So, if you and I went to the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, half of which is in Derby Line, Vermont, and the other half of which is in Stanstead, Québec, we would think of it as a clever gimmick designed to attract tourists to boring little towns with little else to offer. But, were you and I genius criminals, we would see it as a venue for the perfect crime.

Here’s why. If you’re from Canada, you park in Canada, and you can walk to the only entrance on the U.S. side without clearing Canadian or U.S customs. And it’s the same thing on the way out if you go straight back to your car in the parking lot in Canada. So, this brilliant criminal gang cooked up the plan to buy guns in the United States and then leave them in a backpack in the library’s bathroom. Then the Canadian gang member would later retrieve the guns and take them back to Canada without ever having to worry about U.S. or Canadian Customs. Brilliant! Foolproof! Genius!

Of course, never underestimate cops in funny hats and red coats who ride around on horses. They’re much smarter than they appear. A joint operation nabbed the Canadian charged with retrieving the gun-filled backpack from the library’s men’s room. That Canadian, Alex Vlachos, was just sentenced to 51 months in U.S. prison for his role in the transnational library smuggling scheme. He will be given credit for the 43 months he spent in U.S. prison after being extradited to the United States. Do you think he spent much time in the prison library?

Copyright © 2018 Clif Burns. All Rights Reserved.