Sunday, February 20, 2011

Drugs Corrupt Cops

Alcohol prohibition corrupted the law enforcement apparatus of the United States.

4. Prohibition permanently corrupted law enforcement, the court system, and politics. During Prohibition, organized crime had on its payroll police, judges, prosecutors, and politicians. If mobsters couldn't buy or successfully threaten someone in a powerful position, they either "wiped him out" or, following more democratic principles, ran a candidate against the incumbent in the next election. They put money behind their candidate, stuffed the ballot box, or leaked some scandal about the incumbent just before the election (or all three). The important thing was winning, and more often than not, someone beholden to organized crime rose to the position of power. After more than twelve years of purchases, threats, and elections, organized crime had "in its pocket" the political and governmental power structure of most medium-to-large cities, and several states.
National drug prohibition has been in effect since 1914. In 1937, after the repeal of alcohol prohibition, marijuana was added to the list.

So what has been the result of drug prohibition according to a former head of the CIA?
"The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995
Thanks to Instapundit I have come across a more local example of police corruption.
MARTINEZ -- Public defenders on Thursday quickly moved to re-examine cases against their clients after the arrests of a Contra Costa County drug task force chief and a private investigator accused of running a narcotics-selling scheme, possibly with confiscated drugs.

The arrest of Norman Wielsch, commander of the state's Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team, or CNET, could have far-reaching ramifications in superior and appellate courts, said Contra Costa County Public Defender Robin Lipetzky. The arrest not only calls into question the credibility and integrity of Wielsch as an individual, she said, but also that of the task force as an investigative body and the guardian of prosecution evidence.

"Was he motivated by a desire to confiscate as much drugs as he could so he could turn around and sell them? Was he writing false police reports? Was he exaggerating in police reports? You have to question everything in a CNET investigation," Lipetzky said. "You also have to wonder when it's the top cop of the investigation that's a crooked cop, what did others in CNET know?"

Wielsch and Chris Butler, who runs the investigative firm Butler and Associates, were arrested together in Benicia by federal agents Wednesday morning after an undercover investigation that began in January, said Department of Justice special agent Michelle Gregory.

Both men were booked into County Jail in Martinez on as many as 25 suspected felony offenses, including possessing, transporting and selling marijuana, methamphetamine and steroids, and embezzlement, second-degree burglary and conspiracy. District Attorney Mark Peterson said his office will likely decide whether to file charges Friday [18 Feb - ed.].
Public defenders are asking for what the investigators have turned up so far in order to find out what cases may have been tainted by these public servants. And you have to wonder who else in the department was doing dirty deeds if the guy at the top was dirty.

Plus you have to wonder where else stuff like this was going on? We do know that this is not the first time such malfeasance has been discovered. There was the Rampart Scandal that broke in 2000. There were cover ups and gang ties found in the Rampart Division of the LAPD.
The Rampart scandal refers to widespread corruption in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (or CRASH) anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Rampart Division in the late 1990s. More than 70 police officers in the CRASH unit were implicated in misconduct, making it one of the most widespread cases of documented police misconduct in United States history. The convicted offenses include unprovoked shootings, unprovoked beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury, and covering up evidence of these activities
So are the police with their never ending drug war preventing anarchy or fomenting it? Hard call.

Take my town Rockford, Illinois. Around 1986 or '87 the FBI and DEA took out a whole gang of drug dealers. The local murder rate spiked and citizens were irate over the increase in street violence. They haven't done a whole gang raid like that since. I guess the ensuing anarchy was too much for the community. My guess is that the police are working with the gangs (or working with their favored gangs) to prevent a return of anarchy.

Well what about free speech? If you are tasked with fighting the drug war it is not allowed lest the public find out what is actually going on.
The War on Talking About the Drug War

Border Patrol agent loses job after stating the obvious

In April 2009, El Paso native and rookie Border Patrol Agent Bryan Gonzalez was working a stretch of the Mexican border near Deming, N.M. It was a relatively slow day, so when Gonzalez saw fellow Agent Shawn Montoya patrolling in the same area, the two men took a break, pulled their vehicles up next to each other, rolled down their windows, and began talking. When the conversation turned to the drug-related violence that was plaguing the border, Gonzalez "mentioned that he thought that legalization of marijuana would save a lot of lives across the border and over here," New Mexico ACLU spokesman Micah McCoy said during a recent interview. Gonzalez also mentioned that there's an organization of law enforcement officers and officials – Law Enforce­ment Against Prohibition – that stands in opposition to the drug war. "The other guy didn't agree" with Gonzalez's views, McCoy said, but regardless, "it was a friendly conversation" between the two men.

The conversation ended, and that was that – or so Gonzalez thought. As it turned out, Montoya related the content of the conversation to a fellow officer stationed out of the Customs and Border Patrol El Paso Sector headquarters; in turn, that agent bypassed his supervisor and went straight up the food chain to the agency's Joint Intake Command in Washington, D.C., to report what Gonzalez had said that day. "From there, they started a full-blown Internal Affairs investigation," says McCoy.
Well that backfired on them. Now instead of a conversation between a few officers it is now a conversation with the public.

And how about the latest national news on drug gangs?
Mexican and US security experts, some with inside information, suspect the Zetas in the killing of an American special agent this week, a prospect that could complicate investigations due to the Mexican drug gang's brutal yet sophisticated tactics.

Further knotting the matter, experts say it is not entirely clear if the gunmen were operating independently or on orders from commanders when they opened fire Tuesday on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents Jamie Zapata and Victor Avila, who were driven off the road between the violent city of Monterrey and Mexico City in the state of San Luis Potosí. Mr. Zapata died from his injuries, and Mr. Avila suffered leg wounds.

Washington swiftly announced the creation of an FBI-led task force from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to work with Mexico in its investigation.
And for those of you who think it is the drugs. Please explain why alcohol distribution gangs melted away after 1933. Did some one find a cheap way to instantly turn water into wine?

Well the above catalogs a whole host of things that are going wrong with the drug war. So how about some more? Like raiding the wrong house.
When narcotics officers appeared at a Castro home shortly after 7 a.m. on Jan. 11, they had permission from a judge to search for "proceeds" from an illegal marijuana grow.

The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they found Clark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman's insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law. "I told them to call the judge and get their warrant updated," he says. "They just laughed at me — I guess that's why they're called pigs."

Soon they may be called defendants in a lawsuit. A furious Freshman has pledged to sue the DEA and the SFPD for unlawful search and seizure of his home.

In his search warrant, Officer Scott Biggs of the SFPD's narcotics unit says that prior to the raid, he spent two days and two nights casing the address looking for Mahmoud Larizadeh, the property's owner. Larizadeh also owns a 13th Street warehouse, a part of which he rents to Bruce Rossignol, a licensed medical cannabis patient who now faces three felony charges for growing pot there.
Thanks to Instapundit for that one too. I'm not going to go into the marijuana as medicine issue here. If it interests you you can start your reading here: Cannabis is the Best Medicine. I'll just say that it seems rather evil to slap a man with a felony for growing his own medicine.

The first quote in this article was taken from:

Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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