Orlando MBI Trying To Pull A Pee-Wee

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Orlando Weekly Buiilding

On October 19th, The Orlando Metro Bureau of Investigation jack-booted marched into the Orlando Marriott Hotel and arrested 3 Orlando Weekly employees. During a very public Job Fair that the Orlando Weekly was attending as a vendor HOSTING. (See the comment below for the correction). Was that Necessary? Early rumblings in the downtown grapevine had given away the MBI’s ploy.

Reasonâ„  reports:

The paper [Editor: Orlando Weekly] itself was put on notice that it’s being investigated for racketeering for running the ads. The same police department is also hinting that it may next go after Craigslist.

Drone Operator adds:

This is similar to arresting advertising sales reps from Rolling Stone because one of their liquor advertisors ‘made it clear’ at some point and in a nebulous fashion that they are hoping some kid will see their ad and want some Bacardi.

In other words, what’s illegal the THOUGHT or the ACT.

The Orlando Sentinel chimes in with:

Attorney Steve Mason, who represents the Orlando Weekly and Orlando-area adult entertainment businesses, said he tried contacting the MBI today about the arrests but has not heard back from law-enforcement officials at the agency.

“I wanted to let them know that if there were any other outstanding warrants for Orlando Weekly personnel, please let me know,” Mason said in a phone interview. “I would streamline the process and I would make every effort to have those people surrender themselves.”

WTF?

It doesn’t stop there. The office itself was served notice on racketeering charges for just running the ads. They are trying to make them out to be designers of a coded language aimed at fooling law enforcement. An investigation goes on for two years. and a clearly marked ‘Adult Services’ and ‘Certified Massage’. One is for strippers (which are legal, within limits of the law) and the other for Therapists. Massage Therapists.

Horizontal Efflorage

Now let me tell you a little bit about Massage therapy. I get massages, and have been for years. I’ve got all type (swedish, hot stones, where they stand on you, et al) and I have never been offered any thing remotely sexual, or have I requested sex in any way. And, I’ve never been sexually aroused during any massage that I’ve paid a trained,  licensed, insured and bonded professional THERAPISTS. It’s called body work, and is very healthy for posture, limberness, blood flow, balance and a multitude of other health benefits. Google, for more.

In other words, I consider them medical professionals. Not seedy, body rubbers.

Prostitution does happen, but I wouldn’t know

Like this is a big shocker. Freelance hookers got smart and started using the internet to attract clientele. Some body tell Craig, he may have therapeutic services some on his site. Oh, Wait. :\

When you draw the line, Do it in pencil please

As a technologist, I tend to think of these types of free speech quandaries in terms of other free speech issues on the internet. Specifically the DMCA. Which releases internet sites from user contributed content. Sure they have to remove it when asked to, something that may be hinging on the YouTube lawsuits and related litigation campaigns

while the old guard tries to figure out the interwebz and their dying business models with only crap products to sell and re-sell. But I digress.



What I Want To Know Is…

Are printing words illegal? Does getting paid for the words you print, make it illegal? I’m not getting paid for this blog, so does that mean that it’s legal? Even if I share illegal information on it? (Like say stories about demonoid.com - an illegal Bit Torrent tracker).  But even if the people placing the ads are in fact - dyed in the wool whores… hookers, escorts, hoes or harlots of the Jezebel variety - illegal to hire, illegal to be one, illegal to manage (fire your pimps, ladies). If these are criminals hiring a Service, is the Business to be held responsible, and what does that mean for the Weekly?

Can’t Handle The Truth

Operation Overexposed by Jeferry C. Billman

Its 2+2 for me. This is obvious retaliation. No brainer. Crashing the job fair is UNFAIR to the people just trying to get a job. Ever think of that, Mr. Lutz. They were legitimate, tax paying professionals. Mothers needing a job before the 2nd Eviction notice comes in. A young student coming out of one of our many colleges, looking for their break into the working world. You’re ’sting’ has impacted the economic development and entrepreneurial spirt this town is getting known for. Short-sighted, don’t you think? Especially since this fiasco should cost you your job. Maybe you can go to the next Orlando Weekly Job Fair as a job seeker?

