America's harsh federal drugs laws continue to destroy not only the lives, families and loved ones of those convicted and sentenced to long prison terms, but also those who carry out the drug war on behalf of the federal government. In fact it's never been truer than now that corrupt sentencing corrupts prosecutors as well as law enforcement officers. In the Middle District of Florida a federal judge recently sentenced a former federal DEA agent to a year of imprisonment because he'd demanded $700,000 from the family of an imprisoned man whom he'd helped convict many years before.
As the convicted drug defendant wasted ten years of his life languishing in jail the DEA agent lived a full & happy life until eventually retiring Then the DEA agent agreed to help the defense for ready cash despite federal rules that prohibit this. The agent made it clear in an email to the family that "...if we can't come to some understanding then you guys get to keep your money and he stays in jail because good luck getting him out without my testimony."
This quote in essence damns the entire federal criminal justice system as it relates to drug investigations for trafficking amounts of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. Clearly this statement establishes a motive for DEA and FBI agents to pump up charges and to convict defendants so that they can later come back and reap the full rewards of their investigations. The problem is that investigators even on a local level are not shielded from corruption as a recent internal affairs investigation of the Pinellas Sheriff's office led to resignations of drug Detectives without jail time.
Because of this inherent bias of federal and state prosecutions based on testimony from law enforcement officers, DEA agents and FBI agents, federal judges especially in the Middle District of Florida and in state courts in Clearwater, Florida should allow all drug testimony from these agents to be cross-examined with what knowledge the agents have of the $700,000 demand made by the retired DEA agent. It clearly goes to their potential bias in favor of harsh prosecutions resulting in the most possible time in prison for defendants in high profile drug cases so that they can later benefit financially once they leave law enforcement.