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"Iraq's Most Wanted" Card Decks Selling at Reno Convenience Stores

By: by James Steiner, james.steiner@kolotv.com
By: by James Steiner, james.steiner@kolotv.com

RENO -- They're called Iraq's Most Wanted.

Right now, their decks of cards are wanted by people in Reno.

"I took two dozen on a whim," says 7-Eleven store owner Max Dreeke. "I sold out in two days. The distributor came back Tuesday, and I got another dozen and then sold out this morning -- three dozen in less than a week."

Are the cards a novelty, or a piece of history?

"They're most definitely a novelty," says Michelle Devlin of Reno. "It's just a way to make money off a tragedy."

7-Eleven clerk Verdell Smith doesn't see it that way. Being a Gulf War veteran, Smith says the cards help American soldiers catch Iraqi terrorists.

"These people are criminals, not just a jack of spades," he says. "They're known worldwide. Maybe someday you'll being playing penochle with your friends and recognize one of them out on the street, and possibly prevent something."

But like most people, Smith can't get his hands on a deck. His store sold out in less than three days. The 7-Eleven at Kietzke Lane and McCarran Boulevard also has baseball cards. Store managers sell about a dozen packs a week. That's nothing compared to how the Iraqi cards are doing.

At $5.99 a pack, it's a fad that has convenience store owners seeing green.

"We'll go with it as long as there's a demand," Dreeke said.

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