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Series wraps up with global crime
'Great Decisions' to return in winter
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Forsyth County News

Brent Paterline brought along a business success story to share Wednesday night during his lecture at Hampton Park Library.

The North Georgia College & State University criminal justice professor compared it to the likes of large supercenter retailers.

"Global crime," he said, "accounts for 15 to 20 percent of the world's [gross domestic product]."

The talk touched on gang violence, sex trade, counterfeiting and cyber crime, with a particular focus on drug trafficking.

The lecture was the final discussion in the Dahlonega college's six-week Great Decisions series, which highlighted topics of global concern.

Paterline wrapped up the series by showing another side of modern world affairs.

"The negative side of globalization," he said, "is that organized crime groups are now international."

He brought his point home by discussing the local impact of these global crimes, such as the recent arrest of MS-13 gang members in Atlanta and the production and sale of methamphetamine in north Georgia.

Peterline also noted that buying counterfeit items, from purses to prescription pills, hurts the companies, workers and, in some cases, consumers since the counterfeit drugs aren't pure.

Randy Esbeck said Peterline's lecture illustrated how global crime hurts more than just those involved.

Throughout the series, Esbeck said he was impressed with the expertise of the speakers.

His wife, Kelly Esbeck, said the programs had been "enlightening."

"It's a way for us to get information that we should know today," she said. "It also gives us an educated person to ask questions."

The couple attended all six of the lectures and looks forward to next year's series, which will be eight weeks starting in February at the Sharon Forks Library.

Library director Jon McDaniel, who also attended all of the talks, said that the "amazing turnout" and "good response" led the library system to volunteer to play host again next year.

"This is something I think the county has always wanted, and this is the first time we've gotten anything like this to my knowledge," he said.