Sunday, December 17, 2006

Army's high school recruiters sold cocaine

U.S. Army and Marine Corps military recruiters working with high school students in Tucson were dealing cocaine while in uniform, according to the Arizona Daily Star newspaper. Source.

More than 60 people were involved in the operation, which was revealed last year when the FBI announced a number of arrests and showed films of the uniformed men counting money next to bricks of cocaine. Ten of the arrested were recruiters working in Tucson. Among other activities, they are charged with transporting cocaine across the border from Mexico.

Some of the recruiters were allowed to keep visiting high schools for three years after their activity was discovered, the FBI admitted, purportedly in order to try to discover their confederates. Although the FBI's charges do not claim that the men sold or gave the drug to high school students, a number of local educators and parents were upset.
"It's ludicrous to me that the FBI would leave these people in place and allow them onto our high school campuses," said Judy Burns, a member of the Tucson school board.
"I don't like the thought of someone involved with drugs having access to my child, and I don't know anything about it and the school doesn't know anything about it," said Kathy Janssen, who has a 15-year-old son at Tucson High Magnet School, the city's largest high school.
Hard to believe, given the military's well-publicized problems meeting its recruitment quotas for Iraq, that some of those drugs didn't enter into the enlistment bargain with high school students.
Charges against the drug running ring are currently pending. More details on this sordid tale -- which involves bribery, sex with prostitutes, and much more -- are here and here.

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