Whatever your thoughts on the War On Drugs, you can at least extract some entertainment value from some of the busts. Like the recent national crackdown on a Mexican drug-trafficking ring that ended up ensnaring 23 people in Tacoma, including an older, English-speaking mastermind whose nickname -- "Piojo" -- translates to "lice." Let's flesh out this screenplay-in-the-making after the jump.
Piojo and his men were rounded up as a result of Project Deliverance, a 22-month investigation that ended in the arrests of 2,200 people. (Random editorializing: Good thing we've got all that space to house them!)
Of the 74 tons of illegal drugs seized, two-thirds of the heroin was confiscated from the Tacoma ring. An organized operation dubbed the "Amway for drug addicts" by one of the investigating officers.
According to federal court document filed against one of the arrested individuals, the system of distribution and sale was well organized. Those needing drugs called a "dispatcher" who told the caller to drive to a specific location in residential areas within the six-square-mile buy area.
A "runner" would arrive and lead the customer around the area until he was assured no police were around. The runner would pull up to the curb, the customer would pull up next to him and the exchange of drugs and money would occur.
Piojo's ring came under scrutiny last year when cops noticed a lot more addicts were overdosing. And what would a drug story be without the overconfident quote from a proud taskforcer.
The seizure and arrests have put a huge dent in the Mexican heroin trade in South Sound, Whalley said.
"No one will be taking over for quite some time, maybe years," he said.
Dude, that's probably why they call him "lice." You don't stop these guys, you just keep them from crawling around for a short period of time.