Downtown Store Raided by Feds

The Sexshuns clothing store on the Downtown Mall was raided by federal agents this afternoon, Rob Seal writes in the Progress. Proprietor Reynold George Samuels Jr. is accused of running a crime ring, distributing marijuana, crack, cocaine, and pirated DVDs. Samuels is already a convicted felon, so his ownership of firearms isn’t going to help him, either.

You can get away with selling crack these days, but get caught pirating DVDs and you’re screwed.

24 thoughts on “Downtown Store Raided by Feds”

  1. Some residents of our fair city don’t have the fabulous internet access so many have come to rely on. The sort of service Mr. Samuels is charged to have provided was an informal way to bridge the digital divide. Egalitarian, but much easier to prosecute.

  2. Slumlord, I hope your kidding about “was an informal way to bridge the digital divide”. Pirated DVDs has nothing to do with the digital divide, and all to do about an illegal way to make money. I’d bet that he was not distributing the DVD’s for the cost of the media, and if he was, I take back what I said and perhaps we should give him a humanitarian award instead.

  3. And after reading the article, I bet the 200 pounds of marijuana was all for terminally ill friends and those in our fair city with glaucoma. Sounds like a modern day Robin Hood.

  4. This Is Not A Total Shock. I Walked By That Place Almost Everyday For The Past 5 Years And I Never Saw Anybody Buy Anything. The Place Was Always Empty. I Was Asking Myself “How Is He Paying Te Rent, Inventory Etc? And Still Taking Care Of His Other Obligations? It Appears That This Mystery Has Now Been Solved. JC

  5. JC,

    Please stop capitalizing the first letter of every single word that you type. It is not only unnecessary but incredibly annoying and difficult to read.

    That said, I agree with what you are saying. It always looked like kind of a half-assed store, not a lot of permanent fixtures. The fact that it was there for that long and was able to pay what I seem to recall being fairly substantial rent (we almost rented that space for a political campaign some years ago) despite being so half-assed should have been a good tip-off that something was amiss.

  6. Jackson,

    The strength of a person is usually determined by the size of the thing which makes them angry. And if me having capital letters makes you that annoyed…well that cetainly makes one wonder. You did agree with my statement, so it must not have been that difficult to read…JC

  7. Gulliver’s Travels was written somewhat that way in the original. All the nouns were capitalized, like in German. So what would be a Swiftian response? A modest proposal. Put people in jail for life for pot and annoying cocaine and crappy DVD’s. Whoops, that one’s real.

  8. I’M jusT curiouS whY A persoN woulD choosE tO capitalizE iN sucH aN odD waY. NoT thE waY thE nunS taughT mE!

  9. kArL aCkErMaN, Oh, no you did-entt.
    I have to agree that the style can be somewhoat difficult to read.
    I, too, had noticed the store but it didn’t appear to be any emptier than a lot of the other boutiques downtown. But I have been of the opinion that there have been and still are quite a few businesses in town that have kept their doors open by intermingling their operations with illegal activities of various kinds. I can think of one restaurant near the Jefferson Theater that comes to mind. Slumlord, why do you assume his customers were all City residents? How do you know what the DVDs were used for?

  10. Style can never be difficult to read. What are you people talking about. Font choices, sizes, how you capitalize or other features can never have any effect on your ability to read. You’re delusional. :-)

  11. Illegal activities maybe, trust funds definitely. Some of those shops have got to be independently wealthy people riding on a concept. And/or they own the building.

  12. Yeah, I never got to the verbs. !) So I’ll translate as thus, saving everybody who’s interested a trip to or whatever…
    “ThaT iS righT colfeR. I haveE foR manY yearS [done something] iN germanY.”

    So what is the best free translation site now? is pretty bad, but maybe they all are.

    On topic:
    The other recent DVD bust was at the lousy convenience store at Meade & Stewart. The FBI vans pulled up and they were busted for obviously ripped DVD’s, and for forged cigarette tax stamps. Might be more money in the latter! Cville or The Hook covered it, mentioning that a legit recoding studio is across the street, ironically enough.

    Verified rumor:
    A new grocery store, natural-type, is still scouting locations on and near the mall, after the A&N space fell through for them. Also a spiffy restaurant/club/bar on the other end of downtown is looking for space to grow.

  13. Slumlord has a good point there. Rich white kids in college ‘share’ copyrighted music and movies through expensive computers and broadband all the time. As a society, we mostly look at it as something akin to jaywalking. Meanwhile, sale of pirated DVDs is much the same thing. But who buys pirated DVDs? Mostly poor people. And that’s what gets targeted by the FBI stings.

    Something isn’t quite right here. This guy with the store that got raided was also allegedly dealing crack and so on. So I’m not calling him a saint. But there’s certainly a double standard at work.

  14. People who are not “Rich white kids in college” can’t afford broadband? What kind of internet connection do the other college students have?

  15. This guy Samuels is a convicted felon drug dealer. I think there may have been a little more than DVDs being sold out of that joint, no pun intended. A saint he is not.

  16. Ah, the old WordPress HTML tag filtering trick. Gets me every time. — Agent 86.

    Good point Cville Eye. Slumlord and Jackson’s point about rich white kids having broadband whereas everyone else is using carts and ponies (i.e., DVD’s) seems a bit off the mark. Especially since even new computers can be had for $100 or $200 these days, and used ones for less. And many high schools and community colleges and of course libraries and many coffee shops and restaurants have free internet. And so it seems if you can’t afford that, you probably can’t afford a DVD player and TV either.

    If you’ve been following all the activities of the RIAA recently, you’ll notice they’ve been suing a lot of their customers. Maybe not the best business model, but I guess it’s their way. The MPAA seems to be following in their footsteps lately. I wouldn’t even be surprised if legal action against file sharing was much greater than legal action for CD/DVD pirating.

    Copyright law is certainly messed up (TM). If you quote that last sentence anytime in the next 200 years, my company will sue you. :-) Don’t even get me started on how much patent law is messed up. Hmm, I’m going to patent the arithmetic operation of addition. Don’t even think about using it without paying me. :-) If you think those examples are silly, they’re actually pretty close to things that have gone through the process with patents awarded. It’s really amazing. At least in the software patent universe that I’m familiar with.

    I agree with Jackson in general about the issue of punishment for DVD copying (or file sharing). I think a punishment of having to pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for uploading one single MP3 song may be just a tiny bit high.

    OK, how did this get soooo far off topic.

  17. I think the two piracy raids are related.

    The FBI found out about “Pik & Pak” selling bootlegged dvds. They were getting their master copies from someone. Probably someone local, someone with an employee friend to let them into the projection room. (Anyone notice the “no backpack’s or large bag’s” sign that appeared at the Downtown Regal sometime last summer?)

    So perhaps Patel rolled on someone, or perhaps the FBI just decided since they found this little bootleg operation, they would just stick around a bit longer and see what else they could turn up.

    As for “sharing” copyrighted dvd’s over broadband- the small distinction I find with it is that usually there is not a financial transaction involved (Yes it’s still a crime and one that is unequally enforced when compared to selling bootlegged dvds). But renting or purchasing a bootlegged copy of a movie you could go see at the Downtown Regal for 6 to 10 dollars. Cash changed hands there and someone made a profit.

  18. If the feds were really so worried about bootleg DVDs, they would be down in the Scottsville flea market raiding the merchants. Several people sell bootleg DVDs every weekend on a grand scale. They are kept under the tables out of sight. Or can the feds not solve a case unless we tell them this stuff? I think very few law enforcement officers can find a bleeding elephant in a snowstorm unless we direct them to it. :)

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