PREVENTION VS. ENFORCEMENT
By Gordon Coombes- Executive Director
It was supposed to be a small introductory buy. Our unwitting informant wasn’t able to keep up with our demands and thus made a call to a guy who could. That call lead to another call and that call was picked up on a wiretap being run by our DEA liaison. Now, here I sat, waiting on the couch in a small two bedroom duplex. Our recently flipped informant on one side of me. A Lieutenant from a major drug organization on the other side. My new Lt. “friend” was was eager to demonstrate that he was armed, conspicuously displaying his nickel plated .45 caliber Colt pistol that was tucked into his waistband. My only comfort was that in a nearby bedroom there were four heavily armed and trained officers ready to storm into the room should things get ugly. I remember looking up at the small clock radio stationed oddly on the top large rear projection TV that filled the small living room. The camera hidden inside streamed the action to the safety officers in the bedroom.
Before long, the Lieutenant's errand boy and translator returned from the store. All four of us gathered in the kitchen and the two very seasoned drug traffickers went to work wrapping my 6 ounces of cocaine in cling wrap, coffee grounds and motor oil in preparation for my storied "trip" to Rawlins, Wyoming. I couldn’t help but think that this was a scene right out of any of many movies about the US drug trade. It was obvious that my new friends were enthusiastic to have a new soldier working under their wings, supplying what they thought was south central Wyoming. Over the course of the next 30 minutes I became tutored on the finer points of drug trafficking from these experts, I negotiated a multiple kilogram buy and gained a better understanding of the business side of the drug trade. Like a group of businessmen in a conference room or in a boardroom, we discussed profit margin, supply chain management, marketing strategy, and distribution networks. Not being formally educated in business administration, I soaked up the lesson both for my undercover role and unknowingly for my future profession in the legitimate business world.