Guns for Painkillers

The police chief of Killian, Louisiana, has been arrested on drug charges after exchanging guns for pain pills he said his wife needed. According to an affidavit filed in federal court, a local paper reports, "Acting Killian Police Chief Joseph Guy Crawford Jr., 38, allegedly told federal agents that his wife's prescription did not provide enough pills to keep her pain-free." The affidavit did not specify the condition from which Crawford's wife suffers, but the scenario is sadly plausible, given doctors' tendency to undertreat pain.

Crawford, who faces both state and federal charges, is accused of two illegal transactions with undercover agents: trading a 12-gauge shotgun and $40 for 30 hydrocodone pills on December 17 and trading a .38-caliber pistol and $40 for 20 doses of fake oxycodone on January 2. Under federal law, these two trades could be enough to put him in prison for 30 years, since they count as using a firearm in the course of a drug trafficking offense, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for the first offense and 25 years for subsequent offenses.

[Thanks to Daniel Archibald for the tip.]

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  • ||

    Just another law enforcement official who seems to know more about proper levels of medication than a doctor. Sad story. Hope his wife gets better and that he joins the crusade against this absurdity.

  • ||

    Ahem,

    A duplicate post! What is t his, slashdot? ;)

  • R C Dean||

    I guess trading a gun for drugs counts as "using a firearm in the course of a drug trafficking offense" under a strict literalist reading, but I'm not sure why it would justify a stiffer penalty.

    Hope his wife gets better and that he joins the crusade against this absurdity.

    Convicts aren't particularly persuasive advocates for legalization.

  • ||

    My sympathies to Crawford's wife, but I'd like to know how many people Chief Crawford busted on drug charges.

  • Episiarch||

    He must have been desperate because I wouldn't pay much more than the $40 for 30 Vicodin, let alone trading a shotgun. However, he might have been trading guns he had confiscated, which would mean he wouldn't really care.

    since they count as using a firearm in the course of a drug trafficking offense

    See kids, guns and drugs don't mix. Stick with guns and alcohol.

  • Guy Montag||

    Just more evidence that this "marriage" nonsense needs to be eliminated.

  • ||

    My sympathies to Crawford's wife, but I'd like to know how many people Chief Crawford busted on drug charges.

    Seconded.

  • ||

    My sympathies to Crawford's wife, but I'd like to know how many people Chief Crawford busted on drug charges.

    *Ahem*

    Fuck that.

    This is unjust, I don't care what his behavior has been in the past.

    Also, gloat if your legislator gets wrapped up in something like this, especially if he voted for it. Don't just paint all cops with a broad brush.

  • ||

    Hmmm, he is also charged with procession of a stolen car with intent to sell.

    I'd have more sympathy if he resigned his position then committed the acts.

  • ||

    Seriously, did we lose our sense of justice and perspective here?:

    Hmmm, he is also charged with procession of a stolen car with intent to sell.

    Yeah, charged, as in, not yet guilty.

    I'd like to know how many people Chief Crawford busted on drug charges.

    Like I said, that doesn't matter at all; he's not on trial for that, is he? Additionally, he hasn't even been found guilty and you guys are ready to build the gallows.

    I thought libertarians had more goddamn sense, but you're no better than some old biddies gossiping and impugning people's reputations before they've even been convicted.

    Christ.

  • ||

    Like I said, that doesn't matter at all; he's not on trial for that, is he? Additionally, he hasn't even been found guilty and you guys are ready to build the gallows.

    Ayn_Randian, he's guilty or the federal cops who busted him are guilty an even more heinous crime. Either way, I smell crooked cop meat.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    The text of the actual federal statute is vague, and most interpretations do not require the use of a firearm as a weapon. It's mere presence is enough to tack on an extra decade.

  • ||

    Just shut-the-fuck-up please.

    It's entirely relevant to wonder how many people he sent to jail for the exact crime he's charged with.

  • ||

    It's entirely relevant to wonder how many people he sent to jail for the exact crime he's charged with.

    I'm sorry, I must have missed the day in Civics when it was taught that the police sent people to jail, you fucking retard.

