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18 December 2006

military recruiters: the worst of the worst

This image has nothing to do with anything, but I found it and I like it. Hey kids! Join the Army today!

One feature of the federal No Child Left Behind Law requires every high school which receives federal funds to provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the school's juniors and seniors to U.S. military recruiters. Any school which balks and doesn't turn over its students' information forfeits all educational assistance money from the federal government.

Why wouldn't a school or a parent want to let military recruiters contact their kids?

The National Guard conforms in uniforms, equipment, organization and training to the federal military, but is under the command and control of each state; the commander-in-chief is the state governor (not the President of the United States). But the Department of Defense may at any time nationalize a National Guard unit, for example, for overseas duty during a war, during which time it becomes part of the federal military.

I'm rolling around on the floor laughing over this wonderful story, but I'm going to try to pull myself together for a moment and say something serious.

Forget the cocaine smuggling freak show circus.

If you're a parent, and your son or your daughter is thinking of joining the military, there are two issues.


1. Should your kid join the military?

2. Do you want your kid within 10 miles of a military recruiter?

1. Is up to you. (After the kid turns 18, it's not even up to you anymore. But a 17-year-old needs his/her parents' permission to join the military.)

2......... Well, this newspaper article starts with what military recruiters like to call themselves: "The best of the best."

Recruiters are the worst of the worst. They dress up in amazingly colorful superpatriotic dazzling gleaming uniforms and carry giant American flags around as they march up and down the halls of your kid's high school. Your kid is about to make a life-and-death decision, and he/she is getting Life Advice from a geek who spends 3 hours a day polishing the brass parts of his uniform and spends more time looking at himself in a mirror than a supermodel.

Four years earlier, your kid was spending hours playing with his GI Joe action figure. Now the high school is letting SuperHero Action Figures Come To Life dazzle and mesmerize your kid.


Do not ever let your kid be alone with a recruiter for longer than 60 seconds, and get every recruiter's promise to your kid written down, witnessed, notarized, and signed.

~ ~ ~

The Arizona Daily Star (Arizona USA)
Sunday 17 December 2006


Tucson Military Recruiters
Ran Cocaine


Some Kept Visiting Schools for 3 Years After FBI Caught Them on Tape

by Carol Ann Alaimo, Arizona Daily Star

A Midtown strip mall that should have housed the best of the best served as Corruption Central in Tucson.

Two military recruiting stations sit side-by-side there, one run by the Army, the other by the Marines. Between them, a total of seven recruiters were on the take, secretly accepting bribes to transport cocaine, even as most spent their days visiting local high schools.

They had help from several more recruiters at an Army National Guard office, where one recruiter was said to be selling cocaine from the trunk of his recruiting vehicle.

Together, these dozen or so recruiters formed the nucleus of one of the FBI's biggest public corruption cases, the sting known as Operation Lively Green, which unfolded in Southern Arizona from 2002-2004 and was made public last year.

Many of the drug-running recruiters remained on the job, with continued access to local schools, for months -- and often, years -- after FBI agents secretly filmed them counting cash next to stacks of cocaine bricks, the Arizona Daily Star found in a months-long probe of court records and military employment data.

Some were still recruiting three years after they first were caught on camera running drugs in uniform. Most have pleaded guilty and are to be sentenced in March. Some honorably retired from the military.

There is no suggestion in court records that the recruiters were providing drugs to students.

What they did between FBI drug runs isn't known because they weren't under constant surveillance, the FBI said. For example, in the middle of the cocaine sting, one of the recruiters was arrested by another law-enforcement agency in an unrelated drug case, accused of transporting nearly 200 pounds of marijuana on Interstate 19, court records show.

Military recruiting officials say the corruption was not widespread. They also say they kept these recruiters on the job because they either didn't know they were under investigation, or were told by the FBI to leave the suspects alone so as not to jeopardize the sting's outcome.

Some Tucson parents and school officials, contacted by the Star about the results of the paper's research, said students should not have been left exposed for so long to recruiters known by the FBI to be involved in cocaine-running.

"I don't like the thought of someone involved with drugs having access to my child, and I don't know anything about it and the school doesn't know anything about it," said Kathy Janssen, who has a 15-year-old son at Tucson High Magnet School, the city's largest high school. "High school students are very vulnerable."

This isn't the first time the FBI has come under criticism in the Lively Green case. Allegations of sexual misconduct by undercover informants also have dogged the case and could result in reduced punishment for the recruiters and dozens of other defendants.

Schools

At a press conference to unveil the case last year, the FBI announced that many Lively Green defendants were military members. Agents didn't say that recruiters were involved.

A Phoenix-based FBI spokeswoman said the agency can't say much at this point about the Lively Green probe because it's still in progress.

Special Agent Deb McCarley did say the FBI generally performs risk assessments before deciding to keep suspects who work in public positions on the job during undercover probes.

"We recognize the range of ethical issues that inherently arise in the course of our undercover investigations," McCarley said in an e-mail.

"We have sound policies in place" to address such dilemmas, she said, and "this case has been no exception."

Some high schools in Tucson Unified, Flowing Wells Unified and Marana Unified school districts, and in Amphitheater Public Schools, were visited by one or more of these recruiters on a regular or occasional basis, according to military recruiting officials. Schools in other districts may have had visits as well, but precise records no longer are available in some cases, officials said.

One TUSD Governing Board member was incensed to hear the recruiters remained on the job so long.

"It's ludicrous to me that the FBI would leave these people in place and allow them onto our high school campuses," Judy Burns said.

