Monday, September 20, 2010

Two More Mystery Shopping Job Offers

I started work on this blog a few days ago, just in case the ads got deleted by Backpage.

Now Hiring Mystery Shopper. Earn $700 Weekly. Apply Now !!!

posted: September 4, 2010, 02:13 PM

Reply: click here
Seeking a hard working, honest, dependable and friendly person to work as our Esteemed Mystery shopper in USA.Experience in Mystery shopping is a major plus but not necessary!We PAY $700 Weekly.

Hours: Between 4 hours per week with possibility of turning into Full Time position.

Get back for more information if interested.
Salary/Wage: $700 Weekly
Education: Any
Status: Full-time, Part-time
Shift: Days
• Location: USA

• Post ID: 2319525

Seven hundred dollars a week for only four hours of work? That comes to $175 an hour with the possibility of full-time, which would be anywhere from $3500 to $7000 a week! My dear God in Heaven, I could buy a brand new car in only a few weeks of working for this company!

Holy shit! Where do I sign-up?

Okay, time for Reality to rear its ugly head: Companies that have mystery shoppers pay anywhere from $15 to $20 per job. Do you realize how many clients a company would need and how much those clients would have to pay for the shoppers to make $700 a week and the company to still make a profit? Get real.

While it may seem unimportant, you'd think that a company whose purpose is submitting written reviews of customer service to clients would know when capitalizing letters in a sentence is called-for and when it is not.

Like the previous blog, the actual name of the company doing the hiring is left out of the ad and this time no phone number is provided.


I recceived this email in response to an inquiry I sent to the ad poster:

--- On Mon, 9/20/10, Mr.Brown Luke wrote:

From: Mr.Brown Luke
Subject: Re: backpage response: Now Hiring  Mystery Shopper. Earn $700 Weekly. App...
Date: Monday, September 20, 2010, 10:20 AM


Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.You will be paid  $700 weekly for every duty you carry out , and bonus on your transportation allowance.

Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals.We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.

We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.Mystery Shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth.This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behavior because the boss is around - it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.

This is where you, the Mystery Shopper, come in.

You pose as an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations (ex...the floor was free of debris)and your own opinions (ex...I felt that the temperature in the establishment was too cold).

Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper.

An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager's name for no clear or appropriate reason.If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well.

Beware that even whispers can be overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper,you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the
 best customer service in town.

No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that's why leading corporations look to us,the nation's premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.

In order for a business to effectively compete in today's economy, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:

* Retaining existing customers
* Acquiring new customers
* Creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* Improving customer loyalty

Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given the funds you need to do the job (either purchase merchandise or require services), after which you would write a detailed report of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are:

1) How long does it take to get served.
2) Politeness of the attendant.
3) Customer service
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.

Then we turn the information over to the company executives and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.

Most companies employ our assistance when people complain about their services, or when they feel there is a need for them to improve upon their customer service.Our company partners with you to implement proven mystery shop auditing and surveying strategies that provide critical information about customer experiences.

Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of Western Union Outlet,restaurants, retail stores, casinos,shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.

Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:

* Is 18 years of age or older
* Loves to go shopping
* Is fair and objective
* Is very observant and able to focus on details
* Is fairly intelligent
* Has patience
* Is detail oriented
* Is practical
* Types well
* Is trustworthy
* Explains well in writing
* Is discreet
* Loves to learn
* Handles deadlines
* Has full internet access (at home or at work)

Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.

If you are interested in applying for consideration as a Mystery Shopper do send in below information.

Full Name:
Zip Code:
Phone Number:

As soon as we receive your information we will add you to our database and we will look for locations in your area that needs to be evaluated.

Thank you,
Brown Luke
410 Roosevelt Way NE
Green hill Lane Riddings
 Derby shire DE55 4BR

While the postal address is located in Britain, an IP trace reveals that the email was sent from the city of Manila, in the Philippines. Also interesting to note is their usage of a Yahoo! address to send out company messages, unusual for a reputable company, but not unusual for a scam. Again, no company is named in the email itself and no direct phone number is given.