  • ||

    God, you're a fuckin' asshole.

    Prosecutors and juries don't arrest people. Without an arrest, how do you fuckin' go to jail.

  • thoreau||

    I pity anybody whose loved one is in pain.

  • ||

    This thread looks like it's going to go well...

    While I agree with Randian that we should give people the benefit of the doubt, there ARE cops who go out of their way to make drug busts. And while they may not be the ones who write the verdict or give the sentence, they know that the vast majority of the people they bust are going to jail with a felony on their record.

    The legislators, juries, and judges also deserve some blame, but there are some cops who need to share in it.

  • ||

    Prosecutors and juries don't arrest people.

    oops, you were so very, very close.

    The fact is, you said he "sent people to jail"...he did nothing of the kind. He arrested people, and that does not necessarily entail jail time. Like, at all.

    Somebody should fire your civics teacher.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Do you pity Osama bin Laden, who no doubt has lots of pain due to his kidney problems and the fact he has to live in the sticks?

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian,

    People who rounded up Jews in Nazi Germany probably weren't the same ones who put them in the cattle cars to Auschwitz, either. That doesn't make them blameless.

  • ||

    I pity anybody whose loved one is in pain.

    That, my friend, is the correct response, not some kind of gorge-rising reflexive "How many people did the copper bust...hurr, hurr, hurr...how does it feel copper?"

    Especially since said police officer isn't even convicted of a damn thing yet. What's most galling is that some folks are all kinds of prepared to see him off to jail for 30 years, which is a just sentence for very few crimes, and here's hint: this ain't one of them.

  • ||

    I agree that cops don't write the laws the enforce. The guards at Auschwitz didn't write the laws/policies either. While sending someone to jail and ruining their life isn't analogous to killing them, the principle of complicity in injustice is.

  • ||

    People who rounded up Jews in Nazi Germany probably weren't the same ones who put them in the cattle cars to Auschwitz, either. That doesn't make them blameless.

    Oh, jesus, I saw this one coming a mile away. Thanks for the insta-Godwin, crimethink.

    Anywho, if you're not able to see the difference between the people arresting someone to face trial, where the outcome is far from determined, and the people who knowingly shipped Jews off to their certain enslavement and death, I can't help you any.

    Though you don't hear it from many Objectivists, things exist in degrees in cases like this. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • ||

    I agree that cops don't write the laws the enforce. The guards at Auschwitz didn't write the laws/policies either. While sending someone to jail and ruining their life isn't analogous to killing them, the principle of complicity in injustice is.

    Woo-hoo! Double the Godwin, double the fun!

    I sure hope you don't pay your taxes, J sub.

    In addition, I sure hope you're not suggesting that every good and decent officer should walk off the job because of unjust laws, just so we can hire the dregs to replace them.

  • ||

    My general rule is to dislike all cops. Sure there are some good ones. But even the good ones are forced to enforce our unjust laws. The fact that they don't make the laws does not excuse them for me. If the very nature of your job is immoral, then the moral thing to do is to pick another profession.
    I don't think anybody, including a cop, should get anything close to the kind of penalty this cop is looking at for drug related crimes. But what the hell is wrong with gloating about the fact that he busts people for the same crimes he (probably) committed? I don't think the 'see, how does it feel now, pig?', stance is the same as agreeing with the statute.

  • Episiarch||

    In addition, I sure hope you're not suggesting that every good and decent officer should walk off the job because of unjust laws, just so we can hire the dregs to replace them.

    Why would they do that? Unjust laws give them wonderful levels of power over their fellow citizens.

  • ||

    But what the hell is wrong with gloating about the fact that he busts people for the same crimes he (probably) committed? I don't think the 'see, how does it feel now, pig?', stance is the same as agreeing with the statute.

    You don't realize it, but by gloating over the fact you're sanctioning the punishment that could be doles out.

    Also, you have no idea how the man deals with drug users, do you? He could be a LEAP-er, for all you know.

    Why would they do that? Unjust laws give them wonderful levels of power over their fellow citizens.

