Editorial: Bang for the buck?

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Our View

Convictions and drug seizures reported by the All Crimes Enforcement Team in its 2011 report raise questions about how effective and necessary the unit is today in Moffat and Routt counties. On the surface, the numbers don’t appear to warrant the time, resources and expense.

There were some surprising figures released in Monday’s Craig Daily Press story outlining last year’s activity by the All Crimes Enforcement Team, a task force that operates in Moffat and Routt counties.

According to the report, the task force conducted 29 investigations last year, resulting in four convictions and the seizure of drugs with an estimated total street value of $42,807.68.

The breakdown on seizures: 372.12 grams of cocaine, 2.8 grams of methamphetamine, and 3 grams of marijuana.

Perhaps there are aspects of the task force’s activity that aren’t as tangible as the conviction and seizure numbers, and if that’s the case, forgive the editorial board’s opinion today.

However, if we’re to view ACET’s success based off those numbers, a question arises:

Is the task force making a big enough dent in the area’s illegal drug trade?

On the surface, it doesn’t appear so.

For instance, take the contributions of the Craig and Moffat County community.

According to the report, Moffat County contributed $22,596.67 and Craig added $15,396.66, bringing our community’s allocation to ACET to $37,993.33.

A basic comparison tells us we’re barely getting a dollar-for-dollar match when it comes to contributions versus drugs seized.

The numbers are more glaring when considering Routt County, Steamboat Springs and Hayden also contribute to ACET.

Other numbers that caused us to look at last year’s activity with a raised eyebrow was ACET’s cocaine and methamphetamine seizures.

The majority of the 372 grams of cocaine ACET seized for the year, 340 grams, stemmed from one bust in Steamboat Springs.

What would the year’s activity have looked like without that singular bust?

And while methamphetamine, once such a plague in Craig and Moffat County, perhaps isn’t as prevalent as it once was, or the awareness isn’t as top of mind as it has been, the drug still has a presence here. Our law enforcement officials have told us as much.

Is 2.8 grams an acceptable amount to remove from two cities, two counties and one town in a calendar year by a task force designed to investigate and enforce against it?

Again, maybe there’s a different way to gauge the task force’s success in a year, but at first glance, it appears the bang for the buck is lacking.

That’s perhaps a microcosm for the so-called war on drugs in general — the return against the investment in this decidedly one-sided battle is greatly skewed.

The editorial board believes it’s time to ask some hard questions of the task force and the executive board responsible for its oversight.

Can the money, time and resources applied to ACET be used more wisely by the contributing agencies in their own communities?

Numbers don’t generally lie, and if that holds true with ACET’s report, answers to questions raised today appear obvious.

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Comments

truthhurts 2 years, 10 months ago

"Is 2.8 grams an acceptable amount to remove from two cities, two counties and one town in a calendar year by a task force designed to investigate and enforce against it?"

This is hilarious! Hello they busted several meth COOKS. COOKS who would have continued to do what COOKS do and that is COOK meth to sell in our communities. Just because when they busted them they didn't have loads of product lying around to pump up the street value of seized drugs means nothing.

Some info for the poorly educated editorial board.

Each pound of meth produced leaves behind five or six pounds of toxic waste. Meth cooks often pour leftover chemicals and byproduct sludge down drains in nearby plumbing, storm drains, or directly onto the ground. Chlorinated solvents and other toxic byproducts used to make meth pose long-term hazards because they can persist in soil and groundwater for years. Clean-up costs are exorbitant because solvent contaminated soil usually must be incinerated.

The average meth "cook" annually teaches ten other people how to make the drug.

Stopping COOKS prevented thousands of grams of meth being sold and used in our community for the foreseeable futures. The editorial board should be embarrassed. Dollar for Dollar...laughable!

Source http://www.kci.org/meth_info/faq_meth.htm

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Andrew Russo 2 years, 10 months ago

In January 2011, the agency dismantled a methamphetamine lab in Hayden and filed charges against four suspects.

Jamison Fjoser, 37, the alleged cook, pleaded guilty to manufacturing a controlled substance, a Class 2 felony.

He was sentenced in September 2011 in Routt County District Court to 12 years in prison.

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