They aren’t not all Chief Wiggum’s

Chief Wiggum

Police get a bad rap when the public perceives that  a certain organization is a waste of money. This happens because because said organization is incompetent, bloated, and inefficient to get any thing useful done. So in an attempt to appear relevant they set something up like this. Using tricks to blatantly entrap people into doing something illegal. Citizens, need to be aware of these tricks and their rights, so you can counter them, and disarm the traps (socially, not physically - calm down there feather trigger).

Is all of the MBI made up Barney Fife's and no Andy's?

If they can bust somebody or a group of some-bodies and get good press - then they appear relevant in the media, and hence shape public perception. And hence get their budget each year - and their budget increased, if they make high profile arrests. And I’m not even going to bring in the question of legislating and enforcing MORALITY into this issue. I’m just going to let their incompetent policing be their scarlet letter.

This is where the Flashback music would play…

Going back to the article that started the revenge in motion.

This is just fucking bad theater, if you ask me. Its a show, set up to keep the public distracted so we won’t notice that parts of our city are falling apart - and the cops are doing nothing (effective) about it. Hell The corner of Delaney and Michigan smells like piss, for gods sake! Seriously. Drive there with your windows down and prepare to throw up in your mouth. I did it two days ago.

This is not police work. Neither is this. This is police recreation. Shit, those ‘undercover cops’ loved setting up this sting. They were getting free pussy and free drugs. There job was to party. Stuff Tax Payer money into G-stings all in a gambit to make them feel comfortable with them (and make them think they aren’t the Vice Squad). This is what the MBI is proud of. This is the kind of job they do for you Orlando.

I know that this is how undercover cops have to operate, but this is different. This was more “Rush” than “Training Day” And know you know Orlando MBI (Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation or Makes Bad Incriminations?!) isn’t clever enough to pull off a Reservoir Dogs. But I digress.

Pee Wee Herman (1988)

Its the Pee Wee Herman bust all over again, in a way. Crime and Murder is thru the roof - in Central Florida and Orlando. Metro West, which used to be this exclusive, upscale golf community (or least we thought) is now West Crime Hills. With armed robberies every day it seems. Plenty of Real Vice going on down there, Sonny.  Just ask “Detective Barb” Bergin and the Crimeline Team (1-800-423-TIPS).

If you didn’t catch the true Hollywood story edition, Pee-Wee was arrested by a group of cops that, during an all time high murder rate (for the state and for the western coast town he was arrested in). They would basically walk in to an adult theater, in the middle of a feature playhing - in the dark - and while the patrons were enjoying the pornography and arresting those of them that were masturbating. Resources were diverted from solving homicide cases to stumble upon adults masturbating. The correlation to the Orlando Weekly story is uncanny.

I believe in everyday heros

Now, don’t get me wrong - there are plenty of every day hero’s in law enforcement, doing their job - protecting their communities, helping real people. The MBI’s actions are not that, what so ever. In fact, other officers should shame these people. They don’t deserve our respect. Stories like this are too emotionally charged and get spun too easily - but the bottom line remains - Real police work should be rewarded - hack jobs like this should be made illegal, and the cops involved should be ridiculed. In fact they should be fired, or retrained. You can’t run an organization for publicity, and surely can’t do it in such a way that fosters the crimes first, to bust them later. That’s just lazy police work. And they know it.

Here’s the official word from the Orlando Weekly:

Orlando Weekly believes these arrests are an outrageous abuse of process and an attempt to censor the First Amendment rights of a newspaper that has reported critically on the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation.

I agree. But you have to temper that with the fact that because of the grudge, and the ugly way the MBI handled their arrests, we are still in the reverberations of the initial splash of the story. Thanks to the MBI, we’re all worked up - and for good reason. An incompetent baboon got his face time on the local news.

Even Scott Maxwell agrees. And he doesn’t take ANY shit. Just Names.  He’s kind of like chuck norris like that.

