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October 2003
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Your tax dollars hard at work!

A picture named virginia.jpg
University of Virginia:

At a press conference last Friday, local authorities announced the indictment of 33 people on charges of drug distribution and sales… The arrests mark the conclusion of a 15-month undercover operation conducted by the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement (JADE) Task Force. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Spring Break Down,” involved agents from the Charlottesville, University and Albemarle County police departments, the Virginia State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. These law enforcement officials were aided in the investigation by several University students and employees.

Wow! What a massive operation! Look at all those agencies. Must have cost a fortune! But obviously a success, right? After all, 33 indictments, must have been a major drug ring…
Nope. No drug ring. Just a bunch of students and staff at a university selling marijuana and other drugs (much as you would find at any university in the world, without needing 15 months of investigation). They weren’t even connected. And what did they seize? $20,000-$22,000 worth of drugs. That’s about $650 per person indicted.
Each could face up to 10 years in prison. If so, the cost to taxpayers would be approximately seven million dollars, not counting the costs of trials and the 15 month investigation.
So how do you like your drug war?
See the articles on this bust from the Cavalier Daily here, here(!), here, and here. (Thanks to Michael on the discussion group of SSDP for the links.)

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