Friday, October 22, 2004

95% of Anderson County busts Palestine residents

The statistical improbability of the recent Dogwood Trails drug task force bust grows and grows. The Lufkin newspaper reports that 95% of the 72 indicted in the recent drug bust were residents of the city of Palestine!

Pete at Drug War Rant estimated from federal statistics that perhaps 165 crack users lived in all of Anderson County. But Palestine's population is around 17,731, while Pete's estimates were from countywide data. Using the high end of federal crack-use-rate estimates, one finds that the total number of crack users at any time in Palestine might be around 71. In other words, they've arrested as many people as there likely are crack users in the whole town, and called it a "crack distribution ring." It's an Orwellian twist to refer to a "distribution ring" as including the end-of-the-line users to whom the drugs are distributed. But could it be otherwise?

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