October 4, 2006 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Should I narc on my cuz?

My cousin is 21, I'm 25 and drug-friendly. He just posted a MySpace bulletin saying, in a thin veil of slang, that he's dealing... something. Pot, I hopefully assume.

He gave out this info and his phone # to all 300+ of his "friends." I think this means he's too dumb to be a dealer for long without being caught. Last I knew, he wanted to be a cop, working on community college Criminal Justice program. I don't want him do blow that...

Should I go through the family grapevine to get him pre-emptively busted by his folks? He still lives at home. I doubt he'd listen to my cautionary advice effectively or even be receptive to my concern... not that he doesn't like me, he just doesn't relate to me at all. I'm applying to doctoral programs in the arts, he's a self-proclaimed "Wigga." *GROAN.*
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes. Whether he gets busted or not, his life is taking a turn for the worse, and he is unlikely to do anything about it until someone intervenes. It's almost always nicer if that someone is your family, rather than law enforcement.
posted by owhydididoit at 8:56 PM on October 4, 2006

tell him your advice, but don't narc, that's really low and self righteous, let him deal with his folly on his own. plus i don't think people will buy from somebody who advertises his wares on myspace, so he probably won't last too long.
posted by bonesy at 9:02 PM on October 4, 2006

shame him in front of the family? yes. rat him out to authorities? no.

I doubt he will be able to get far in law inforcement if he has a record, though 'not being smart enough' seems to be the right qualification for that field.
posted by krautland at 9:05 PM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

Give him your advice and leave it at that. If he gets in trouble, that's his problem. I know that sounds harsh, but 99 times out of 100 you can't save people from themselves, no matter how hard you try.
posted by brain_drain at 9:21 PM on October 4, 2006

Telling the authorities is likely going to result in the wholesale destruction of a good chunk of his life. Is a 15 year stint in prison going to make him a better person? No.

Tell his parents and try to get them to convince him that stopping now is better than the alternative.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:28 PM on October 4, 2006

You're his cousin; don't narc to the authorities for God's sake. Narc to his mom and dad. They'll shame him soon enough - from what you've said, your cousin isn't the most competent at this whole dealing drugs thing..

I mean, that's what parents are there for. What a dumbass - I knew too many of these wanna-be dealers growing up. They usually grow out of it after having some sense shook into them.

But don't call the cops. That's a bit like attacking a mosquito with an AK-47 and will ruin your cousin's life as well. Not cool.
posted by huskerdont at 9:38 PM on October 4, 2006

I don't think anonymous is considering turning over the cousin to the authorities. I think by "narc" he/she means to tell the family about the dealing, not the cops.
posted by brain_drain at 9:40 PM on October 4, 2006

If he's giving out info on myspace, he's already in trouble. You wouldn't believe the amount of law enforcement that scans that site daily.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 9:41 PM on October 4, 2006

Let him know that he is heading for failure as a dealer but I wouldn't snitch him out to his folks. If he is really close with his parents then telling his parents might work out all right. But if there is friction there then telling them could turn out badly, especially if he is attached to his wigga identity. You are more likely to get a positive result by letting him know how likely he is to get busted after exposing himself and how it hurts his own goals rather than by getting him in trouble. Since the two of you don't relate I wouldn't bother doing it in person. Just send an e-mail. Mention that cops regularly troll MySpace for admissions of involvement in crime (true).
posted by BigSky at 9:47 PM on October 4, 2006

Telling his parents is terribly immature. The only person you can reasonably 'tell' is your cousin himself. While telling his folks sounds like a nice compromise, it opens the possibility of their foolishly involving the law--An outcome that serves nothing but supporting the so-called 'war on drugs'.

Talk to him yourself and spell out the issues. Allow that dealing is something lots of people find appealing, but the risks are too high. The more you can express approval of his feelings, the better you can get him to understand your objection to his behavior, out of concern for his future.
posted by Goofyy at 9:52 PM on October 4, 2006

i think it depends on the kid. basically no one here can tell you. You gotta do what you think is best for the guy. if you got some kind of rapport with the kid and you think he'd listen, then you should talk to him.
if you think the he's gone off the deep end and wouldn't listen, then you should tell the kids the parents about this
I agree with most that you should err on the side of talking to him first. If you think this guy's reasonable and would listen to you and do what's right (not become a full time drug dealer), then you should go to him.
But i kinda disagree about your immaturity or honor being an issue here (as assumed by the term narc). Leave yourself out of the equation and do what's best for this guy, even if he hates you for a while or you have to tell on him (to his family as you say in the question. people don't read apparently)
posted by alkupe at 10:09 PM on October 4, 2006

Last I knew, he wanted to be a cop, working on community college Criminal Justice program.

How do you know he is not working with the police? Tell him you are concerned and to be careful in whatever he is doing.
posted by Yorrick at 10:32 PM on October 4, 2006

My first instinct is that this is a test, trick or scam on his part -- he could be illustrating, for a class, how easy it is to get responses to this sort of announcement. Definitely talk to him first, and if you think it's real after that, help him get the fact that cops have likely already seen it and let that inform what he wants to do next.
posted by allterrainbrain at 11:08 PM on October 4, 2006

Can you people read? The poster is not contemplating narcing to the cops. You are his family and family is there to help people even when they are old enough to know better and probably don't want help. Tell his parents ASAP.
posted by Falconetti at 12:22 AM on October 5, 2006

Is there any potential for faking a bust? Getting a friend to call up the number he put on MySpace and fake initiating a deal? Would this do any good? Have I watched too much kids TV?
posted by biffa at 12:36 AM on October 5, 2006

If you have a good relationship with his parents and you think that they're likely to be receptive to what you have to say and won't freak out (on you or your cousin) or get defensive and shut you out or otherwise deal badly with the news, then yes, talk to them.

