What If Every Radio Shack was a HYDRA Outpost?

I have to say for the record that I always liked going to Radio Shack. However, what if the one line from Agents of SHIELD was true in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Is every Radio Shack a HYDRA outpost?

This would be a complex issue for the FBI. First off, there are approximately 4,297 Radio Shack stores in the United States, plus another 900 operated by independent owners in the US (according to Wikipedia).

How would law enforcement respond to a store chain with over 5,000 stores possibly being a technology support network for an international terrorist group?

That large number of Radio Shack locations certainly would explain the HYDRA “blimps” we saw on the global map in the first half of Agents of SHIELD.

If the MCU’s version of the FBI were to launch simultaneous raids at every Radio Shack in the United States, they would need to secure search warrants for each store. That is approximately 5,197 warrants (and a lot of busy Assistant US Attorneys and Magistrate Judges across the country). The probable cause would need to be more than Sunil Bakshi saying HYDRA uses Radio Shack, given the number of individuals who would be impacted. While that would be the first step, there would have to be surveillance of each store to build a case.

A national raid would take a significant amount of resources. Assuming each location is raided by only 10 FBI agents, that is over 50,000 Federal Agents who would seize property, files, computers, and smartphones (by way of comparison, the number of American forces at Normandy totaled 73,000). Conducting mirror images of hard drives and phones would be no easy task. The analysis could easily involve Petabytes or Exabytes of data. Predictive coding, visual analytics, and other search technology would need to be leveraged to identify HYDRA operations.

Lord knows how the criminal investigation would impact the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (assuming the MCU Radio Shack is also in Chapter 11).

This would be an extremely complex law enforcement raid. Let’s hope HYDRA has not taken over Starbucks, because they have over 7,300 company-operated stores and another 4,600+ licensed stores. I am not sure the FBI has enough agents for “Operation Pumpkin Spice.”

Hail Mocha.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, the ABA Web 100 for Best Legal Blog and Podcast categories, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.