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Federal Government Busts Smugglers Accused of Using Babies to Bring Drugs Into Country
AP ^ | Saturday, December 15

Posted on 12/15/2001 1:45:40 AM PST by Bad~Rodeo

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal officials broke up a sophisticated drug-smuggling ring in which the suspects allegedly used baby formula cans and sometimes even rented babies to sneak cocaine and heroin into the country.

Thirty-five people were charged, including four Chicago parents accused of renting their children for money or drugs. Smugglers allegedly used one infant on six trips - the first at 3 weeks old.

"This operation preyed on the great respect that we as human beings all afford mothers and babies - and betrayed that respect brazenly," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced Friday. "Renting babies for the purpose of allowing drug dealers to smuggle cocaine and heroin is truly a new low in drug smuggling."

Fitzgerald announced indictments alleging Chicago-based conspiracies in which cocaine and heroin were smuggled into the United States from Panama and Jamaica for distribution in Chicago, New York and England between 1996 and 1999.

Those charged included the four parents, organizers, couriers and alleged suppliers in Panama and Jamaica.

Women couriers using 20 infants made at least 34 smuggling trips, Fitzgerald said. The women used either their own children or babies provided to them for the trip.

In Panama, some of the women would be given baby formula cans containing liquid cocaine. Others would insert heroin into their body cavities. Still others traveled with cocaine in rum bottles or concealed in suitcase handles. All of them would return to Chicago or New York with the drugs.

Most of the couriers and parents were recruited from Chicago's impoverished Englewood neighborhood, said Michael A. DeMarte, agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities said the smugglers punched holes in the baby formula cans with a hammer and nail, drained out the formula, then used syringes to fill them back up with liquid cocaine. The holes were then soldered shut.

The indictments were returned late Thursday by a federal grand jury and unsealed Friday.

The charges stemmed from an investigation that began in 1999, when a customs inspector in Newark, N.J., discovered that a woman traveling to London was carrying six formula cans filled with liquid cocaine.

Nineteen people were charged and 18 convicted in earlier phases of the investigation, bringing to 54 the total number of people charged. The investigation is continuing into whether more people rented their infants to smugglers.

Authorities said about 50 pounds of cocaine and two pounds of heroin were seized as part of the investigation.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 12/15/2001 1:45:40 AM PST by Bad~Rodeo
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To: Bad~Rodeo
Prohibit something, and enterprising black-marketeers will go to ANY LENGTH to evade the prohibition in order to market their products, IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT.

END THE IDIOTIC, INSANE, INEFFECTIVE, AND INTOLERABLE WAR ON DRUGS AND THIS KIND OF $H!T WON'T HAPPEN!!

2 posted on 12/15/2001 4:43:00 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: bassmaner
Just south of me in at Southwest Texas State, their TRYING to do that very thing
3 posted on 12/15/2001 5:21:07 AM PST by Bad~Rodeo
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To: bassmaner
I'd rather see the death penalty instituted as the punishment for these kinds of smugglers. Those children are better off as 'wards-of-the-State' than in the custody of animals that would "rent them" or use them as 'mules' in the commission of a crime.

You must be out of your mind to want to legalize this filthy blight on civilization in response to the actions of a handful of scum.

Militarize the borders and put the drug smugglers to death. Let's see what price they put on their lives.

If we get serious, this drug war will be over as fast as the 'War in Irag' was and as the 'War in Afghanistan' will be.

We're still fighting the "war on drugs" like our politicians forced us to fight the 'Vietnam War'.