I think it's safe to say that this ad is a scam.
The next ad up for review is:

Are U Capable? (secret shopper)

posted: September 11, 2010, 12:46 PM

Reply: click here
Dear One ,

Here's your chance to get paid for shopping and dining out. You'll be paid to shop and dine out, plus you can also get free meals, free merchandise, free services, free entertainment, and free travel. This opportunity includes great pay, enjoyable work, flexible schedules, and no experience required. If you can shop, you are qualified!

Mystery Shopper Inc . is a company that conducts surveys and evaluates other companies. We get hired to go to other peoples' companies and act like customers in order to know how the staffs are handling their services in relation to their customers. Once we have a contract to do so, we direct our agent / secret shoppers to the company or outlet to carry out the evaluation, and you will be given the money you need to do the job( either purchase things or require services), after which you will write a comment on the staff's activities and give a detailed record of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are

1) How long it took you to get services.
2) Smartness of the attendant
3)Customer service professionalism
4)Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they react to clients when they get tensed.

We would then turn the information over to the company executives and they would carry out their own duties in improving their services. Most companies employ our assistance when people give complaints about their services, or when they feel their is a need for them to improve their customer services. Your identity would be kept confidential as the job states (secret shopper). You would be paid $250 for every duty you carry out, and given a bonus on your transportation allowance, and funds would be given to you if you have to dine as part of the duty.

We currently have a contract to evaluate a local western union outlet in your area. Your first assignment will be to run a survey on this Western Union outlets within 6 miles of your area ( which will be disclosed to you in our subsequent email as soon as you accept the responsibilities to carry out this assignment).

The Western Union location was reported for evaluation for the following reasons.

i) Customers has file report for unprofessional customer service
ii) Slow services
iii) Unbalanced exchange rate
(iv) Rudeness to customers
(v) Excess charge
(vi) Late opening time and Closing before time.

Your Secret Evaluation would be

1) To make a transfer of fund from this western union location to our Mystery shopper and the funds would be picked up by our based mystery shopper at the other location. ( Note : the money you will be needing for this services will be provided in advance by our company before you carry out the assignment)

2) You would have to record your time of arrival, departure and how long it takes to get the transaction done.You would be sent funds in form of money orders which will cover your commission for the duty and the amount you will be sending at western union.

4) You will also provide me with the name of the cashier that attended to you, you will have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity that happens within the time you are carry out the transaction.

As soon as you reply back with your mailing address and information below, the funds you will be needing to carry out the assignment plus your commission , will be sent to you in form of money orders , the Western Union outlet address will be disclose to you, and also the Name and address of the other Mystery shoppers you will be sending the money to , will be provided .

If you are still interested in this job opportunity, reply this E-mail with the follow information and your readiness to carry out this assignment.

FULL NAME ..........................
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please) ..........................
ZIP CODE..........................
CELL PHONE..........................
HOME PHONE..........................
MARITAL STATUS..........................
BEST TIME TO CALL..........................
PRESENT JOB STATUS/POSITION..........................

As soon as you get back to us with this information, we can then proceed to the next step.

Best Regards
Copyright? 2010,Mystery Shopper Inc?.
Director (Human Resources & STAFFING)
Delivering simple solutions and achievable customer satisfaction!
Salary/Wage: $200
Status: Part-time
Shift: Days
• Location: honolulu

• Post ID: 2328207

From the beginning, this looks like a Nigerian scam letter with that "Dear One" crap. Plus, the usage of Western Union as the means of transferring money, a favorite of scammers from the beginnings of the 419 scam.

This is a scam. The way the scam works is like this:
  • they send you a money order for an amount above-and-beyond your fee plus the cost of whatever you would purchase;
  • after you deposit the money order - which appears real, but is actually forged - you spend money on whatever you were instructed to, subtract your fee from the total and send the rest back to either where it had originated from or to yet another address by Western Union;
  • once your bank realizes the money order was forged, they deduct the full amount, plus bounced check charges, from your account;
  • you are now out the amount initially deposited, plus bank charges, plus the money you spent on the job and plus the money you wired via Western Union.
If the above description is confusing, I'll use numbers:
  1. You get a Western Union money order for $10,000;
  2. You spend $500 on the job;
  3. That leaves $9,500;
  4. You are told to keep $1,000 for yourself and send the rest back, along with whatever items you purchased;
  5. you wire $8,500 back to them;
  6. the bank realizes the money order was forged and deducts $10,000 from your account, plus $1,000 in charges;
  7. Total lost by you: 500 + 8,500 + 11,000 = $20,000
The above illustration may not be exactly right, but you can see the potential damage that could be caused to your financial well-being if you are the victim of scams like this.

