Google street view drug bust

Another day, another item to add to the weirdly long list of Google’s powers: besides running your entire social and professional life, the internet giant can now bust you for drugs. A crew of alleged heroin dealers  in Brooklyn have been caught, not just because of beta technology like “police work” but because of Google Street View.

Several images from the site caught suspects loitering in front of East Williamsburg’s Neighborhood Grocery bodega, where the group of seven dealers were reportedly were “catering to the hipster crowd.” Accordingly, police involved in the related sting went undercover “dressed as hipsters” according to the New York Post, buying ten-dollar bags of heroin with unexpectedly enticing brand names like “KFC,” “Magik,” and “Powerful Impact.”

In other words, Google will now be filming your every move (legal or otherwise) on the streets of Williamsburg. Either an exciting coup for technology, or a serious damper on your weekend, depending who you ask.

Commentarium (21 Comments)

Nov 12 10 - 11:49am
HAWKPHANN

HELLO 1984, OR WAS THAT FUTURESHOCK? Oh well, I guess that means that i can't pick my nose or scratch my balls without someone watching me. Perhaps this will open up a new market for lawyers protecting peoples' civil rights.

Nov 12 10 - 11:53am
HAWKPHANN

HELLO 1984, OR SHOULD I SAY FUTURESHOCK? I GUESS THIS MEANS THAT I CAN'T PICK MY NOSE, OR SCRATCH MY BALLS WITHOUT SOME VOYEUR RECORDING ME. PERHAPS THIS WILL OPEN UP A NEW FIELD FOR LAWYERS TO PROTECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACIES.

Nov 12 10 - 11:59am
jpetrides

ok, how does this photo implicate these guys as heroin dealers? I don't see them with a bag or heroin in hand... nor do I see anyone paying them in exchange. I don't see how the cops could make that conclusion.

Nov 12 10 - 12:15pm
enigmatic robot

Don't really see how more money for Lawyers is a positive

Nov 12 10 - 12:20pm
Zap

exactly my thoughts jpetrides

Nov 12 10 - 12:34pm
Arthur Dent

Drugs are fun.

Nov 12 10 - 12:46pm
jay

@jpetrides you missed one key detail, they are black.

Nov 12 10 - 12:49pm
pain

Is it really $9.25 for a pack of Newports? I thought the $5 here was expensive from the $2.50 it used to be a 10 years ago. Im not a smoker, but just noticed the price.

But I don't see how a picture of people standing around counts as proof of them selling drugs.

Mar 02 12 - 10:38pm
akay

1) I live on this corner and this is hilarious.
2) The amount of detective work that went into this was pretty unnecessary. All the bodegas they mentioned stock consists of a handful of stray Joose cans in a cooler, I think the whole thing is pretty transparent.
3) My street is FAMOUS!!!

Nov 12 10 - 12:54pm
Anon

They had drugs on them after the cops showed up. End the drug war, end the organized crime.

Nov 12 10 - 1:00pm
red

The article states that "several images" were used. I doubt they would put the evidence here. We don't see all the pictures, and the pictures didn't catch them, the undercover sting caught them. They will not post evidence they will later use in court.

Nov 12 10 - 1:41pm
jdawg

I believe you've all mis-read the article. Cops were undercover buying the drugs, google didn't provide any conclusive evidence in order to convict them - google simply recorded the sting that the cops were enacting. Basically, the cops were already after these guys, google just caught the whole process on tape. Pretty cool if you ask me!! GO GOOGLE!

Nov 12 10 - 2:14pm
Jorge

I doubt this would have happened if they were all white hipsters loitering in front of a bodega. Loitering while black = suspicious drug activity. End the drug war!

Nov 12 10 - 3:53pm
Bob

@jpetrides, i think it's because they were black.

Nov 13 10 - 4:22am
Well..

How about the fact the the journalist who wrote this was more concerned about the big brother factor than the heroin?

Nov 13 10 - 7:01am
j.b. bradsaw

I don't see how them being black has anything to do with it. They were selling heroin. If they were white and selling heroin I'm pretty sure that they would still be arrested.

Nov 13 10 - 9:06pm
Andy

$9.25 for a pack of an addictive and deadly drug. Yeah, the Newports. Who's the real criminal?

Nov 14 10 - 1:11am
mayonades

@Andy: Wow, deep man. You should make a bumper sticker.

Nov 14 10 - 9:18pm
happy

live around there, pass them everyday, they are drug dealers

Nov 15 10 - 2:07pm
MissLA

"hipster" customers of course they can only afford $10 bags. I live in L.A. and NO dealer for ANY drug will sell anything less than $20 or $30 (minimum).
Anyways, note to drug dealers, if you see the guy from google maps with a camera, try to avoid getting in the picture.... Just a thought...

Nov 18 10 - 4:27pm
thinkywritey

@Well.. I'd be more concerned about invasions of privacy than heroin, too.