Friday, April 8, 2011

Green Thumb

Our officers in the Narcotics Task Force received a nice honor yesterday, when the Midwest High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area honored the unit for the 2010 outstanding investigative effort. The award was in recognition of Operation Green Thumb, which took down a large and indoor marijuana growing enterprise in Lincoln, seized somewhere around $20 million worth of marijuana and equipment, and so far has resulted in Federal indictments or State charges against 13 defendants.

It was a massive effort: long, hot, humid, stinking, and dangerous. The intellectual component to dismantling a sophisticated criminal enterprise and untangling it's finances cannot be underestimated, either. The recognition for the officers and support staff is well-deserved. When you consider that the five-state HIDTA includes more than 50 drug task forces, and some very large metro areas, being tabbed as the top investigative effort by the Feds is an impressive accomplishment. Great work, everyone!

16 comments:

JIM J said...

Not to mention the restrictions placed on LE and the very hard task of getting PC and a case that will muster a good defense.
Those built in protections afforded by the constitution are not bad, but rather keep the powers that be, in check.
Some cases get tossed out of court and then people blame the judge.
In this round of "rope ah dope" it looks like the staff of LPD and others can be proud that a seasoned bunch of public employees, again, did an outstanding job.
Rope Ah Dope...coming to a theater near you!

Non-smoker said...

Did removing cannibis worth $20 million from the supply chain result in any market shortages or price increase?

I wonder how much product locally grown for proffit is produced compared to the local market for Canadian sourced cannibis.

Do you believe the LPD has a good idea of how the market operates here?

Good luck to you in this very long odds fight.

Anonymous said...

focusing on marijuana instead of other drugs/crimes is a waste of time, resources, et al. sorry but it's the truth.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I'm sure all those raids cut down on a lot of cases of the munchies.

Anonymous said...

Chief-Were any of the federal charges for tax-related violations?

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Anonymous said...

So you took some dank off of the street. Big deal. How many lives were drastically, sometimes violently changed by alcohol in this past week alone?

$20M out of the local economy. Can were really afford that?

Anonymous said...

There is meth all over this city and drug related crime is on the rise. Instead of addressing those problems, the Captain of the drug unit is nominating himself for awards. Priorities are out of whack, Chief.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:01. You must be a "dank" smoker. I know people who smoke dope and they call it dope for a reason. They are dopes. Case and point made I think.

Anonymous said...

"Case and point made I think."+++Seriously, you put "I" and "think" in the same sentence?

What part of my post is incorrect?

Steve said...

10:01

Incomplete sentences, a missing comma, and a misuse of the word "were" or mispelling of "we", are the parts of your comment that were incorrect. Were you smoking a little yourself?

Anonymous said...

seriously, why can't you lower the priority on the marijuana? you'd see a better effect by the way of how people view LPD.

Also you are losing a losing war with marijuana. cut your losses when you can.

Tom Casady said...

10:57,

This enterprise, along with producing a fair amount of a substance that is, like it or not, illegal, also did hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to a dozen or so homes, and stole an estimated half-million dollars in electrical service. I imagine they failed to pay just a little bit of Federal and State income tax, not to mention FICA on their payroll. What would you suggest, that since it's "only marijuana" that we simply ignore the information that started the investigation and move on to the next meth case in line?

JGilbert LincolnNe said...

"What would you suggest, that since it's "only marijuana" that we simply ignore the information that started the investigation and move on to the next meth case in line?"
++++
Absolutely not. You are right, it a legislative problem and the police are only being--the police.

I am not the above poster, I am only adding to his suggestion.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest eye-rollers is the argument that legalizing drugs and taxing them would effectively be a fatal blow to criminal street gangs - as if trafficking in illicit drugs is the only way they could make money. Never mind that they'd just traffic bootlegged, un-taxed drugs, and any other taxed, controlled substance, like cigarettes and alcohol (they bootleg that stuff already.

No, in their world, gangs don't hijack trucks, get involved in insurance scams, commercial and industrial burglary, protection rackets, pump-and-dump scams, extortion, business bust-outs, kidnapping, counterfeiting of currency and name-brand consumer goods, and dozens of other criminal activities the Chief could easily list. They wouldn't skip a beat upon drug legalization, just like they didn't slow down when prohibition was repealed.

Tom Casady said...

1:22-

Thanks, you saved me a lot of typing on a tiny keyboard!

Anonymous said...

Chief-It's always interesting to me that alcohol use/abuse is always brought into the discussion. Legalization of marijuana would probably include several of the controls placed on the manufacture and distribution of alcohol namely:

1. Government approval of all manufacturing facilities. They must be up to gov't standards. Some company like Phillip Morris would probably ultimately control the market.

2. Gov't determination and control of amounts of THC available in the product. (Kind of like "proof" or % of alcohol in those products).I would guess the gov't wouldn't allow for a "high" (pardon the expression) content.

3.Federal and state taxes on product. Federal and state witholding on employees. Ultimately union scale wages for employees. Several layers of middle-men. All taxed.

4. Eventually stiffer penalties for bootleggers and illegal operations to discourage those activities.

The list goes on and on. Will all this control cut out illicit activities? Absolutely not. Will it increase the price of dope? Very likely.

In the meantime, the law is the law and you don't have the luxury of determining which ones you choose to enforce.

So I guess you have to keep arresting DUI's and drunks, and alcohol abusers. And you have to keep busting grow operations.

Both of which I believe you do very well.

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