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Timing, luck play into size of drug busts

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Area police have made a number of drug arrests recently, but they say the larger-than-average quantities of drugs found are something of a fluke.

On Thursday, police arrested Christopher L. Klughart, 29, of Benton, Mo., after a search warrant for his residence was executed. Police say they seized methamphetamines, marijuana and assorted prescription pills. Klughart was charged with possession with the intent to distribute, possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana, and promoting sale of drug paraphernalia.

On Sept. 5, Cape Girardeau police arrested and charged three suspects after a raid following a warrant at 2852 Larkspur Court. About $25,000 worth of crack cocaine was seized in connection with the bust.

Wednesday, six pounds of marijuana were seized during a bust at 614 Sycamore St., a haul of about $10,000, according to Cape Girardeau police Sgt. Barry Hovis. Curtis D. Simmons was arrested in connection with the search and seizure.

"In all actuality, we're really doing nothing differently," said Sgt. Kevin Glaser, director of the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force.

The larger quantities of drugs -- pounds or multiple grams as opposed to half-gram amounts -- brought in over the past few months have had more do with timing and a little luck than anything else, Glaser said.

The task force and local police departments investigate potential leads in drug cases, and search warrants are served, but usually they go unreported because the amounts are small.

Timing plays a critical role in securing a large amount of drugs and consequently in securing more arrests and lengthier sentences.

In many cases, police receive information from informants or neighbors that a residence is being used for drug deals, but they have a small window between when drugs arrive or are produced and when they are distributed.

"A lot of times, a large amount of drugs doesn't remain at that location very long," Glaser said.

In July, August and September, the task force recovered $36,014 worth of controlled substances, including crack cocaine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana. One methamphetamine lab was broken up.

The task force served 13 warrants and seized 48 grams of cocaine, 80.5 grams of crack cocaine and 1,830.65 grams of marijuana.

Even if only a small amount of drugs is seized following a warrant, the raid can still help the task force curtail the drug trade, Glaser said.

"It's a lot of success even if we don't find anything, because we've made a statement -- shut down your business or we're going to be back," he said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245


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Why do we waste so much time on victimless

crimes?Prohibition does not work and never will.The drug war is absolutely ridiculous!

We need to adopt a new aproach to the drug issue in America.Many European Countries have handled it much better then us.I am tired of filling up our prisons with drug abusers and giving them incredibly long sentences while the murderes and rapist and thieves get off with a slap on the hand.By the way Marijuana should be decriminalized immediately.This is also the opinion of many people in the law inforcement agencies.Prohibition has never worked!It breeds crime.All you have to do is look at what happened in the 1920s with alcohol.Only 21% of americans abused alcohol before prohibition but after that the figure increased to 50%.The black market was in full swing and crime increased dramaticly.The same has occured with drugs.Its time we look at other programs and stop this nonsense and waste of money fighting a drug war that will never be won.Its ok for our Government to obtain drugs and sell them to finance covert activities but to decriminalize them would put that behind the scenes program out of buisness.Those of you who think that statement is false best think again!

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 10:29 AM

Victimless crimes?

When someone gets robbed by a crackhead is that a victimless crime?

Are you the one on here always complaining about being mugged? If not , I'm sorry.

But, is being mugged by an "addict" a victimless crime?

I am tired of this BS about smoking dope and selling drugs are victimless crimes. Tell that to some little kid sitting there in a soiled diaper and going hungry while his "parents" won't work and sell their EBT funds for dope money, or sit in a HUD approved home and sell drugs.

-- Posted by jsohn on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 11:11 AM

Thank You Greywolf for realizing the "Drug War" is a bunch of CRAP.

-- Posted by DaveB on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 11:23 AM

Children, spouses, and other family members may be biggest victims of drug (and alcohol) abusers.

We may need a different approach to the "War on Drugs" but I'd hardly call drug abuse a victimless crime.

-- Posted by libra7 on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 11:48 AM

"People ON drugs are winning the war on drugs...what does that tell you..." - Bill Hicks

The only reason there is robbery and crime associated with drugs is because of the high prices associated with drugs (high risk market=higher premium on goods/services...duh); it is the governments legislation on morality that has created the crime associated with drug use (not to mention the governments inability to monitor and regulate something that is outright prohibited). If drugs were legal there would be no more crime associated with it than alcohol. Government has created this crime wave...just like they created American organized crime during prohibition. Another positive from recreational drug legalization is the depopulation of our extremely overpopulated prison systems that can no longer retain real criminals. Look at the statistics.

