New Jersey's management of law enforcement continues to be a microcosm of
the screwed-up, politically correct world in which we live.
Just mix cops and race in the Garden State - and watch as stupidity reigns.
Remember, this is where a few years back, then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman
threw police Superintendent Carl Williams under the bus because he said
that blacks and Hispanics played a leading role in the state's drug
trafficking problems. Missing at the time was any debate as to the basis of
his assertions. Talk about shooting the messenger.
[continues 515 words]
Sylvester Johnson Walks The Corners And Neighborhoods Taken Back By
Operation Safe Streets
AFTER SPENDING 37 years working his way from foot patrolman to top cop,
Sylvester Johnson gambled all his hard-earned credibility on Operation Safe
Barely two weeks after becoming police commissioner in late April, Johnson
launched his multi-million dollar, overtime-driven cleanup of the city's
300 worst drug corners by keeping cops on the corner up to 24 hours a day.
His baby is now six months old and, depending on who you ask, it's Godzilla
or godsend, hell-bent or heaven-sent.
[continues 2183 words]
Philadelphia and many other cities have long been plagued by piecemeal drug
enforcement programs that have been long on promises but short on long-term
results. Every last one of those programs displaced drug dealers to
I give Mayor Street credit for taking a bold step with Operation Safe
Streets by taking drug enforcement citywide, drug corner by drug corner,
block by block, all at once.
Even though I don't live in a neighborhood where Safe Streets police are
deployed, I can see a positive impact on my neighborhood. I'm a Town Watch
volunteer and I live in one of those "adjacent neighborhoods."
[continues 201 words]
Trash whipped up in swirling winds as the skies darkened over North 5th Street.
But children played through a slight sprinkle. It would take more than a
threatened storm to chase them inside.
"You see more of them outside now," said a man nodding toward a group of
children playing a few doors from his wrought-iron railing.
"It's better," a woman on the adjoining stoop agreed. "They still sell
drugs. They just moved it inside."
In a running turf war between the cops and drug dealers, the cops are
winning. For now.
[continues 427 words]
The substance is reddish, hard, easily shattered or crumbled and forms
a slightly sticky, red powder when it's crushed.
Users think it's opium.
But it's not.
It's nearly identical to red opium. In fact, it's called "Red Rock
Opium." But the substance contains no opiates.
"The substance looks like opium, but it's fake," said Mary Vaira,
spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration here, who checked
with a DEA laboratory that has analyzed red-rock opium. "It's the same
texture, it's red and it smells like incense."
[continues 161 words]
Supply Coming From Afghanistan
AMERICA MIGHT have chased Osama bin Laden out of the mountains of
Afghanistan with three months of bombing raids, but the hills are alive
with still another scourge - opium.
Allied forces in Afghanistan have dismantled the Taliban, but at the same
time effectively eliminated any oversight on illegal drug activity in that
Federal drug experts say they're certain that the recent fall of the
fundamentalist Islamic government is directly tied to a glut of inexpensive
opium spewing from the country.
[continues 823 words]
Success In This Court Program Earns Applause
It was Crystal's first time in a prison.
"I looked around," she remembered, "and I just started crying, saying, 'How
the hell did you end up here?' "
She ended up there, in January 1998, because she had sold cocaine to an
Crystal, who didn't want her last name used, had become a sad
contradiction: a hard-working woman with a master's degree and a
middle-class background who was addicted to crack.
[continues 1371 words]
From Drug Traffickers And Threatened To Overthrow The Democratically
Elected Government By Force.
Before Sept. 11, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was
able to call such actions a legitimate form of rebellion and drew upon
a network of international support.
Now FARC is on the U.S. list of terrorist groups and FARC commanders
are upset that they are being associated with the likes of Osama bin
Some sources of rebel funding and diplomatic support have been cut
off, and there is the potential that they could be hunted by the U.S.
military in the same way bin Laden is being pursued.
[continues 191 words]
LONDON - GW Pharmaceuticals, the only British firm licensed to grow
marijuana for medicinal purposes, said yesterday it foresees a surge in
sales once the government relaxes laws restricting use of the drug.
The company is conducting trials of a marijuana-based pain reliever and
expects that it could start selling the medicine under prescription by 2004.
A day after the government announced its new policy, investors pushed
company shares 13.7 percent higher to 107 pence ($1.52) on the London Stock
[continues 313 words]
WASHINGTON - John Walters, President Bush's nominee to become the next
White House drug policy director, said yesterday he supports federal
funding for drug-abuse treatment and prevention, reversing his past view on
Asked by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., if his opinion had changed since 1996,
when he wrote that federal funding was neither "necessary nor sufficient"
for teaching children that drug abuse is wrong, Walters replied: "Yeah, I
have changed my view on that."
Walters, was testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate
[continues 164 words]
On The Mend, He Can't Wait To Get Back On The Street
GENE JONES became a cop because he wanted to help people and make the world
Monday afternoon, the narcotics officer found out how evil the world can be.
