By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner A police sting last week at an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Fargo, ND, has the rock icon batty...

By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

A police sting last week at an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Fargo, ND, has the rock icon batty with anger.

The Oct. 29 sting took place at the Fargodome, the town’s main arena, and was masterminded by county sheriff Paul D. Local. Using the fake moniker PDL Productions, he planned an Osbourne pre-show concert party by offering the very same perks included in Osbourne’s official VIP tour packages, including two tickets to 40 unsuspecting citizens who received the PDL invites by mail. When the “winners” showed up at the bash, they were promptly handcuffed and arrested on various outstanding warrants. The sheriff quickly held a televised press conference to congratulate himself on the successful sting operation.

The only problem was that Osbourne was never notified of the scheme. “Instead of holding a press conference to pat himself on the back,” Osbourne said in a statement, “Sheriff Laney should be apologizing to me for using my name in connection with these arrests. It’s insulting to me and to my audience, and it shows how lazy this particular sheriff is when it comes to doing his job.”

Over the past 20 or so years, law enforcement has used similar sting operations across the country, and the tactic was glorified in the 1989 Al Pacino/Ellen Barkin film “Sea of Love.”

“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 added. “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.”