You could call Ivernal Cawone Stubbs and his occasional cohorts stupid criminals and be done with it, but there's something about their schemes we find oddly affecting -- in the same way we once sort of rooted for Wile E. Coyote.
Right now, the 23-year-old Mississippi native is in the Harris County Jail on a state jail felony trademark-counterfeiting charge. George Flynn, a spokesman for the DA, tells us Stubbs was caught trying to sell three bogus MacBooks to undercover cops.
That's not a charge you see every day. We liked the modernity of it, the sophistication bordering on hipsterdom...It's an Apple-related street hustle and that just makes it classier than other more downmarket scams. Everybody knows that. Any city where a con man can make a living peddling bogus MacBooks at the very least surely borders on being truly world-class.
But it turns out this was not Stubbs's first high-tech con-game, nor even his first trademark counterfeiting charge.
According to an HPD probable cause report from last February, one of Stubbs's accomplices allegedly lured a T-Mobile salesman out of his Southwest Freeway storefront on the pretense of having some cameras for sale in a car trunk. While the victim was ogling the goods, Stubbs allegedly pulled a gun and demanded all his money -- which turned out to be about $160.
Stubbs and his two accomplices screeched off in their unfortunately conspicuous getaway car -- a red Chevy Impala with Mississippi plates. The T-Mobile guy got a partial license plate number, and HPD crime analysts were able to trace the car back to a guy named Conelle Davis, who had been popped for a few tickets, not to mention a pot bust with Stubbs -- one that saw them arraigned on 4-20, no less. (Davis would later be arrested after an incident in which a man said Davis tried to sell him a [no-doubt authentic and not stolen] laptop at a carwash, and then robbed him at gunpoint when he refused to buy it.)
One week after his arrest for aggravated robbery in the T-Mobile case, Stubbs was hit with his first trademark-counterfeiting charge. Evidently, the cameras by which he and his accomplices lured his victim were also fakes.
Prosecutors dropped that charge when Stubbs copped to a robbery charge in a plea agreement. He was given four years probation. Call us crazy, but we think this latest misadventure is probably a violation.
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And so our story would end, but routine Googling turned up yet another gem from this diabolical criminal mastermind's past: back in 2007 a gang of thieves stole several cars and sets of keys from a Jackson, Mississippi car dealership.
Meanwhile, Stubbs was calculating his angle...A few days after the theft, Stubbs called the dealership and offered to sell them back some of the keys. The manager agreed to make the transaction, and Stubbs thought he was in the money.
Unfortunately for the would-be Luthor, the manager promptly notified Jackson police, who arrested Stubbs in possession of the stolen keys -- which belonged to a 2001 white Chevy Suburban, a 2002 gold Mercury Sable and a green 1997 Mercury Sable. The vehicles were not recovered.
So at least he's come up in class -- fake MacBooks is a long way up from keys to a Sable that probably never made it out of the corner chop-shop alive.