It is worth mentioning that there really is a company called "Mystery Shoppers Inc" and their websites can be found here,  here and here, with the last link appearing to be their most current. Notice that the above ad does not direct you to the website, which has a toll-free telephone number and contact form for you to get in-touch with them directly. If you want to respond to the ad, you have to send them an email and you won't know what address you are writing to until they write back. As far as you know, your email address could end-up on a spam list or something.

What may come as a surprise to most people is that there is a national organization for mystery shoppers, called the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) which seems to be a professional organization of mystery shoppers and companies that provide those services. They are naturally concerned over the proliferation of scams posing as mystery shopper job offers. The MSPA also provides Silver and Gold-level certifications for individual mystery shoppers, though I am unclear about exactly what those certifications really mean.

If a person is interested in becoming a mystery shopper, or is already working as one, and they wanted to meet other people in that line of work, one place that seems best is Mystery Shop Forum. If you want to simply read the posts, you can, since all posts seem to be public. But, if you want to participate, you have to sign-up for an account.

Duane Browning

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mystery Shopper Scams

Having a job as a mystery shopper sounds like an easy job to do. All you have to do is shop at a store, eat at a restaurant, etc and then write a review of the quality of service you received and send it to your employer, who then reimburses you for whatever goods/services you received as well as giving you payment on top of that as your fee.

In this economy, there are people out there looking either for a job or a second (or third) job in order to make ends meet, pay their rent and put food on the table. Maybe they need medications but don't have the money to pay for them. So, they look around in the classifieds for a job. Now, for people who already have a job, but just need a second one, they might be working somewhere that the job is physically strenuous and they couldn't take the physical strain of a second job like their first one, so they look for something that pays but won't run them into the ground. I think those are the kind of applicants for mystery shopper jobs that scammers are really looking for.

I found this ad in numerous cities (by "numerous", I mean that I found dozens of copies of this ad posted on in cities all across the United States) that offers a mystery Shopper job:

QUALITY CONTROL - Earn up to $25 per hour

posted: August 22, 2010, 08:25 AM

Reply: click here
Experience Not Required.

UNDERCOVER SHOPPERS Needed to Judge Retail and Dining Establishments.


For Information on Application, Please Call:

(877) 234-8176

This job is INTERESTING and RARELY BORING. One GREAT thing is that the employees get to work multiple locations.


The bottom line is that we provide access to over 20,000 possible jobs.
Anything is possible, because no matter what kind of business you are in, quality control is important. That is where you the mystery shopper comes in. You judge the quality and report to the people that can change it.

The best thing is that you can have access to all of our jobs. If you like the job you can continue working with us.
Call (877) 234-8176 Now and start working!
Salary/Wage: Up to $25 per hour
Education: High School
Status: Part-time, Temp/Contract
Shift: Days, Nights and Weekends
• Location: Nationwide

• Post ID: 3300389

There are a few warning signs in the above ad that should give potential applicants cause to pause before they call:

  • While the ad does post a phone number, the actual name of the company is omitted. Who are you going to be working for?
  • The toll-free number does not appear on any search listing containing the name of the person who owns it. I know that the number was first purchased from Qwest ( a provider of toll-free number services) back in 2007, but that's all I know and that's all anyone else would know. When you call a toll-free number, the person on the other end knows who you are and where you are calling from, which is an advantage that you do not share.
  • The ad includes lots of words SPELLED-OUT IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in the same manner as scam emails that have been circulating the Internet for years. Capital letters are meant to imbue a sense of urgency, as well as draw your attention to them, in the hope that you will stop asking questions about who the ad poster really is and where they actually live.
  • Notice how the ad says that you can make "up to $25 an hour" without telling you what the low range is. In other words: what is the least amount of money you'll get paid? It certainly sounds like a lot when you only mention the top range, but they're not telling you that you might make only $5 an hour or $1 or maybe nothing at all. Remember that the top pay is $25, but the lowest wage is left unmentioned. Even if the ad is real, chances are that the majority of the work won't be paying twenty-five bucks an hour and most mystery shopping jobs won't take an hour of your time. When was the last time you went shopping and it took you over an hour to buy something? While grocery shopping might be time-intensive, a trip to the store to buy a box of diapers wouldn't take more than a few minutes and the ad says "per hour" not "per job".
Whatever the case may be, the ad itself is suspicious. The identity of the poster is left unknown. You get a toll-free number, but nothing else. Add to that the wide net this person cast by posting their ad in online classifieds all across the United States in the same manner that other online scams send out thousands of emails in the hopes of catching one person in that net and it looks very much like a scammer trying to get people's personal information to use in ways that the people wouldn't like or want.

