Cops engage in ID thefy - legally!
April 13, 2005 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Cops engage in ID thefy - legally! [sorry - reg. required was all I could find] Cops in Ohio were putting together a sting in a strip club. They paid a 24-year-old informant a $100 a night to work as a stripper in the club (What? After tips?) But in order to carry out the sting, they gave the informant a false identity. Instead of creating a new one, they simply plucked the details off of some poor girl’s drivers license and social security card, such that this girl now has being paid as a stripper on her record. And according to the law, this is PERFECTLY LEGAL — in fact the Ohio police’s right to do this was included as a provision in a new Ohio law that was aimed at stopping ID theft. Which also makes me wonder — was this a commonplace practice in Ohio or anywhere else? Is that why they sought to protect it in the law? Is some guy using my ID to infiltrate NAMBLA right now?
posted by Heminator (31 comments total)
Nice try Heminator--we know you are the one in NAMBLA.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:51 PM on April 13, 2005

Most complicated way to see the intern naked EVER.
posted by Slothrup at 2:52 PM on April 13, 2005

Here's other reports.
posted by peacay at 2:56 PM on April 13, 2005

...not that I'm supporting this as an FPP or anything......somewhat thin newsfilterish tripe
posted by peacay at 2:59 PM on April 13, 2005

You gotta love how a law intended to stop ID theft, makes certain forms of ID theft legal.

Legal or not, I imagine that this sort of hare-brained operation is still actionable for any tort created by the police's use of one's ID, so one can hope that fear of lawsuits will put the kibbosh on that ethically-questionable practice.
posted by clevershark at 3:05 PM on April 13, 2005

Wow, this would be a great time to be a cop in Ohio with a grudge. I'd be creating false identity's for all my enemies. Cut me off in traffic? You just became a reformed prostitute with a penchant for smack and diapers. Short change me at the supermarket? Enjoy your new life as a pedophile.

I'm sure this will be the only instance of this new law being misused by the fine representatives of Ohio law enforcement.

Next, they'll go after the person they made into a stripper for not paying taxes on her income from stripping.
posted by fenriq at 3:11 PM on April 13, 2005

Oh yeah, here's a non-reg required link.
posted by fenriq at 3:14 PM on April 13, 2005

peacay writes " ...not that I'm supporting this as an FPP or anything......somewhat thin newsfilterish tripe"

HOLY SHIT. This needs to be an FPP, and not only here but in all the papers.

We're going to stop those strippers from giving lap-dances, and we don't care how many women's lives we ruin doing it!

We'll steal one girl's identity, and trick another into stripping for us, by telling her that she might get a job on the force afterwards!

"Watching her dance was quite different than the other girls," Troy Capt. Chuck Adams said. "She was doing some things I think she was ashamed of."

Yeah, it was so important that we do this, we didn't just have regular detectives watching her shake her ass, we got the captain to watch too! And we all drank beers on the state's tab!

And the other cops got to steal a dead guy's internet account, so they could watch too!

Woooo-hooo! Law enforcement at work!!

Uh, we didn't actually convict anyone, but our harassment got the club closed down anyway! A victory for decency!!
posted by orthogonality at 3:17 PM on April 13, 2005

It seems like we're only getting bits and pieces of this very weird story. From peacay's third link:

Police said Szuhay [the paid informant] befriended the Total Xposure staff, drinking with them after hours while using the driver's license of Dawson's daughter [the identity theft victim]. Nasal and police eventually charged Szuhay with perjury and obstruction of justice. The charges were dropped, but Nasal said they would be refiled.

Someone botched up something exquisitely; it's probably a fascinating story. Szuhay should probably start looking for a book deal.

Tangentially, the whole "undercover" approach described here--cops sitting around in a strip club drinking and trying to get illegal lap dances--has always struck me as the biggest pile of horseshit in American law enforcement. Christ, I bet it's hard to find officers willing to take that job...
posted by mr_roboto at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2005

Would it be so hard to just make up an entirely fictional identity for under cover work? Isn't that what they do for witness protection programs?
posted by 2sheets at 3:26 PM on April 13, 2005

Is some guy using my ID to infiltrate NAMBLA right now?

You could ask them ("NSFW"). Or you could try email to, but I can't vouch that it's a real address.

