As Reuters News reported yesterday, a major drug bust was made in the Boston area yesterday (Thursday June 16,) as part of a network of arrests designed to break up a vast drug and guns-smuggling enterprise. Approximately 400 police and law enforcement officers took part in the major operation, fanning out across Boston and surrounding areas. The crime fighting effort was coordinated by the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, and police made 66 arrests of suspected gang members.
Of the 66 suspects arrested in the drug crackdown, 13 were charged in a federal indictment charging racketeering, contending that the suspects trafficked heroin, cocaine and firearms with serial numbers removed. The suspects are alleged to be members of the East Side Money Gang, the 18th Street and the Boylston Gang – all violent drug dealing organizations.
Police seized at least 70 separate firearms, including rifles and semiautomatic handguns . U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz reported that suspects arrested included suspected gang leaders, and asked city residents to alert police to suspected criminal activity, stating “We cannot solve crimes on our own. Help us reduce the violence and make the community safe.”
At first, this sounds like good news, doesn’t it? Police and prosecutors cracking down on crime, getting violent and major drug dealers off the street, correct? Unfortunately, no. When it comes to major illegal drug operations and organized drug dealing, the reality is very different. The very unfortunate truth is that no amount of police crackdowns, no amount of dramatic scenes of police wearing bullet-proof vests storming drug gang hideouts, and no amount of prosecutions, will ever eliminate or even drastically reduce the presence of illegal drug dealers. Anywhere.
I know this as a Boston drug offenses attorney. The reason is simple: Unfortunately, some people will always use illegal drugs. Unfortunately, there will always be a demand for them. As human beings, like it or not we are ‘hard-wired’ to seek some form of mental ‘high’ or ‘buzz.’ It simply cannot be eliminated. But worst of all, is this reality: By making drug use illegal, government – whether the federal government or state governments – creates the black markets for illegal drugs and creates the drug lords that control hem. Whether the drug lords are in the hills of Colombia and Mexico, or downtown Boston, or the suburbs – it is we – the government – who create their existence, we who give them the power they have, we who create the terrible, violent crime that results from making drugs illegal. Yes, no matter how well-intentioned we may be (through our elected representatives, whether in Congress or at the state level,) when our elected representatives continue to make drug use illegal, it is we who create the resulting crime, carnage, tears and tragedy.
There is a solution to this scourge. I’ll discuss it in Part Two of this post, in a few days.