Also, using EBT and food stamps is a poor example. We all know there are plenty of sober people (or, dare I say, the ALCOHOLIC...who by the way are a much greater danger to children) who will live perpetually as dependents of the state welfare system BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT GIVES THEM NO INCENTIVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. DO NOT equate drugs to those who use EBT and HUD, because THAT is an unnecessary STEREOTYPE to those who "just need a little help".

The government is legislating morality (since the Harrison Tax Act), and trying to control its citizens' lives. This is a lost war, people will never stop because you tell them to. End of story.

-- Posted by curthe on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 12:01 PM

How is the production and use of drugs a victimless crime? I struggle to believe that statement every time I hear it on these forums. Its been said below, the families of those who abuse drugs suffer a great deal from the addiction that rules the life of the user. Recreational use of methamphetamine doesn't exist. It is a dangerous drug that causes the user to need more each time. The production of this drug creates a hazardous environment to the residents of the household and those living in that neighborhood. People using meth do not have control of their actions. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/PEOPLE/injury/r...

This is good site that explains side effects of common drugs of abuse. If the side effects are really what the research implies are the families of the users safe? Irritability is one of the most commonly cited side effects. A parent who is stressed by a crying baby and is experiencing enhance irritability from drug use can't control the actions they take. What stops them from losing control and killing their child while their minds are clouded by drugs?

Forgetfulness is often associated with marijuana use. What is to stop a parent from forgetting to feed or tend to their baby? I see legalization of these drugs would open up a new load of problems.

-- Posted by hiddenthoughts101 on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 12:40 PM

hiddenthoughts101: Isn't everything you are saying exactly as true when talking about addictions to gambling, sex, alcohol or a myriad of other perfectly legal things that hurt other family members? Nobody is arguing that child abuse and child neglect should be legalized, so since those things are already illegal anybody performing those acts is a criminal.

Once again I will ask WHOM exactly is being stop by current drug laws? Do you believe that their are children in perfectly happy homes today whose parents do not touch drugs currently BUT who would definitely use some Meth if only it was legal? As far as I can see everybody who wants to use drugs can already get drugs while every non-drug user I've ever meet has plenty of good reasons not to use drugs that have nothing to do with legality.

Why do we spend billions on drug prevention yet have higher drug usage rates then almost all the countries that have far lesser penalties for soft drugs? Maybe we just need to make drug "boring".

http://www.minbuza.nl/binaries/en-pdf/pd...

Look at the very low maximum drug sentences in the Netherlands compared to the US, not to mention the decriminalization of small sales and usage of marijuana. Check out the table in Annex III or "Drug use among people aged 12 and over in the United States and the Netherlands, in percentages". The Dutch do drink more alcohol but in every other category their lax drugs laws appear to actually keep more people off drugs. Anybody over 18 can walk into a coffee shop and buy Cannabis there yet half as many of them actually make the choice to try it compared to Americans. Are these kind of results worth all the extra time and money we spend fighting a war on drugs?

-- Posted by Nil on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 2:14 PM

The prohibition of marijuana has caused exponentially more problems than marijuana use ever would.

-- Posted by Elder on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 3:59 PM

curthe-

You seem to take some offense to the statement that people who use or sell drugs might be in the government welfare system. I think that system, which is poorly ran, covers the spectrum on who it lets sit around and not to a darn thing.

I know there are people who need it, but there are plenty that DON'T.

I am all for the government legalizing pot. Tax it just like everythign else. I feel that people who go and get drunk and drive home are more of a risk than people who get stoned and do the same thing.

There has always been the idea that making pot legal would keep the younger kids from running into the pot dealer, who might also have some cocaine, lsd, etc. I could see that possibly being the case.

But, until it is legal it is illegal and the law is the law. maybe if some of the potheads would stay straight for a day they could pool their money and lobby congress just like all the other big business types.

Money talks in America and sadly for stoners, there is no big money to make it a big 'legal' business.

-- Posted by jsohn on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 6:40 PM

They need to spend more money prosecuting those that fight dogs and the puppy mills.

The war on drugs is a bunch of bull. Now the war on those who abuse animals needs to be aggressively pursued. Starting with Michael Vick.

