A Bad Thing Happened in Virginia
The members of the miss named Northern Virginia Violent Crime Task Force are probably feeling pretty swell these days because last week a two year investigation culminated in the arrest of 25 people for distributing cocaine and heroin. They are receiving headlines, praise, justification for the task force’s existence, and perhaps even promotions for their efforts. This event is definitely a good thing for them but what about the rest of us?
First the taxpayers will now have to pay for expensive prosecution of 25 people and since most of those on trial will be low level dealers the public will also have to pay for much of their defense. If the government is successful at trial we will have to house, feed, clothe, and provide medical care for those convicted. In some cases this responsibility will last for decades. When you also consider the direct costs of the two year investigation and the fact that for this time period law enforcement resources were not being used to protect the public from rape, armed robbery, murder and other forms of mayhem you can see that these drug busts are very expensive with little return for the rest of us.
The article in The Washington Times does not mention any violence just street level sales of illegal substances. Since the task force has done nothing to reduce demand for the product, disruption of supply will be minimal or perhaps even non-existent. However, there will be a period where market share is contested with the most vicious and ruthless people winning. In the black market of illegal drugs disputes are settled with guns and murder. Therefore in this instance the main accomplishment of Northern Virginia Violent Crime Task Force will most likely be to engender violence that would not have occurred if they did not exist, putting at risk the rest of us.
Cross Posted on The Trebach Report