Pubdate: Sun, 15 Jan 2012
Source: Standard-Examiner (UT)
Copyright: 2012 Ogden Publishing Corporation
Author: Charles F. Trentelman


On Wednesday, several thousand police buried Ogden Officer Jared 
Francom who died serving a search warrant on Matthew Stewart, who was 
suspected of growing pot.

That same day, a sympathetic federal judge in Salt Lake City presided 
over some fancy legal maneuvers to keep a convicted drug dealer, 
Brigham City Dr. Dewey C. MacKay, out of prison.

Federal District Judge Dee Benson even apologized to MacKay for the 
trouble MacKay was having. Benson said he can't imagine "the 
nightmare" MacKay and his family are going through.

We bury a cop killed fighting drugs the same day a federal judge 
apologizes to a convicted drug dealer who is having a bad day?

I was gobsmacked.

Francom's death shows the length to which society goes, and the 
danger its agents face, dealing with criminal drug use.

Judge Benson's behavior is an insult to Francom's sacrifice, but if I 
ever get busted, Benson is the guy I want on the bench. He's a sucker 
for a sob story, and some powerful people are blubbering.

Like U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Benson was Hatch's chief of staff from 1986 to 1988, and Hatch has a 
history of using influence to get friends out of drug trouble. In 
2006 he helped spring a friend of a friend from drug prison in Dubai.

This time, Hatch joined U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, State Sen. Pete Knudson 
and many others writing Benson that MacKay is an upstanding citizen, 
prominent in church, active in Rotary and a fine father.

The pleas seem to be working. Benson has repeatedly apologized to 
MacKay for the horrible things law enforcement is doing to him. He 
chided the prosecution for trying to seize the doctor's property and 
complained of being forced to sentence MacKay to 20 years in prison 
after the jury convicted MacKay on 40 counts of distribution of 
controlled substances.

I can't find any mention of the judge serving MacKay milk and 
cookies, but that's certainly next.

What rot.

MacKay is a drug dealer. Between June 1, 2005, and Oct. 30, 2009, he 
prescribed 3.5 million hydrocodone and Oxycodone pills in his Brigham 
City office. That's enough to give every man, woman and infant in Box 
Elder County 70 high-octane pain pills.

Drug addicts love doctors like MacKay. Between 80 and 120 people from 
all over Utah visited him every day. DEA undercover tapes and 
testimony document MacKay handing over prescriptions after the most 
cursory of exams.

MacKay's victims describe family members addicted for life, or dead. 
One, a woman in Brigham City who still fears the doctor, called me, 
furious at Benson.

"People have died," she cried. "My daughter's brother-in-law, when he 
died, he had five undissolved Oxycodone in his stomach and they were 
his (MacKay's) prescription."

It's easy to blame addicts, but good doctors know addiction laughs at 
the concept of free will.

MacKay is worse than a thug dealing nickel bags and crack because he 
operated under the guise of healing. One of the lies 
prescription-drug addicts tell themselves is that the drugs are OK 
because a doctor prescribed them.

Francom died working to make my community better. Matthew Stewart, 
who may face the death penalty, is going to have a very rough future.

Unless, of course, Stewart can get his case before Judge Benson.

Then, if MacKay's case is any guide, Stewart can swear he's sorry, 
say he's a good member of the community, mention he's a veteran and 
promise it will never happen again.

Judge Benson will then work to keep Stewart out of jail.

He may even apologize for the noise the police guns made.
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