4 posted on 12/15/2001 6:46:18 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: bassmaner
Thank GOD its not what I thought---Working in northen Malaysia,near the Thail border,the drug runner would use small baby to bring in the dope into country by putting the dope in the bodies of the babies---I still get sick when remember
5 posted on 12/15/2001 7:01:44 AM PST by ralph rotten
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To: bassmaner
No, Execute the drug smuglers as the terrorists bent on destroying America that they are.
6 posted on 12/15/2001 8:33:32 AM PST by MindBender26
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To: MindBender26
Why did we end prohibition? Because apparently we were empowering a massive criminal infrastructure, we couldn't curb demand for alcohol, and we couldn't get one tax dollar from the sale of illegal booze. What is different here? If I am not mistaken americans sent 50 billion dollars out of this country for the purchase of illagal drugs last year. That's more revenue than Microsoft, Cisco and Intel combined. Where does this US currency go? Is it kept in a shoebox in Columbia? Is it in a large sock somewhere in Peru? No, it is laundered through various small independent banks and then is filitered through corrupt international credit banks back to the USA. Why? Because this is the only place you can spend US dollars.
7 posted on 12/15/2001 8:55:58 AM PST by majic12
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To: majic12
Let's spend the $50 billion militarizing the border and then let's see these scum get their filth in here.
8 posted on 12/15/2001 9:19:49 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: MindBender26
That's where I hope this administration is going when they say the terrorists are using drug sales to finance their terrorist networks. Capture the smugglers, haul them in front of military tribunals and then execute them.
9 posted on 12/15/2001 9:24:06 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom;ralph rotten;MindBender26
You people are not seeing the forest; you're only seeing the trees.

Look, I'm not condoning what those scumbags did. For what they put those innocent little babies through, they deserve severe punishment. But you must consider -- what is the motivation of these sociopaths? My guess is that, unlike the towel-headed terrorists who took down the WTC on 9/11, they are not driven by some fanatical religious doctrine. Rather, they are guys trying to make a dishonest buck, and because they are sociopaths, they have no problem with shoving a parcel of "illegal" drugs up a baby's rectum in order to sneak it past customs agents. This only goes to prove one thing -- when something (be it a drug, or booze, or freon, etc.) is PROHIBITED by the government, yet there still remains a demand for the something, and people will pay a high enough price for it, a BLACK MARKET will arise to provide the something to willing customers.

And, in the case of drugs, it is the existence of this BLACK MARKET, not the drugs themselves, that is at the root of the misery associated with the drug culture. Keep this in mind: all drugs were LEGAL in the United States until 1914. That year, a well-meaning but misguided group of "progressives" helped get the Harrison Narcotics Act - prohibition of opiates - passed. This was in reaction to a VERY SMALL number of cases of opiate addiction that existed at the time. And we all know what happened 5 years after that: the Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act - Prohibition - which ushered in the golden age of organized crime in America.

We've had 30 years of the so-called War on Drugs, yet drugs are more plentiful, thus cheaper, than they ever have been, For every baby stopped at the Mexican border with a bag of coke up its rectum, most likely 99 others got through. If more people would wake up and realize that if the stuff were LEGAL, there would be no babies stopped at the Mexican border with bags of coke up their rectums. It's JUST THAT SIMPLE.

10 posted on 12/16/2001 5:08:09 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: bassmaner
We've been waging a 'Vietnam style' war on drugs for the past 30 years.

We've been trying to interdict this filth after it's in our cities. We leave huge expanses of our Northern and Southern borders unguarded and expect to achieve success?

Does Singapore have a drug problem?

We need to militarize our borders. We need to try offenders in military courts and punish the 'kingpins' and large quantity, smugglers with a swift execution. No more F. Lee Bailey baloney defenses and lengthy trials.

We didn't have the technology in the '20's we have now. If we have the technology to defeat hostile forces in foreign countries half a world away, literally bringing them to their knees in 60 to 90 days, we can defeat these scum, here.

Legalize this blight, this scourge, this plague on our children and our children's children?

NO DAMN WAY!

11 posted on 12/16/2001 9:12:55 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
We've been waging a 'Vietnam style' war on drugs for the past 30 years.

Which is.....what exactly?

We've been trying to interdict this filth after it's in our cities.

I take it you've never been to Colombia before....

We leave huge expanses of our Northern and Southern borders unguarded and expect to achieve success?

I'm wondering....what is the most effective way of guarding 5,000+ land miles of border and coastline? Is it possible?

Does Singapore have a drug problem?