Scott adds a very reasonable conclusion to this little pantomime in the media:

There’s still more info to unfold in this case. And maybe it’s going to come out that these three staffers were actually Central Florida’s prostitution kingpins and that the Weekly offices were basically Pimp Central. But until that happens, it’s worth keeping a close eye on what happens in this case … after the first splash of headlines fade.

Let’s see what happens. For now, I’m going to watch some real cops in action.

15 Responses to “Orlando MBI Trying To Pull A Pee-Wee”


  • Small correction - OW dub wasn’t just attending the job fair as a vendor, they were hosting it. It was the Orlando Weekly Job Fair - so they were dragged out of there and embarrassed in front of their readers AND clients! :( I hope these three sue for damages!

  • I thought I got that part wrong. I’ll go correct the article.

  • You can also help out by suggesting stories like this on to MetroBlogging Orlando:
    http://metblogs.com/suggest/?bid=16

    They haven’t picked this up yet, but they should.

  • well written…it is nice for a change to hear both sides NOT just the one to hear/read on/in the local media!
    Kudos!

  • Man, if this was really a pay back by MBI it sucks. I hope OW crawls so far up MBI’s proverbial backside cause you can most likely figure they (MBI) are too pig headed or just plain too arrogant to make sure their back yard is spotless. If that’s how MBI wants to roll then OW should give it right back to them.

  • @dardy

    Yeah, I”m not down on police officers. I just expect them to do their job responsibly and to their best of their ability - just like everyone else.

    For Example:
    I fired my bank today because they suggested I just float checks against a deposit I made at 10am. So I left Wachovia and went to WaMu (where i feel like they love you :)).

  • Wow, I almost don’t know where to start on this one.

    “Big Brother” has been doing this since the dawn of time. It’s nothing new. You can trace these tactics into all area’s of government. The War on Drugs, The IRS, The Penal/Prison System… it’s all about their job security and/or profit. And it all comes down to what side of the fence you’re on as to whether or not you’re getting bent over the wrong way.

    In this case, their trying yet again to be the unsolicited pimp of the oldest profession in the world by collecting their money in the form of fines or one-up-man-ship by the moral majority which will help secure their future employment positions.

    When digging really deep, it’s not just Orlando that’s like this. The moral majority is always looking for ways to blame the rest of society for it’s unmanaged deviant urges and lack of parenting. People need to take acceptance of their own actions and stop creating scapegoats for their misadventures.

    It’s really sad to see Orlando mis-prioritizing their efforts from Murders, Robberies and Violent Crimes to Victim-less crimes like supposed subversive massage therapists and the publications that publish advertisements (which are sold without prejudice or discrimination to any free market entrepreneurs without bias of their chosen profession). It’s not like there are laws that define what is acceptable and unacceptable in regards to advertising therapeutic massage services (like they do have for Alcohol and Tobacco). And even if the advertisements were for illegal sexual services, it’s the law’s own loophole that they need to correct because they’re not advertising sexual services, they’re advertising massage therapy. The last time I checked, massage therapy and the advertising of it is not an illegal act. Yes, at times the advertisements may feature an attractive man or woman, but featuring a picture of an attractive person is nothing new to the world of advertising. They use this tactic to sell everything from Liquor, Cars, and other vices to clothing, makeup, toilet paper, hygienic products, office products and lots more. “Sex” is used to market everything. And doing so is not illegal, as long as it’s not sex that you’re explicitly advertising as for sale.

    It’s the readers own prejudices as to whether or not they think that person is a professional or if they’re a “professional”. And if anyone thinks someone is a “professional” because they may be attractive and happen to be a massage therapist then the reader has some deep rooted issues that go far beyond advertising and they possibly need some professional therapy (or as Freud would say; Their true desire is “Professional Therapy”).

    What really sucks is that the MBI is giving a bad name to all legitimate massage therapists and it’s going to hurt the income and reputation of more legitimate professionals a lot more than it is going to temporarily deter anyone who might be actually be selling illegal services.

    Someone should file a claim against the organizations enacting such apparent and unlawful harassments.

