Drug War

Dead Informants Highlight the Drug War's Cruel Chain of Betrayal

60 Minutes explains how young, low-level offenders are drafted into the war on drugs.

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Sadek family

This week 60 Minutes explained how cops pressure young, low-level drug offenders unto serving as confidential informants, sometimes with fatal consequences. In my latest Forbes column, I consider how drug warriors defend this reckless, deceitful practice:

On November 22, 2013, his 20th birthday, Andrew Sadek sat down across a table from Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Weber at the Law Enforcement Center in Wahpeton, North Dakota. It was the day after cops had searched Sadek's dorm room at the North Dakota State College of Science, finding "an orange plastic grinder with marijuana residue on the inside." It was more than seven months after a confidential informant had caught Sadek on tape selling him small amounts of marijuana: an eighth of an ounce for $60 on April 4 and a gram for $20 on April 9. It was seven months before Sadek was fished out of the Red River near Breckenridge, Minnesota, dead from a gunshot wound to the head and weighed down by a backpack full of rocks.

Sadek's journey from small-time pot dealer to waterlogged corpse, which was highlighted by 60 Minutes last Sunday, dramatically illustrates the dangers faced by young, legally naïve drug offenders who are pressured by the threat of imprisonment to do unto others what was done unto them. Even at a time when the collapse of pot prohibition seems inevitable, drug warriors insist this cruel, occasionally deadly chain of betrayal is essential to their work. They may be right about that, but their work is fundamentally immoral, employing unethical means to achieve an ever-elusive goal that a just government would never pursue.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: Big Fat Target

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  1. Can we talk about the real victim here? It’s Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Weber, who didn’t get his full five easy pots busts out of his surrogate law enforcement officer. Now he’s going to have to do the work himself.

    1. Now he’s going to have to do the work himself.

      Good, maybe he’ll end up a waterlogged corpse himself.

      1. Of all the reasons he won’t be doing the work himself, that is probably the last on the list.
        Laziness and stupidity will top the list.

        1. Oh I know, we can always dream though.

  2. Squad-centric missions involving teams of men and women who are trained to embrace intense commonality against any number of predetermined ‘enemies’ will strikingly unify to such an extent that morality and ethics become a distracting ether.

    How do you think any military manages the thoughtful, sensitive, distracted, or horrified when these objects are required to offer up their lives and limbs for causes with blank spaces for rationality? These human objects are educated to be unified around concepts of human commonality within the squad ethos for self-protection and the shared fulfillment of objective achievement.

    Translate this military aspect into all levels of how the Drug War is battled and it is easy to see how groups and units of law enforcement types can engage in practically any type of behavior no matter how unsettling to the reasoned mind.

    1. Agile, rockin out our morning.

      Is anyone else straight up fuckin off at work right now?

      1. This early? I’m in my pajamas. Its bathroom rush hour in my house.

      2. Friday is my day off, just enjoying breakfast atIHOP, waiting for the morning links.

      3. This is my last day of work this year. My brain is already out the door.

  3. Such fucken heroes these cops.

  4. Wife: How was your day honey?
    Cop: It was great. I tell ya we’re really gonna win this war on drugs.
    Wife: Good for you. Lemme prepare you some chili.
    Cop: I mean, today, we managed to coerce some kid into being our informant. You had to see me swindle the kid. I mean, it’s not like I twisted his arm or anything. We’re all responsible for our own action, right? Right, Linda? I’m a good person, right?
    Wife: Yes you are pumpkin.
    Cop: Yeh. It’s gonna be sweet when we bust him and his friends.

    /Looks away from Linda and mutters to himself.

    Cop: If he die so be it. Collateral damage for a noble cause.

    1. You seem to think these cops have souls and feelings, all evidence to the contrary.
      I watched the interviews, and those pigs could barely keep from laughing with glee over destroying a persons life. Its obvious they could care less if the snitches come to harm, and blame the doper for any harm that befalls them.

      How can a person with any shred of humanity lie to 20 year old kid, telling him he will spend the next 40 years being beaten by psychotic sadists, and sodomized by perverted gang members when they don’t even mention the inmates.

      I think every kid should be shown this video before leaving home, along with the video about talking to cops.
      I would say that I sincerely hope these cops receive exactly the pain they caused, but expect that would be asking for a War On Cops.

    2. You seem to think these cops have souls and feelings, all evidence to the contrary.
      I watched the interviews, and those pigs could barely keep from laughing with glee over destroying a persons life. Its obvious they could care less if the snitches come to harm, and blame the doper for any harm that befalls them.

      How can a person with any shred of humanity lie to 20 year old kid, telling him he will spend the next 40 years being beaten by psychotic sadists, and sodomized by perverted gang members when they don’t even mention the inmates.

      I think every kid should be shown this video before leaving home, along with the video about talking to cops.
      I would say that I sincerely hope these cops receive exactly the pain they caused, but expect that would be asking for a War On Cops.

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