DEA Agent Gets In Actual Trouble For Being A Thieving Liar
Chad A. Scott was the perfect example of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. Known as the "white devil," he stole money from suspects, falsified government records, perjured himself and did all kinds of other crap that would have made him just the perfect "playing by no one's rules but his own" antihero for a terrible American copaganda show. Instead, he is going to prison. For 13 years, possibly more.
Scott, for his part, was not at all sorry about any of the terrible things he'd done as an agent, claiming that prosecuting him for these actual crimes (that some might say are worse than doing drugs) was just "an example of the length people will go to to remove me from drug trafficking investigations," and citing two times when he's had a hit put out on him. Because of how he was so very effective at getting drug traffickers off the streets and into prison.
Though it seems he was a lot more effective at stealing things from them.
Scott was convicted in 2019 of orchestrating false testimony against a Houston-based heroin and cocaine trafficker — perjury that tainted the dealer's conviction and allowed him to walk free. The same federal jury found Scott falsified paperwork for a Ford F-150 pickup — a vehicle he directed another drug trafficker to buy so the DEA could seize it and give it to Scott.
Earlier this year, a separate federal jury convicted Scott and Rodney Gemar, a former member of his task force, in what prosecutors described as a long-running scheme to steal money and property from suspects they arrested.
Two other former members of the task force, Johnny Domingue and Karl E. Newman, were accused of stealing cash and drugs and testified against Scott. Both were Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office deputies — detailed to the DEA — and served federal sentences after agreeing to cooperate with the government. Domingue since has been charged with new federal drug trafficking charges in Texas.
Scott's sentencing hearing also "revealed details of crimes Scott was alleged to have committed but for which he was not charged." They are horrible crimes, like planting marijuana on someone and slicing another person's mouth with their own medallion, but as awful as he is, it does seem as though only crimes for which one has actually been convicted should factor into their sentencing.
While U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, in sentencing Scott, chastised him for causing "far-reaching" damage to the administration of justice," and one of the prosecutors in the case similarly said he "undercut law enforcement and he disgraced the entire judicial process," Scott is actually in extremely good company as far as DEA agents are concerned. Agents have frequently been arrested for all kinds of corrupt activities, like taking bribes, having sex parties with sex workers paid for by drug cartels, wire-fraud and money laundering, and even participating in the January 6 capitol riots. And those are just the things they actually get in trouble for!
Because sometimes they also hold innocent suspects in a cell for five days without food or water and those suspects have to drink their own urine to survive, and they don't get in trouble for that kind of thing. Or for killing 14-year-old girls. We can also thank them for the rise of the no-knock raids that we know sometimes kill other people.
But hey! If we keep pumping billions and billions of dollars into this shit, we'll never have to admit that the War on Drugs was an incredible failure. Also we don't have to bother with the wussy harm-reduction techniques that have actually proven to be way more effective in helping addicts than just throwing people in prison.
In an ideal world, we'd abolish the DEA and replace it with something less expensive, less prone to incredible abuse and corruption and more effective, but this is America and we tend to not like that kind of thing very much here.
Now, if there are any Republicans reading this who are thinking to themselves "Boy, you know, I was going to vote for a Democrat who has been very clear about not wanting to 'defund the police,' but now that I am reading this article by a woman who is obviously very far to the left of that candidate, I don't think I can do it," let me just assure you that the notably conservative Cato Institute actually agrees with me here and thinks we should replace the criminalization of drugs with harm reduction efforts. So there you go.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse