Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bedford (PA) County Drug Task Force Creates Jobs.

(Story is from the Altoona Mirror.
The only reason I am linking it is the online version does not include the mug shots or names of the accused. Believe me, the print version took great joy in including both.)

After an eight month investigation, the Bedford County Drug task force ruined the lives of 21 addicts in a show of force and idiocy on Tuesday. In a second "fuck you" to the accused, the Altoona Mirror published color photos of each of the 21, who I must add, are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

"Operation: Scarecrow," as it is called, follows "Operation: Cupid's Arrow," which in February took 15 of the most violent non-violent addicts off the streets. Bedford County DA Bill Higgins, of course, thinks this is serious business. At a press conference, he said "Just like the 15 arrested in 'Operation: Cupid's Arrow,' these offenders will be zealously prosecuted."

"Operation: Scarecrow"? "Operation: Cupid's Arrow"? Can we have "Operation: Harm Reduction," next please?

Sheriff Charwin Reichelderfer then proves that he almost gets it, but that his mind just can't finish the leap.

I know from experience that many of these people will be characterized as just users by their friends and family. While they may be selling stuff to support their own habit, there is no question they are bringing this poison in our community and selling it to our kids. And for that they're going to be held accountable.

Bolds are mine.

Let me scan through the list quick and see how many have charges related to selling drugs to minors. Perhaps one. I say perhaps, because a few of these hardened criminals apparently were also parents, and got charges added if they had a child in the car with them.

Which I admit is not only stupid, but child endangerment. Drugs are illegal, leave your damn kids at home, or with a sitter.

But selling it to "our kids"?

Do you have proof of this assumption, Sheriff Charwin, or are you just jumping right to the most emotional target possible to corrupt the jury pool and further tar these child murderers drug addicts? Or are you trying to convince your self? Asshole, or asshole suffering from cognitive dissonance, I can't decide.

There is no reason to try to corrupt the jury pool, since I'd bet my car all 21 will take a plea. That's how it works. The ADA offers you a shitty plea, and then threatens that if you take it to trial, they will push for whatever crazy number of years they think sound believable. All 21 of these criminals victims are going to be facing felonies, and chances are all 21 will take the plea. The only ones who actually should take the plea are those offered ARD or IPP or some other path to clearing their record, but the threat of years in prison can affect your decision making.

Look, I know. Drugs are illegal. Selling drugs is illegal. They all broke the law. I get it, I really do. And unless it is far down the memory hole, I do not know anyone affected by this operation.

But I still know them. I see my past self in every picture. I know the game, I know the story. Some of them are runners for the actual dealer, delivering drugs and protecting the dealer. Some of them were hooking up a friend they probably used with a hundred times before. A few of them were probably straight set up by the Confidential Informant and actually are innocent. Some of them were only getting for someone else so they could make enough to get a fix. And, yes, some were driving to Baltimore and bringing back product to sell and support their own addiction.

8 months. Untold amount of tax payer money. 21 low level dealers, at the worst, off the streets facing a felony that will follow them forever. The one girl is only 18. One guy is 19. Welcome to adulthood.

And by the end of the week, 21 more will step in to fill whatever cog in the machine they happened to occupy. The heroin and cocaine will keep flooding the area. More people will get addicted. Then in 8 months or so, "Operation: June Bug," or the like will scoop up another group.

The cycle, it keeps on cycling.

21 jobs available today in Bedford County. It's high risk, but the profession is booming no matter the economy. No experience needed, just a self-destructive personality.

We've lost the war on drugs. The war was never winnable in the first place.

Why are we still fighting it? Why are there still casualties?

Isn't it time for harm reduction?

Going to link to LEAP, and shut up.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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