Last month, Bleeding Cool reported on the arrest of long time comics collector and dealer, Keith Contarino, and accusations from customers that he had kept tens of thousands of dollars of their money. We asked him for comment at the time but received none. That changed today. Contarino told Bleeding Cool;
Yes my wife, step-daughter,myself, and friends of my step-daughter were all arrested by the Cobb County Police on July 30, 2013 following a “runaway child” report by the father of a cousin of my step daughter. Why the father didn’t call us is still somewhat of a mystery seeing how his son has been to our house hundreds of times since we moved there in 2007 and has grown up with my step daughter. His father is a cousin of my wife’s ex-husband who, frankly, hates my wife and probably me too.
I’m not supposed to discuss my case but am allowed to say a few things:
1. My lawyer is confident all charges against us will be dropped
2. 95% of the “drugs” the police confiscated and charged me with are from my medication inventory I keep for my mobile Veterinary Practice. I have purchase orders for all drugs confiscated and all were locked in my room when we were not home. Many were locked in a safe I freely gave the combination to the police as I have every legal right to have them. Every drug is only used on animals and I have never dispensed any medication to any person unless it was for their pet.
3. Many of these “dangerous drugs” you don’t even need a prescription for: pepcid, benadryl, dramamine all were in generic form. Other of these dangerous drugs were antibiotics, antifungals, medications for nausea and vomiting, medications for allergies, medications for diarrhea etc.
4. What “illegal” substances the police found are not mine and I know nothing about them.
5. Neither my wife nor I have ever supplied alcohol or any drug to any children, ours or others nor have we provided a place for children to engage in ANY illegal activities. In fact, the rules in our house are simple and have always been NO DRUGS, NO ALCOHOL, NO TOBACCO, NO EXCEPTIONS.
6. We were not allowed to witness the police trash my house. I can assure you the police did not clean up after trashing the house and I cannot find any of the things they say were there. We are still cleaning up their mess and the house is barely habitable.
7. While incarcerated, I racked up 7 negatives on Ebay. I had had one negative the previous 11 years. Everyone got their money back, their items, or both. Ebay has permanently suspended my selling account and will not explain why. Nor will they allow me to appeal this idiotic decision but I now have no place to sell the thousands of inexpensive comics in my inventory.. They suspended my son’s selling account for awhile because we have the same last name.
8. I have contacted the poster on the CGC Boards and have assured him he will be paid whatever money he believes I owe him.
9. I have been convicted of nothing. Charges are as trumped up as can possibly be imagined but defending myself against them has financially destroyed me. All of this could have been avoided by a simple phone call from a parent to us as they knew their child was at our house since he’d been there almost daily since school let out. We would have brought him home or made him wait for his parents to get him. There was no need for police involvement. If his parents were concerned about him being at our house, why was he allowed to visit anytime he wanted for 5 years? I’ll leave it to you to postulate why a raid was set up when a phone call could have settled matters amicably.
10. The official police report makes interesting fictional reading
11. I challenge anybody in the comics hobby to come forward with any evidence that I have stolen or defrauded them in any way. I have been buying/selling comics through mail and at shows since 1965.