Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crime Fail: Smelly Perp Launders Money Instead of Self

It must be a common problem: The successful indoor grower of pot and psychedelic mushrooms has tons of cash and needs to put it in the bank. Federal law requires financial institutions to report transactions of $10,000 or more. So the grower goes to bank after bank depositing lesser amounts at each.

The trouble is that grow houses reek of fertilizer: the smell clings to clothing, hair, and skin. With constant exposure to an odor the nose and brain adapt; eventually one no longer notices the smell.

Bank tellers do, however. And so do other customers. That’s what happened a year ago in Eugene, Oregon, according to reporter Karen McCowan of the Register-Guard
Michael James Walsh and two other Lane County residents face federal money laundering charges following a drug investigation that arose from a bank employee’s report to police that a man “with a very foul odor” made several large cash transactions a week. 

The stench “made one of their tellers vomit and also caused customers to complain,” according to court records in the case. The bank employee who contacted Eugene police on Jan. 30, 2008, described the odor as “a fertilizer smell.”

As we say here at FirstNerve, it’s not the crime but the smell that always gives you away.

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