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Overwhelming Majority Of Wiretaps Are For Drug Investigations

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wiretap cell phone drug investigationsLaw enforcement resources are limited across the United States. I have always wanted those resources prioritized to help catch the worst criminals possible. Catching child molesters, rapists, murderers and other violent criminals should be a top priority for law enforcement, and resources should never be diverted from those endeavors to go after someone who is selling drugs or doing drugs with no other criminal activity present.

Sadly, the opposite is true most of the time. Law enforcement dedicates more resources towards enforcing failed drug war policies than they should, which comes at the expense of other investigations towards real crime. That’s why there are six digit figures for untested rape kits across the country. Every dollar that goes towards busting someone for marijuana should go towards something more meaningful such as testing those rape kits. But doing so would hurt law enforcement’s bottom line, because there isn’t a lot of asset forfeiture money involved with testing rape kits.

According to a recent report, it appears that instead of wiretaps being approved for real criminal investigations, a vast majority of wiretaps are being approved for drug investigations. Per USCourts.Gov:

Drug offenses were the most prevalent type of criminal offense investigated using wiretaps. Table 3 indicates that 87 percent of all applications for intercepts (3,115 wiretaps) in 2013 cited illegal drugs as the most serious offense under investigation. “Other major offenses,” a category that includes smuggling and money laundering, was the second-largest category and was specified as the most serious offense in approximately 4 percent of applications. Homicide, the third-most frequently cited crime, was specified in less than 4 percent of applications. Many applications for court orders revealed that multiple criminal offenses were under investigation, but Table 3 includes only the most serious criminal offense listed on an application.

I don’t know about you, but I want wiretaps to be approved for going after child molesters and murderers, not the guy that is selling ten sacks on the corner. I want cops to be focusing on catching dangerous criminals, and not dedicating enormous resources to busting the local basement marijuana garden. The war on drugs is a colossal failure. So much money has been wasted, with not so much as a dent being seen in consumption. It makes me sad to think that future generations are going to look back on prohibition and wonder what the hell we were thinking.

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