This Incompetent Archer Allegedly Chose the Dumbest Possible Means of Smuggling Drugs Into a Jail

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
Aug. 29 2013 2:17 PM

This Incompetent Archer Allegedly Chose the Dumbest Possible Means of Smuggling Drugs Into a Jail

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker

Alleged crimes: Suspicion of introducing contraband to a corrections facility in the third degree; resisting arrest; obstructing law enforcement


Fatal mistake: Completely misinterpreting how and why the superhero Green Arrow got his name.

The circumstances: There are two main theories on how best to smuggle contraband into a prison or jail. The predominant theory maintains that you should cultivate an inside man—a dishonest guard, perhaps—pay him off handsomely, and let him ferry the contraband and assume all the risk. The other theory suggests that you should wrap a small baggie of marijuana around the shaft of an arrow, and fire that arrow into the exercise yard, where the weed can subsequently be retrieved and enjoyed by all.

I’ll let you guess which theory David Wayne Jordan subscribes to. As Caleb Hutton at the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald reports, Jordan was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly drove right up to the Whatcom County Jail, nocked a weed-loaded arrow, and fired it at the jail’s second-floor exercise yard. Authorities don’t yet know whether the drugs were intended for a specific prisoner, or whether the arrow was meant as a general act of charity for the jail’s drug-deprived inmates. But the point is basically moot, because Jordan wasn’t a very good shot, and the arrow seems to have landed on the jail’s roof. (Hey, we can’t all be Takaharu Furukawa.)

Jordan allegedly fled the scene, but not before a jail employee recorded his truck’s license number. When deputies traced Jordan’s tag and showed up at his house, Jordan allegedly claimed that it had all been a misunderstanding and that he had actually been firing at a squirrel, which is a really terrible excuse, because everyone knows that squirrels smoke opium, not marijuana! The alibi, like the arrow, didn’t fly, and Jordan was arrested and booked into the very same jail he had allegedly tried to penetrate.

How he could have been a lot smarter: Well, obviously, he could have refrained from allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into a jail. Let your buddy on the inside fend for himself with prison wine, or paint fumes, or whatever inmates are using to get mellow these days.

How he could have been a little smarter: Instead of claiming he was shooting at a squirrel, Jordan could have said that he was shooting at an escaping inmate, and that the marijuana was, um, bait. (Yes, that’s it, bait!) That way, he would have earned himself a commendation from the mayor, rather than a stint in jail.

How he could have been a little dumber: Maybe this wouldn’t have been dumber, but it sure would have been a lot funnier if Jordan had been wearing a homemade Robin Hood costume during his alleged stunt.

How he could have been a lot dumber: He could have fired the arrow into a crowded exercise yard, and now have a manslaughter charge to boot.

Ultimate Dumbness Ranking (UDR): This scheme could have been successful and kind of brilliant if everything had gone right: if the arrow had hit its mark; if there had been someone in the exercise yard waiting to retrieve it, and if Jordan had taken even the most basic steps to conceal his identity. But the chances of all that stuff going well were always minimal, and a smart criminal would have realized that and abandoned the scheme in the planning stages. The fact that Jordan allegedly didn’t makes him a dumb criminal. 6 out of 10 for David Wayne Jordan.

Previous Dumb Criminals:

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at


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