Newsbrief: Baltimore's "Federal Day" is No Holiday for Some 8/23/02

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Baltimore's court system has long strained to handle the load of cases resulting from the city's ongoing war on its 60,000-strong addict community. On Wednesday, August 14, though, the local courts got a holiday of sorts. In joint operations, about 300 local police officers and 27 agents of the DEA and ATF conducted street sweeps, nabbing 74 people -- all of whom will face federal instead of state drug and/or firearms charges, the Baltimore Sun reported.

While the unannounced "Federal Day" will free up Baltimore courts for a few days, it also ensures that those arrested will not go free for much longer than if they were prosecuted in state courts.

US Attorney Thomas M. DiBagio told reporters that, "The biggest, baddest, the worst offenders are going to end up in the [federal] courtrooms."

But no matter who is conducting or prosecuting them, street sweeps by definition nab only those on the streets selling cocaine and heroin at the retail level, certainly not the "biggest" movers and shakers. On the other hand, the sweeps do create black market employment opportunities for the next generation of the city's youth, for whom the arrests create an opportunity for upward mobility.

On the bright side, as part of the operation authorities opened up a closed library branch -- but only for use as a temporary holding facility for those arrested.

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Issue #251, 8/23/02 Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead: Bob Barr Defeated in Georgia Primary | Canadian Government Backs Away from Medical Marijuana, But Advocates See No Big Defeat | NJ Weedman Jailed for Exercising Free Speech Rights -- Advocating Marijuana Legalization Violates Parole Conditions, Says State | Seattle Hempfest Draws 150,000 for Smoking, Shopping and Rabble Rousing | Newsbrief: State Dept. Official Forced to Eat Crow on FARC-Al Qaeda Link | Newsbrief: Nevada Marijuana Initiative Campaign Gains Ally | Newsbrief: French Government Moving Against Raves | Newsbrief: Baltimore's "Federal Day" is No Holiday for Some | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Boom Continues, Second Crop Coming | Newsbrief: SAMHSA DAWN Study Out, Drug Czar Quick to Spin | Newsbrief: DEA Wants to Schedule 2C-T-7 | Newsbrief: Can We Make That a Line Item? Alabama County Gets Blatant on Asset Forfeiture as Revenue Enhancer | Newsbrief: Wichita Judge Scolds Drug Squad for Misconduct | Media Scan: New Scientist, JAMA, Forbes, ReconsiDer, MTF, BJS, CASA | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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