    Do you not actually know any police officers?

    If the very nature of your job is immoral, then the moral thing to do is to pick another profession.

    We're not all anarchos, dude.

  • ||

    Pinette - do you have any idea where I'm sitting right now?

    Are you prepped to call me immoral?

  • ||

    I am not going to cut Crawford any slack here.

    The question of how many people he busted - and I have no indication that he busted anyone - is entirely relevant.

    Assuming, however, that he did arrest people, he should suffer exactly as he caused others to suffer. He is either a hypocrite for breaking the law that he believed in, or a hypocrite for enforcing a law that he did not believe in.

  • ||

    I sure hope you don't pay your taxes, J sub.

    Please quote me anytime I deny the necessity of law enforcement. That I often posit there are a lot of crooked cops and that the people who desire law enforcemnet careers are often (usually?) immoral goons, you can accurately call me on. Their necessity is not something I've ever denied. They just need constant watching. Their words always taken with a teaspoon of salt. Do you disagree?

  • ||

    That, my friend, is the correct response, not some kind of gorge-rising reflexive "How many people did the copper bust...hurr, hurr, hurr...how does it feel copper?"

    No, actually it's the smarmy "above the fray" response. I'd love to see thoreau and you defend that response in the case of bin Laden, though I'm not expecting you to.

    Anywho, if you're not able to see the difference between the people arresting someone to face trial, where the outcome is far from determined, and the people who knowingly shipped Jews off to their certain enslavement and death, I can't help you any.

    Far from determined? Yeah, right. A cop finds a joint in someone's car and arrests them, and (s)he doesn't know what the outcome of a trial is likely to be?

    In addition, I sure hope you're not suggesting that every good and decent officer should walk off the job because of unjust laws, just so we can hire the dregs to replace them.

    No, I'm not. I'm suggesting that it's not a mortal sin to feel some schadenfreude if an officer who went out of his or her way to get drug busts winds up in a situation where the drug laws hurt him or her.

  • ||

    Don't tell me what I'm sanctioning. I specifically said i don't sanction the punishment but i do get some joy out of of seeing a cop get a taste of his own medicine.
    your right, i don't know for a fact that he deals drugs. (that's why i made that distinction in my post)
    I have two cops in my extended family, i've had cops as neighbors, and i've lived in rural, suburban, and urban areas so i think i have a good sampling; i think it is safe to say the vast majority of cops are immoral, power-hungry, uneducated, self righteous, rage-addicted assholes.

  • ||

    Assuming, however, that he did arrest people, he should suffer exactly as he caused others to suffer.

    He already has. He got arrested. That's the extent of the "suffering he's caused", so there you go. Justice served.

    The question of how many people he busted - and I have no indication that he busted anyone - is entirely relevant.

    Only because you've chosen to make it as such.

    Most of you all would (rightly) be in arms if someone was charged with thirty years in prison for getting his wife painkillers.

    But he might have arrested people! Good-bye, pig...sure glad we have that statute on the books, eh?

  • ||

    I honestly don't see a logical problem with being against the statute, but gloating when it is applied to someone who has (presumably) been enforcing it.
    If i were on the jury, I'd try to acquit. If i met him after the trial, I'd tell him it serves him right.

  • ||

    I see no moral distinction between procuring pain killers because you're loved one is in pain from a medical condition or is in pain with withdrawal. Pain is pain.

  • ||

    Far from determined? Yeah, right. A cop finds a joint in someone's car and arrests them, and (s)he doesn't know what the outcome of a trial is likely to be?

    Yes, crimethink...far from determined. Concentration camps = death and enslavement. Trials = ???. So, start over.

    d love to see thoreau and you defend that response in the case of bin Laden

    Again, if you're so around-the-bend that you think that a cop who arrested people is analogous to OBL, I'm inclined to let you fall over that cliff.

    I specifically said i don't sanction the punishment but i do get some joy out of of seeing a cop get a taste of his own medicine.

    "I don't sanction the punishment, but I do enjoy seeing a cop getting said punishment".

