Drugs (And Hypocrisy) in America: Cops and TSA Agents Busted in Huge Oxycodone Trafficking Operation

Three TSA agents and at least two police officers have been arrested for alleged involvement in a large-scale oxycodone trafficking operation between Connecticut, New York and Florida. 

A five-month investigation yielded the arrests of  twenty people, including TSA officers Christopher Allen, 45, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; John Best, 30, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; and Brigitte Jones, 48, of the Bronx, N.Y., as well as The New York police officer, Michael Brady, 36, and the Florida trooper, Justin Kolves, 28, the Associated Press said. 

According to the AP,

The TSA officers, based at airports in Florida and New York, and a Westchester County, N.Y., police officer allowed the oxycodone through airport security, authorities said Tuesday. A Florida state trooper accepted cash and checks for ensuring dealers could freely transport the pills and cash proceeds by car through that state, prosecutors said.

And:

Authorities received information that someone possessing a large quantity of oxycodone was traveling from Palm Beach, Fla. to Stamford, Conn. to sell thousands of oxycodone pills. On April 8, the DEA arrested the man, who had about 6,000 oxycodone pills, in a Stamford hotel, prosecutors said.

Florida, notorious for widespread pill mill operations, has been considered the base from where much of the country, and Appalachia in particular, receive the bulk of its illegal prescription pills.  Oxycodone, best known for its high potency in the slow-release pain killer OxyContin, is a highly addictive substance known to cause overdose, especially when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. 

As Steven W. Derr, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, told the AP, the officers' corruption and lack of compassion for addicts is startling:

"Prescription pain medication abuse is rampant in New England and this trafficking group allegedly preyed upon the addictions of individuals to line their pockets, while the law enforcement officers are alleged to have sold their badges and abused their authority to further the illegal activities of the organization."

Those arrested, including the police and TSA agents, face up to twenty years in prison if convicted. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at September 13, 2011, 10:22am

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