Is Singapore larger in land area than NYC, let alone the border between Arizona and Mexico, let alone the border between Mexico and California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and let alone the border between Mexico and California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and the border between Canada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, and Maine? And Iran and Malaysia and China execute drug dealers, but they don't seem to share Singapore's success rate....

We need to militarize our borders. We need to try offenders in military courts and punish the 'kingpins' and large quantity, smugglers with a swift execution. No more F. Lee Bailey baloney defenses and lengthy trials.

You might see more people getting executed....and the public will tolerate it for a while. However, when Johnny down the street starts to get executed in large numbers, you'll see the support for your plan wavering just a bit.

We didn't have the technology in the '20's we have now. If we have the technology to defeat hostile forces in foreign countries half a world away, literally bringing them to their knees in 60 to 90 days, we can defeat these scum, here.

Unfortunately for you, these scum have technology, good business sense, creativity, and a large amount of money. So unless you invent people who are not prone to corruption, your plan is doomed to fail. You can talk about radar on the borders and hundreds of Marines and AGEIS crusiers all you want, but when you're trying to stop a product with high demand, as opposed to an army or a terrorist, the same effect will not happen at all.

Legalize this blight, this scourge, this plague on our children and our children's children?

Ahh, the mandatory for the children line....the children already have good access to this plague. Go to a public (and private) school sometime...

NO DAMN WAY!

Probably not for a while. However, the public will learn that the half-assed solution won't work forever, and they will not take to the hard line approach, especially when the results from it will be minimal as opposed to the amount of civil liberties lost.

12 posted on 12/16/2001 6:34:32 PM PST by Nate505
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To: Nate505
These are the same flawed arguments that have had us fighting a "half-assed war" until now.

Build a fence along our borders, put 10,000 reservists on duty rotation there and our borders are plenty defensible.

The Colombian government forces us to fight an even more "half-assed war" there than we do here.

Yes, punish corrupt government officials the swiftest.

No, I don't think everyone in the USA is guilty of smuggling and pushing this filth. It's a finite number and we'll all be better off without them. I don't believe the rest of the country will even notice they're gone.

Sure, these pushers are doing everything they can to target our youth. They know their key to victory is to hook as many Americans as young as they can. So no, I don't believe I'm being disengenuous when I talk about our children. Our children are their number one target and you know it.

We should kill every scum trying to cross our border with that filth with the same vengeance we're killing the Taliban, now.

13 posted on 12/16/2001 7:10:31 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Build a fence along our borders, put 10,000 reservists on duty rotation there and our borders are plenty defensible.

You're talking about defending 6,000+ miles with 10,000 reservists? You're talking about putting 6,000+ miles of fence up in some very rugged terrain? How possible, and effecitve, would this be in reality? I don't think it would be very effective at all.

Yes, punish corrupt government officials the swiftest.

Punishing people is fine, but if the rewards of corruption are high, people will be willing to risk the punishment.

No, I don't think everyone in the USA is guilty of smuggling and pushing this filth. It's a finite number and we'll all be better off without them. I don't believe the rest of the country will even notice they're gone.

Unfortunately, this fininte number of people is constant, because there are an infinite number of people willing to replace them. And the people who demand the drugs will certainly notice when they are gone....they'll be demanding, which keeps people supplying.

Sure, these pushers are doing everything they can to target our youth. They know their key to victory is to hook as many Americans as young as they can. So no, I don't believe I'm being disengenuous when I talk about our children. Our children are their number one target and you know it.

If by children you mean 20-30 year olds, than yes....

We should kill every scum trying to cross our border with that filth with the same vengeance we're killing the Taliban, now.

It's one thing to say, quite another to do.

14 posted on 12/17/2001 10:51:10 AM PST by Nate505
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To: Nate505
We can put 10,000 reservists on the Northern border and the same number on the Southern border. We have plenty. We activated 100,000 for the war in Afghanistan.

We build a fence where it makes sense. Not a problem. I believe, if we show we're as serious about this as we are about our war in Afghanistan, we'll run out of people stupid enough to take the risk.

