Missouri’s Drug Task Forces: Criminal and Dangerous
A report published this month (Feb. 2015) documents the above the law attitudes and culture of misconduct among the federally funded and highly militarized Drug Task Forces of Missouri. The report is titled “Secret, Dangerous, and Unaccountable: Exploring Patterns of Misconduct in Missouri’s Drug Task Forces” and was written by Aaron Malin, Show-Me Cannabis Director of Research.
The report outlines the blatant disregard for the very law these highly secretive Drug Task Forces claim to uphold. For instance the Missouri Sunshine Law requires state agencies to make their records open to the public, however on numerous occasions these Drug Task Forces have outright ignored or disobeyed the law or claimed exemption from it. The St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force even responded to an records request by claiming to not exist, even though they have been granted over $200,000 a year by the federal government.
Everything from unjustified and ridiculous research fees to crying terrorism has been used as tactics of avoiding compliance with the law by these people. The report also goes on to point out the prioritizing of cannabis arrests and the use of tax payers money to fund misleading propaganda.
With little to no oversight who can be surprised that these parasitic Drug Task Forces end up being criminals themselves? Forfeiture laws give these Drug Task Forces incentive to police for profit. Tactics such as reverse-sting operations provide them the means to investigate drug traffic from the top down, often acting as suppliers themselves and seasonally pruning away those lower on the totem poll thus cashing in on any distribution they have done and seizing their property and finances while creating statistics that gets them federal funding. Getting rid of drugs are not in these guys best interest, instead creating and cornering markets is their racket. Missouri needs to wake up and see that these are the people that have every reason to make the problem worse.
Since the creation of the drug task force the number of “mom and pop” meth labs in Missouri has decreased, that being said the market was ripe for the Mexican drug cartels to meet the demand left in its wake. Now Missouri has vast amounts of high purity methamphetamine being brought in, and drugs like heroine are showing up and becoming real problems for even some of the states most rural areas. These problems will likely only continue to get worse as this form of organized crime continues to be sanctioned by the misinformed people of Missouri and the federal government. It is time to expose and defund the Drug Task Forces.