Paul Mirengoff of Powerline blog is upset because the Feds have started to arrest rioters in Portland. Irony of ironies the Feds are using a statute rammed through Congress by democrats, back in 1968. I guess they were against rioting before they were for it.
I think Mirengoff missed the boat on this one. The Feds routinely investigate and prosecute dope dealers, sex traffickers, felons with guns and civil rights violators. All of these crimes fall under state and local jurisdiction, except when they don’t. Most of the time Federal involvement isn’t triggered by a breakdown of the system.
In almost any liberal shithole one would care to name, the District Attorneys routinely refuse to prosecute rioters. Their refusal is not based on a lack of evidence. It is based on a lack of will to enforce the law they swore to uphold. Here is the link to the Powerline story.
Leftists, and some conservatives, object to the feds becoming involved. They reason that if the violence in question isn’t directed against federal property or federal officers, prosecution should be left to state and local authorities under statutes and ordinances that prohibit specific behavior — e.g., assault and arson — even though the actions of the rioters often aren’t garden variety instances of assault and arson.Paul Mirengoff, Powerline Blog
During the last five years of my tenure working narcotics I was shameless in forum shopping my cases. Almost every case I investigated ended up in Federal Court. I was a local cop investigating drug trafficking. I had the US Attorney’s Office on speed dial. I didn’t need a Federal Agent to hold my hand, in order to file a case.
I targeted mid to upper level crack cocaine dealers. The Federal sentencing guidelines were such that upon conviction a crack dealer in Federal Court was guaranteed prison. If the defendant used a firearm, five years more was stacked on, over and above the dope sentence.
In the State system it didn’t matter how much dope a defendant had, didn’t matter if he was armed, didn’t matter if he pissed on the Judge’s bench. The defendant was going to get probation. Prior convictions, parole, currently on probation? Make that double secret probation.
Then there was the incarceration aspect. At one point, twenty-eight days in the state system equaled one year. Ten years in the state system? Crooks were singing I’ll Be Home by Christmas. In the federal system twenty-eight days counted as a month. If there was a gun charge, then it was five years flat, no good time, no parole, no concurrent sentences. The day the calendar ran out on the gun charge the inmate can start his drug sentence.
The other difference was that in Bexar County it was impossible to enter into a conspiracy. Somebody broke into the District Attorney’s office and stole the page dealing with conspiracy out of every single copy of the penal code. In the Federal system, in a drug prosecution conspiracy was almost automatic.
I would catch a doper and whisper sweet nothings in his ear like: “You know the difference between state and time and fed time?” At first, they didn’t, but they soon learned. It wasn’t long before I was telling defendants, “It’s time to come to Jesus!” They were all hollering, “Hallelujah” and singing to get their time down to “something they could do!” When faced with serious prison time, everybody snitches.
My bread and butter was targeting the organization. SAPD narcotics was numbers driven. As an example, what started as a disturbance led to the seizure of eleven kilos of crack and cocaine. Two black women were arrested. I actually had a crack dealer call me to ask who the women were. He admitted that they were unknowns and were not players or connected to any players in the crack trade. SAPD declared victory and filed the case in state court. They were done.
Crack cocaine dealers are chauvinistic. A girlfriend or mother might hold a “stash” of drugs or money but they are not decision makers. Oftentimes they aren’t entirely willing participants in the operation. However, if they object they risk a beating and loss of financial support.
I got an AUSA interested and we started an investigation. The end result is that the guy who owned the dope, two lieutenants, some street runners and the two women were all rolled into a conspiracy. One of the women was the main crook’s mother and the other his girlfriend.
The state charge against the women was dropped. They eventually entered a plea in the federal system. They were charged with keeping a drug house. It has been a while but they both received sentences of around thirty months. The main crook cooperated to the degree that he could and got twenty-four years. (The guidelines called for life.) All of the other crooks went away for ten years.
I worked hard to send them to prison. I also worked hard to exploit their cooperation so that they could get credit for cooperating with the government. Nobody who cooperated did guideline time.
I’m not bragging for the sake of bragging. I am trying to illustrate how the system can be fixed or worked around by using existing laws and resources. The reality is that the culture of SAPD narcotics demanded X number of cases per month. Dope on the table and asses in jail kept the administration happy. If the crook was out dealing dope the next day that was the District Attorney’s fault.
I didn’t have that pressure. I could spend weeks pulling reports, interviewing informants, talking to inmates and build my conspiracy case. The last conspiracy case I put together targeted four different crack cocaine distribution organizations and resulted in the arrest of over thirty people on over fifty charges. Almost all entered guilty pleas. “Big Willie” the king of the Ballers had fallen and wasn’t getting up (32 years in a Federal prison).
There was a hierarchy of crack dealers on the east side of San Antonio. One dealer is acknowledged as the “King of the Ballers.” We would take out one kingpin. The next day, word on the street would be that so&so had been proclaimed king.
A funny thing happened when Big Willie fell. (I got this from several different sources). Players went to the next free range crack kingpin and said, “You’re now the king!” His response was,”Fuck you, not me!” This discussion was repeated to several different nominees and the response was the same.
My sense of history tells me that what is happening in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, New York and all the other liberal shitholes is a repeat of the riots in the south during reconstruction. It took federal intervention back then. KKK or ANTIFA or BLM, they are all cut from the same cloth with the same goals.
Look at the origins of the folks being arrested for riot related offenses. Many don’t live in the communities where they are arrested. They are marginal people with limited resources. How can they afford the travel and living expenses? How many have been arrested previously in other jurisdictions? How many are fugitives, but for the fact that out of state jurisdictions won’t extradite? Does interstate flight to avoid prosecution ring a bell?
Arson is not a property crime. It is a crime of violence. It is using an improvised explosive device capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. Every year people are killed and maimed by Fireworks during holiday celebrations. Throwing or shooting fireworks at cops is not an innocent activity. It is deploying an explosive device with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury. Deadly force is being used by rioters and nothing the useful idiots in the MSM or democratic party are going to change that fact.
Federal prosecution is the only forum where communities are liable to receive justice.