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Because there is almost never a complaining victim in vice crimes, law enforcement offers must go to extraordinary lengths to investigate and prosecute these crimes. This leads to all sorts of other problems, including invasions of privacy, entrapment, and police corruption.
The sad case of Salvatore Culosi provides a recent, vivid illustration of the folly of vice laws. Culosi (as irony would have it, he was named after a police officer) was a 37-year old optometrist in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia. According to friends, Culosi was a wealthy, self-made man. He was easygoing and friendly, a guy who enjoyed his success.
According to press accounts, police affidavits, and the resulting investigation by the Fairfax prosecutor's office, Baucom called Culosi that evening, and told him he'd be by to collect his winnings. With the SWAT team at the ready just behind him, Baucom waited outside Culosi's home in an SUV. As Culosi emerged from the doorway, clad only in a t-shirt and jeans, SWAT officer Deval Bullock's finger apparently slipped to the trigger of his Heckler & Koch MP5 semiautomatic weapon, already aimed at the unarmed Culosi.
The gun fired, releasing a bullet that entered Culosi's side, then ripped through his chest and struck his heart, killing him instantly.