Drug War

L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Accused of Selling Drugs, Offering Protection to Dealers

Arrested by the FBI, the deputy will be suspended without pay during the criminal case.

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via Fox 11

The FBI arrested Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Collins, along with three other men, during a sting operation this week. Collins thought he was arriving for a drug deal. Instead he was charged with drug trafficking.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Collins was recorded discussing "his extensive drug trafficking network, past criminal conduct, and willingness to accept bribes to use his law enforcement status for criminal purposes." He was allegedly involved in protection for a marijuana grow house (pot is now legal in California) and in the delivery of meth (still illegal across the country).

The allegations against Collins illustrate a fundamental flaw in government prohibition: Where sufficient demand exists for a prohibited good or service, there will be incentives to elude law enforcement—and law enforcement officers are not themselves exempt from such incentives. For them, in fact, the incentives can be more powerful, given the ways police work is shielded from accountability. Civil service protections and union contract provisions have ensured that many departments are unable to discipline unscrupulous officers appropriately.

Collins was also an instructor in life skills for former inmates. According to the Times, one of the other men charged with Collins appears to have been a student in the program.

Collins' employer, the Sheriff's Department, insisted it informed federal authorities about the accusations against Collins and was cooperating with the investigation. Collins remained on the payroll. He has now been placed on leave, and according to the Sheriff's Department will be suspended without pay during the criminal case.

The Sheriff's Department should not be obliged to wait for a criminal verdict before firing Collins. Criminal cases require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because they involve government trying to deprive individuals of their freedom. Employment decisions should have far lower burdens of proof: Employment with the government is a privilege, not a right.

In 2016, the most recent year available on the OpenGovUS project, Collins' salary was reported as $130,145, plus $54,000 worth of benefits. The salary includes a base of $102,226, plus nearly $20,000 in overtime, $5,000 in "other earnings," including shift pay, allowances, and bonuses, and $3,000 in "leave time payouts." His earnings were more than three times the median salary in Los Angeles County.

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  1. Collins was also an instructor in life skills for former inmates. According to the Times, one of the other men charged with Collins appears to have been a student in the program.

    Does this mean the guy passed the course, or failed it?

    1. The academy heavily focuses on life coaching, but also includes practical elements of career development, entrepreneurship, literacy and financial education.

      Seems he passed it.

  2. I’m speechless.

  3. Yeah, but how much did he make selling dope?

    And are they confiscating his cars and house?

    1. And shooting his dog?

  4. 120k? Jesus…

  5. Reason shows it understands that working for the government is a privilege, not a right, but it simply cannot connect the dots and understand that privileges are the object of so called called income taxes, and rights are not.
    The REASON is that the libertarian/conservative establishment has simply not researched the history and meaning of the so called income tax. They cannot grasp that the phrase “income tax” is as meaningless legally as the phrase “hate crimes”. There is NO INCOME TAX in America. The REASON is that to tax income directly would be an un-apportioned direct tax, which the Supreme Court has consistently said is not the purpose and effect of the 16th Amendment. The so called income tax is rather an excise tax, and like all excise taxes is laid on the privilege, while income is merely the measure of the privilege.
    IOW, the US INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX is a classical liberal public office duty, a tax on the exploitation of a government privilege for profit. It took an ordinary libertarian from Michigan, Pete Hendrickson, to figure out how to file the correct income tax returns that will refund all withheld taxes, or stop collection of non-withheld taxes, but federal and state, and including payroll taxes. Unfortunately, libertarians have shown themselves to be more eager to make tax collection more convenient, rather than fight for choice in taxation. http://www.losthorizons.com

  6. He would be in less – well, no – trouble if he’d beaten or shot someone. This, however, they (eventually) cannot abide.

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