Before ‘Black Lives Matter’ ever was an inkling in people’s minds, some people across the US were claiming that police were involved in more than just busting criminals. This subtle and vastly under-publicized conspiracy theory goes like this: The cops, and sometimes even the government, are not removing illegal substances from the street. They are promulgating them and eliminating other dealers who pose a risk to their lucrative business in the trade.
Usually, this conspiracy theory has taken root in the ghettos of America, where street-savvy individuals and hip-hop artists claim the substances going around, especially crack and cocaine, are being sold by police officers or dealers who have financial ties to the local PD. Most of this sounds like urban legend and rumor, and to be honest and true to fact, some of it maybe is. But while the fact of the matter is that a vast network of this sort has not been substantiated to any major degree, there’s also been an alarming number of cops in recent years arrested by the FBI for selling the substances they bust dealers for every day.
Here’s a look at 15 different times the police and government have been accused of the ultimate hypocrisy in their line of business: busting people for drugs and then reselling.
15.15. Zach de la Rocha
We might all remember Zach de la Rocha from the 90s and his static-filled, Reggae-meets-metal rapping style with Rage Against the Machine. His major hit back then was ‘Killing In The Name Of’, a song whose rebellious and protest-oriented overtones resonated with the counterculture’s disillusionment with the government and the powers that be. Well, it turns out that, like KRS-One, Zach de la Rocha shared the elder rapper’s undying belief that the cops are in fact keeping the crack problem going in the inner city, not curbing it, as they say in the media. In the government protest song, “CIA (Criminals in Action),” Zach joined forces with KRS-One in a revealing rhyme about the true nature of the CIA and the police. During the track, Zach states in his typically irate brand of lyricism that “the cops got a network for the toxic rock.” Obviously, we know from previous points in this refrain that he’s referring to crack.
14. Mike Gill
Mike Gill isn’t a recording artist, nor is he an entertainer. He’s a watchdog journalist from Derry, NH, who also ran for governor of New Hampshire in this last election. While you might think a pleasant, rural place like New Hampshire is immune from such problems such as those in the ghetto, you might want to consider thinking about that issue again. The heroin problem in the state has skyrocketed in recent years, but Gill isn’t claiming the problem is the result of the cartel or some other clandestine organizations like the mafia. He’s claiming the politicians and cops in this state are actually profiting from the heroin epidemic and making tons of money off it. Gill recently did 10 days in jail for being in contempt to court. During that time in jail, Gill said he heard about cops in the jail selling heroin to inmates inside their cell. Even more alarming, Gill alleges, some of these inmates were dying in prison due to heroin overdoses.
13. Fresno, CA – Cops Get Caught
Last March in 2015, the media announced that one of Fresno’s deputy chiefs, one of three that head the local police department, was accused of possessing and dealing heroin, marijuana, and oxycodone. The arrest came at the tail end of a year-long investigation into the issue by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF. Three other suspects, who were not police, were arrested in the case. Foster was allegedly using these suspects to help him sell the varieties of substances that he had in his possession. The FBI investigation involved wiretapping Foster for a period of time, during which Foster spoke with dealers about selling China white, a code name for black tar heroin.
12. KRS-One’s Allegations
While KRS-One may not be on the Top 40, many hip-hop fans regard him as the greatest MC of all time, both in terms of his discourse level, which is often political, and because of his virtuoso acumen on the mic. It turns out that one of KRS-One’s favorite, or least favorite, topics is the police, whom he often verbally batons in his lyrics with a degree of audacity not seen in many artists. (Some might wonder if they want to say this stuff, but they don’t.) On two occasions throughout KRS’ lengthy career, he has lambasted the police for selling rather than stopping the sale of such illegal substances. The first song he did this was released in 1997 and was called ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’, and it recounts what appears to be his personal experiences being a ghetto weed dealer, though we’re not sure if this is a fictional account. In one part of the track, KRS-One says, “I used to worry about the competition on the block, but now the competition on the block is the cops.” A second song on the issue, released last year, is called ‘Drugs Won’, and it has this refrain: “We are not the dumb ones. We see how the drugs run. We see where they come from. Governments are selling it, every day one ton. They declared a war on drugs, but drugs won.”
11. Schaumburg Cops Force Dealing
In 2014, The Chicago Tribune reported that three Schaumburg, Illinois cops had been arrested for forcing dealers and informants in town to deal locally while they profited from all the sales. While the upper ranks in the Schaumburg department denied any involvement in the drug ring, the officers all pleaded guilty to the charges in court. This time, it wasn’t the FBI and ATF that investigated the local police department; it was a nearby police department in the neighboring town of Carol Streams. The Carol Streams police got onto the case when a man they arrested told cops he had been forced to sell on orders from the three Schaumburg cops. That launched an investigation into the allegations.
10. Cop Of The Year
Houston cop Noe Juarez was considered such a stalwart and respectful cop in the city that he was at one time awarded “cop of the year” by the city. However, Juarez led a double life that alarmed the city earlier this year: in addition to being a sharp cop on the beat, he was also secretly a cocaine trafficker for the Los Zetas Mexican cartel, a revelation that led to his arrest in early 2016 while he was on duty. The FBI, DEA, and Houston police indicted Juarez on federal charges, including conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of coke. Police told reporters that Juarez had been chaperoning the shipment of vast quantities of the substance across state borders at the bidding of the Los Zetas cartel.
