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Obama-Phones Given To People To Sell For Drugs

Here is another but different phone scandal from the investigative reporter, James O’Keefe, via the UK’s Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Hidden camera catches wireless company employees passing out ‘Obama phones’ to people who say they’ll SELL them for drugs, shoes, handbags and spending cash

By David Martosko In Washington | 18 June 2013

Undercover video shot in May by a conservative activist shows two corporate distributors of free cell phones handing out the mobile devices to people who have promised to sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, to pay off their bills, or just for extra spending cash.

The ‘Obama phone,’ which made its ignominious YouTube debut outside a Cleveland, Ohio presidential campaign event last September, is a project of the Federal Communications Commission’s ‘Lifeline’ program, which makes land line and mobile phones available to Americans who meet low-income requirements.

Lifeline was a $2.19 billion program in 2012.

Recipients most commonly demonstrate their need by flashing an Electronic Benefits Transfer card to verify their eligibility for welfare payments, or by bringing tax statements to a phone provider…

But when James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas is a perennial thorn in the side of progressive policymakers, sent an undercover actor into a Stand Up Wireless location in Philadelphia, the man’s stated purpose was to buy drugs.

‘Once you guys give me this phone, it’s my phone?’ he asked an employee inside a Philadelphia brick-and-mortal Stand Up Wireless location. ‘I can, like, sell it and stuff?’ ‘Whatever you want to do with it,’ the worker replied.

‘So I’m [going to] get some money for heroin,’ he offered. The employee coolly responded, ‘Hey, I don’t judge.’

Salespeople working for Stand Up Wireless and TerraCom Wireless – the two companies featured in the video footage – were willing to assign phones to applicants who said they would immediately sell them instead of using them according to the program’s guidelines.

O’Keefe published a five-minute compilation of his video investigation Tuesday morning, along with a longer reel of raw footage. MailOnline has reviewed both…

Inside an outdoor tent erected by Stand Up Wireless in the City of Brotherly Love, an O’Keefe plant probed a sales rep on May 21.

‘Once it’s my phone, I don’t need to, like, bring it back or anything?’ he asked, while the female worker shook her head in the negative. ‘It’s my phone, right?’ ‘Mm-hm,’ she responded.

A prospective customer in Philadelphia tipped off a Stand Up Wireless employee that he intended to sell his phone to buy illegal drugs. His verdict? No problem.

‘If you’re interested in learning — wanting to know how much the phone’s worth,’ the woman offered later in the conversation, ‘[I] recommend you go to any pawn shop. They’ll be more than happy to tell you, OK?’

‘OK,’ the actor replied. ‘So I could get the phone and then sell it?’ ‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘I don’t care what you do with it.’ …

One young woman, posing as a low-income citizen on May 8 during a Terracom promotional giveaway in Minneapolis, asked plainly if she would be permitted to sell her new phone.

‘It’s kind of like, the first thing that I do is this here,’ the TerraCom rep responded, referring to the required paperwork. ‘And unfortunately there are people on drugs. They get this phone, and they go get $40. … You basically do whatever you want to do with it. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.’

‘Well, I’m not on drugs,’ she replies, ‘but there is a really awesome pair of shoes at the store that I want.’ In mere seconds the TerraCom worker is seen breaking into uproarious laughter.

A TerraCom Wireless salesman in Minneapolis told O’Keefe’s undercover operative that drug addicts commonly flipped their phones for a quick $40. ‘You basically do whatever you want to do with it,’ he said…

There is a lot more at the Daily Mail link.

But  maybe we should have someone tracking the use of these phones.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama-Phones Given To People To Sell For Drugs”

  1. untrainable says:

    They’re only getting $40 for a phone? This just goes to show that the free enterprise system isn’t adequately explained in the current educations system. I mean come on, an iphone goes for $500. I know they aren’t giving away iphones, but really? $40? I can’t remember ever getting any kind of phone for $40.

    And what kind of drugs can you get for $40 anyway?

  2. Noyzmakr says:

    $40 buys lots of drugs depending on your brand of addiction.

    My question is, how many times can you sign up for a phone? Once? Unlimited?

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Nice to see capitalism works.
    Competition drives multiple sellers in a market to improve product while lowering prices.
    Competition also affects otherwise complacent competitors to match prices and quality or die on the vine. Customers naturally seek out the best bang for their buck. Retailer: Yes, I hear you now.

    Granted, the product at the initial phase of this Sale is a government supplied piece of technology, but its effect on the downstream market is noted in you only got forty bucks for a whole, working cell phone? Implying it ought to be more than that. Flood the market with viable product and guess what? Prices fall. Consumer are happy.

    Competitive pressure then bleeds over into the shadow market in illegal drugs. By depressing prices for otherwise pricey drugs. If the customer base only has scant dollars, there’s no use trying to sell at Cadillac prices.

    Thank you Obama for proving the free market principles of Capitalism always work.

    When set free.

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