The drug dealers push heavy in the school yards. They often give the first hit away, free, to kids. They're out to hook them young.

In what way do you mean it's easier to talk about shooting smugglers than to do it? It's either them or our society. I say it's them.

15 posted on 12/17/2001 12:52:31 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
We can put 10,000 reservists on the Northern border and the same number on the Southern border. We have plenty. We activated 100,000 for the war in Afghanistan.

The question is....with that much border is so many remote locations, how much good will it do?

We build a fence where it makes sense. Not a problem. I believe, if we show we're as serious about this as we are about our war in Afghanistan, we'll run out of people stupid enough to take the risk.

Run out of enough stupid people....or people who are willing to risk their life for a lot of money? Only in a dram world....

The drug dealers push heavy in the school yards. They often give the first hit away, free, to kids. They're out to hook them young.

I've never seen any of that when I went to grade-high school, and that was 7-15 years ago. It is more of an urban legend than anything else.

In what way do you mean it's easier to talk about shooting smugglers than to do it? It's either them or our society. I say it's them.

No, it's easy to say 'let's put 50,000 troops on the border, radar, and electrified fences' than it is to do it, or to have it work effectively.

16 posted on 12/17/2001 1:16:14 PM PST by Nate505
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To: bassmaner
You legalize illegal drugs and alot more people will use them. It's just that simple and true.
17 posted on 12/26/2001 11:07:45 AM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender
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To: 4Freedom
Let's spend the $50 billion militarizing the border and then let's see these scum get their filth in here.

Unless you are one of the people spending the so-called $50 billion on drugs where are you going to get your $50 billion, because those people are going to out spend you each and every time. Capitalism is after all the American way you know, markets in the end dictate policy. BTW Just how does militarizing the border in any way curb the desire for any banned substance?

18 posted on 12/26/2001 11:18:37 AM PST by TightSqueeze
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: 4Freedom
Build a fence along our borders, put 10,000 reservists on duty rotation there and our borders are plenty defensible.

This action effectively places us all in prison, I am not a criminal, and choose to fight to the death if necessary, with anyone who would attempt to revoke freedom and liberty in this country regardless of the uniform they wear, and I am neither defenseless nor alone.

20 posted on 12/26/2001 11:24:48 AM PST by TightSqueeze
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To: TightSqueeze; M1991
Both of you turkeys show up on a 6-day-old thread at 12:20. Are you the same Libertarian nutcase trying to pretend you're 2 different nutcases?

Take your name-calling, personal attacking baloney somewhere else.

One of you insinuates that if we put our military on the border, the drug smugglers will bribe them. That's a bunch of lying crap.

If we put our military on the border and order them to protect it, there's no amount of money those dirty scum drug dealers can spend that will get another bag of that filth across. Simple as that.

21 posted on 12/26/2001 5:03:38 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Take your name-calling, personal attacking baloney somewhere else.

Well anytime I can make someone of your limited understanding acknowledge other possibilities my day is surly complete. BTW we all know the only freedom you are really 4, why not write it all down on paper and leave it in a latrine so real patriots can make proper use of it.

22 posted on 12/26/2001 5:16:44 PM PST by TightSqueeze
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To: bassmaner
Rather, they are guys trying to make a dishonest buck, and because they are sociopaths, they have no problem with shoving a parcel of "illegal" drugs up a baby's rectum in order to sneak it past customs agents.

Could you point out where in the posted story this abuse of babies is mentioned, because I have read it three times and I can't find it.
23 posted on 12/26/2001 5:30:35 PM PST by BansheeBill
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To: 4Freedom
Does Singapore have a drug problem?

I'm sure it does. But I don't want to live in Singapore...isn't this the place you get horsewhipped for chewing gum? The higher the stakes, the more profitable the smuggling, the more ingenious people will be, and drugs will get in, all will get in. The more potent drugs are selected out by the war on drugs...makes more economic sense to hide cocaine and heroin for 1000 users in a shoebox, rather than 100 lbs of pot in a barrel.

It is simply not practical or possible to keep drugs out, just as it is not possible to keep dedicated terrorists from smuggling weapons and bombs on airplanes.