Lacking any further information, I'd advise staying away from these people.

Duane Browning

Fake Mystery Shopper Job Offer

I found this (now deleted) Help Wanted ad on Backpage, which claimed to be an advert looking to hire people for jobs as "Mystery Shoppers".

Mystery Shopper Urgent Needed
posted: September 18, 2010, 03:06 PM

    Dear Job Seeker,

    Mystery Shopper Needed. Get paid $300 per Task... Read more about the job at

    Wish you luck!

    James Lorimer & Co Ltd

    Salary/Wage: $300

    Status: Full-time, Part-time, Temp/Contract, Internship

    Shift: Days, Nights and Weekends
    • Location: Big Island, Honolulu (Oahu), Kauai, Maui

Clicking the link took me to this page (now deleted), which looks like an application form for the job being offered. It was set-up on Pandaform, which is a website out of Hong Kong where users can create forms of different types.

The form page claims that the job is being offered by a company called "James Lorimer & Co Ltd" and the phone number given - 206–984-3533.- is a registered land line in Seattle, WA, according to an Intellius search. I also found a link between that phone number and a now-deleted post on which pointed me to the website which has been suspended and the WHOIS registry gives no information about who the website owner was. That website address has been connected to other ads for Mystery Shoppers or personal assistants here, here, and here.

But, their story even more quickly falls apart when you do a simple Internet search for
"James Lorimer and Company", where you will discover that it is actually a Canadian company based in Toronto, Ontario that publishes childrens' books. So the whole job offer is obviously a scam.

I have already sent an email to Pandaform and I am awaiting their reply and/or any action they may choose to take.

UPDATE: Pandaform has removed the "job application" link. If the scammer wants it back, they'll have to contact Pandaform. While the scammer may likely just set-up a new page, it will only be a matter of time before they surface, I find them and they get shutdown again.

Duane Browning

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On the Murder of Jamil Khan (Re-Written)

Update on the case
Joshua Williams' verdicts as follows:

Michael Connolly: the prosecutor filed a motion for Nolle prosequi which means that the prosecutor will no longer pursue the case against him. However, it was granted without prejudice, which means that the case against him can always be reopened. So, he's not off the hook yet. Currently, he's been allowed supervised release and is living with his parents and attending school. Given the seriousness of the charges against him, he'd been ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet.

An earlier post on this topic was deleted, as it contained certain factual errors. These errors were not deliberate, but were the result of links to relevant news articles not being available at the time of initial posting. There were certain mistakes that I made and, rather than go back an edit them out, I have decided to rewrite the entire article.

When we hear about a murder in the news, it can come as quite a shock, especially if the murder is gruesome. When I was seventeen years old, my uncle was murdered in a bar near where I lived. He was shot dead for reasons that I never discovered. So, my own family has been affected by murder in my lifetime.

Recently, news reports surfaced of an apparent murder in Honolulu that were shocking, both in the nature of the killing as well as the details which news outlets released. I was truly shocked and surprised at the amount of information given. I used to work in the media and I never thought that Hawaii news outlets would release that much information on any killing.

What made it all worse for me is that I knew his family. Specifically, I knew his father and I had met the victim when he was a young boy.

According to news reports, three men - Jamil Khan, Joshua Williams and Michael Connolly - were involved in an indoor marijuana-growing operation. Khan and Williams had reportedly been friends in high school, but their friendship went downhill after Williams allegedly gave Khan marijuana to sell and Khan had kept the money.

