Rio Arriba Drug Trade Slows 

Rio Arriba Drug Trade Slows 
Posted by FoM on December 20, 1999 at 14:41:58 PT
The Associated Press 
Source: ABQjournal
Residents say there are signs the drug trade in the Espanola Valley is waning after a September raid that arrested more than 30 people in and around this village of about 4,000. "We don't see the drug convoys going through Chimayo anymore," said resident Sherwood Ensey, who lives with his wife Virginia behind a 6-foot-high barbed wire fence patrolled by two German shepherds. "It's gotten quieter. It's gotten more peaceful." 
In the last five years, cocaine and heroin overdoses have claimed 90 lives in this area, an average of 18 funerals a year.  "They're still addicted, and they're still using, and they're still stealing," said State Police Capt. Quintin McShan of Espanola. But he said many symptoms of the epidemic -- including burglaries and overdoses -- are down.  Burglaries were already dropping, but breaking-and-entering reports dropped 75 percent for October and November compared to the same months last year.  Although Chimayo is beginning to see improvements, other communities, such as Hernandez, where burglary rates are rising, are feeling the absence of police.  "For every good I do in one place, I do harm to the other place. It's a shell game, like robbing Paul to pay Peter," McShan said. "But when I lay out the priorities, I gotta look at the dead bodies."  Fatal and nonfatal overdoses are down. Espanola Hospital reported 23 overdoses in August, 11 in September, 13 in October, and six from Nov 1. through Nov. 22, the latest figures available.  Rio Arriba County has the highest drug-related death rate in the nation, nearly three times the national average, according to the state Health Department. The overdoses prompted the Chimayo Crime Prevention Organization and others to lobby elected officials and police to take a tougher stance against the drug trade.  "There was so much going on. It was everywhere. It was so much in your face that that's all you saw," said Bruce Richardson, the organization's president.  "But we had given (officials) so much they could hardly ignore it," he said. "Right now, it's wonderful. The change since the bust, you can feel it in the air. It's like this black-tar cloud was lifted from the valley."  Chimayo native Steven Padilla, who heads a syringe-exchange program through a $65,000 state Health Department contract, said drugs are still easy to obtain.  "You figure you take away 31 people, you have another 30 ... to take over the business," Padilla said. "That's the way it is. It's a family-owned business. It's still out there; the only thing now is that it's hidden."  Padilla said doing away with the valley's drug problem will take time, education, patience and money.  The Sept. 29 raid by local police agencies, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration was like the first bucket of water on a burning house and long overdue, residents say.  "I guess there's always going to be crime in one way or the other. You just need to kind of stay on top of it," said Rio Arriba County Undersheriff Joe Mascarenas.  "I think we've had one or two (arrests of suspected drug traffickers) after the raid, so that means there are other people doing it besides the ones we got. It's still going on. It kind of slowed down, but I don't think they quit. They learned to hide better."  Police have said members of at least five suspected trafficking organizations were temporarily put out of business by the raid. Most remain behind bars.  "It created a vacuum," McShan said. "When that happens, the people of the community were able to say yes or no to allow another organization to form roots there. It gave them a choice." Monday, December 20, 1999 Copyright  1997, 1998, 1999 Albuquerque Journal
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Comment #2 posted by military officer guy on December 20, 1999 at 17:53:54 PT
kaptinemo knows what he's talking about...
i like kaptinemo...i've read many many things that he has written, and he really knows what he's talking about...i work for the gov't/military, and there are a lot of things that go on that are really screwy...but it's not just the gov't, like kaptinemo says it's anyone that has an interest in the war on drugs's ashame, but hold your heads up HIGH!!! we will win this war...
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on December 20, 1999 at 16:13:42 PT
Death, taxes, and drug dealing
The three certainties of life.85 years. That's how long the WoSD has gone on. Since the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. One war. Three generations. No doubt thousands of lives lost behind the scenes, millions losing their families, their freedom, their careers, their jobs, their homes. $200 Billion US in just the last 20 years alone. And they still don't get it.It is typical of American politicians and law enforcement that they have the conceit that they can succeed where every nation that has tried the course we are on has failed miserably. But they still don't get it. Not until they are betrayed by one of their own, corrupted by the easy money, will they realize how badly the deck was stacked against them from the beginning.
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