Not all criminals get away with it.

Case in point: Lawrence John Ripple

I’m not sure I’d call him a dumb criminal. His reasoning seemed of well thought out & of sound logic to me.

Irony: Sentenced to 20 years house arrest.

A story from when I used to be an interpreter in Immigration Court: most people with a single criminal conviction insist that that was the only time they did anything wrong, and they were just unlucky enough to get caught. Most of the time I think they’re full of crap, but this guy was so dumb, I actually believed him. Following is his tale of woe that led to his being placed in deportation proceedings…

The scene: the parking lot of the supermarket 2 blocks from the apartment where I was living at the time. Our intrepid protagonist is trying to make a few bucks trafficking coke. He is sitting in his car, which for some bizarre reason has license plates on it that belong to a van that has been reported stolen. Sitting all over the dashboard and front passenger seat are little plastic baggies full of white powder.

He sits there for a while, awaiting his contact (this hearing took place more than 20 years ago, so the details are a little foggy at this point). A police car watches him for a while, and finds it suspicious that he’s sitting in the parking lot for so long, so they decide to run his plates. When the plates match to a stolen vehicle, the cops amble over to investigate. The conversation that ensued was along these lines:

Cops: “Hello sir, may I inquire what’s in the little plastic bags all over your car?”

Would-be coke dealer: “Cocaine.”

Cops: “Hmmm, do you have any more?”

WBCD: “Sure, at my house.” [he had just taken delivery of a truckload from Mexico]

Cops: “Awesome. Can you show us where it is?”

WBCD: “Sure, follow me.”

He then proceeds to lead the cops to his house in the burbs to show them the truckload of coke. Let’s just say that with that on his record, there wasn’t a whole lot standing between him and deportation.