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07-06-2008, 09:48 AM
Posted By: <b>Anonymous</b><p>Arrest of Physician Puts Prized Rarities in the Hands of Federal Drug Agency<br /> <br />Searching for a 1909 Ty Cobb baseball card, part of the rare T206 series printed by the Sweet Caporal Cigarettes company? How about a 1938 Goudey card featuring Joe DiMaggio? <br /><br />You may be in luck. They're under federal guard, in the custody of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and could one day be auctioned to the public. <br /><br />The DEA is accustomed to seizing the ill-gotten gains of alleged drug dealers: Rolexes, assault rifles, the occasional Mercedes-Benz. But when a federal jury indicted Tennessee physician Rosaire "Ross" DuBrule last year and charged him with violating controlled-substances laws, the DEA seized $4 million worth of his personal property stored in a series of safe-deposit boxes. <br /><br />Along with rare coins, agents found assorted sports memorabilia, especially baseball cards -- more than 1,200 of them. The DEA meticulously itemized them and had each one appraised, placing their total value at $280,000. <br /><br />Many are run-of-the-mill, but about two dozen cards are considered rarities. They include a 1909 card of St. Louis Cardinal Bill O'Hara (T-206 Polar Bear Cigarettes) worth $6,000, a 1912 card of Detroit Tiger Ty Cobb (#3, Series of Champions T227) worth $15,000, and a 1952 card of New York Giant Willie Mays (Topps #261) worth $3,000. <br /><br /><br />"This is very unusual," said Rusty Payne, a DEA spokesman. He said he could not recall baseball cards being an investment of choice of an alleged drug dealer. <br /><br />DuBrule's collection did not include the rarest of cards, the legendary Honus Wagner, whose image as a Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop (he retired in 1917) recently sold for $2.8 million. But DuBrule did procure some sought-after classics of Hall of Famers, said Susan Mackay, registrar at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. For instance, there is a 1964 card of Minnesota Twin Harmon Killebrew (Topps #177) worth $1,500. <br /><br />"This is someone who knew what he was doing," Mackay said. "The average person wouldn't know some of these Hall of Famers." <br /><br />Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which worked on the case against DuBrule, said authorities do not know how long DuBrule had been collecting but that he patronized card dealers. <br /><br />While a proliferation of new baseball cards in the 1980s and 1990s has been blamed for diluting the market and the overall sales of sports memorabilia has been declining, experts say rare finds remain a good investment. <br /><br />"The best of the best are continuing to escalate, to bring record prices, top dollar, no end in sight," said Leila Dunbar, a star of "Antiques Roadshow" who left her job Friday as director of collectibles for Sotheby's to start her own consulting firm. "Great cards continue to appreciate in value." <br /><br />DuBrule has until July 22 to contest the government's seizure of the property. His lawyer, Marty B. McAfee, said Thursday it was unclear whether DuBrule would petition for the return of his baseball cards and coins. <br /><br /><br />If DuBrule does not contest the seizure, and if he is found guilty of the drug charges, the government will auction the property, Payne said. His trial is scheduled to begin in the fall. He pleaded not guilty. <br /><br />According to the federal court indictment, DuBrule and his wife, Kim, dispensed fraudulent prescriptions for the painkillers Lortab, Percocet and Loracet Plus to undercover agents from 2002 to 2004. <br /><br />When authorities raided their Reelfoot Family Medical Center, they found an array of guns, knives and swords, and bags of pills and preprinted prescription pads, according to the indictment. DuBrule was wearing a bloody lab coat and carrying a loaded gun in his front pants pocket, it said. The exam rooms lacked running water and functioning medical equipment, yet DuBrule saw about 60 patients a day, investigators said. He operated a cash-only business and did not accept medical insurance, they said. <br /><br />DuBrule, 60, fits the demographic for the typical baseball card collector, which is to say he is a male baby boomer, said Dan Zachofsky, author of "Collecting Baseball Memorabilia: A Handbook." <br /><br />"Children today don't collect unless they're doing it with their fathers," Zachofsky said. "It's the affluent boomers." <br /><br />DuBrule could not be reached for comment. A recorded message on his telephone said he was not taking calls. <br /><br /><br />He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on June 6, after police said he led them on a chase around the town of Dyersburg in his white Camaro. <br /><br />That arrest violated the terms of the $20,000 bond DuBrule posted after arraignment on the federal drug charges, McAfee said. Prosecutors, who could not be reached for comment, may seek to revoke DuBrule's bond or amend its terms, McAfee said. <br /><br />On the federal charges, a conviction could bring as much as 20 years in prison or a $1 million fine. <br /><br />While the legal woes have curtailed DuBrule's collecting and affected his medical career -- his license has been suspended -- they may also take a toll on his political plans. <br /><br />DuBrule is a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives, on the ballot for the August Democratic primary. <br /><br />Even his cards reflect his interest in politics. His collection includes an image of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp, who eventually served as a Republican congressman from New York and as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. <br /><br />That card, too, might go up for auction. Its DEA assessed value is $175. <br /><br />Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

