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Pozo dragnet was a travesty of justice 


I was appalled, again, when I read your article on the fiasco that happened at the Pozo Saloon on April 18 (“What happened in Pozo?” July 8). This was especially difficult for me, because my child was one of the “Pozo 8.” To see my child’s mug shot on the local news, and his name in the local paper was difficult.

“Felony distribution of narcotics” sounds very serious to me. Allow me to give some background. Marc’s friend and football teammate died in his arms after a shooting at a football party at Hancock College in May 2007. This incident left him with severe panic attacks. He has a legitimate reason to possess a medicinal marijuana card. Marc had less than one eighth of an ounce of marijuana in his possession. With his card he was within the law.

He repeatedly told the “officer” he had none for sale. This was according to other witnesses, not only my son. The lack of training by this unit on entrapment and coercion is appalling. This is especially troubling when you look at the financial shape of our county and the state. Is this the proper use of finite resources? I would rather rehire a laid-off schoolteacher.

 I have several friends in the sheriff’s department, as well as the Atascadero police department, and would like everyone to know we have well-trained law enforcement officers in our county: Let’s not let bad apples prejudice us against those good officers.

The charges against my son were reduced, of course. He chose to plead guilty to the DA’s offer of possession of MORE than one ounce, so he could get back to college and put this all behind him. It was difficult to explain to him why this was OK. We try to teach our kids to tell the truth.

I guess if the DA and the narcotics task force say it’s OK to lie, it is. Apparently they had to get some convictions for political reasons.

I urge Commander John to focus his efforts on taking down the ecstasy, meth, and oxycotin dealers and importers who are doing major harm to the young people in our county. It’s probably not as much fun as busting youth at a concert and definitely requires more work, but the result will be much more rewarding.

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