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Ozzy Stung by Sting
Contributed by: Josh Grossberg
Source: E Online
Posted on: November 6, 2007 07:39 MST
Filed under: Pop, Rock

ozzy osbourne

Los Angeles (E! Online) - Ozzy Osbourne wants fans to know that the Prince of Bleepin' Darkness is not collaborating with the man.

The rocker is demanding an apology from authorities in Fargo, North Dakota, for using his name without permission to set up a sting operation.

Osbourne, 58, voiced his displeasure at Cass County Sheriff Paul D. Laney for masterminding the plan to snare a few dozen heavy-metal-loving ne'er-do-wells before Osbourne's Oct. 29 concert at the Fargodome.

Laney's office sent out invites to a faux preshow party at a local nightclub to approximately 40 Ozzy fans with outstanding warrants. The invitations promised VIP tickets to that evening's gig and other freebies. The sheriff went as far as setting up a phony promotions company, PDL Productions, to make the fan gathering look legit.

"Instead of holding a press conference to pat himself on the back, Sheriff Laney should be apologizing to me for using my name in connection with these arrests," the ever-outspoken Osbourne said in a statement on his Website. "It is insulting to me and to my audience, and it shows how lazy this particular sheriff is when it comes to doing his job."

Laney's scheme netted about 30 people for infractions ranging from ignoring court summons to failing to pay fines to falling behind on child support.

"Sheriff Laney went out of his way to tarnish my reputation by implying that I somehow attract a criminal element, which is certainly not true," Osbourne ranted. "My audiences are good, hard-working people who have been hugely supportive of my music for nearly four decades.

"They have also been very supportive of my wife Sharon's colon cancer charity by raising over a million dollars (partly through VIP ticket sales) at my shows. It's obvious to me that this sheriff has an agenda and is just trying to make a name for himself on my back."

Laney was out of the office and could not be reached for comment Monday. In earlier remarks, however, he said his department "meant no disrespect toward Mr. Osbourne or his show," but defended his actions.

"What we did was a very creative law enforcement technique to lure individuals who had active criminal warrants to come to us," said Laney.

He said that using Black Sabbath frontman's name in the invites was no different than a bar using NFL teams in a Super Bowl party promotion. He also said the sting showed his constituents his office was doing its job in tracking down scofflaws.

"They get very creative in how they abscond from the law," he continued. "We just got real creative in how we reeled them in."

Crazy, but that's how it goes.

In any event, Osbourne isn't taking his anger and frustration out on the locals. The Wizard of Ozz promised he would return to Fargo and perform "under more favorable circumstances."

Osbourne is currently touring in support of his latest album, Black Rain, which hit stores last May. A special-edition disc, featuring several live tracks and rare B-sides, is scheduled for release Nov. 20.

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