    Maybe that makes sense in your mind, but we don't live in Pinette-world.

    i think it is safe to say the vast majority of cops are immoral, power-hungry, uneducated, self righteous, rage-addicted assholes.

    I think it's safe to say that you have a self-selected sample and see what you want to see. Not a surprise coming from what I've seen of you in this thread: "I've lived a lot of places! And I have some cop family! I know stuff!"

    Get real.

  • Episiarch||

    Do you not actually know any police officers?

    I knew several NYPD officers. While they never told me anything that would indicate they were actively evil (but they wouldn't anyway), they had the same traits as every cop I've ever encountered. They believe they are better than regular people, should not be subject to the myriad of unjust laws that they enforce on others, that they have some special right to firearms that regular people shouldn't have, and that they are somehow morally superior just because they are cops.

    And those are the "good" ones.

  • Episiarch||

    So Randian, break it down for us. Are you defending cops because you are related to one, are one, or have friends that are cops?

  • ||

    And those are the "good" ones.

    How convenient for your position that even the best cops you know fit your stereotype. Lemme guess...you came up with the results and then did the study?

  • ||

    I think A_R has some sand you-know-where today.

    Get it.

    Because of where he's sitting?

    ...

    Oh, screw you guys, I'm gonna go troll the Lenin thread...

  • ||

    So Randian, break it down for us. Are you defending cops because you are related to one, are one, or have friends that are cops?

    *eye roll*

    The idea of "principles" must be hard for you.

  • Episiarch||

    How convenient for your position that even the best cops you know fit your stereotype.

    Actually, it's very depressing. Every cop I've ever met displays these traits in varying degrees. Not one has seemed like a normal person.

  • Episiarch||

    The idea of "principles" must be hard for you.

    What principle? That cops are good? Cops are human, like everybody else. They have too much power. What's that old saying about power and corruption?

  • ||

    Ayn_Randian,

    The reason that so many gloat over this kind of stuff is probably best explained by Cop of the Year over at The Agitator. Note the consequences of doing your sworn duty as a law enforcement officer. Note also his fellow officers reactions via the union.

    I don't propose eliminating the police, but I'm open to suggestions on how we can get law abiding public servants in the ranks. Right now we have a barely controlled street gang in major U.S. cities.

  • thoreau||

    What I see is a man who did something desperate because his wife is in pain.

    I pity both of them.

  • ||

    Hey everybody, how's my no obscenities New Years resolution coming so far?

  • Episiarch||

    Hey everybody, how's my no obscenities New Years resolution coming so far?

    Fucking great.

    What I see is a man who did something desperate because his wife is in pain.

    What I see is someone who most likely has arrested people who were doing something desperate (yet not harming anyone) because they or someone they cared about was in pain--being arrested himself for the same thing.

  • ||

    What principle?

    "Innocent until proven guilty"
    "Justice for all."

    You know, those principles.

    Right now we have a barely controlled street gang in major U.S. cities.

    Alright, Reason does good work, but it (and Balko) highlights bad cases to further its cause.

    I don't think it's nearly as bad as you think it is...you don't know what barely controlled street gangs look like, dude.

    I'd almost say "get out of the echo-chamber", but if I can't drink, then what's the point?

  • ||

    What I see is someone who most likely has arrested people who were doing something desperate (yet not harming anyone) because they or someone they cared about was in pain--being arrested himself for the same thing.

    Fine, he was arrested. There you go, he's "felt their pain", whatever that was worth to you.

  • ||

    I don't think it's nearly as bad as you think it is...you don't know what barely controlled street gangs look like, dude.

    I do. I live in DETROIT. And the cops are one of them.

  • ||

    AR,
    I think most here at hit-and-run understand those principles.
    It's the cops that don't understand those principles.

  • Balloon Maker||

    Hydrocodone, on the hands-free phone
    The '84 zone, on them blades, 20-inch chrome
    If you got 16, you can get a biz-zerd
    I'm choking on that doja sweet and sipping on that sizz-erp

    /Three 6 Mafia

  • ||

    Ayn Randian -
    One last point how is this different than the no snitching shirts?

