Crooked narcotics informants on the Dallas police payroll in 2001 operated like a highly regimented drug gang, planting powdery packages containing worthless billiards chalk on innocent people, witnesses in the trial of one of the informants testified Tuesday.
Each informant had specific duties. Some purchased cones of billiards chalk by the caseload. Others crushed the cones into powder before compressing it into bricks and wrapping it with cellophane to resemble kilo-sized packages of cocaine. Still others took part in the insidious task of selecting innocent people for arrest, witnesses said.
The bigger the buy, the more the police would pay them.
One police officer has already been convicted of lying and several others face a bunch of charges.
Over a year ago, the Dallas News said:
We need to get to the bottom of what happened, and the city has every right to dig and dig until it hits the floor — no matter how much dust is kicked up in the process.
This case points out one of the problems with the drug war in general. It encourages poor and/or corrupt police work and corruption, and the use of unreliable and/or dishonest informants.