Three Oregon residents have been busted for using a coffee shop to launder drug money, and it sounds like they did a pretty terrible job. According to KOIN, Eric and Joan Scully and Krystin Livingston made more than a million dollars from an illegal marijuana operation that involved three grow sites in the cities of Eugene and Springfield.
Eric Scully owned and operated a small coffee kiosk called Blac Sheep Coffee that was used as a front for the weed operation, but apparently the trio failed to realize that in order to successfully launder money, the legit business should actually appear reasonably busy: KOIN notes that the kiosk was "rarely open." A commenter on the business's Facebook page wrote in early 2013, "Are you guys planning on being open any time soon? I've been trying to use my Groupon but you've been closed for 2 weeks!" Records also showed "little to no coffee bean purchases" over the past two years — obviously an essential component of operating a coffee shop.
While marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use in the state of Oregon, Oregon Live reports the group shipped the harvested product to multiple states where it's still very much illegal, including Arkansas, Tennessee, and South Carolina. They used the proceeds to purchase everything from pricey jewelry and watches to custom motorcycles and real estate.
Restaurants and food-related businesses aren't an uncommon choice for those looking to launder money or otherwise cover up drug smuggling operations: Authorities recently discovered a restaurant in Mexico that was used to smuggle drugs into the U.S. via a sophisticated underground tunnel system. Next time maybe try a car wash à la Walter White?