    As Secretary of the APOA i feel it is my duty and responsibility to apologize to you and your officers. Ofc. Sam Costales does not represent APD/APOA. The majority of our officers look at the BCSO as our brother and sisters in blue. We are embarrassed and ashamed of Ofc. Costales's testimony in the Unser trial. If there is anything we can do to rebuild the damage caused by Sam please let me know.

    My streety gang comparison holds, thank you.

  • ||

    I do. I live in DETROIT. And the cops are one of them.

    I live in Baghdad. Wanna trade?

    No, J sub, despite your hyperbole, I very much doubt you honestly fear leaving your house for fear of the cops. That's the hallmark of barely-controlled street gangs.

    Perspective, please.

  • Matt Moore||

    Wasn't there just a supreme court ruling that said that trading a gun for drugs was not the same was using a gun in the process of selling illegal drugs?

  • ||

    I think most here at hit-and-run understand those principles.

    You might, Pinette, except they went right out the window when it came to a police officer, whose guilt or innocence as it pertains to the drug war in general and in this case specifically haven't been determined.

  • ||

    I live in Baghdad. Wanna trade?

    Nope. Our street gang police force is barely controlled. Baghdad's isn't.

  • ||

    Oh, ours are barely controlled; they're certainly not running rampant and doing what the hell they want to do, now are they?

  • ||

    you are right, AR, that we don't know if he every busted someone for possession or sale of drugs, or if he is in fact guilty of the crime he's charged with.(a point I've conceded since the beginning)
    So lets make it a hypothetical, say he is guilty of buying illegal drugs, and he has, in the past, busted people for buying illegal drugs. He's the worst kind of hypocrite you are saying I shouldn't feel so much contempt for him and sense a little bit of justice in his plight?

  • ||

    A_R, why are you bringing up "where you are right now"? What relevance does that have?

  • ||

    thoreau,

    You still haven't answered whether you feel pity for bin Laden.

    I know you're trying to be a swell guy and all (and I belive you are such), but your statement comes off as an indictment of those who would condition their pity on him not being a drug buster himself.

  • ||

    A_R, why are you bringing up "where you are right now"? What relevance does that have?

    Well, crimethink...answer this: Iraq War, moral or immoral?

    And where does that put me in reference to guilt?

  • ||

    Somehow being in Iraq makes randian more moral I guess. Not that anybody accused him of being immoral, but he took it that way. I think he considers himself a cop in some ways.
    maybe he's MP..?
    Being a part of an immoral and unnecessary war that has killed hundreds of thousands certainly does not suggest to me that a person is moral.

  • ||

    Oh, ours are barely controlled; they're certainly not running rampant and doing what the hell they want to do, now are they?

    The news here indicates as much. That a functioning society MAY be emerging. Hoping for the best for you over in that hellhole. Come home safe and let us all know when you get back.

  • ||

    He's the worst kind of hypocrite you are saying I shouldn't feel so much contempt for him and sense a little bit of justice in his plight?

    OK, I'll stipulate. Maybe there's a little bit of emotional "gotcha!" to be had, but if it's unjust for one person to go through it (due to the nature of the crime), then it's unjust for all, regardless of background.

  • ||

    I don't think Ayn Randian started the Iraq war, nor do I think he's responsible for keeping it going. It's not the same case as an officer who goes out of his or her way to make drug busts (which a lot of officers do, seeking the glory and brownie pts that drug busts give).

    Are you there as part of the armed services, or are you there by choice? (serious question)

  • ||

    Well, crimethink...answer this: Iraq War, moral or immoral?

    I struggled with that for 20 years. An immoral practice, often waged by moral people for moral purposes? Best I could ever come up with.

  • ||

    AR,
    I think we agree on that point, we just lean differently. I was only arguing for the legitimacy of that 'gotcha'. I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
    but, like i said, if i were on his jury i'd do everything i could to acquit.

  • ||

    if it's unjust for one person to go through it (due to the nature of the crime), then it's unjust for all, regardless of background.

    Well, I agree with that. It's sort of like the feeling you get when the bad guy gets impaled on a metal rod at the end of a movie, even though you don't think it's right to go around impaling people.

