79 badges confiscated in Masters scalping arrests

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For the second year in a row, the number of Masters Tournament badges seized by deputies because of illegal sales increased.



This year, the Richmond County Sheriff's Office said deputies confiscated 79 badges. All were taken during the first four days of the week, according to sheriff's Capt. Scott Gay.

Deputies dressed in golf attire could be seen around the main gate of Augusta National Golf Club last week, ready to stop anyone selling a ticket illegally. Last year, they seized 66 badges during the week. In 2009, 37 were taken.

Authorities tend to focus their anti-scalping efforts early in the week. This year, they issued warnings to patrons Monday and began taking badges and arresting scalpers later. Seventeen people were charged with violating a state law prohibiting the sale of tickets within 2,700 feet of a venue. Each person faced a $500 bond and fines as high as $750.

Masters Week was otherwise quiet, police said.

"This year wasn't very eventful," Gay said. "We had a couple of folks who had too much to drink, but they were asked to leave with no problems."

In 2010, Eric Sweet, a Canadian, was charged with disorderly conduct after he took off his shirt and went for a swim in the pond on the 16th hole. The year before, a Utah man jumped into a bunker on the 17th green and began making a "snow angel" with his arms.

An alcohol-infused stunt did cause some trouble for patrons eating at IHOP on Washington Road, across from the Augusta National. On Friday, deputies said a man participated in a game of hashing, which involves a runner, or "hare," who lays a trail of flour and is chased by a group of runners called the "pack." Henry Ragland, 46, of Martinez, was laying flour when he threw some in the restaurant, according to Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Calvin Chew.

When an employee asked what it was, Ragland joked that it was anthrax and ran away, deputies said.

The restaurant was evacuated while authorities tested the mixture. Ragland was arrested and charged with terroristic threats and acts.

Comments (12) Add comment
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LauraE
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LauraE 04/12/11 - 01:38 am
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What happens to the tickets

What happens to the tickets that are confiscated?

bettyboop
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bettyboop 04/12/11 - 07:47 am
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LOL...they give them back to

LOL...they give them back to the National who in turn donates them to the School board to give to poor kids to go to the masters but something (fishy) happens to them there and they are sold to scalpers who then sell them to undercover deputies who then gives them back to the National...this of course is just my opinion.:)

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 04/12/11 - 07:51 am
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I love it betty, I love it.

I love it betty, I love it.

alinfun
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alinfun 04/12/11 - 08:25 am
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All dressed up and nowhere to

All dressed up and nowhere to go? Why waste the golf attire? How else would a deputy on his salary be able to attend the Masters! lol

bdouglas
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bdouglas 04/12/11 - 08:36 am
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Good riddance! That's 316

Good riddance! That's 316 more tickets available for the "lottery" you can apply for on the Masters website now.

Medusa
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Medusa 04/12/11 - 09:14 am
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Sounds like a lot of wasted

Sounds like a lot of wasted police hours on a victimless crime.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 04/12/11 - 11:11 am
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Medusa, there are plenty of

Medusa, there are plenty of victims, including those who buy fake tickets, stolen tickets, etc. all of which leave a terrible view of Augusta in the minds of our visitors.

There are very vew companies who take good care of their guests and do things the right way....None of them are out buying/selling tickets on Washington Road.

Medusa
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Medusa 04/12/11 - 05:03 pm
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Fake tickets? Stolen

Fake tickets? Stolen tickets? Come on, we know that people sell their tickets. They bought them, someone wanted the tickets enough to pay them what they wanted, and they sold them. I fail to see the "crime" in this. It is done at every sporting event and entertainment (concert, etc.) that is sold out in this country.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 04/12/11 - 05:18 pm
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Medusa, I agree with you that

Medusa, I agree with you that an individual should be able to sell their ticket and by law they can so long as it isn't within the surrounding area of an event even if the Masters has a policy against it. If they only sold to a reputable company (and Augusta has a couple) that would never re-sell them on the open market or on the streets, then it would never even be an issue for them.

That being said, yes their certainly are stolen tickets, invalid tickets and counterfit tickets being sold out there on the streets and it is a goal of law enforcement to reduce this just as they do at every other major sporting event around the country and even at NFL, NBA MLB games, including Atlanta.

Many people fail to see the crime in things such as drug use, prostitution, etc. as well but it doesn't make it legal. If you drove to Augusta, spent a lot of money and bought a fradulent ticket, you would certainly think you were the victim of a crime.

That being said, their is a bill out currently to make it illegal to prohibt the re-sell of tickets to any sporting events, etc. and frankly as long as it is a good ticket and sold honestly to someone it really shouldn't matter.

Medusa
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Medusa 04/13/11 - 08:07 am
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So, it is alright to sell to

So, it is alright to sell to one company, but not another. I see.

All the other items you mentioned, I don't understand how they got in this discussion. The original statement was about a person buying a legal, not fake, ticket and selling it, a legal and not fake ticket, to someone else for a profit. You are right; I do not see the "crime".

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 04/13/11 - 10:02 am
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"Seventeen people were

"Seventeen people were charged with violating a state law prohibiting the sale of tickets within 2,700 feet of a venue."

Pretty straightforward to me, Medusa, they broke state law. Whether or not it *should* be a law can be taken up with your state representative.

jmo
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jmo 04/13/11 - 02:02 pm
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Well! That takes care of

Well! That takes care of that.

I think Medusa only said it seemed like a lot of wasted police hours on such a victimless crime. I agree.

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