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Is Your Neighbor Out On Bail?

Maybe you read about that Big Time marijuana ring that was busted a few weeks ago. After an 18 month investigation, the cops moved in under cover of darkness and arrested rap mogul Kareem “Biggs” Burke, who helped launch Jay-Z’s career, and 42 other alleged Bad Guys.  Only most of them didn’t stay behind bars long, but posted bail, in some cases as high as $500,000, and then went home to await trial.

That’s what grabbed my attention. HOME!  Where do you think that is for supposed members of a drug ring that made its profits in the Big Apple?  Odds are that for at least some of them it’s a co-op or condo, which means the guy next door to you could be a suspected dealer hoping to stay out of jail.

Does that make you nervous? Should it?  Is there anything you or the board can do about it?  They can go after a dope user for secondhand smoke violation, but drug dealing is a different story. And odds are the board is the last to know about the dragnet because, like you, its members are sound asleep at three A.M. when those Homeland Security Agents came calling.

Sometimes the police or FBI give a heads up to the super that something is going to happen, though for obvious reasons they don’t usually say when or for what or who they’re after and may require their confidante to remain silent.

If you want to know after the fact what happened, ask the doormen.  They’re the ones on guard during the middle of the night when the cops come rushing in, and the ones who see them going out with the alleged perpetrator.

That’s when the trouble begins.  Because once the news is out, which it will be in a matter of hours, if your building is anything like mine, a few people will go berserk at the thought that a would-be criminal is living in their expensive midst. Though, odds are, if the guy really is a major league drug dealer he’s got more money than any of them, even if it’s not exactly clean.

But he’s innocent until proven guilty, even if he’s your next-door neighbor, which means there’s not a lot that you can do, except wait along with him, for his day of reckoning. The police won’t tell the board anything because it’s an ongoing investigation, and if there was any incriminating stuff, they’ve surely removed it as evidence.

Sure there’s the old Objectionable Conduct standard, but unlike those morals clauses in celebrity contracts, it applies to behavior that takes place inside the building not outside in the street.  And odds are if the guy had the money to post a half million dollar bail, he has a good lawyer telling him to be on his best behavior till judgment day.

If the board is really suspicious, it can have the doorman keep a record of who’s visiting, a strategem that helped make a case against a  call girl that did business in my building years ago.  Otherwise you’re pretty much on your own, though you can take comfort in the fact that the cops will know from those monitoring bracelets what your neighbor is up to.

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