War on Drugs: DEA focuses on the innocent

13 Oct

When we hear that the bad guys are selling drugs to our 11-year-old middle schoolers, we are grateful for the protection of the police department. When we hear that an innocent man was shot as a drug dealer fled police, we are grateful for the justice system that locks up the drug dealer. When a 28-year-old mother is killed in Philly after being the innocent victim in a shootout intended for someone else, we mourn and ask what more can be done. When Mexican Drug Cartel come to our unsuspecting, quiet towns in Utah and put citizens in danger by starting marijuana grows in the places we hunt and camp, we celebrate the local police and DEA who hunt them down. When the DEA seizes the property of a rancher who unknowingly rented a room at his hotel to a drug user, we … wait, what?

The War on Drugs is meant to fight the bad guys, isn’t it? Our taxpayer dollars are being used to hunt out the gang members who ruin the lives of children and illegally cross into our country to sell drugs to those who should be in treatment, right? It’s not possible that the DEA and our own Attorney General Eric Holder would do something out of these guidelines, is it?

Sadly, it seems so.

While 51% of Americans are paying for 49% of Americans (does not include non citizens) to be on welfare programs, while protestors are storming the streets and bridges of the cities around the country begging the government to intervene in unfair corporate practices (even though it’s the government’s fault), while Eric Holder continues to deny his involvement in Fast and Furious, a retiring couple who was trying to live the American Dream is having their land unfairly taken from them by the very organization that is supposed to protect them: the DEA.

Sound disturbing? Read the story.

Russell and Patricia Coswell are hard-working Americans now victim of civil forfeiture laws, which say that because some of the people who rented rooms at the Motel Coswell were drug users and arrested for drug practices, the DEA can now seize the property estimated to be worth over $1 million – even though the DEA admits the Coswell’s have done nothing wrong.

The Coswells themselves have tried to keep drugs off their property, installing cameras and calling police to report suspicious activity.  And now the federal government has filed papers in court to seize the property.

“But civil forfeiture laws treat property owners worse than criminals. Criminals must be proven guilty before their property is taken. Once the government targets a property for civil forfeiture, however, the property owner must prove his innocence. For the Caswells, that means squaring off against the U.S. attorney’s office in federal court to make the difficult if not impossible case that they did not know that guests brought drugs into their rented rooms.

Even more shocking, local police and the federal government have a direct financial stake in the forfeiture. Through so-called ‘equitable sharing,’ Washington pays local police departments 80 percent of what they seize and keeps the rest.”

I’m wondering why they don’t come for our local Motel 6. Guess there isn’t as much profit in it.


Posted by on October 13, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion


Tags: , , , , , ,

2 responses to “War on Drugs: DEA focuses on the innocent

  1. Cale Batt

    October 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    This is something that I don’t understand. Drug use and commerce should be legal. Drug related crimes (DUI, theft, rape, murder) should be punished. Prohibition didn’t work and the war on drugs isn’t working either.

    When I hear that an innocent man was shot as a drug dealer fled police, I am disheartened by the justice system that locks up the drug dealer.

  2. Gavin R. Putland

    October 21, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Legislation backing the “war on drugs” purports to reverse the onus of proof in drug-possession trials. That reversal is incompatible with the rule of law and is therefore unconstitutional in ALL jurisdictions. More:


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