Pubdate: Thu, 12 Apr 2012
Source: Miami New Times (FL)
Copyright: 2012 New Times, Inc.
Author: Francisco Alvarado


A week before Christmas, Dante Level stands near the vibrant avocado
tree that towers above his grandmother's cream-colored house on NW
52nd Street. The lanky 30-year-old sports thick dreadlocks past his
shoulders and a thin goatee. He swigs a Corona. Two friends and a
neighbor do the same and pass around a cigar. Nearby, Dante's
1-year-old daughter and another baby play on the floor.

Dante's younger brother Khalid, a slim guy with short-cropped hair,
leans against the family's maroon minivan. Inside the house, their
older sister Alexis tends to her 13-year-old paraplegic daughter. Amid
the preholiday revelry, no one notices the silver Chrysler 300 with
tinted windows cruising the tree-lined block.

Suddenly, flashing lights bathe the front lawn in red and blue. More
than a dozen cops in light-gray polos, dark-gray cargo pants, and
black vests flood out of the Chrysler and other unmarked cars,
storming through the front gate with guns drawn. Dante drops his beer.
Before he can react, a beefy cop tackles him, knocking down his
1-year-old, who screams in terror.

The police, all members of an elite Miami-Dade unit called the
Tactical Narcotics Team - TNT for short - arrest Dante and his
friends, and haul Khalid and Alexis off to jail as well.

The Levels were just three of the 112 people in Liberty City booked
that weekend as part of a TNT operation cheekily dubbed "Santa's
Helper," which the Miami Herald and local TV stations ate up as a
feel-good story about cops keeping the inner city safe - an especially
juicy tale when coupled with video of the widow of a slain officer
handing out 500 toys to poor children. The Levels' arrest led the 6
p.m. telecasts, with CBS 4 reporter Peter D'Oench hailing the MDPD for
"getting kids in the neighborhood to see... the human side of the
officers who love to interact with the children." A Herald story,
meanwhile, offered that the "streets of northwest Miami-Dade [will be]
safe for when Santa comes to town."

However, a two-month investigation by New Times has found that Santa's
Helper was a colossal waste of police resources. Of the 112 suspects
arrested, 73 people were charged only with misdemeanor pot possession.
The vast majority of the busted pot smokers were either released
within 24 hours or avoided jail by promising to show up in court. Of
the 73 alleged tokers, 68 of them - including Dante Level and his
siblings - had no violent criminal record. If they were guilty of
anything, it was smoking a joint on their own front porch.

Police say TNT, a 31-officer team that focuses on aggressive,
low-level drug busts such as Santa's Helper, is vital because their
work prevents more serious drug and gang violence. Even as other units
specializing in cargo and auto theft were disbanded last month to save
money for the cash-strapped department, the brass left TNT and its $3
million budget untouched.

"This is a great way to capture a cross section of robbers, burglars,
thieves, and dopers who shoot kids and cops and will openly spray a
corner with bullets," says Maj. Charles Nanney, head of the Miami-Dade
Narcotics Bureau. "Cocaine, marijuana, and heroin availability at the
street level poses the greatest threat."

But neighborhood activists and some criminologists say letting an
aggressive unit loose on small-time users does more to alienate black
neighborhoods than it does to end violent crime. Santa's Helper, they
say, is a perfect illustration of how a unit with a history of
corruption - and a mound of complaints about excessive force - has
lost the War on Drugs. In recent years, TNT has seen three officers
busted in public corruption probes, and more than a dozen current
members have combined for 40-plus internal affairs probes.

As Florida's black communities roil in the aftermath of the police
inaction over the Trayvon Martin killing, some observers say cops
should rethink the philosophy behind units such as TNT. The story of
the Levels, whose lives were turned upside down by the drug bust,
offers a counterpoint to the boilerplate narrative that busting pot
smokers in the inner city somehow makes Miami safer.

"That kind of strategy just gets everybody in the neighborhood pissed
off at the police," says Roger Dunham, a University of Miami sociology
professor who has studied the unit's techniques. "The last thing we
need is to arrest a bunch of people on drug possession charges to
simply fill up the jail."

In 1990, after the embers of the last major riot in Miami were tamped
down and there were few cocaine cowboys left to chase, county police
began concentrating on a new front in the War on Drugs. Inner-city
neighborhoods such as Overtown and Liberty City and rural cities like
Homestead and Florida City faced a new deadly epidemic: crack cocaine.

