Monday, May 25, 2009

Drug war corruption deja vu

I had a serious deja vu moment last night watching 60 Minutes' expose on a bizarre case involving a multijurisdictional drug task force in Missouri in which some 20 people were arrested in an undercover drug sting before it unraveled in a web of lies and scandal.

Anyone who followed the "Tulia" case in Texas would be hard-pressed not to think of convicted perjurer and former police officer Tom Coleman, whose accusations sent dozens of people to prison before he was proven a liar and his victims were released and pardoned. (That nightmarish episode was also profiled on 60 Minutes a few years back.) A similar drug sting in Hearne, TX has been portrayed on the silver screen in the movie American Violet, which came out last month.

The Missouri case added an even more bizarre twist: The main cop in the story turned out to be an impostor, a fake who got a phony badge off the Internet, printed up his own business cards and convinced the small-town cops he represented a federal agency. Unreal.

This lets you know that locals elsewhere don't provide any more supervision for drug task force officers than did the folks in Tulia and Hearne. We got rid of these troublesome pseudoagencies in Texas and it's about time the rest of the country followed suit.


Anonymous said...

"A Drug Enforcement Administration Agent has been indicted on 18 counts related to the framing of 17people during controlled drug buys in Mansfield."

This DEA Agent ran a Task force in Cleveland and after he pleaded not guilty at his initial appearance, his old partner pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying. Guess who will be testifying at the DEA Agents trial.

This too is like the Tulia scandal so it's not limited to a state and local problem.

Informed Citizen said...

How many more that are never exposed on 60 minutes or by other media?

MEMORIAL DAY thought. Is this what they gave their lives for?

Jackie Buffalo said...

Exactly. It's everywhere, including still in Texas. That's exactly what I was wondering; just what kind of oversight is there ? And where are all of our legislators on this ? Asleep at the wheel ??
As I've said before, I have never met a bigger bunch of liars and name callers until I came in contact with the Dallas Criminal Justice System.
Add an organized criminal network of stalking and harassment if you try to speak up. I am connected with a group of similarly targeted citizens, one of which has employed a private investigator for a couple of years now. Well documented and supported information.

kaptinemo said...

Drug prohibition's corruption is like hydrofluoric acid; it eats through nearly anything. And thinking that anyone is above the influence of that corruption is engaging in 'cloud-cuckooland' thinking.

What was it Santayana said about those who can't learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Didn't we learn anything from Al Capone when he said that all he needed to do was bribe a few key pols and police? Nothing's changed, except the enormity of the anti-drug bureaucracy...and the equally enormous amount of corruption associated with it.

Anonymous said...

Hearne isn't nothing compared to what the former DA in Alice did with $4.2 million in drug forfeiture funds.

The former Jim Wells County DA Joe Frank Garza spent $267,449 on travel, $2.1 million for salary bonuses, and $154,213 on supplies for his office.

This guy went on CNN and acted like giving his secretaries a quarter of a million dollar bonus was okay.

I guess Joe Frank Garza is above the law. I hope to see this fool go to prison.