Using his butt-phone, Haase would call his henchmen on the outside and have them buy massive amounts of guns and explosives. The henchmen would then "hide" the guns in various caches around the country, and Haase would get on Johnny Law's good side by tipping off the cops about these bonanzas, claiming they were other people's. It almost seems like something that might work, if Haase hadn't gotten sloppy: He'd order these stashes to be hid in unlikely spots like unattended, just-bought cars or unlocked houses. One lot of 80 new shotguns was put in a van outside a McDonald's.
It seemed pretty obvious that, for someone trapped inside a prison and calling in tips about other people's illegal property, John seemed to know a little too much about where to find them, often giving the cops treasure map-like directions.
"... and after 41 steps, you'll see a box labeled 'guns here, stupid'..."
So what did John Haase get in exchange for spending so much money on a harebrained scheme? Why, a royal fucking pardon. Haase served only 11 months of his 18-year sentence before being released; that's not a typo, the guy was in jail for less than a year. On one hand, this was the '90s and the IRA was all the rage, so the cops could be excused for getting so excited over the prospect of avoiding possible terrorist attacks -- on the other hand, British law enforcement had just been through this same scheme.
After he got out, John went right back to doing the same shit that got him caught in the first place ... and got caught again in 1999. No doubt emboldened by the success of his previous unlikely plan, he came up with another one: implicating the same authorities who let him out before in a bribery plot.
This time, he snuck a corrupt judge into prison inside his anus.
Instead of getting him a new pardon, the only thing this accomplished was setting off an investigation into that first one -- and that's how in 2005 the police found Polaroid photos taken by John's wife Debbie of her and a friend setting up the caches. So, to recap: Dumb druglord comes up with dumb scam, dumb wife documents it, and dumb cops fall for it. And that's when England officially became a Guy Ritchie movie.
Related Reading: There's a lot of precedence for lame scams working unreasonably well- this article is full of proof. One man actually lost more than $200 million to a Nigerian email scam. And every day, YOU put yourself at risk from digital thievery just by using public WiFi. Of course, the ultimate scam didn't even happen in the world of "real" finances. Learn about the great heist that rocked Eve Online.