24 posted on 12/26/2001 5:54:59 PM PST by Jesse
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To: TightSqueeze
"limited understanding"?

At least I can spell and correctly punctuate a sentence. Moronatarian. LOL.

25 posted on 12/26/2001 5:58:36 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Moronatarian

WTF? LOL queer little fellow.

26 posted on 12/26/2001 6:01:32 PM PST by TightSqueeze
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To: Jesse
Singapore does not have a drug problem. They execute drug smugglers. No problem.

The drug smugglers will not get their filth past our military. Simple as that. Execute all that try and watch the smuggling stop.

27 posted on 12/26/2001 7:03:25 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: TightSqueeze
The only 'little' thing here is your intellect. Retardedatarian. LOL.
28 posted on 12/26/2001 7:10:18 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Singapore does not have a drug problem. They execute drug smugglers. No problem.

They also do so in Iran, China, Thailand, and Malaysia, and they have drug problems there. The difference is Iran, China, Thailand, and Malaysia actually have borders that are larger than a postage stamp there, which tends to make them harder to defend....

The drug smugglers will not get their filth past our military. Simple as that. Execute all that try and watch the smuggling stop.

You should really study a map of this country sometime. Technology is great, but not great enough to stop all the drugs from coming into the country, or even a reasonable percentage....

29 posted on 12/26/2001 8:06:10 PM PST by Nate505
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To: 4Freedom
The only 'little' thing here is your intellect. Retardedatarian. LOL.

I wish I was like you.....easily amused.

30 posted on 12/26/2001 8:08:54 PM PST by Nate505
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To: Nate505
I don't wish I was anything like you.

None of the countries you mentioned have our military. Just ask Irag and Afghanistan.

It's simple as 1, 2, 3.

1) The military arrests the smugglers.

2) The military gives the smugglers a speedy trial.

3) The military puts the smugglers in front of a firing squad and executes the filthy bast**ds.

End of problem.

31 posted on 12/26/2001 8:55:24 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 2nd_Amendment_Defender
You legalize illegal drugs and alot more people will use them. It's just that simple and true.

Experience has proven that, while at first perhaps a few more people may use drugs, a lot fewer will abuse them. After an initial period where people may be curious and try drugs as a new experience, many more will simply get bored with them. That is exactly what happened after Prohibition was repealed in 1933: the number of drinkers rose slightly, but the number of alcoholics declined dramatically. And it is the abuse of any substance (alcohol, drugs, etc.) that causes social problems, not simply the use.

32 posted on 12/27/2001 5:28:32 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: 2nd_Amendment_Defender
You legalize illegal drugs and alot more people will use them. It's just that simple and true.

Experience has proven that, while at first perhaps a few more people may use drugs, a lot fewer will abuse them. After an initial period where people may be curious and try drugs as a new experience, many more will simply get bored with them. That is exactly what happened after Prohibition was repealed in 1933: the number of drinkers rose slightly, but the number of alcoholics declined dramatically. And it is the abuse of any substance (alcohol, drugs, etc.) that causes social problems, not simply the use.

33 posted on 12/27/2001 5:30:25 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: bassmaner
oops -- double post -- sorry
34 posted on 12/27/2001 5:31:08 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: 4Freedom
Your screen name is misleading. Considering the content and tenor of your posts, "4Dictatorship" would be more accurate.
35 posted on 12/27/2001 5:33:46 AM PST by bassmaner
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To: 4Freedom
Let's spend the $50 billion militarizing the border and then let's see these scum get their filth in here.