9. Stealing From Dealers
A routine traffic stop turned into a robbery by Philly police in 2010 when three Philly officers pulled over a local heroin supplier, stole $15,000 worth of heroin from the supplier, and resold it right after the pull-over had taken place. The officers probably would have gotten away with the robbery of a supplier if they hadn’t tried to sell the 300 grams of heroin a little later to a federal undercover officer, who arrested the three officers along with three other dealers involved in the money-making scheme. Philly Mayor Michael Nutter tried to stave off all the criticism and media on the issue, telling the media, “We do not employ criminals.” Some, like vocalist Zach de la Rocha, probably wouldn’t agree.
8. The US Government Cartel?
Celerino “Cele” Castillo III worked for 12 years in the DEA where he was active in rounding up suppliers across the globe. After he retired, Castillo, however, didn’t like everything his government was doing in the market and decided to blow the whistle on what some people refer to as the US government drug cartel. According to Castillo, certain parts of the government, not just some isolated police groups, are actively involved in a self-created “narco-empire,” which works in tandem with gangs like the Los Zetas. In an interview with InfoWars, a media group headed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Castillo also stated that the government in this capacity is working not much different than a gang itself. For example, the US government cartel will occasionally strike and kill rival smugglers who are unwilling to pay a cut fee into the US drug-running business.
7. Two School Officers That Dealt
Earlier this year, two police officers in Kansas City made headlines across the country after they were arrested for selling massive amounts of methamphetamines. Ironically, these officers weren’t far away from kids in the city but were both school officers in the Kansas City Public Schools, where they worked in and around the local student body on a regular basis. One of the officers was alleged in the charge to be selling $60,000 worth of meth a week, which amounts to about six pounds. The neighbor living next door to the officer thought it was unusual that his neighbor suddenly had three expensive cars: a Mercedes, a Volvo, and a Cadillac. School administrators said they had no evidence that the two officers were selling such substances to kids in school.
6. The Dealer Arrangement
This past February, two cops in Reynoldsburg, Ohio were hauled in for an arrest after stealing substances that were confiscated during arrests and setting up an exchange deal with a local street dealer. According to media reports, the cops would meet up with the dealer after the seizure took place and then split the proceeds for the resale of the substances. They were caught after the dealer decided to turn tail and become a federal informant. One of the officers plead guilty to the charges. In a disturbing twist to the story, the other officer hung himself in a jail cell. FBI had been doing months of surveillance on the officers prior to their arrests. It’s also been reported that one of the officers, who was lieutenant, falsified search warrants to confiscate drugs on peoples’ properties.
5. Ganga Dealing?
In yet another police arrest this calendar year, a 30-year-old sergeant of the Linden, New Jersey police department was arrested for allegedly dealing weed. The officer was the son of a captain on the squad in the same police department. The sergeant faced charges of both possession and intent to distribute marijuana. We might speculate why so many of these arrests of cops have occurred in 2016 or in 2015. It’s possible that the FBI is cracking down on police criminal activity after some sort of pressure from above. It’s also possible that President Barack Obama, angered as many are in the black community with local police, has been the source of that pressure. The Black Lives Matter movement has certainly rallied a lot of public support for cleaning up any misdeeds by local law enforcement.
4. Canadian Border Run
This past March, three people were arrested by the FBI for allegedly running a vast quantity of pot and molly over the border from Canada and into the US. As it turned out, one of the people hauled in was a female reserve officer for the police department in Linndale Ohio, who also attended Cleveland State University. State and federal authorities had been investigating the smuggling operation for over a year, using wire taps and other surveillance techniques to record phone calls. The agencies also purchased the substances from the smugglers, which included a truck business owner out of Michigan. Sources said the reserve cop was shipping 15 to 20 pounds of high-grade bud to Cleveland every month from the state of Michigan.
3. Selling Near School
A big stipulation of marijuana legalization laws in some states so far that have adopted pot decriminalization measures has been a series of legal clauses opposing weed dealing in front of schools. Since many parents want their children’s schooling areas to be safe havens from substance use, harsher penalties for school dealing have been a widely debated topic in the ongoing drug legalization debate. That idea apparently fell on deaf ears for a juvenile detention officer this past March when she decided to sell some coke and heroin near a local elementary school in New Jersey. The police chief in the community, however, has stated that he didn’t believe the juvenile cop was dealing substances at the juvenile detention center where she worked.
2. Dealer Bribes
In 2013, a fairly large cop scandal erupted when it was discovered that 10 Atlanta cops had taken bribes in exchange for protecting local dealers from harm. A federal indictment found that the dealers had put out the word on the street that he needed some dirty cops out on the street to ensure his deals didn’t go sour. Apparently, the message didn’t turn up empty, as 10 cops quickly came to his aid in exchange for a share of the loot. According to US Attorney Sally Yates, one of the officers also suggested that the dealer conduct his business and trades in a nearby high school parking lot to escape suspicion. The cops also took anywhere between a few thousand to a $7,000 for a single bribe.
1. Huge Bronx Deals
Earlier this year, a former Bronx cop was convicted of selling large quantities of cocaine and molly in the Bronx area, as well as using a shotgun and his on-duty gun to protect dealers while they were engaged in selling. The deals transpired between 2010 and 2014, during which time the cop personally dropped off for sale 40 kilos of coke for buyers. The cop was additionally charged for betraying police strategies and techniques for arrests and surveillance to area Bronx dealers, so the dealers were better able to escape arrest. The cop is facing a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for all of these violations of the law. At the time when he was engaged in the deals, he was an active NYPD officer.