Strange Ways

kelley kwalker2 at
Sun Aug 6 06:49:19 PDT 2000

hey all,

the below was forward to LOB awhile ago. In it, the author maintains that prisoners are serving a minimum of 15 years for possession with intent to sell--"to be considered a seller". the article was forwarded elsewhere and someone mentioned that this 15 yr min sentence is wrong, that it's five. if so, what explains this misinformation in WW? Also, why does the author single out Texas and New York?

kelley --------------------------------

Worker's World Newspaper Editorial

Washington has a strange way of waging a war against drugs in Colombia.

On the one hand, Congress just voted $1.3 billion to send helicopters to the Colombian Army and to drop dangerous plant-killing fungi on farming areas in that country.

On the other, a federal court just let the U.S. officer who was in charge of anti-drug operations in Colombia off with a five-month sentence for his involvement in sending heroin back to the United States.

Col. James Hiett's wife, Laurie Anne Hiett, was convicted last May in Texas of smuggling some $700,000 worth of heroin to New York in May and June 1999, using the diplomatic postal service at the U.S. Embassy.

She was sentenced to five years in prison.

Hiett plead guilty to concealing his knowledge that his wife was laundering drug money. In doing so, he admitted she made two trips in April 1999 from Bogota to New York, returning with $25,000. Hiett said he never questioned her about it.

During his time in Colombia, Hiett commanded U.S. troops who trained security forces for so-called counter-drug operations and also protected radar bases used to track aircraft.

The prisons of New York and Texas are filled with tens of thousands of youths, mostly Latino and African American, who are serving a minimum of 15 years supposedly for possessing enough drugs to be considered a seller. Washington has put pressure on the Colombian government to extradite so-called "drug lords" and handed them life sentences in U.S. courts.

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