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Police Drug Corruption

by Preston Peet- Special to

April 17, 2002

Tijuana Police Logo

Including their Chief, 41 cops in Tijuana were arrested Friday, April 12, 2002, accused of working for drug traffickers, protecting shipments, taking bribes, even carrying out executions. The arrests and charges are by no means abnormal in any way other than for the size of the sweep. Corruption of police, intelligence services, courts, politicians, and more, resulting from the War on Drugs, has become almost normal, to be expected, in any country waging War on Drugs. The United States is no exception.

There's no end to reports of low-paid cops who can't resist the lure of easy money that an illegal drug trade engenders. Combating the violent gangs and ruthless businessmen, the average sworn, full-time policeman in the US as of 1999 was earning between $29,840 and $41,206, according to a national survey conducted by the International City/County Management Association, (ICMA) in Washington DC. Putting their lives on the line everyday in a War that shows no sign of end, no success or victory just around the corner, it is easy to understand how these officers could get discouraged and maybe feel they deserve more for their risks and services when finding stacks of untraceable money on drug raids, or offered payoffs by dealers and cartels.

NYPD - Ever Present But Not Incorruptable

One would think the lessons of Alcohol Prohibition would be obvious, that outlawing a commodity there is great demand for only empowers those people ruthless and determined enough to supply that need. As long as there is legal prohibition of drugs, there will be a black market drug trade which will remain extremely profitable, tax-free, and powerful. As the trade flourishes the cartels buy off more and more law enforcers. Bootleg liquor magnate Al Capone had such a grip on Chicago's police and politicians during the roaring 1920s it took the US FBI to put even the slightest dent in Capone's alcohol empire. But the FBI couldn't completely destroy the illegal alcohol trade. After 13 years, citizens got so fed up with the endemic corruption and violence resulting from Alcohol Prohibition it was repealed, in 1933.

But while the War on Drugs and drug corruption amongst drug warriors continue unabated, is this corruption any worse than official US government support of drug traffickers and their allies, such as the US support of Vladimir Montesinos in Peru, or putting the heroin trafficking Kosovo Liberation Army into power in the former Yugoslavia? Is corruption among lowly police officers any worse than big banks and companies laundering drug proceeds?

Cops Waging Drug War

It is easy to point out other countries' problems with drug corruption, but just as US border guards, feds, and police cannot keep drugs out of the US, so too do they utterly fail to stop the accompanying corruption. Conservative estimates put the money made in profits from illegal drugs at $55 billion a year. (This does not include the money spent by Drug Warriors on the War itself.) There is no way to combat the temptations of this kind of money, especially not in a capitalist society. There will always be a segment of cops who cannot resist taking a cut. The only way to stop the corruptive force of such profits is to legalize and regulate the drug trade instead of exposing our police and the citizenry they work for to the endless unnecessary dangers involved in waging this pointless, destructive War.

Can You Differentiate Between the Cops
and Criminals?


Drug Corruption Links

Police Corruption Probe
Western Australia's police royal commission plans to carry out serious investigations, surveillance and moral testing of its officers, especially those involved in drug law enforcement, to root out the bad seeds and try to stop corruption.

Mexico Fights Tijuana Cop Corruption
There's rampant corruption among police in Tijuana, who not only take money from drug traffickers, but from all kinds of criminal types, according to this article.

Win at All Costs- Government Misconduct in the Name of Expedient Justice
This 10-part series does not paint a pretty picture of the current health of the US Justice system, detailing numerous instances of overzealous prosecution and outright criminal behavior on the part of the feds.

Win At All Costs- The Justice Department Responds

The Justice Department took offense at this 10-part investigative series alledging all sorts of corruption and misconduct amongst federal law enforcement and prosecutors.

Double Cross- US Customs Agents 'Embarrassed' by Drug Smuggling Informant

Read the 1998 transcript of an interview by Sam Donaldson of ABCNews with Rodney Matthews, a pot smuggler the US government turned into a major cocaine entrepreneur, allowing him to keep all money he made from the sales of tons of cocaine on US streets, all in the name of waging a War on Drugs. While there doesn't appear to be any corrupt cops involved per se, the mere fact they allowed his drugs to hit US streets is criminal enough, as long as they continue to lock others up for buying, selling, and ingesting those drugs.

Dallas Drug Cases Questioned Amid Doubts About Informant

In at least 24 cases involving the same informant, lab test results in Dallas have shown that a substance alledged to be cocaine was actually drywall dust, or minute amounts of cocaine mixed with drywall. There are 70 cases involving the same informant that are being further investigated.

Compare Gravity of Crimes Between the Insiders and the Public

"For a better understanding of the arrogance in the government's so-called war-on-drugs, consider the difference in punishment for those outside the system and those who are part of the system," implored this website, by longtime investigator and one-time target of US government criminals, Rodney Stich.

How the People Seldom Catch Intelligence (excerpt)

By the editor of, this article, published in You Are Being Lied To, graphically illustrates how ridiculous it is for the House Intelligence Committee to release a report denying CIA drug trafficking ties.