Following the lead of police in New York City, Los Angeles, and
Washington, D.C., Miami-Dade created its own tactical narcotics unit.
Its acronym, TNT, didn't come by accident. The point of the unit was
to use shock-and-awe tactics to overwhelm violent criminals in the
drug game. The department tapped John Flynn, at the time a major
assigned to the Northside District, which includes Liberty City, to
put together Miami-Dade's TNT. Its mission: Eradicate street-level
drug crimes in every ghetto from Homestead to Opa-locka.

The unit was manned by Flynn and seven full-time sergeants, but as
many as 120 county cops were pooled into TNT service, primarily on
overtime. On nights TNT conducted sweeps, as many as two dozen
officers in tactical gear would jump out of unmarked cars, using the
element of surprise and brute strength to nab suspects.

"By merely showing they could use overwhelming force against them, the
criminals simply backed down," Dunham says. "They quickly realize
resistance is futile."

Flynn mapped out a strategy like a military general planning to take
on an insurgency. "We targeted the most drug-infested neighborhoods
with the highest number of felony crimes," Flynn says. "We would spend
three weeks doing a lot of surveillance work to find out where the
sellers operated from and follow their patterns. Then we would do a
two-week enforcement phase that involved reverse stings and
surveillance-based takedowns."

Once the criminals had been cleared out, the county's code enforcement
office demolished crackhouses and removed abandoned cars. "We'd go
door-to-door meeting with the neighbors and give them our pager
numbers," Flynn says. "We helped them set up neighborhood watch groups
in case the criminals tried to move back in."

By most accounts, TNT worked well in the beginning. In its first year,
the team arrested more than 8,000 suspects, yet it didn't have a
single excessive-use-of -force complaint, according to a 1991 UM study
by Dunham.

"Flynn used officers who were reasonable," Dunham says. "It was
considered a privilege to get on this unit. If one officer screwed up,
he or she was taken out."

Flynn made it his mission to combine aggressive sweeps with good
relationships in Miami's worst neighborhoods. Keeping abusive cops off
the unit made it easier for inner-city residents to accept the large
waves of sweeps conducted by TNT, the former major explains.

"Before you could come work on TNT, you had to go through a carefully
designed training program," Flynn says. "One of the first things I
would do is roll tape of the show Cops. In one particular scene, a guy
puts a handful of drugs in his mouth. The officer cocks a gun against
the head of the subject to get him to spit it out. That was a scenario
I would never let happen in a TNT operation."

He also had another rule: A cop could not have any
excessive-use-of-force complaints in his or her personnel file to make
it onto the team. "I wanted officers and supervisors who were
aggressive, but not abusive," Flynn says. "There's a

Flynn was promoted to captain in the narcotics bureau one year after
heading TNT, but the team continued to flourish after his departure.
In its first ten years, according to department stats, TNT made 16,609
arrests and seized more than 14 kilos of crack cocaine, 22 kilos of
powder cocaine, 5,764 kilos of marijuana, and one kilo of heroin. They
also nabbed $874,198 in cash and 1,155 weapons. More than 160
crackhouses were shut down.

Just as important, the suspects they booked were often bad characters.
In that first decade, 54 percent of those arrested had a criminal
history, often for murder, sexual battery, assault, and kidnapping.

The unit's success even garnered some Hollywood recognition when
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith played TNT members in 1995's Bad Boys
and 2003's Bad Boys 2.

Flynn retired from Miami-Dade in 2000 after 27 years on the force,
with stints running the narcotics, internal affairs, and special
patrol bureaus. By the time he left, he had noticed the department
changing TNT's philosophy for the worse. The aggressive sweeps were
still there - but the emphasis on good cops was not.

"They began only doing the reverse stings and jump-outs," says Flynn,
who is now the police chief in Marietta, Georgia. "They were no longer
doing the community policing I put into it."

The changes created a negative perception of TNT - a feeling fueled by
some high-profile busts inside the unit's ranks.