So, Williams and Connolly allegedly killed Khan by beating him to death, cutting his throat, dismembering his body and disposing of the remains in the trash. Williams allegedly then tried to burn Khan's SUV, suffering burns himself in the process. I guess arson is just a kind of skill he never acquired.

Reading the above paragraph would make anyone feel squeamish, even for those of us used to reading about such crimes taking place outside of Hawaii. But, to hear about it happening in our own State seems like something unreal.

I've been around drug dealers most of my adult life. When I was a kid, marijuana was the illegal drug of choice. When I was in my twenties, cocaine dealers were making the news. Later on, crack cocaine. Still later, crystal meth was making the news, along with designer drugs, like Ecstacy.

I never tried illegal drugs in my whole life, not even marijuana. Part of the reason being my mother raising me to stay away from drugs and the people who sell them. When I became an adult and met drug dealers personally, I realized that they were not the kind of people I wanted to meet on a regular basis. While using marijuana or coke might have enlarged my social circles, especially with some of the people I used to work with at the time, I knew that a lot of them were destined for prison or an early death, which are two things I try very hard to avoid. Years later, many of my predictions were proven true. One young girl I knew, named Camille, was so very beautiful when I worked with her that I thought she could have been a fashion model. When I ran into her a few years later, she was a wasted-out looking heroin junkie who couldn't even walk in a straight line anymore. That sight broke my heart.

So, when news reports came-out that some one had been killed over marijuana, my first thought was "Killed" For pot???". Seriously, I always knew that pot dealers would beat you up, sometimes very badly, but I never heard of them actually killing some one over it, not even when money was involved.

The two suspects in the case are Joshua Williams and Michael Connolly

According to the news, Williams faces a charge of Murder in the second degree, car theft, arson, and first-degree commercial promotion of marijuana.Connolly faces just the one count of Murder Two. Neither suspect has a criminal history in Hawaii.

Jamil Khan also had no criminal history.

Originally, the two suspects were held on one million dollars bail, which was then raised to two million, but now are held without bail. Even if they were to be granted bail, I honestly doubt if any bailbondsman would take a chance on either of them, especially since they both face extended sentencing on the murder count and also due to the recent news of another suspect in a separate case, Joseph Vaimili, who was out on $250,000 bail and skipped-out. So, I really don't think somebody will chance losing a million dollars for either of these two.

Williams and Connolly are being represented by two very qualified attorneys: John Schum and Randall Oyama, respectively. While people often wonder how any lawyer can represent a suspect in a crime so gruesome, the fact is that every one of us is legally entitled to the best criminal defense. This is to level the playing field where the prosecutors, who work for and have the resources of the State, are not easily able to steamroll suspects into prison, since the State has an obvious advantage in finances and power and such power can easily be used to convict innocent people for crimes they did not commit. So, I'm not one of those people who thinks every suspect is guilty an should simply be tossed in the pokey without a chance to defend themselves. In our legal system, there is no "We know he's guilty", there is the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven.

But, if all the news reports are accurate and they really did as reported, then these two represent a real threat to society. How else would you view some one who could actually cut some one's throat after beating them to death and then dismember the corpse?


I used to work in a hospital and I can tell you that, despite what people might think, the human body is actually pretty hard to take apart, even with the right equipment. You're talking about a lot of time and effort involved. Oh, and let's not forget about the blood. Even when you cut somebody's throat, there's still plenty of blood left in a human body and it gets all over the place. The smell alone would be enough to make you sick, if you've never done it before and the smell of blood is hard to get rid of, even with the high-powered cleaners they use in hospitals. When I worked in a hospital, you could pickup the smell of blood on nearly every floor, which is one of the biggest reasons I quit that job. The method of disposal reminds me of the Sicilian Mafia and I remembered a scene from the movie "Donnie Brasco" when undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone (played by Johnny Depp) has to help with dismembering several corpses of murdered mafiosi.

Two people who could commit a crime like that would be seen by the court as being a clear danger to Society and who should be put away for the rest of their lives. So, if convicted, neither Connolly or Williams are likely to ever get out of prison. But, Khan is still dead.