    The thing is that “big brother” will always keep pushing and pushing the limits until we stand up for ourselves and refuse to accept such unconstitutional actions and harassments. If we act as sheep we will be treated as sheep.

  • Dr Xnlb,
    First off, love the blog. It’s very nice and clean and intuitive, plus you’re actually discussing relevant shit and for that you have my respect as well.
    As for the issue at hand here, I can’t help but to want to understand both sides of the issue. From the Weekly’s perspective, well they’re just running the ads they need to keep the paper running. Because, may I remind everyone, that almost all print publications are kept alive through ad-placement transactions.

    The MBI, has a job to do, and as much as it sucks, their claim is legit that many of the ads in the Weekly allude to Rub N Tug operations, aka happy ending massages. A buddy of mine even admitted to me that he went to a “My Thai Massage” and received a complimentary orgasm. The operation exists. Unfortunately, under Florida State Law, soliciting prostitution is illegal. And the MBI claims that the OW knowingly publishes the Rub n Tug ads, and I would postulate that the MBI is actually correct in their assumption. Although, who is to know for sure?

    The REAL issue at hand here goes beyond public humiliation of the Weekly. The real issue is that prostitution is illegal. And you know, Red States and cracking down on any kind of sex crime or scandal go hand in hand. And that is because red states are predominantly Christian-operated with respect to gov. policy, and Christians hate it when people are fucking and having fun, because their faith tells them that the wiener is only allowed to occupy a vagina and under strict conditions. The issue here is a theme that’s been around for centuries, the men are sexually repressed and seeking to punish those who are not.

    In Holland, women are trained by the Government to posses the skills necessary to have sex with handicapped or disabled citizens as a “civic courtesy” to those who are less fortunate. Imagine that. And in the U.S. of A. it is illegal to purchase a dildo in 13 states. Blowjobs, which are classified under definition as sodomy, are still illegal in some states. This is the Christian right seeking to regulate your human-animal desire to get off with another person.

    Florida is slowly waking up. Orlando is slowly becoming an epicenter for the war against the Christian right. Kids are being arrested for feeding the homeless, Rub N Tugs get shut down, and City Officials attend church on Sunday. Road rage, stress, social anxiety, punishment for speaking freely, and suburban sprawl are all issues lingering in the background. Free-thinking citizens fight the oppressive, meat-head enforcement institutions, but the State wins EVERY TIME. If you ask me, the leftists need to think less radically and more intelligently. We need free-thinkers in office, not down 33rd St & John Young Parkway.

    But getting back to the original topic, I look forward to hearing more about the development of this story. And I hope the City doesn’t win, and that free (i mean payed for) love will prevail.

  • @ Kitana One

    Someone should file a claim against the organizations enacting such apparent and unlawful harassments.

    The thing is that “big brother” will always keep pushing and pushing the limits until we stand up for ourselves and refuse to accept such unconstitutional actions and harassments. If we act as sheep we will be treated as sheep.

    The ensuing uproar on the internet over this story goes a long way towards that. Thanks for contributing such a thoughtful comment on the subject. Big Brother seems, to me, to be both growing stronger, and weaker. Just like the Roman Empire - before it collapsed. Keep your passports up to date and learn a foreign language. Global Citizenry is the next phase of freedom, methinks. Local politics are petty and are easily stopped - if we stand up and let them know that we caught them with their pants down (exposing all the pimples of incompetence and corruption).

  • @ Andrew Van Wart

    In Holland, women are trained by the Government to posses the skills necessary to have sex with handicapped or disabled citizens as a “civic courtesy” to those who are less fortunate. Imagine that.

    I’m big on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 503, since it affects my pro work as a technologist, but right now we (USA) would never have the kind of real compassion it would take to write that kind of thing into law. Its indicative of their entire social stance.

    Florida is slowly waking up. Orlando is slowly becoming an epicenter for the war against the Christian right.

    Free-thinking citizens fight the oppressive, meat-head enforcement institutions, but the State wins EVERY TIME.

