in the process of this drug operation, the items were not specifically created for the manufacture and sale of drugs.

    I can’t decide if I’m more offended by the legal logic or the engineering logic.

  11. The green thing appears to be a sort of funnel, not a measuring cup. I could be wrong.

    1. Yeah. I was just about to post that it’s specifically a canning funnel. We have a blue one in our kitchen drawer. ’cause we’re OUTLAWZ!

      1. That was the best part – it’s not even a measuring cup. I bet those criminals were ladling HOT JAM into pint jars. It’s a good thing the police took that funnel away, now they might burn their fingers!

        1. Exactly!!! Its for loading canning jars!!!!!

  12. No thats not a measuring cup, its a canning funnel.

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