A massive task force, headed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, including law enforcement agents from San Francisco to Las Vegas (upwards of 900 total officers) engaged this week in a 27-arrest drug bust relating to illegal trafficking and gang membership. Federal officials seized what they only referred to as “massive quantities” of drugs, illegal firearms, and vehicles as part of the numerous raids. It seems that police were interested mainly in the trafficking of cocaine and methamphetamine (CA Health and Safety Code 11350).
This is yet another example of the kind of scattershot approach that the federal government is willing to use in order to justify the existence of such drug-related task forces. What taxpayers are rarely aware of is just how expensive it is to launch all that manpower and investigative ‘genius’ in an often piteously misguided attempt to protect public safety. In fact, recently it has come to our attention that the FBI is currently spending millions of dollars digging up private citizens’ barns searching for Jimmy Hoffa, which is completely irrelevant to any ongoing investigation of any importance to the American public.
Since 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (otherwise known as the RICO Act) (Chapter 96 of the United States Code 1961-1968) has given the federal immense power to carry out investigations relating to what they believe are gangs or other ‘criminal’ organizations. Federal prosecutors are allowed under this Act to charge the individuals they believe “gave the order” for a crime in addition to arresting the person who actually committed the crime. And if you are found innocent of the crime for which your property was seized? Good luck attempting to recoup any of your losses because in cases such as these, you become the defendant, not the plaintiff, and the burden of proof shifts to you.