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What Happened During the Owosso Wedding Drug Bust?

The police of Owosso, Michigan set up a hoax wedding to gather several drug dealers in 1990. The wedding sting led to the capture of 86 dealers and the whole fake wedding was definitely a success. But what exactly happened on that day? 

A group of local drug dealers was once apprehended by Michigan cops who invited them to a fake wedding of two of the dealers’ frequent customers, who were undercover cops. After the band played “I Fought the Law,” the arrests began.

How Did they Set up the Fake Wedding?

Police officers in Owosso, Michigan, caught 86 drug dealers in September 1990 by staging a fake wedding. Officers Debbie Williams and Lacy “Moon” Brown devised a wedding plan that included inviting as many drug dealers as possible.

They sent out invitations, purchased flowers, made centerpieces, and purchased a $17 wedding gown from the Salvation Army. Two other police officers played the minister and the groom’s father, and the majority of the wedding guests were made up of police officers.

Why would drug dealers attend a police wedding? They wouldn’t, of course. Williams and Brown had ingratiated themselves into the drug community for so long – and were so convincing – that the dealers mistook them for two of their kind.

Using a sense of humor, the two officers hid their identities within the wedding preparations: the wedding cake icing was police-uniform-blue and decorated with small bumblebees to represent a sting. They also hired a band called S.P.O.C. who were allegedly pro-marijuana. They claimed the band name stood for Somebody Protect Our Crops, but if you spell it backward, the band name was actually COPS, which is made up of even more cops.

The bride concealed her 0.38 handgun in her garter. Everyone gathered for the reception following the ceremony. The bride grabbed her handgun and she and her partner began identifying dealers to the other plain-clothed police officers as the band played I Fought The Law. Once the song began, one of the guests shouted out; everybody here that’s a cop, stand up! Many of the dealers thought it was a joke, so it took some convincing to convince them that it was a real bust. (Source: 99 WFMK)

What Movie Inspired the Fake Wedding Drug Bust

The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936 that involves a complicated plot by two professional swindlers to con a mob boss. George Roy Hill directed the film, who had previously directed Newman and Redford in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The story was inspired by real-life cons perpetrated by brothers Fred and Charley Gondorff, as documented by David Maurer in his 1940 book The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man, and was written by screenwriter David S. Ward.
The Sting, which was released on Christmas Day 1973, was a massive critical and commercial success, as well as a huge success at the 46th Academy Awards, where it was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Writing. Redford was nominated for Best Actor as well (Source: Britannica)

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