In 2006, Det. Daniel Fernandez and another officer were arrested on
official misconduct charges for allegedly stealing $970 in marked
bills during a sting involving an admitted drug dealer who complained
to internal affairs that the two cops had planted drugs on him and
taken his cash in a previous bust. Fernandez was convicted of burglary
of an unoccupied dwelling and received a 21-month prison sentence last

Fernandez had been named Miami-Dade's Distinguished Officer of the
Year in 2003 for his work with TNT. He had also received a gold medal
of valor and a Purple Heart after he was shot in the back by a suspect
he was chasing. But after Fernandez's arrest, state and federal
prosecutors dropped more than two dozen cases that the detective had
worked on. He was also kept off the witness stand against the man who
shot him. Without Fernandez's testimony, Jim Druden was acquitted of
attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Then, two years after Fernandez's arrest, TNT officers Michael King
and Antonio Roberts were among 40 suspects charged with federal
racketeering and drug charges. The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges King
and Roberts were tipping off drug dealers in Opa-locka about TNT drug
sweeps. King pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and is serving a
60-month prison sentence. However, Roberts was acquitted in 2009.

Eric Matheny, a criminal defense attorney who was a Miami-Dade
assistant state attorney for two years, says TNT today suffers from a
philosophical problem at its core: Officers often have to assume the
role of bad guys to do their job effectively.

"It's like the movie Training Day with Denzel Washington," Matheny
says, referring to the Oscar-nominated film about a corrupt team of
Los Angeles narcotics officers. "They almost have to step outside
their roles as policemen and emulate the bad guys... Sometimes they
forget that enforcing the law doesn't mean they are above the law."

On December 19, the first day of Santa's Helper, Elizabeth Level was
across the street chatting with a neighbor when more than a dozen TNT
cops stampeded through the front gate of the home she had bought in
1971 for $16,000. The 87-year-old retiree watched in horror as Det.
Dwight Dominguez knocked down her 1-year-old great-granddaughter as he
went to grab her grandson Dante. "I've never experienced anything like
it," Elizabeth says. "The police were out of control that night."

The stories of the Levels and others snagged during Santa's Helper -
who were just stats for TV reporters the night after the operation -
illustrate why many people in their neighborhood say TNT busts forge a
lack of trust between the area's residents and the undercover
detectives prowling the streets.

Elizabeth is a perfect example. She says she wants the streets safe
for her grandchildren - but not at the cost of her family living in
fear of police. By the end of the day, three of her grandchildren were
under arrest: 40-year-old Alexis, charged with cocaine possession;
30-year-old Dante, charged with marijuana possession; and 29-year-old
Khalid, charged with obstruction of justice.

"Why not spend some time actually meeting the people who live here?
They're out here wasting taxpayers' money putting five people in jail
for the same joint," Elizabeth Level says.

She lives on a quiet tree-lined street in a residential neighborhood
that would fit perfectly in a Norman Rockwell painting. Built in 1925,
her abode is vintage Florida with its stucco facade and weathered wood

Elizabeth made a living as a nurse's aide at Mount Sinai Hospital in
Miami Beach for 34 years until she retired in 2006. She has paid off
two mortgages on her house and has never been delinquent on her
property taxes. During the 40 years she has raised three generations
of Levels on NW 52nd Street, she has never been in trouble with the
law. She spends her days looking after her 12 grandchildren and
great-grandchildren. Her grandsons Dante and Khalid live nearby.

Dressed in a gray tank top and blue gym shorts on a recent weekday,
the Georgia native corrals three of her toddler great-grandchildren
into the living room and shakes her head dismissively when asked if
her son and his friends were smoking pot the evening of Santa's Helper.

"Look at my yard," she says. "It's littered with cigar butts. These
kids are smoking those Black & Milds all the time."

What's more, she says TNT officers were unnecessarily forceful. "They
pushed my great-granddaughter to the floor," she says. "She's just a
baby. The way they came in here was insulting and disrespectful."

The raid marked the second time in three months that TNT had ripped
into her front yard to snatch a family member. Last October 22, while
the team was arresting a couple of neighbors for allegedly smoking
marijuana, Elizabeth's grandson Khalid was on the front step of the

According to Dets. Jesus Martinez and Alexis Rodriguez, Khalid began
mouthing off. He allegedly yelled, "Fuck all you pussies, soft-ass
cops." The two officers alleged Khalid then punched and kicked them
while resisting arrest for inciting a riot. Before that incident,
Khalid had never been arrested for a violent crime. (He has two
separate arrests for marijuana and cocaine possession, and a
conviction in 2010 for possession of a controlled substance, for which
he served 364 days.)