Good idea, 4Freedom. However, we can't keep drugs out of maximum-security prisons now. Militarization won't work, because people themselves are broken. You can always find someone to bribe. If supply were cut, then prices would rise, further increasing profits for the smugglers. They, in turn, would have more money with which to bribe the border guards. Just won't work.
36 posted on 12/27/2001 5:39:24 AM PST by WindMinstrel
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To: 4Freedom
Our military is great. Unfortunately, even our military can't defend against all borders and coastlines, especially when the enemy doesn't come announcing that they are carrying drugs into the country.....one kid they caught surfing from Mexico to Texas with a hollowed out surfboard that contained pot. These guys are fairly inventive with the ways they smuggle. They will find cracks in the system, and with a border and coastline as large as ours, there will be cracks, and you have to be the most delusional person in the world if you don't think so...
37 posted on 12/27/2001 6:18:01 AM PST by Nate505
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To: bassmaner
Yeah and your screen name should be Drugmaner. LOL.
38 posted on 12/27/2001 7:07:29 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: WindMinstrel
We can't keep drugs out of prisons, because we're playing by the ACLU's rules. With the military in charge of the borders all that liberal crap would be out the window.

Or law enforcement officers caught that smuggler and his hollow surfboard. Correct? The military would execute him.

End of problem.

39 posted on 12/27/2001 7:14:09 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
If you say so -- you seem to have a more idealistic view of human nature than I do. In any event, do you have a suggestion that would actually work, and have a chance of being implemented?
40 posted on 12/27/2001 7:36:58 AM PST by WindMinstrel
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To: 4Freedom
Or law enforcement officers caught that smuggler and his hollow surfboard. Correct? The military would execute him.

Yes, they caught him.....the real question you should be asking is how many more of them got across the border? Using their current 'success' rate, that would mean 9 more got over here uncaught. And what are you going to do about drugs that are produced domestically?

41 posted on 12/27/2001 7:38:30 AM PST by Nate505
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To: WindMinstrel
There are several members of Congress starting to discuss militarizing our borders. I think it has a chance.
42 posted on 12/27/2001 10:17:36 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: Nate505
Their present success rates don't mean diddly-squat. Militarize the borders and then start keeping score.

Domestic production should be handled in a smilar manner. Someone busted trying to produce major quantities forfeits their life. Period. Military trial. Military execution.

Problem solved.

43 posted on 12/27/2001 10:24:00 AM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Snore.
44 posted on 12/29/2001 12:18:28 AM PST by Jesse
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To: Bad~Rodeo
Let's kill everyone and rape their family pets. Then we'll see who wants to do drugs.
45 posted on 12/29/2001 12:18:31 AM PST by NC_Libertarian
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To: 4Freedom
I don't think even turning our country into a military state will solve the problem, but I don't want to see our country turned into a military state in the first place.....thank god your idea has as little hope as happening as the idea of totally legalizing all drugs has....
46 posted on 12/29/2001 4:21:34 PM PST by Nate505
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To: Nate505
Do you hear Bill O'Reilly calling for the legalization of drugs? He mentions militarizing the border on almost every show he hosts on Fox.

That's powerful.

47 posted on 12/30/2001 8:31:42 PM PST by 4Freedom
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To: 4Freedom
Sounds to me like you know about a country named Malaysia. What they do about illegal drugs deserves to be called a war. People without consciences don't care about what the law is - they only care about the likelihood of being caught, and the punishment if caught. FReegards
48 posted on 12/30/2001 8:38:48 PM PST by 185JHP
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To: 4Freedom
Ahh yes, I can see the massive protests and the people calling for the militarization of our borders everyday....
49 posted on 12/30/2001 8:41:46 PM PST by Nate505
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To: 4Freedom
Hail the Police State! Want to eliminate a neighbor? Sneak a couple kilos of mary jane into their garage then call the cops from a pay phone. Next stop for them: electric chair. That was difficult to do when the only thing that could earn someone the death penalty was to murder; framing a person was complex and had more to go wrong and blow up in one's face. With your enhanced War on Drugs it will be very easy.

Easing or eliminating restrictions on substances will do the same thing that ending Prohibition did. I.e. more people partook, but the average consumed strength of the substance (in this case alcohol) went down. During Prohibition, few bootleggers bothered with beer, and not much more bothered with wine. We heard of bathtub gin but not of bathtub sherry. Ending Prohibition brought per-consumer hard liquor consumption down (way down). This is cold hard history; it is not an acid dream.

50 posted on 12/30/2001 8:57:17 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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