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Sex on the Beach: Cops LOVE Going Undercover at Strip Clubs

After DEA and a Boynton Beach Police SWAT team stormed into the Plantinum Showgirls nightclub on Friday night, it was a good bet that that was going to be the sexiest news story of the weekend. But with the FBI now hanging out at Scott Rothstein's law firm, Platinum has to settle for the silver.

The bust at Platinum comes seven months after a similar sting operation took down Cheetah in Hallandale Beach. After that, shouldn't every strip club in South Florida have learned some valuable lessons? The first one that comes to mind: Cops don't mind going undercover to have gorgeous, naked women crawling all over them.

Think about it: Being a cop is tough work. Rousting prostitutes on Federal Highway is no fun. And a drug trafficking sting can be dangerous. Even murder investigations can be a bore -- killers are so predictable. Of all the work that must be done by police, you can bet that the very best of them are rewarded by landing an assignment on the titty-bar sting. "Sorry, honey," say the cops to their wives. "I can't attend your aunt's birthday party. The chief has given me a fistful of cash that I'm supposed to use to buy drugs and make strippers beg for sex."

The only thing surprising in the Platinum Showgirls case is that it took *only* four months. Shame on the cops for not holding out for more evidence.

Another lesson for strip club owners: You're almost always an inviting political target. City officials love to be able to shut down these clubs as a vivid way of showing how they're cleaning up the city.

We still don't have a full view of the evidence against Platinum Showgirls operators, so it's far too early to judge innocence or guilt in that case. But the SWAT team's Friday invasion should still be a cautionary tale to the other strip club owners of the region that they have a big target on their back and how they should be careful not to give cops an excuse to come cruising around for sex and drugs in the champagne room.

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Thomas Francis

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