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Former officer pleads guilty on drug charges

Former head of a drug enforcement task group pled guilty to drug and corruption charges this week. The officer had been stealing the drugs from the police evidence lockers and operating a brothel. At the time, he was the commander of the Central Costa County Narcotics Enforcement Team, a now disbanded police task force that had been used to for drug raids.

He had been arrested with a private investigator by the FBI on a grand jury indictment for "for stealing drugs, operating a brothel and conducting phony sting operations to rob prostitutes." According to the news report, his criminal defense attorney stated that he had decided to plead guilty after reviewing the evidence.

One of the more dangerous elements of the ongoing war on drugs is the potential for corruption of law enforcement. The "war" limits the supply, driving up the price, and making the profits from the distribution of drugs much greater.

The mountains of cash involved in drug trafficking can tempt police and other law enforcement to attempt to get a piece of the action for themselves. In addition to selling drugs, the officer worked with the private investigator to operate a brothel and he used his position in law enforcement to protect the brothel, to the point of ordering raids on brothels that competed with his "business."

Another form of corruption that can occur is when law enforcement agencies become "addicted" to the funds the capture and otherwise derives from seizing assets from those they arrest on drug charges.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Ex-police officer will plead guilty in drug case," December 4, 2012

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