-- Posted by lovinlife&lovincape on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 8:34 PM

Nil: I went through the link you posted and found it very interesting. Thank you for the information. I do have some questions for you in regards to the information. First, it does state in the text that it is illegal to "possess, produce, sell, and import/export either hard drugs or cannabis". So does this really seem like drugs are legal? Under section C on Coffee houses, it's legal to sell 5 grams/day/person, but the coffee houses are subject to strict rules that seem to be enforceable at the whim of the mayor, the chief public prosecutor, and the chief of police. The aim of the coffee shops is stated to keep the use of cannabis separate from hard drugs, especially among "youngsters under the age of 18", but it's a violation of the coffee shops regulations to allow anyone under the age of 18 on the premises. So how exactly does this intended aim work if a youngster can't go there to experiment with cannabis in a place separate from hard drugs?

The penalty section of the article makes a lot of sense to me and I agree that the penalties for cannabis shouldn't be as strict as those for hard drugs, but there are still penalties for the possession of marijuana, so does this really make it legal, which I believe is what you and Greywolf promote every time there is an article about drugs written.

Are your views on the legalization of drugs the same as what is here in the report? The programs currently in place don't work for the United States if you look at the data that is presented at the end of this report. Point made there, but I believe that's a topic for another day. Also the point on lower penalty phases makes plenty of sense to me. I don't think prolonged sentences in prison cause a drug dealer or user decide to change their ways. A brief tour of jail may help change a person's ways, but I think prolonged stays only encourages people to continue illegal actions because they lose any hope of maintaining job that will pay the bills.

I was trying to make a point with my earlier post that people who abuse drugs (hard drugs) end up being the parents that don't pay attention to their children or cause irreparable damage to the lives of those around them. Your right, alcohol, gambling, and other addictive behaviors have negative effects on the families of the addict, why give them one more LEGAL thing to do to cause damage. You may believe that people who don't abuse drugs now would start if it were legal, but I do know people who teeter on that line. The only thing stopping them is the fact that the act being illegal could cost them a job in the future. Employee background checks are a pain when a person has to admit to the recreational use of drugs since its illegal.

-- Posted by hiddenthoughts101 on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 9:45 PM

hiddenthoughts10: As you saw in the link drugs are not legal in the Netherlands, though possession of small amounts of cannabis and small sales in licensed and highly regulated coffee shops are legal. My point was more looking at their their lax (in comparison) penalties that seem to accomplish far more. The coffee shops keep teenagers from experimenting with cannabis primarily by largely removing it from the black market. Instead of buying drugs from some other kid at their high school who is a dealer like would be typical in the US, the Dutch supply of cannabis is controlled by the adults that run the coffee shops.

While penalties for cannabis do still exists they aren't typically enforced, or enforced only with fines outside of major import/export cases. They also are far more likely to spend money on treatment for hard drug addicts rather than imprison them, the Dutch have ran rather successful programs that have limited the damage done by heroin addicts; even up to the point of actually providing heroin to certain longterm addicts for whom methadone treatments haven't worked on. I do promote 100% legalization of all drugs, unfortunately thus far no country has taken that big of a step. The evidence from those countries that have partially decriminalized a few drugs makes that route look like the right direction.

"Your right, alcohol, gambling, and other addictive behaviors have negative effects on the families of the addict, why give them one more LEGAL thing to do to cause damage." This exact argument could have been made against ending alcohol prohibition at the time. On the flipside are their any currently legal activities you would like to see banned since clearly the fewer legal damaging activities the better off society is.

All the people I've seen who have stopped using drugs because of the threat of testing and laws use plenty of other substances. It's the chemically reliant personality that is the entire problem not the specific chemicals they take and whether or not they teeter on the line between legal and illegal drugs. I've watched friends I had in high school and college get busted on minor drug charges, the penalties for a first time offender typically aren't too bad (particularly since most came from families that could afford the good lawyers) but the mandatory drug tests only seemed to make any drug dependence worse. Instead of just smoking a joint they would drink themselves into oblivion, chug bottles of Robitussin, and pop nasty things like Ketamine, DMT, GHB, etc... None of them went 100% clean or changed their base behavior, they just changed their chemical of choice to things that would get them past any drug tests. I will say that all of those people eventually cleaned up, but it was because they eventually out grew the behavior or they decided to quit outside of any government involvement.

For those that want to "get high" they can go to Wal-Mart tonight and buy cartloads of substances that will get them high as kite. Instead of targeting a few dozen street drugs we need to invest in treating individuals who have the compulsion to overindulge in drugs regardless of whatever particular substance they choose.

-- Posted by Nil on Sun, Sep 16, 2007, at 12:11 AM


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