If movies and TV are any indication, most drug dealers like to spend their cash on fast cars, or strippers, or cancer treatments. But not this Colorado meth king. He used his earnings to amass an enviable collection of nearly 19,000 comics.
Aaron Castro of Commerce City, Colo., was arrested in August 2009 for his role as one of the leaders of a 41-person meth ring bringing as many as 100,000 doses of the drug per month into Colorado from Arizona. According to the Denver Post , authorities seized "about 100 boxes of first-edition comic books sealed in plastic wrappers" at the time of Castro's arrest.
Back then, authorities said the total value of the comics was around $500,000, noting that one comic alone was worth $3,500. No word on which titles Castro was stashing, but he was apparently using this mass of nerdery both to launder his drug money and eventually to set up his own "high-end" comic book business. He also hid drugs inside the comics.
But evidently these purchases were starting to weigh on Castro, who also owned a Mercedes, a Lexus and an Audi. According to a civil forfeiture complaint related to the comics, an accomplice told police that "Aaron began to struggle with money because he would spend his drug money on comic books. (The underling) would meet Aaron at comic book stores to give him the drug money and had seen Aaron buy a box of comic books."
Castro was sentenced to 45 years in prison back in November, but the comic books were back in the news this week after the U.S. Marshals Service auctioned them off online. So, how much did they fetch? After 108 bids the total came to $125,050, not a bad deal at all if the initial value estimates were even close to correct.
So, don't do drugs, kids. Feed your comic book addiction the legal way.
(via L.A. Times)