Fast forward to the year 2005 and you will find the United States is deeply
and tragically embroiled in an unwinnable war in Colombia that cannot stop
the demand in the United States for illegal drugs.
Drug trafficking in this country continues to escalate. Prison overcrowding
is out of control, and the majority of prisoners are drug law offenders.
Money better spent on social and educational issues is squandered abroad,
and many young people continue to graduate from high school lacking basic
skills and capabilities they need to lead productive lives - if their lives
are not cut short fighting a war in their own neighborhoods.
[continues 56 words]
SAN BERNARDINO NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. - They were spotted from the
air, as conspicuous as sharks in a school of guppies: Three plots of
land, seemingly stripped of the towering oaks and manzanitas that
shroud this patch of Southern California forest. These were not
natural formations. They were entirely man-made - and entirely illegal.
A week after the August sighting, a helicopter returned with two dozen
Forest Service agents and sheriff's detectives. They cleared a landing
pad and cut a trail into the site, coming first to a makeshift
reservoir. Six hoses, filtering water from a creek, ran in one end;
several more snaked back out the other.
[continues 1301 words]
PARIS - The Clinton administration has put before Congress an
"emergency" $1.6 billion program to expand military assistance to the
Colombian army and security forces fighting both an insurrection and
the drug trade.
Administration officials say this program will be part of what will
"probably be a huge effort, lasting for years," whose objective is "to
strengthen Colombian institutions and help the government reach a
peace" with the leftist guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitary
forces responsible for years of chaotic violence in Colombia.
[continues 716 words]
With tears in his eyes, the disgraced policeman at the center of a
massive corruption scandal apologized as he was sentenced Friday to
five years in prison for stealing cocaine.
Rafael Perez, who has admitted framing innocent people, doctoring
crime scenes and lying in court, offered a message to rookie cops:
"Whoever chases monsters should see to it that in the process he does
not become a monster himself."
Perez was sentenced under a plea bargain that grants him immunity for
other crimes he has admitted to investigators. He was also given
credit for the time he has already spent in custody.
[continues 221 words]
TOPPENISH, Wash. - The Yakama Nation expects a first-of-its-kind
tribal drug court to be up and running next year, and its chief judge
says it's an idea whose time has come.
By breaking the cycle of drugs and crime, the courts reduce the number
of jail inmates and repeat offenders and save money, said Rory Flint
Knife, who became the Yakama Nation's chief judge last May.
A three-year federal Justice Department grant will pay initial costs,
said Anna Ward, tribal court deputy director.
[continues 62 words]
I find it "troubling" that the number of preschoolers being drugged
has increased sharply from 1991 to 1995 ["Toddler Rx rise causes
concern," News, Feb. 23]. Could it be that our society's rush to push
children into daycare has a bearing on this problem? Researchers
should make a comparison between children who are raised at home by a
parent, as opposed to those raised in daycare. Perhaps we would find
that it is necessary to drug our children so that parents can each
have fulfilling careers and nice things.
The Feb. 15 Chronicle article, "Federal task force created to aid drug
war," failed to mention that most of our drug war money is spent
chasing marijuana -- a plant with no documented fatalities -- and that
our government's only concern is to stop the crime and untaxed income
created by the black market. If we simply allowed responsible adults
to grow the plant on their own property, half the Drug Enforcement
Agency could be reassigned to more important tasks and we could stop
imprisoning our citizens for their trifling consumptive habits. Or
should we continue fighting each other?
Alleged 'racial profiling' at issue
Feb. 28 - With police nationwide under fire for "racial profiling,"
the Colorado Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case involving a
Hispanic airline passenger arrested on suspicion of ferrying cocaine
from Los Angeles to Denver.
The man's lawyer says local and federal drug agents targeted his
client because of his ethnicity. His conviction and two concurrent
24-year prison sentences should be thrown out, the attorney will tell
the justices, who are hearing cases in a special traveling session at
Air Academy High School near Colorado Springs.
[continues 633 words]
Clever inmates who crave drugs are infinitely creative in how they
They swallow balloons filled with narcotics before their arrests and,
once behind bars, pass them while going to the bathroom. They have
girlfriends transfer contraband packets mouth to mouth during kisses
while at magistrates' offices. They shove anything from drugs to
syringes to sets for picking locks into body cavities, hoping they
won't be discovered.
No one is sure how convicted drug smuggler and federal informant John
Regis "Re Re" King Jr. got his hands on the blood-filled hypodermic
syringe found with his corpse Wednesday in an Allegheny County Jail
[continues 945 words]
TIJUANA, Baja California -- In the latest example of the murderous
violence that has gripped this border town, the municipal police chief
was assassinated Sunday morning by gunmen who sprayed his car with
more than 100 bullets as he drove along a busy highway, authorities
Municipal Police Chief Alfredo de la Torre Marquez, 50, was driving
alone to his office after attending Mass when three cars closed in on
his black GMC Suburban and gunmen opened fire with at least one AK-47
assault rifle and a 9 mm handgun.
[continues 541 words]