ATF Agents Zealously Pursuing Drug Convictions Over Heists of Fictional Drugs
By Sonali Kolhatkar | Published in Uprising Radio
A special report by USA Today, found the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF) has poured significant resources into luring former criminals and low-level drug dealers into large-scale crimes in order to convict them with long prison sentences.
Basically, agents identify people they think would have a propensity to carry out armed drug robberies, offer them an opportunity to rob a fictional drug house with thousands, sometimes millions of dollars worth of drugs, and then arrest them as they are about to carry out the heist.
On occasion suspects are killed in ensuing shootouts with federal agents. USA Today found that ATF has managed to send more than a thousand people to prison via this program. Because of mandatory drug sentencing laws, the greater the value of the fictional drugs the suspects were hoping to steal, the longer their sentences.
Many who have been arrested in this manner end up serving decades in prison, and a handful are in for life.
Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar recently interviewed Lynne Lyman, California State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance about the story.
Visit www.drugpolicy.org for more information.
Bipasha Shom recorded this interview.