I remember drug dealers in my neighborhood when I was a teenager. They'd try to get me to either buy from them or help them sell. I stayed away from them as much as I could. What I remember most is how the gangs of dealers would all hangout together, flashing their money and acting like they were the best of friends. Of course, when they'd get caught, it would be every man for himself and they'd try to cut a deal with the prosecutors by ratting each other out. 

One guy that I remember best was not actually a dealer. He was a mule. He'd carry marijuana from the growers and deliver it to the dealers, collecting the growers' cut of the money from the dealers and taking it back to the growers, who would then give him some money, along with some weed to sell. Mules were used as a way to insulate growers from dealers, since having a lot of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night at your home attracts a lot of attention. Having one guy do it seemed like a good idea and it was...

...until he got caught by HPD Nacrotics.

The mule then decided to rat-out everybody - and I do mean everybody - he had any kind of dealings with. He ratted on the growers, the dealers and everyone he had sold to himself. He ratted-out people he knew were associated with any of those people in any way. Of course, he did it to keep himself out of prison. It seemed to work, as he did little time himself. He left town, but then actually came back (stupid fucker) for awhile, until he realized that friends of the people he had helped put away were looking for him and then he left town, never to return.

I tell that story to everyone because it shows how little real friendship there is among drug dealers. While they're making the cash and they're living the High Life, all seems good. But, when the chips are down, they'll turn on each other without a second thought. Even the Mafia doesn't have omerta (the Code of Silence) anymore.

So, apparently, Khan didn't kick-up (share the money) with the other guys in the operation. News reports indicate that he had threatened them with a gun and threatened to start his own growing operation. If true, those were the mistakes that had cost him his life. That is not to say that Williams and Connolly had no alternatives to killing him, because they did. They just chose the worst one.

Drug dealers 1) don't want to die and 2) don't want to go to prison. It's the first one that would have made the other drug dealers very concerned about what these two allegedly did. If they would kill one of their own, then there is a possibility that they would kill others. Since dealers, like most people, would like to avoid being killed, it is quite likely that the two of them would have either been killed of turned-in by other dealers sooner of later. Having drug-related murder occurring in Hawaii is something we have managed to avoid, for the most part. If drug dealers started offing one another, it would have resulted in the biggest law enforcement crackdown in the history of Hawaii, which is something all dealers want to avoid. It's just bad for business and drug dealing is a business, with profits and losses. If you're a dealer, you want to minimize your losses as much as you can and a major police crackdown would represent a great big loss.

Williams' biggest problem, according to reports, was not the actual killing. It was his big, fat mouth. He actually told people about what he had done and even asked for advice about disposing of Khan's SUV. I guess he had never heard of internalizing. 

Imagine if you were the person he told all this to (such as the witness who came forward to HPD) and Williams had told you about what he had done. Wouldn't you turn him in? I sure would, if only to keep him from killing me sometime in the future and to get somebody like that off the street.

Drug dealers don't like being noticed and the ones who stay in business the longest are the ones who have learned how not to be noticed. Drawing attention to yourself and to the things you've done is simply a bad business decision which could cost you everything.

So, now Khan is dead. Williams is incarcerated and facing a possible life sentence. The 200+ plants they had cultivated have been uprooted and destroyed, with the time and money they had spent to run the growing operation now down the toilet. To top it all off, the things they had bought with their money are out of their reach, possibly for life, along with whatever cash they might have had on-hand.

One day, you're dealing weed and making a load of cash. With it, you can buy almost anything you want. You spend money like water and party like a rock star, maybe even dating a stripper or two.

The next day, it's all gone and you're looking at spending the rest of your life in prison where you face the daily possibility of beatings, rape and bad food.

The very worst part of all of this is that the Khan family will spend the rest of their lives grieving for Jamil. Wondering what he could have accomplished, if he had lived. Children he would have fathered. All they have left of him are the things he left behind and memories of his life. They don't even have a body to bury and a grave to visit. I feel so sorry for them, especially his parents.

Whatever Jamil did, he didn't serve what happened to him and his family didn't deserve any of this to happen to them either.

Assuming Jamil's part in all this was as described in the news, you may wonder if I'm grieving for him, too.

No, I'm grieving for that 14 year-old boy who served me tea when I visited his father's home years ago.

Duane Browning