The 36-year-old undercover officer approached a suspected crack-cocaine
dealer on a West Oak Lane street and identified himself as a cop. The
suspect pulled out a gun and shot Jones in the chest, sparking a gunfight
that continued down two streets until the suspect was arrested.
[continues 539 words]
Hard-Liner Likely To Be Their New Leader
BOGOTA, Colombia - A hard-liner from northern Colombia's cattle
country is emerging as the likely new leader of the country's brutal
right-wing paramilitary forces.
Although he has not yet accepted the position, Salvatore Mancuso is
already considered the new boss of the United Self-Defense Forces of
Colombia, or AUC. That word came from former AUC commander Carlos
Castano, in an editorial posted yesterday on the group's Internet site.
[continues 517 words]
THE VICTIM of Tuesday's broad-daylight execution on Columbus Boulevard was
a target in a multimillion-dollar drug investigation that included at least
a dozen players from New York to Philly, a law-enforcement source said
"He was not a government witness and was not cooperating. He is a target of
ours," the source said, after erroneous reports circulated that the man had
been cooperating with the government investigation.
"He was somebody who we were going after, who was eventually going to be
indicted federally," the source added. "Looks like his buddies whacked him."
[continues 408 words]
Dealers Stealing Sedative From Vets' Offices
Users say the drug brings you to another world, one that separates your
mind from the rest of your body.
But unlike the other designer drugs popular at Philadelphia's bustling
nightclubs - Ecstasy ("e"), LSD ("acid") and GHB ("Georgia Home Boy") -
this drug kicks in much faster.
It's a drug whose primary purpose is to sedate animals.
And when abused by humans, law enforcement and medical officials say,
ketamine, or Special K as it's often called, has the potential to kill.
[continues 703 words]
The smell of cat urine led detectives to a sophisticated methamphetamine
laboratory in Port Richmond Wednesday afternoon.
Officers from the East Detective Division noticed the smell while
investigating a missing persons case.
Phillip DeFelice, 30, of Cherry Hill, was reported missing by his parents,
who hadn't seen their son in a week. DeFelice owned an auto-dealership on
North Almond Street near East Ontario in Port Richmond.
Police went to the garage Wednesday to look for DeFelice. Upon entering the
building, they noticed a familiar odor that is often a telltale sign of
methamphetamine production - cat urine.
[continues 203 words]
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. -- Bonnie Raitt gave a free, two-hour concert Saturday
at San Quentin State Prison, describing her struggles with drugs and
alcohol in hopes of helping inmates who are trying to stay sober.
About 2,000 men gathered in the prison's yard to hear Raitt.
"We're all here together," Raitt said in an interview before the show.
"We're all just one infraction away from being in prison ourselves. I
could've been in here in a minute. I could've been too angry, and if I had
a gun in my hand instead of a telephone or a guitar, I'd be right in here."
[continues 349 words]
ALLENTOWN - The girlfriend of an inmate who died of a drug overdose in
prison last year has been charged in his death for allegedly sending him
Brian P. Dos Santos, 25, was found dead in his cell at the Lehigh County
Prison on Sept. 16, with a syringe, tourniquet and other drug paraphernalia
nearby. An autopsy showed he died of an overdose of morphine and heroin.
Elayne Nicole Zielinski, 25, a postal employee at the time, is accused of
smuggling drugs to Dos Santos on several occasions, hiding them in
magazines and mailed packages.
[continues 51 words]
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Thousands of angry coca farmers and pickers occupying a
northern town yesterday said they would not leave until the government
abandons a U.S.-backed program to aerially eradicate their crops.
The protests that began Thursday in Tibu, a town near the border with
Venezuela, were the first major grass-roots demonstrations against
fumigation since President Andres Pastrana's drug-fighting plan known as
Plan Colombia got underway late last-year.
The protesters came from the countryside where coca, the crop used to make
cocaine, is grown. They want the government to manually eradicate the crops
instead of spraying, said Gonzalo Cardenas, the mayor of Tibu.
[continues 114 words]
Residents of the 2700 block of North Hope Street in North Philadelphia
are used to getting plenty of attention - historically from drug
traffickers and buyers.
Yesterday, however, it was law enforcement authorities, led by state
Attorney General Mike Fisher, who converged here.
Fisher unveiled a statewide grand jury report on the booming trade of
heroin, a staple of life on North Hope until December 1999 when
authorities brought it to a halt.
"Obviously we hope to alert a lot of Pennsylvanians about this scourge
and deter them from buying and using and selling drugs," Fisher said.
[continues 328 words]
SARASOTA, Fla. - Robert Randall, the first person in the United
States to obtain legal access to marijuana for medical use, has died
of complications from AIDS, his wife said.
Randall, 53, legally smoked 10 marijuana cigarettes a day until his
death on Saturday at his home here, said his wife, Alice O'Leary.
Randall developed glaucoma in his teens and doctors told him the
buildup of pressure in his eyes would cause blindness within a few
Arguing that no legally available drug could halt the deterioration
of his eyesight, he petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
for legal access to marijuana.
[continues 193 words]