"Excuse me, my name is Random Luser of West Hollyrock, CA. I'm really not a Harry Potter fan, I just want to know if anybody's pretending to be me."
posted by davy at 3:28 PM on April 13, 2005

Are those Dodge Durango animated gif ads from Google that are floating right when I'm not logged in new, or am I only just now seeing them?
posted by orthogonality at 3:38 PM on April 13, 2005

Mmmm, government. Which flavor do you like? Red? Blue?
posted by f5seth at 3:46 PM on April 13, 2005

social security card
No federals laws are being broken?
posted by thomcatspike at 3:47 PM on April 13, 2005

The articles seemed more about Szuhay the wanna-be-cop informant being ashamed she stripped for $100 a night. And...psssst; cops are working watching her strip while watching other stripping so they can catch alcohol serving violations the way the cops are using fake IDs legally.

The bold texts make a task the cops should be there for regarding alcohol violations, weird.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:57 PM on April 13, 2005

Although the identity-theft, exploitation-of-innocent-parties, and using-some-poor-girl-as-a-stripper angles are all interesting and dismaying, this reminds me of a case in Austin about 13 years ago where cops were making frequent visits to Vicky's Retreat, a (ahem) massage parlor. They had to collect a lot of evidence beforehand to make their bust. Oh yeah, a lot of evidence.
posted by adamrice at 4:08 PM on April 13, 2005

Makes me wonder if they're paying for the taxes on tips added to the victim's (the person whose ID has been stolen for Police Use). They could inadvertently drive someone into another tax bracket.
posted by Nauip at 4:10 PM on April 13, 2005

They had to collect a lot of evidence beforehand to make their bust. Oh yeah, a lot of evidence.

Collecting evidence? Is that what you kids call it these days?
posted by jonp72 at 5:27 PM on April 13, 2005

This was Cruel Site of the Day for April 12th. She was a college intern working with the sheriff's department, I guess as part of her degree. Here's a video (SFW) she made for her school, talking about how "they make me feel like one of their family."
posted by PlusDistance at 6:39 PM on April 13, 2005

There are several things I don't quite understand about this. At first I thought they had an undercover stripper looking for underage drinking activity. But they also had undercover cops in there? Why did they need the undercover stripper? And they later charged her with obstruction of justice, why? For using the identity they stole for her? It all makes very little sense.
posted by Nothing at 6:49 PM on April 13, 2005

I registered, name mefi if anyone is too lazy to reister.
posted by Alison at 7:02 PM on April 13, 2005

posted by Alison at 7:02 PM on April 13, 2005

orthoganality be da man!
posted by DelusionsofGrandeur at 7:06 PM on April 13, 2005

mr_roboto you be da next man!
posted by DelusionsofGrandeur at 7:08 PM on April 13, 2005

Crap. How the hell did I miss spell theft? I was in hurry on my way out of work. Oops.
posted by Heminator at 7:15 PM on April 13, 2005

"I was in hurry" -- just kill me now.
posted by Heminator at 7:17 PM on April 13, 2005

Heminator writes " I was in hurry on my way out of work."

They dislike you so much they call security to throw you out of your workplace, do they? :)

Now, the Law and Order guys in this episode are way too crazy to be true, the writers must have been smoking something weird. So they get a college intern , pay her to strip under the name of another woman (whose license, according to one of the links, was apprehended in a alcohol related incident - there's an ironic sinchronicity here somewhere) and then, after successfully closing the club they charge the girl with obstruction of justice? What does it mean, they couldn't take her eyes off her and so were unable to spot the crimes they were looking for? I wonder who got to keep the tips, her or them...

Do not miss the next episode, where our prosecuting hero Gary Nasal re-files the obstruction charges, but somehow, somewhere, someone makes a mistake and the woman whose identity was stolen by the cops ends up arrested.
posted by nkyad at 8:13 PM on April 13, 2005

Slothrup wins.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:37 PM on April 13, 2005

we know you are the one in NAMBLA

There's no shame in being a member of the National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes.
posted by kindall at 11:42 PM on April 13, 2005

I just can't fathom that someone in authority decided to use an INTERN as an undercover agent in any kind of operation - IANA Cop or anything, but using someone other than a sworn officer for field work of this sort strikes me as a violation of sound procedures.
Also, I agree that there is something really fishy about this whole operation - They had a known former stripper as an intern, they convince her to go UC as a stripper in an operation looking for underage drinking, they not only had plainclothes cops in the joint watching her (including, apparently, the captain), but they also had guys watching her on live webcam. What, weren't there enough seats in the club to accommodate all the cops and DA's staff that wanted a look at the intern's coochie? And what do they accuse her of hiding from the investigation?
This whole thing stinks to high heaven of professional misconduct. To me, the ID theft angle is just icing on the cake.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 8:50 AM on April 14, 2005

Mitigating identity theft (in general, not this case).
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on April 15, 2005

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