Around the state drug task forces have been making a final series of busts winding up their long-term undercover operations before they lose funding next month. In a recent exmple, the South Texas drug task force made 16 busts last week after a two-year long-term undercover operation. Cops actually took TV news reporters with them house to house to make the individual arrests. That amounts to pure showboating and media grandstanding, cynically using the misfortunes of defendants and their families as a cheap publicity stunt.
Most of the arrests on their face certainly didn't benefit public safety since the arrestees were immediately set free. There was simply no room in the county jail. Reported KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi:
All the suspects arrested were first brought to the Kingsville Police Department to be checked out. Next, they were taken to the Kleberg County Jail. But after a while, the jail started turning them away saying they we were full. The sheriff later came by here to say 'next time you guys plan on arresting more than a dozen people, could you give me a little heads up first.'Well of course it wouldn't slow the roundup - after all, the media was already there and you wouldn't want to disappoint them.
"If you don't come and ask how many people we already have in jail, all you're going to do is add to the problem you have now, and you can only room so many," said Kleberg County Sheriff Edward Mata.
Officers weren't exactly happy with the explanation, but it didn't slow the round up at all as the suspects kept coming.