According to Elizabeth, Alexis, and neighbor Bobby Ricky Madison, the
two detectives dragged Khalid off the front porch. "Once Khalid was on
the sidewalk, the officer slapped him in his face with an open hand
repeatedly," Madison says. "Khalid's daughter was crying, 'Why are you
hitting my daddy?'" Alexis says Rodriguez knocked Khalid nearly
unconscious. "I saw my brother's eyes roll back," she says. "He's
lucky he didn't pass out."

Khalid filed a complaint with the Miami-Dade Police Department's
internal affairs unit. Because it is still an open investigation,
police officials cannot comment about it.

Two months later, the night of Santa's Helper, Khalid found himself in
an all-too-similar situation. When the police showed up, he asked his
grandmother if the cops had a search warrant. "That's when one of them
goes, 'That's him, the one with the mouth,'" Khalid says. "I walked
over to the neighbor's house and they followed me." Khalid was
arrested for obstruction of justice. According to his arrest report,
Khalid shouted, "Fuck the police," impeded a TNT investigation, and
refused police orders to leave the scene.

(Nanney declined to comment about the Levels' complaints.)

Alexis also disputed the circumstances of her arrest December 19.
According to her arrest report, TNT officers followed her into the
house because she was holding a cigarette laced with cocaine. On the
bed in her room, Det. Terence White claimed, he found a baggie
containing less than a gram of coke.

"That's a bunch of bullshit," counters Alexis (who has two previous
convictions for cocaine possession, but she insists she's now clean).
She says she was already in her room with her wheelchair-bound
daughter when the officers entered the house and arrested her. "I had
a broom in my hand because I was cleaning up," she says.

Prosecutors evidently didn't have enough evidence. Four weeks after
her arrest, charges were dropped.

The Levels are not alone in their criticism of TNT and Santa's Helper.
On day two of the operation, Shenika Rollins was in the living room of
the two-bedroom house she rents at 1550 NW 71st St., a few miles north
of the Levels' home. "All of a sudden I hear a loud noise outside and
police officers yelling," Rollins recalls. "There must have been like
20, 30 officers all over my front lawn. They had my son, son-in-law,
and nephew on the ground."

Rollins says she repeatedly asked a Hispanic officer what was going
on, but he wouldn't answer. "He told me to come out on the sidewalk
and sit down," she says. "Next thing I know, I am in handcuffs."

A Miami Northwestern Senior High School alum, Rollins works as a
part-time cashier at a Hess gas station. Nine years ago, she pleaded
guilty to one count of grand theft, and in 2009 she served probation
on a cocaine possession charge. Still, the 38-year-old single mom says
her criminal record doesn't give TNT officers permission to be rude.
"I inadvertently slumped against one of the officers," she says. "So
he says to me: 'What am I? A fucking leaning post?' Another one told
me to shut the fuck up."

Rollins didn't learn that she, along with three relatives and four
friends, was being booked for pot possession until officers took her
to the police department's Northside district headquarters.

According to the arrest reports, Det. Christopher Polack saw Rollins
and her crew sharing a marijuana blunt. "I want them to drug-test me,"
Rollins says. "It's been four years since I smoked weed."

Operation Santa's Helper was the brainchild of Maj. Charles Nanney, a
husky blond veteran who moved up the ranks after serving a stint as a
narcotics bureau lieutenant who worked with TNT. (Lt. Jose Gonzalez,
who oversaw Santa's Helper, declined to comment.) Four years ago,
after then-TNT Det. Raymond Robertson was shot multiple times in front
of several children during a firefight near an Opa-locka dope hole,
Nanney decided the unit should help neighborhood kids during
Christmas. The gesture, he hoped, might win hearts and minds.

"To show the kids we're not an occupying army, but an important part
of the community," Nanney says, "we collected and delivered toys to
the kids in the complex where Robertson was shot."

It has since become a TNT holiday tradition - but to fit TNT's
mission, it's now been coupled with a massive street operation to bust
potheads. "I got the idea for the name [Santa's Helper] because we
were both helping kids and arresting bad guys prior to Christmas,"
Nanney says.

