Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Tale Of 14 Dime Bags On Penn Ave. N.

Stock photo and blog post by John Hoff

A couple days ago, a North Minneapolis citizen was driving down Penn Ave. and racking up 911 calls on prostitution and drug dealing, which is not hard to do any time of the day or night. And, of course, decent people in that part of North Minneapolis can't help but wonder, "If I can drive down Penn Ave any time of day or night and make 911 calls, why don't we have more police patrols and police presence in the first place?"

And yet we keep calling, because that's how the system is set up and that's about all we can do. So a couple days ago, a citizen was doing all we can do: driving along and systematically racking up 911 calls. The citizen called on two suspicious characters who appeared to be signaling cars to make drug transactions...

The citizen didn't stick around to see the results of their call but, a couple hours later, the police called the citizen's cell phone. Being at the Ken Farkash art opening, the citizen missed the first call made by the police, but called the number back a short while later.

"You called me?" the citizen asked, not knowing who had called.

"Who is this?" asked the party on the other end of the line.

"Who is THIS?" asked the citizen. "YOU called me."

So this paranoid little game was played for a while, until the citizen figured out the caller was MPD, and MPD wanted more information about what had been observed prior to calling 911--the hand signals and "whooping" which has become the way drug dealers signal lately: they WHOOP, like some kind of bird native to Penn Ave. N.

It turned out the police had taken 14 dime bags off the two men, then "tagged them and sent them out of the area." MPD thanked the citizen for the 911 call. And this made the citizen glow all over, and here's why: we call 911 all the time, but often we don't know or see the results of our calls. Here, MPD gave us some feedback and it was great news: two drug dealers caught red-handed with 14 dime bags. That's gotta be "possession with intent to distribute." This is going to have a serious impact on their thug life. Of course, I'm sure another dealer will take their place at that very spot, probably within a few hours.

Lately there has been a debate about marijuana legalization, brought on by remarks made by Mayor Rybak. All I can say is: these two thugs selling 14 dime bags on Penn Ave. N. are bad people who protect their drug turf with violence, and that violence is literally in our back yards. (Seriously, these police chases end up in our yards)

Why is it that privileged suburbanites--the kind of people we see swing into our neighborhood, looking uncomfortable and out of place, sticking out like a sore thumb, but definitely SEEKING something--will go out of their way to buy "fair trade" organic coffee, but they can't find a way to buy their precious pot somewhere other than MY NEIGHBORHOOD, which is trying to rid itself of deadly criminal violence, so much of which is associated with gangs and the lucrative drug trade?

To the individuals targeted in Mayor Rybak's remarks I would add: have the guts to grow your own pot and take your own chances getting caught, instead of putting all the risks on residents of the inner city.

Oh, and if I get my hands on some mug shots of your privileged suburban asses, caught buying your precious pot in violence-filled areas like Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall or Penn Ave. N., trust that I will make a point of publishing them.

21 comments:

Patricia said...

This is great news John. I'm sure this will have a big impact on the drug trade in Minneapolis. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

YES! Everyone grow your own instead of buying it here! If you aren't from here go back to Chicago or wherever you wanna be, not tough enough to be a thug came from. Leave us to smoke pot, get munches and go to bed early to go to work in peace.
Wishes to remane anonymous

Bob Rob Robert said...

Great points made about suburbanites venturing into North for illicit purchases. I don't think it's fair to lump these people in with the "fair trade coffee" crowd, though.

If you don't even care enough to notice where your hard-earned money is going (ie to violent drug dealers) then you probably don't care about where your coffee comes from, either.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, their "whooping" sounds hilarious, and is half-way creative. Too bad it's used for their more nefarious activities. Good for them though, it's another bullet-point they can put on their resumes.

Denny Beezwax said...

The Mayor's comments had their good points and bad. Yes, certainly, proceeds from dimebag pot go to fund the thug life -- but lets get real -- no self-respecting pot smoker from "white middle class Minnesota" purchases and smokes that garbage sold on Penn Ave.

Let's put our economics 101 caps on: If pot were legal and regulated, there would be no money in it. Prohibition fuels violence (and does nothing to stop demand).

Anonymous said...

'Ah yes, the elusive Septentrionalis-Minneapolis Aegypius monachus. Even though this variety of Aegypius monachus is eye-catching, as they are renowned for their brightly colored almost "clown" like plumage, response to this, or their unmistakable and sometimes seductive "whooping" call should be avoided. This species is invasive and should NOT be fed, approached, or kept as pets. You should call a game warden immediately for their extraction as they are considered dangerous.

Your Eyedea said...

BULL SHIT!! they tagged them and sent them out of the area?!?! WTF?! they were selling pot!!! BRING THEIR DIRTY ASSES IN!!

