The affadavit also places restrictions on the amount of illicit drugs APD police officers may use in the operations. It calls for the “release up to but not to exceed eight (8) ounces of cocaine base (commonly referred to as crack), up to but not to exceed eight (8) ounces of cocaine, up to but not to exceed eight (8) ounces of heroin, and up to but not to exceed eight (8) ounces of Methamphetamine from the Albuquerque Police Department’s Evidence Unit to detectives of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Narcotics Unit for use in a ‘Reversal Operation.’” The document, which can be read in its entirety here, also suggests that these immoral drug-baiting tactics, which largely target the homeless or impoverished, is seen by the department as a means of stopping the flow of drugs through the city as other enforcement efforts have failed. However, putting drugs on the streets in order to take them off of the streets, seems like a rather misguided method to accomplish their stated goal.
Pete Dinelli, former Chief Deputy District Attorney and former Chief Public Safety Officer for Albuquerque doubted the affidavit until it was confirmed. He then explained to Burque Media that he find these stings troubling as they are inherently irresponsible. “It’s downright dangerous to be using drugs seized in other drug busts because of chain-of-custody issues and the risk associated with not being able to track what happens,” said Dinelli. “The city could also be exposed to liability for using tainted drugs that they lose track of. This is a very poor law enforcement practice.” Despite reservations expressed since the story broke in May, this unique reverse buy-bust operation has been in effect for most of this year and is set to tie up at the end of this month. However, it could continue if APD decides it was ultimately “successful.” Yet, successful could not necessarily mean less drugs on the streets, but instead higher arrest quotas and lucrative paybacks for any “lost” drugs that happen to benefit the police department as opposed to the community they are meant to serve.
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