The numbers behind the bust, though, raise serious questions about
whether Santa's Helper keeps the community safer. What's more, an
analysis of the IA records of officers on TNT today paints a picture
of a very different unit than the one during Flynn's time in the mid-'90s.

Of the 112 people rounded up during the December 19 sweep, 26 were
never jailed, 71 were arrested for holding less than a gram of
marijuana, and only three actual drug dealers were busted. Nine of the
112, or less than 10 percent, could be considered career criminals
with past arrests for homicide, sexual battery, robbery, and kidnapping.

New Times also examined TNT's 2011 statistics, which show few gains in
the War on Drugs during the past decade. In 2001, TNT made 5,255
arrests and seized 101 guns, 1,683 grams of crack cocaine, and 62
pounds of marijuana. Last year, it arrested 5,045 people, confiscated
71 guns, 837 grams of rocks, and 136 pounds of pot.

In other words: If the intent is deterrence, there hardly seems to be
less drugs on the streets. Moreover, of the arrests last year, more
than half were for misdemeanor pot possession - and only 64 marijuana
dealers in all were busted by TNT.

Nanney, though, insists TNT is worth the cost. "We are not targeting
the smokers," he says. "We are targeting high crime areas. Most of our
children shot in Miami-Dade County have been shot due to turf wars and
disputes at drug sale areas."

Some sociologists and criminologists call that kind of police thinking
into question, though.

Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland criminal justice professor,
says operations such as Santa's Helper do little to stem the tide of
drugs on the streets.

"I am mystified by it," Reuter says. "It's not that pot use has gotten
worse; it's just that more people are going to jail for it. I can't
see any deterrent effects when pot possession charges are usually
dismissed at an arraignment hearing. It is hard to justify making so
many arrests when the end result is only a couple of days in jail."

Marvin Dunn, a Florida International University sociology professor
and community activist, believes MDPD would be better off spending
resources on putting more cameras on the streets to catch criminals
committing violent crimes.

"The sweeps do nothing to reduce drug activities except to suppress it
while the police presence is apparent," Dunn says. "After the cops are
gone, it's back to business as usual."

Exacerbating the tension between residents and TNT is the unit's track
record of excessive force. New Times has reviewed the personnel files
of the 14 officers who participated in Santa's Helper and found they
had been investigated by internal affairs a total of 44 times. A
majority of the cases were for discourteousness and unprofessionalism,
improper searches and seizures, and excessive use of force. In
addition, the 14 officers have used force against subjects a combined
83 times.

Only one of those complaints was sustained - against Det. Dwight
Dominguez in 2008 for improper police procedure - but the details in
the IA files and use-of-force incident reports paint a picture of a
unit that often doesn't toe the line when pursuing drug suspects.

Consider what happened to Matthew "Sonny" Stemage on a muggy afternoon
last May 12. A 51-year-old recovering cocaine addict with a Fu Manchu
mustache and short braids, Stemage steered his beat-up Scwhinn bicycle
along Lucy Street near SW Seventh Place in Florida City. He had just
left his mother's house, which was located near a known drug den in
Homestead that was under surveillance by TNT Det. Joseph Amor. He
radioed squad mates Harold Riobe Jr. and Carlos Reyes to take down
Stemage, whom he had just allegedly seen exchange money for baggies of
crack cocaine.

According to a use-of-force report, Stemage began to resist while
Reyes searched his pockets. During the struggle, Reyes, Riobe, and
Stemage fell to the ground. Two witnesses claimed both cops repeatedly
struck Stemage, who already had one hand cuffed. Riobe (who has been
cleared in three IA complaints and 11 use-of-force incidents) then
smacked Stemage with his police radio, according to one witness. The
officers were cleared of wrongdoing.

Or consider another incident, on January 28, 2011, when Sophia Murray
was cruising on her bicycle near NW 46th Street and 23rd Avenue in

Murray complained she was struck from behind by an unmarked police car
in which Riobe was riding shotgun. He and his partner arrested her on
three felony charges of tampering with physical evidence and cocaine
purchase and possession. According to the arrest report, she was
observed buying crack cocaine from a nearby dope hole. Murray alleges
Riobe called her a racial slur. He allegedly said, "You black bitch.
You thought you did something witty? You are going to jail."

Riobe and his partner denied her accusations. With no independent
witnesses, her complaint was not sustained.