If you're not sure how they'll deal, I'm presuming that cousin means that one of your parents is a sibling to one of his parents, so you might want to use that parent as an intermediary. You might also want to talk to that parent (of yours) as a source of advice, since their actual knowledge of the people involved might put a whole new spin on things.
posted by Dreama at 12:37 AM on October 5, 2006

Dude, you can descide between family grape vine & talking directly later.

But right now, you need to call his ass & warn him that cops read myspace. He'll get caught if he doesn't pull that shit down asap!
posted by jeffburdges at 2:53 AM on October 5, 2006

But don't call the cops.

Do call the cops. If he gets busted, he'll never be able to become a cop with this on his record. That's good, because this guy should not be anywhere near split second life-or-death decisions.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:24 AM on October 5, 2006

Having no idea what his relationship is with his parents, can you talk to your parents about it (or, just the relevant side {your mom's sister's kid = talk to your mom}). Your parents probably know what his relationship is like with his parents, and could suggest that you talk to them, or to him directly.

My gut, though, says that you should just suck it up and talk to him. He is 21. Maybe stupid and immature, but he's been an adult (legally) for 3+ years now.

It might help if you had some hard numbers that you could reference ("You know, Vanilla, 'posession with intent to distribute' in Massachusetts will get you 15 years in prison. That's a long time to be somebody's bitch.")

The fact that he's in school to be a cop is pretty astounding to me.
posted by Alt F4 at 4:35 AM on October 5, 2006

Telling people you deal via myspace could be an attempt to appear cool to his e-peers. Whether or not he is indeed dealing is a separate issue.

Every new business has to work to build a client base, but dealing is one business where this can take care of itself due to the demand. So I would conclude that he is not a dealer and/or he knows nothing about dealing. What, was he going to set up a PayPal account and postal dealing service?

If you want to intervene contact him directly and ask him if he thinks advertising illegal services via an open messageboard like myspace is a wise move.

Incidentally, the most two-faced, cowardly and mercenary of my school peers went on to become a police detective. He was an eerstwhile speed dealer.
posted by asok at 4:38 AM on October 5, 2006

You could have several people he doesn't know call up and ask for large quantities of very hard drugs, saying they got his number off myspace.
posted by InfidelZombie at 5:54 AM on October 5, 2006

Is he still planning to become a cop? This screams, "I'm gonna do my own little investigation" to me. (With a side helping of...well...if it seems like it may work, then why not dabble?)
posted by desuetude at 6:42 AM on October 5, 2006

All of you people who are astounded that a wanna-be-cop would dabble in illegal activities must not know any cops very well (or at least never known any of them before they were cops).

I'd rat him out to his folks. You could even just print out his myspace page, highlight the drug slang, and write a short note explaining it, then anonymously mail it to his folks. Nobody'd ever know it was you, and if the parents chose to ignore it, then your conscience could be clear. You could even follow up on it in a month or two if nothing happened.
posted by MrZero at 6:59 AM on October 5, 2006

You could email him anonymously and explain why what he did was spectacularly stupid, and how it could affect his future plans.
posted by tomble at 7:02 AM on October 5, 2006

Do you have a profile? Have you added him as a friend? Why not email invitations to join to your other family members, and let them put the pieces together on their own? He will have a lot of 'splainin to do, and you will be blame free.

Otherwise, he's a full-grown 21 year old (dumbass). Taking the initiative to talk to the family is in no way appropriate until after you've talked to him.

In addition to any advice you give him, remind him that any family member or friend of the family can find him on myspace very easily. At the rate he's going, his family could find out on their own virtually any minute. He has basically pronunced himself a drug dealer in a widely public forum, and if he's not paranoid about that, then he's smoking the wrong stuff.

BTW, no matter what you have in mind, you should print and save that bulletin.
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 AM on October 5, 2006

Tell him there is a risk of getting in trouble and that he is risking his career dreams, and leave it at that. I really don't think it's your place to narc on him to anyone--parents or authorities.

Even considering narcing doesn't sound very "drug-friendly" to me, either.

As my big homie The Game once said: "Stop Snitchin' Stop Lyin'!"
posted by dead_ at 7:11 AM on October 5, 2006

He's 21? Talk to him directly and tell him you're just giving him a heads-up that you think he's headed for trouble.

If he doesn't take you seriously, that's his worry.
posted by tkolar at 7:13 AM on October 5, 2006

All of you people who are astounded that a wanna-be-cop would dabble in illegal activities must not know any cops very well (or at least never known any of them before they were cops).

I'm not astounded that a cop would be involved in illegal activities; just that someone who's hoping for a job in law enforcement would be dumb enough to post about it on MySpace. It's not the embraced illegality that's amazing to me — it's the raw stupidity.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:47 AM on October 5, 2006

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