Also kids from Robbinsdale and ect go to Northside to tell their friends so they think their tough and cool... Trust me, I went to Cooper.

Patricia said...

Eyedea,

First off you mean to use "they're" instead of "their". "They're" is a conjunction that means "they are". "Their" is a plural possessive pronoun.

But I agree with you whole heartedly that those pot sellers should be arrested and kept in jail until they are tried instead of just being given a court date and told to go on their way. A lot of judges and prosecutors think that marijuana is no big deal and should really be taxed and regulated.

The truth is that these kinds of pot sales go to fund Al Qaeda:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/may/13/drugsandalcohol.alqaida

Anonymous said...

I agree you really should quit smoking before getting five or ten sacs from anyone anywhere. Its going to be poop 9 outta 10. And if you stop buying poop off the streets then they will stop selling poop on the streets. But legalization and taxation opens revenue for our strapped gorernment and maybe we could get that HIGH end "coffe"shop on Broadway. For people with there medical cards, also costing in other states 150 to 200 dollars, to gather and sip "coffee".

Still remains anonymous

Anonymous said...

WTF says fund Al Qaeda? I though white middle class pot smokers funded Nomi's violence? Now also Al Qaeda? You know what that means lock there ass up with the other 25% of caged America. Then who's left, to pay the bill? Watch out white upper class america they are coming for your coke money next.
Give me a break!

Your Eyedea said...

Patricia: Its hard to take your comments seriously when your being the grammar Nazi of the blog.

Anonymous said...

There was a very interesting article about the Northside published in City Pages some years ago called "North Side Story" which discussed escalating violence in the neighborhood.

One of the main points of the article that struck me as interesting is that the area is set up on a perfect grid system with many ways in and out without being noticed. Its easy to slip into the city and back out without taking the same street.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will but, I have a hard time believing that the responding officer(s) would call the person who called 911 to thank them and tell them what they did with the dealers. Don't they have to file a police report first? Just strikes me as odd.

Also, you were driving around yet you slowed down long enough to observe dealers signaling cars and long enough to determine this "whooping" is part of their signaling?
I don't even know what a "dime bag" is or why its called that. Your street smarts knowledge of drugs is really impressive. I drive in NoMi every day and I never spotted patterns of dealers like you have. What all do you know about drugs anyway?

Johnny Northside! said...

The officer called to get more information, apparently. The thanking just happened in the course of the conversation.

The "whooping" signaling has become common. Everybody knows about it, everybody who goes around calling 911.

Anonymous said...

That's right don't take any guff Johnny. Even the ten-year olds on their BMXs' "whoop" in between cusses as they ride down the street, probably because they hear the "big" kids or their fathers doing it. Their race doesn't matter either, they all do it. I don't care if you have to lock-up 99.9% of America, it's better than me going to prison for climbing the "bell tower". Maybe we should ask the DNR for a season dedicated to this mysterious "whooping bird"! And yes, America is indeed the single largest purchaser of illicit drugs from around the world. Moreover, we spend the most money for prevention, and have the most draconian drug criminalization in the western world. How does that figure? If you ask me, the "war on drugs" is a failure and just a way for police agencies and governments to make money and sing kumbaya because it's something that most of them can agree on.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention. Like that 25% of "caged America" pays bills anyways, you've been smoking that Penn Ave. dung sir. WE pay their bills. At least their getting three hots and an effing cot! It's probably better than what they had.

Anonymous said...

You could probably get your limit within 1/2 hour of the season's opener!

emma. said...

I've been called back by the police to say "thank you", to gather more information if possible, and to give me an update on the situation. It happens - and it's nice (though not necessary) when it does!

Eloise said...

I'm very hard of hearing and unfamiliar with this "whooping". Is there any way someone could replicate the sound for me?

Anonymous said...

Ah yeah... seriously suberb kids buying weed in the north side, eh. They're sellin to locals lookin for a quick dime (cigarello-wrap's worth or more). People in North smoke, and buying a dime on the go is no biggie. But a dime is a crumb, 14 is under an ounce despite individual-wraped, I don't think serious charges start till 42.5g. Regardless this is barely worth the cop's attention, I mean anything under a pound is small potatoes. But yes, growing is the smartest solution. I understand there are area internet-forum sites where you can ask for help. There are a surprising number of people that grow small personal amounts (not large distributer rings). They are everywhere in society: co-workers, neighbors, perfectly average and normal. You just don't know it because they're careful, responsible, quiet, extremely "don't ask don't tell".

Anonymous said...

The reason to go after Nomi drug dealers isn't because their dime bags are wreaking havoc with the neighborhood.

They could be selling Cheetos and honey buns and I would still want them off the streets. It's the fact they think our neighborhood is their own personal open air market for whatever illegal activities they want to profit from.