How many drug dealers does it take to supply a 10,000-person community? Or, is Twiggs County, Georgia, the latest Tulia?

Pete Guither over at Drug WarRant has spotted a report on what looks to be a suspiciously large number of drug busts -- 17, with 11 more warrants pending, all following a six-month undercover investigation -- in the sparsely populated Twiggs County in Georgia. Twiggs has 10,184 residents, at latest count -- the largest city, Jeffersonville, boasts a mere 1,028 residents. The county is so small, in terms of its population, that there is exactly one auto repair shop. Which raises the question, can a county that small really support 28 drug dealers? The same question came up in the Tulia scandal, where about 46 people, almost all of them black, were convicted and imprisoned for drug dealing based on the testimony of a rogue cop, who as it turns out had made it all up. Many of the names listed in the indictment have an African American sound to them. Comments from local officials also raise questions about the operation's timing. In issue #520 of the Chronicle, we reported that Congress had substantially cut funding for the federal grant programs that support these kinds of task forces and that law enforcement organizations were engaged in a massive lobbying/media campaign to try to get the funding back. Twiggs police clearly had that situation in mind when they spoke with the press:
Officials, however, are concerned about the future of such major operations. Special agent Martin Zon of the GBI's state drug task force said federal funding for the task force has been cut by nearly 70 percent in the newest budget. Once it takes effect in July, the budget cuts could hamper law enforcement efforts in the drug war. "We've been a recipient of these funds for many years, and in December we learned that these grants would be cut drastically," Zon said. "Our budget was cut by 70 percent, which cuts our ability to fulfill requests from places like Twiggs." Mitchum said he's also concerned that he may not have certain state resources to call upon in the future. "The task force is a big help to departments our size," he said. "We use their equipment, their personnel, their expertise. We wouldn't want to see their funding cut. It's really important they keep it."
If it is a case of law enforcement busting people as taxpayer-funded lobbying for funding, it would be nothing new -- Pete pointed out such a case in Kentucky last year, and I noted a 2006 press release from the California Attorney General's office that directly admitted it, in a previous blog post on that topic. There are other examples, too.
Jeffersonville, GA
United States
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Everyone should keep a close eye on this one, what happened in tulia is not uncommon and will continue to happen as long as the Grants that supply funds to these task force units exist. These grants are nothing short of a bounty on citizens and guilt has nothing to do with it. Law Enforcement will not let go of this kind of funding without a fight and will do whatever they can to keep the money flowing. In Tulia the arrest were based on a law enforcement officer with no credibility yet all of those people were convicted based only on his testimony. In Oregon 24 people were arrested based on the testimony of a school bus driver who was a agent for law enforcement. The trials revealed the agent was mentally ill and had a history of drug and alcohol abuse yet all of these people were convicted.

about the alll of this

i am very anti-racist, but as i see it. it seems like about 70% of drug dealers are black, and those who support that drugs should be legal are black. no racism intended, but you shouldnt bash the police because they are aresting african american people. there doing there job. this all makes no sense. but the main idea was that dont give all police a bad rep becuase there doing there job, they have to do it. and have you ever noticed all of the drug busts usualy find loaded guns, the drug dealers are usualy prepared to kill a cop for a few pounds of weed, why shouldnt the cops prepare to fight back

We have a clairvoiant anti-racist here guys!

How do you know the guns are loaded and ready to shoot cops?! Five of them (cops), total, died in drug raids, last year, according to recent information on here. The guns are more to protect the dealers from other, criminal types, who kill over drug deals. That is what the war on "drugs" causes. And, the racist attitude, that they are 70% black, has long been debunked, as well. Maybe that is why 68% of the people in prison for drugs are black?! That, when only 15% are users!?

Your brain needs some food! Your entire reasoning lacks any credibility. Do you read anything about this at all? You seem very uninformed. It really does appear that you might have to look at your "anti-racist" standing! I, also, don't see too many black faces on this web site, either! So your claim that it is mostly blacks, wanting drug legalization, is, likely, very wrong, also! And leaving drugs illegal is the reason school kids can get them so easily. Guess what! Drug dealers don't card! We are handing the kids to them on a silver platter!

The guy facing a murder charge for shooting a cop at a midnight raid, thinking it was a burglar, now faces murder charges and has the death of a policeman on his consious. Too bad they did not charge any of them with murder when they raided Ms Johnston's house and killed her! Oh, but she was black, and a "perp"!

Malkavian's picture

Most of this started with racism

You gotta go back and see how all this misery was birthed, then you gotta track forward and see how this got institutionalized (check out the book "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray).

Every expert on the matter knows - and can demonstrate - that the drug laws originated in a mix of racism and fear of immigrants. That's why the law targeted these drugs primarily used by minorities (opium smoking by the Chine and later marijuana by Mexicans and blacks).

This was the first step of adding insult to injury for an already despised and downtrodden minority of non-whites. The Drug War has ever since deepened every problem connected with these racial issues.

One thing is that those people targeted by the police often end up having their lives and families crushed. A family with several children growing up i a poor neighborhood face a tough challenge, but imprison the father for 25 years because of some minuscule possession or "trade" in illegal drugs and you have CREATED your next generation of lost children.

Another is that the targeting is still very much "racist". Blacks and hispanics are arrested and prosecuted much more often than their richer, whiter and more drug using peers. And whites are given much more lenient punishments for their drug use, possession and trade (did Paris Hilton go behind bars for 45 days or 45 years ... she'd have gotten the latter if she'd been black most likely).

Part of the popularity of busting blacks and other minorities comes from the fact that it's a great deal funnier (and much more possible) to make dramatic busts in the poor inner city cores than somehow using VAST resources on working your way up to a bunch of rich, white kids doing cocaine in the security of their homes. Arresting white kids in their pretty well-functioning environments just isn't as good TV as busting some no-good black in his poverty stricken, hopeless neighborhood that's riddled with Drug War widows and their "orphaned" kids.


they have been getting the funds for many years, but now that the funds are being cut by 70% they find 17 drug dealers and possibly 11 more . for about all this, if I were a drug dealer I would have a loaded gun in my home to, but not for the cops. How many of the cops were black ?

70% of what? cops fight back?

70% of drug dealers are black? That's news -- or is that misconception another one of those "unintended consequences" of drug law enforcement that targets minorities?

Every drug raid is a terrorist attack; and it's not the drug dealers doing the attacking. It's not the drug dealers running around launching grenades into our homes, kicking in our doors and threatening our children with loaded guns. No, it's the cops -- fighting back.

crime ridden georgia

its true georgia is crime ridden .and the biggest gang causing the most trouble is the gbi and their little minions the drug task force .the whole bunch should be investigated by the fbi.stopping that funding is the best thing to happen in a long time

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