Three months later, not far from where Murray was apprehended, Luis
Rojas was stopped on his bicycle by TNT Det. Alexis Rodriguez, who has
been the subject of nine IA complaints for using excessive force,
discourteousness, and improper search and seizure. He's been cleared
every time.

A 31-year-old Allapattah resident, Rojas claims Rodriguez punched him
in the face repeatedly and then placed him in the bed of an unmarked
Ford F-150 pickup driven by the detective's partner, Jesus Martinez.
Fearing the cops were taking him somewhere secluded to rough him up
more, Rojas began to scream for help. He claims Rodriguez continued to
punch him, grabbed him by the throat, and told him to "shut the fuck

Rodriguez admitted to striking Rojas when he initially stopped him
because he was resisting arrest with violence, but the TNT detective
denied choking and punching the bicyclist. Rodriguez alleges Rojas
swallowed a baggie of crack cocaine while he was trying to subdue him.
With no independent witnesses, the complaint was declared "unfounded."
Rojas is awaiting trial for tampering with evidence.

Complaints such as Rojas's, Murray's, and Stemage's are more than just
disturbing to the community - they also often lead to cases getting
dismissed, says former Miami-Dade prosecutor Eric Matheny.

Take the 73 people arrested for pot possession during the two days of
Santa's Helper. More than half of them, 42 defendants, had charges
dropped by prosecutors. Two others were acquitted, one by a jury and
the other by a judge.

"When they do these huge sweeps, the police are only concerned with
getting a high number of arrests," Matheny says. "The end result is a
lot of bad searches, inadmissible evidence, and abuse at the hands of
TNT cops."

However, Nanney says, the number of complaints against the 14 TNT
detectives is not unusual.

"We don't use quotas," he says. "We evaluate and investigate each
complaint on its own merits. These officers make a vast majority of
arrests against violent, combative bad guys who are sometimes under
the influence of drugs."

Dante Level sits on the front step of his mother's portico on the
breezy afternoon of January 31. It's been more than a month since TNT
dragged him, his brother, and his sister to jail, but they are still
fuming - and dealing with the fallout. All three siblings owe serious
money - even though they say their cases are bogus - and more
important, they now feel unsafe in their grandmother's front yard.

Alexis's cocaine charge was dropped, but she had to pay $500 for bail.
Dante was released the next morning after appearing before a judge. He
was fined $498 that he doesn't have. Three arrests for marijuana sure
won't help him land a decent job. Khalid, a hazel-eyed man with his
siblings' names and a family tree tattooed on his right arm, says he
owes his bondsman more than $3,000 for his two arrests at the hands of
TNT. He says he plans to fight both cases against him.

"Now I will probably have to spend at least another $5,000 to get me a
good lawyer," he says. "I have to pay for my freedom now."

His face scrunched into a scowl, Dante wonders why the MDPD doesn't
concentrate on more pressing issues in his community. "Why are they
spending tax dollars to harass people in their own front yard? Why
don't they concentrate on solving the murders that go down in the Pork
'n' Beans projects or Overtown?" he asks. "What are they doing about
the people whose identities are getting stolen?"

A couple of neighbors who walked over to talk about TNT nod their
heads in agreement. "They should've called it Operation Harass the
Neighborhood," one says.

Alexis notes that Miami officers cruise by her mother's house all the
time and know the family. "They honk and wave when they pass by," she
says. "But not TNT. They have no respect at all for the people who
live here."

MDPD Director James Loftus has signaled that he still believes in the
unit's work. In order to trim his department's $433 million budget,
Loftus in February disbanded several theft task forces, as well as
units focused on homeland security, agricultural patrol, and community
policing. But Nanney says the department has cut TNT's overtime to
zero, which means fewer operations like Santa's Helper. But the team
will continue.

"Homicides, robberies, rapes - all those crimes against persons take
priority over everything else," Loftus told the Miami Herald.

TNT has kept busy since Santa's Helper. Between the last week in
December and the first week in February, the team seized nine firearms
from subjects who were initially detained for marijuana possession,
Nanney says.

"We have a duty to the citizens to rid the area of violence," he says.
"We will continue to do so.

Although TNT hasn't returned to the Level home since December 19,
Khalid leaves by 6 p.m. now, which is when the unit begins patrolling
the neighborhood.

"All of a sudden, marijuana is more dangerous than crack," he says.
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