Evidence Does Not Support of Allegations of CIA Participation in Drug Trafficking

This is the House Intelligence Committee press release exhonerating the CIA of involvement in drug trafficking, particularly into the US. This is posted at the CIA website. It would be laughable if so many people around the world weren't being locked up for ingesting the drugs the CIA has most definitely facilitated the trafficking of over the years, even into the US.

Effective Drug Control Strategy

Noting an abundance of attention paid to corruption of police by drug trafficking cartels South of the Border, Common Sense for Drug Policy feels there is not enough attention to the rampant police drug corruption here within US borders.

Rivals, Not Police, Killed Drug Lord, US Aides Say

Although the headline might lead one to think there was no police involvement in the brutal execution of drug lord Ramon Arellano Felix in February, 2002, after reading into the article, one discovers that police were involved afterall, only acting in their other jobs as accomplices of an Arellano rival and not as part of an official police operation.

Police Drug-Related Corruption

This is a collection of news blurbs about police drug corruption covering Dec. 1998- Feb. 1999, posted at the November Coalition website.

High-Profile Cases of Mexican Corruption

The Houston Chronicle gathered this list of corrupted individuals in Mexican power circles.

Good Guys Gone Bad?

The recent arrests of 41 officers in Tijuana come a mere 9 years after Ricardo Cordero Ontiveros was forced to resign from his job "as head of the intelligence division in the Tijuana office of the Attorney General's National Institute to Combat Drugs (INCD)," after reporting the extensive ties between Tijuana cops and traffickers. What took so long?

DEA, BATF, and PRPD Arrests Seven Police Officers and One Civilian

These US government agencies worked with the Puerto Rico Police Department to investigate and arrest these cops who were using their positions as police officers to facilitate their cocaine and heroin trafficking operations.

Corruption Tags Us With Despair

Cops participating in a federally funded anti-drug program called "Weed and Seed" in Bellwood and Maywood, Illinois, came under federal investigation for drug trafficking ties.

Drug Corruption Trial Begins for Former Police Commander

Two men, one an NYPD officer, have implicated an NYPD commander as taking part in their scheme to rip off a drug trafficker by faking the arrest of a courier and stealing $60,000 in drug proceeds. Claiming innocence, he is now standing trial, asserting the men are seeking reduced sentences in exchange for their testimony against him.

Errie Similarities Between Government Corruption In Mexico and the United States

More from Rodney Stich, pointing out some facts that make the current situation in Tijuana, Mexico seem much more run of the mill instead of a unique major scandal.

Ex-Sheriff Who Stole Drug Fighting Money Doesn't Want Jail Time

Already having plead guilty to stealing $4,000 from money set aside for waging the War on Drugs, ex-sheriff Peter Pinckney says he'll withdraw his plea if the judge tries to give him jail time.

Ex-Cop Gets 6 and 1/2 Years in Jail

This former narc took at least one bribe, and warned a drug gang about an upcoming police raid, earning himself some prison time.

Two Jefferson Detectives Plead Innocent

Two narcs face up to 70 years each in prison if they're convicted, indicted on over 450 counts of police misconduct. They are accused of tampering with drug evidence, falsifying warrants, stealing money, and more.

Former Calexico INS Inspector Convicted

Mark Anthony Miller was a US Immigration and Naturalization Service inspector, but now he's a convicted cocaine trafficker.

Schenectady Officers Sentenced In Police Corruption

Yet more cops who abused the powers given them along with their badges and guns to sell drugs and make a lot of money.

Drug War and Police Corruption

This is an editorial about how outlawing drugs only makes them more lucrative to sell, and corrosive to the fabric of society, especially when pitting low-paid cops against ultra-rich drug dealers.

More Details of Drug Conspiracy Emerge

Reading through the allegation against these alleged drug dealing cops is like reading some kind of dime-store true crime story.

Dallas and Tulia: A Tale of Two Cities

This is an editorial comparing the outrageous drug prosecutions that have been discovered to be based on fake drugs, and/or the word of shady paid informants.

Diplomat Says Police Admit to Frame-Up

Kevin Quill, a rich British businessman, was set up by business partners and Thai police on drug charges of which he was innocent.

Undercover Cop Behind TV Drama 'Took Bribes'

The inspiration for a tv cop charactor on the Australian tv show Stingers, Guy Wilding is accused of soliciting bribes from drug dealers to help them avoid long sentences.

Ex-Guards Hired Inmates to Attack Rat, Hearing Told

These Canadian ex-prison guards are pissed off at a fellow guard who did not like the fact they were dealing drugs in prison, and told on them.

The Policeman

This is a dedication page to those officers who do the job they sign on for. Even with the profusion of dirty corrupt cops spreading each day the War on Drugs continues, there are still those cops who refuse to buckle under to temptation. Of course, most cops continue to wage the War, so depending on one's perspective, they could be held guilty for brainlessly "just following orders".

Vladimir Montesinos- The Rise and Fall of Our Man in Peru

One of the stalwart allies in the US Drug War, until busted for bribing politicians, and selling machineguns to FARC rebels in Colombia.

Three Mexican Agents Probing Cartel With American Help Found Dead

These agents were killed while investigating the Arrellano Felix cartel in and around Tijuana, where scores of police have been killed for investigating corrupt cops and drug trafficking.

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