  • ||

    Somehow being in Iraq makes randian more moral I guess.

    I never said that. But it seems to me that there's a lot of "This guy participated in a grave injustice (Drug War); it's good and proper that he receive a little bit of what he's been dishing out to innocents" Now, take "Drug" out and put "Iraq" in and ask yourself what punishment I deserve, if any.

    Being a part of an immoral and unnecessary war that has killed hundreds of thousands certainly does not suggest to me that a person is moral.

    Alright, so send it...what's to be my comeuppance? Said LEO got arrested and that seems to be "just" in your mind because he was participating in an "immoral and unnecessary" war...so what's my Karmic punishment to be?

  • ||

    Are you there as part of the armed services, or are you there by choice?

    We live in a country that has an All-Volunteer Force.

    Shouldn't I have quit the Army instead of participating in this unjust war?

  • ||

    AR,
    that's a very difficult question,

    if you are over there fighting this war knowing that it is wrong and we shouldn't be there, than I really feel for you. I know there's nothing you can do about it and I'm sorry for you.
    But if you have actually killed people that don't deserve to die... well, than yes, i am prepped to call you immoral.
    I'm sorry.

  • ||

    A cop can leave his job the moment he realizes how much damage he is doing to innocent people.
    a member of the armed services does not have that luxury. you may have joined as a naive kid and are now stuck following orders or else you end up in jail.

  • ||

    I'm sorry.

    Don't apologize to me! Your judgment is your judgment; I was prepared for that. You'll forgive me if I don't leap to agree with you, however.

    But if you have actually killed people that don't deserve to die

    I sense this devolving into a Hiroshima argument pretty quickly.

  • ||

    Pinette - that's a good parsing of the situation...seriously, it is.

    Except for the fact that the "naive kid" thing does not fly, because in order to have fought in the Iraq War, you have to be 18, which makes you an adult.

    Interesting, no?

    And what an analogous situation: there are good and bad Soldiers, there are good and bad cops. There are good and bad things the Armed Forces do, there are good and bad things cops do. Drug War is immoral to libertarians; Iraq War is immoral to most libertarians.

    I have pondered this for a while. No solutions yet.

  • ||

    But if you have actually killed people that don't deserve to die... well, than yes, i am prepped to call you immoral.

    Wrong! Fog of war and all that. Innocent people die in wars all the time that is not the fault or responsibility of those who pulled the trigger. It wasn't me that pushed the fire button on the Vincennes that brought down that innocent Iranian civilian airliner, but it easily could have been. Did you knowingly kill an innocent person probably isn't even a fair question in war because bombing does it, and the practitioners know and agonize over it. Did you try/desire to kill innocent people during a war might be a fairer question.

    War sucks, and nobody is more aware of that than the SANE practioners of it.

  • ||

    well i didn't LITERALLY mean 'kid'.
    you know what i meant.
    I'm done with this one, and FWIW, I feel a little dirty and I sorta think i was wrong on a couple of points.
    later guys.

  • ||

    War sucks, and nobody is more aware of that than the SANE practioners of it.

    Props for that.

    Makes you wonder, though...Hitler didn't actually kill anybody, but you can bet that had we caught him alive he'd have been at the end of a rope.

    Why do we go after leaders but not soldiers? Who pulled the trigger, after all?

  • ||

    I feel a little dirty

    Weeelll, yeah, but life is messy like that.

    I'm coming to that realization more and more.

  • ||

    Did you knowingly kill an innocent person probably isn't even a fair question in war because bombing does it, and the practitioners know and agonize over it.

    Sure we agonize...however, our lack of ability to sleep at night does not raise people from the dead, does it?

  • ||

    I think who cares why he did it. He broke the law just like u or me he should be prosecuted to bad he got sucked into his wifes addiction cause if she was in real pain go to the doctor my doc gives me pain meds if I need them maybe she was just abusing them to bad he got sucked in and fucked up his life cause of her. Bet she is to busy trying to get more narcotics than trying to get him out stupid bitch

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