    I have more hope than that. By speaking about it openly on the internet, we get some of our power back. Also, and this is a motto I’ve lived by for years: You are only as free as you say you are.

    If the man makes you think you are in a cage, you will be. Only you can set your self free, and live in a realtime liberty environment. Just ask Nelson Mandela, who sat in a jail sell for 27 years and was the freest man on earth.

  • awesome post.

    this entire situation is insane. there’s not much i can add, really, that wouldn’t echo what others have written on the various subjects at this point.

    first of all, i always shake my head in disapproval when i see cops going after prostitution. let’s just legalize it, already. other comments express the idea more eloquently, but i tend to remember george carlin’s view on prostitution:

    “I do not understand why prostitution is illegal. Why should prostitution be illegal? Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn’t selling fucking legal? You know, why is it illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that at all. Of all the things you can do to a person, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people. Civilian life, you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand it.”

    second, the weekly is never responsible for the conduct of the entities with which it does business. as long as the weekly does not engage in prostitution itself, they have not broken the law, and that is why the MBI is constitutionally outside of its jurisdiction. period. it doesn’t matter if the weekly staff was or was not aware of the activities of their advertisers. that is irrelevant.

    i am personally aware, for example, that certain agents under the umbrella of the federal government are currently engaging in war crimes. that does NOT mean that I am responsible for those war crimes. it would be wrong for anyone to accuse me of those war crimes. i am not the one committing them, nor am i complicit in those crimes. my knowledge of them does not make me guilty of them. and so it is the same for the weekly. they are not guilty of any crimes that their advertisers may or may not commit.

    after all, it seems to me that the ads in question do not explicitly advertise illegal services, so i don’t see what the problem is in the first place.

    i sincerely hope the, um, orlandoans…orlandos…orlandites…orlandans…er, that all y’all continue to make your voices heard. i believe, as a non-florida resident, that the arrest of the Orlando Weekly Three was neither justified or permissible by the US constitution, and that those responsible for the greater investigation be reassigned to fighting crimes that actually harm people in a tangible, quantifiable way. a sober, impartial viewing of the facts and the established law can lead to no other conclusion.

  • Just got off the phone with Detective Barb. What a super lady. And while she said “No Comment” (wink wink, nudge nudge - say no more)*, when asked about the MBI’s revenge bust she was a lot of fun to talk to. I guess, I’m not her only fan.

    ** I’m not trying to imply that she agrees with ANY of the thoughts on this blog or not, she hasn’t even read it.

    She did agree that the murder rate is going through the roof and we need to focus our efforts on that.

  • The story I heard was that the MBI went undercover, placed calls to the Orlando Weekly telling the Orlando Weekly point-blank that they were prostitutes but wanted to know a way of getting around the legalities of the situation and how to be discrete about it. Allegedly, The Orlando Weekly was not reticent and did help the undercover “prostitutes” in offering to put their ads in the paper despite knowing their illegal intentions. While I don’t think prostitution should be illegal in the first place and that it would be better to have the inevitable outcomes regulated in a healthy/safe manner, I can see why it would put the Orlando Weekly in a legal quagmire.

    Of course, there’s been no real evidence to back up these allegations. I haven’t seen anyone say “we have recorded phone calls and can back up our allegations with proof” though so it seems like their word against the paper’s. Then there’s the idea that they’re simply trying to shut down the Orlando Weekly for critical stories it ran on the MBI. If that’s true then that would change the entire story to a free speech/censorship case, which is even more deplorable than anything the Orlando Weekly is being accused of.

    I am going to try to dig up these alleged articles about the MBI to see if there’s any truth to this story. If so, then the MBI has a serious legal/ethical problem on its hands for trying to disrupt the constitution of the United States and I can definitely see them having problems if this comes to light.

  • Okay, I looked at some of the backlogs of the Orlando Weekly and it does appear to be that they have written some disparaging commentary on the MBI. This is enough evidence to establish a motive for what appears to be the MBI’s attempt to impede the constitutionally protected right of free speech. Oh boy, they’re going to be in deep shit for mistaking The U.S. for communist China.

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