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07-06-2008, 09:55 AM
Posted By: <b>boxingcardman</b><p>DuBrule, 60, fits the demographic for the typical baseball card collector, which is to say he is a male baby boomer, said Dan Zachofsky, author of "Collecting Baseball Memorabilia: A Handbook."<br /><br />Yipes! We need to get some young whippersnappers involved...<br /><br /><br><br>Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

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07-06-2008, 10:11 AM
Posted By: <b>Matt</b><p>""This is very unusual," said Rusty Payne, a DEA spokesman. He said he could not recall baseball cards being an investment of choice of an alleged drug dealer."<br /><br />Now we have arrived.

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07-06-2008, 10:17 AM
Posted By: <b>Peter_Spaeth</b><p>A 64 Topps Killebrew worth 1500? What is it a PSA 11?

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07-06-2008, 10:19 AM
Posted By: <b>chiprop</b><p>the DEA's numbers sound a bit off.

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07-06-2008, 10:53 AM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>So maybe it is the drug dealers who are keeping the market up. They have plenty of money to spend.<br /><br />Perhaps one or more of the new collectors cited in another thread are druggies.

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07-06-2008, 11:45 AM
Posted By: <b>Peter_Spaeth</b><p>Well once in a while you do see on ebay guys spending money so indiscriminately that you wonder if they are laundering money.

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07-06-2008, 12:17 PM
Posted By: <b>DD</b><p>My own personal theory is that we are going to see a lot more young guys buying high grade cards. I know at least a few of you not only play poker, but follow the news, happenings, etc. There are many, with many more to come, rich young kids making literally thousands a day playing poker online. Not all of them have the income of Tom Dwan or Phil Galfond, but they make enough to afford cards.<br /><br />Combine discretionary income with young, testosterone filled, gambling kids who love toys, and it will only take a couple of them to start a trend. <br /><br />All we need is one of those guys on ESPN with a graded scarce card as a chip protector, and that would get the ball rolling.<br /><br />

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07-06-2008, 01:30 PM
Posted By: <b>Steve</b><p>Well once in a while you do see on ebay guys spending money so indiscriminately that you wonder if they are laundering money.<br /><br /><br />I heard a certain owner of an auction house has done the very same thing.<br /><br /><br />Steve

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07-06-2008, 02:28 PM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>To pretend you're big, play the Miami Vice theme while sorting through your cards.

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07-06-2008, 04:05 PM
Posted By: <b>boxingcardman</b><p>Like Bonanza:<br /><br />The claim we hold is good as gold bonanza <br /><br />Hand in hand we built this land the Ponderosa Ranch <br /><br />Our birthright is this Cartwright bonanza <br /><br />We here belong and standing strong wrong ain't got a chance <br /><br /><br /><br />Day by day work or play ready side by side <br /><br />Hello friend come on in the gate is open wide <br /><br />Bound to be a figtin' free bonanza <br /><br />Singing pines are boundary lines for the Ponderosa Ranch <br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Every tree and flower is part of our bonanza <br /><br />The stars at night the morning light water in the branch <br /><br />We ride along four men strong together <br /><br />Every plain and ridge is our heritage the Ponderosa Ranch <br /><br /><br /><br />Day by day work or play ready side by side <br /><br />Hello friend come on in the gate is open wide <br /><br />Bound to be a figtin' free bonanza <br /><br />Singing pines are boundary lines for the Ponderosa Ranch<br><br>Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc

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07-06-2008, 04:13 PM
Posted By: <b>Rhys</b><p>I think the DEA just solved Bruce's puzzle about the new most influential people in the hobby. DRUG DEALERS!<br /><br />Rhys

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07-06-2008, 04:30 PM
Posted By: <b>Steve</b><p>Mods, This should be in the recent pick ups thread.

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07-06-2008, 05:34 PM
Posted By: <b>CN</b><p> I know that the Suffolk County NY Police department had some great vintage memorabilia including authentic GU Ruth and Gehrig Jerseys and numerous other Jerseys and GU bats worth several hundred thousand dollars in their property vault. I believe the owner was murdered about 15 years ago and it was unsolved although I am not positive as to the circumstances of the case but I believe the memorabilia is still their awaiting closure of the case. I wouldn,t be surprised is other high end memorabilia and cards are being held in Law enforcement property vaults around the country. CN