"If they were going to do that, they should have been monitoring them constantly."

Monica Young, who has two children attending TUSD high schools, agreed.

"It is appalling that recruiters who were known to be involved in such activity were allowed on any school campus," she said.

Legal expert Stephen Saltzburg, who teaches criminal procedure at George Washington University, said it's entirely possible that the Tucson recruiters were running drugs in their free time and still functioning normally on the job.

Once the FBI made the decision to leave them in place at local schools "one would hope they would be watching that very carefully," he said.

Ethics

From a military standpoint, it's especially egregious that recruiters took part in the cocaine runs, experts say.

"The military definitely views recruiters as persons in a special position of trust," said Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, in Washington, D.C.

Recruiters are supposed to meet high standards to promote an honorable image of the military, Fidell said. If court-martialed, they probably would be punished more harshly than non-recruiters, he said.

The willingness of Tucson recruiters to run drugs was clear to FBI agents from the start of the Lively Green sting, according to agent testimony at the court-martial of a Davis-Monthan technical sergeant -- a non-recruiter -- convicted in the Lively Green case in June.

In fact, it was a recruiter who caused the FBI to set up the sting in the first place, FBI Special Agent Adam Radtke said.

That recruiter, Radtke said, was former Army National Guardsman Darius W. Perry, who pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Radtke said the sting got started in late 2001, when the FBI received numerous complaints that Perry, who worked out of the Guard's East Side recruiting office, was taking bribes to fix the military aptitude test scores of new recruits.

The FBI put an undercover informant in place to check it out. As the FBI plant was paying Perry to fix a test score in the parking lot of a Tucson restaurant, Perry opened the trunk of his recruiting vehicle and offered to sell part of a kilo of cocaine, Radtke said.

"Perry basically introduced the crime to us," the agent testified.

Perry couldn't be reached for comment. His federal court file, including the name of his attorney, has been sealed by the court. The Arizona Daily Star has filed a legal motion to have the case unsealed, and the action is pending.

Perry, 42, and another former Army National Guard recruiter, Mark A. Fillman, 56, were the first to offer their drug-running services to undercover informants who posed as Mexican drug lords during the sting, Radtke said.

The sting was set up so participants could make money in two ways -- by agreeing to help transport cocaine and by finding others to do so.

The Tucson recruiters, trained to sell people on the military, often used those skills to recruit for the drug ring, helping the sting to mushroom, court records show.

One Army recruiter, Rodney E. Mills, 40, brought in six people. Perry persuaded six others, all Army National Guard members, to join, his plea deal said.

In one case not mentioned in the plea agreement, Perry is said to have recruited a Nogales woman named Leslie Hildago, then in her early 20s, to join the drug ring after he had recruited her to join the National Guard.

Hildago's lawyer, Richard Bacal of Tucson, said he is "not going to deny" that's what took place, but said he can't elaborate because of the plea bargain Hildago signed.

If recruiters used data from recruiting rolls to solicit people for drug running, that's particularly offensive, said military law expert Scott Silliman, a former senior lawyer for the Air Force who now is a law professor at Duke University.

Such recruiters "took advantage of their positions to commit crime," Silliman said.

Another Tucson recruiter, former National Guard member Demian F. Castillo, 35, got his own younger brother -- John M. Castillo, 31 -- to join the drug ring, court records show.

The younger Castillo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port inspector, agreed to wave through two vehicles he believed were loaded with cocaine at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, in exchange for $19,000. He, too, pleaded guilty.

Prosecution

Of the more than 60 Lively Green defendants who have pleaded guilty so far, 10 were Tucson military recruiters. Between the 10, they pocketed a total of $180,600 in bribe payments, court records show.

Five worked at the Army's Midtown recruiting office: Mills, Sheldon L. Anderson, 27; Derreck J. Curry, 30; Ronricco M. Allen, 36; and Jason E. Kitzmiller, 27.

Two Marine recruiters whose office was next door to the Army recruiters also pleaded guilty: James M. Clear, 26, and Jared A. Wright, 28.

National Guard recruiters who pleaded guilty include Perry, Fillman and Castillo. A fourth National Guard recruiter, Raul F. Portillo, 34, was identified by the FBI as a suspect but was never charged. Portillo is the recruiter arrested during the FBI sting by another police agency on marijuana trafficking charges. He is believed to have fled to Mexico.

In May, Perry retired honorably from the military, six months before the FBI arrested him. Fillman also retired honorably in May 2003, two years before he was charged.

In two cases, the Arizona Army National Guard gave suspected or convicted recruiters general discharges under "honorable" conditions.

One went to Castillo, the recruiter who brought his brother into the drug ring.

The lawyer for the Arizona Army National Guard, Col. Richard Palmatier, said Castillo resigned from the Guard a day before his guilty plea, which kept his personnel file free of information about the crime.

Portillo, the former recruiter believed to be in Mexico, also received a general discharge under honorable conditions, even though he was wanted in Santa Cruz County -- and still is -- on the unrelated drug charges. Palmatier said Guard officials didn't know about those charges, and even if they had, Portillo wasn't convicted so the case couldn't be used against him upon discharge.

Portillo was stopped on northbound I-19 in a vehicle filled with pot in July 2003, and is thought to have left the country to escape prosecution, said Santa Cruz County Attorney George Silva. Portillo couldn't be reached for comment.

Silva was astonished to hear the National Guard gave Portillo a military discharge that includes the word "honorable."

"That is shocking. It's absolutely amazing," he said.

What Now

What happens next with the recruiters and other Lively Green defendants is in the court's hands.

Each defendant who pleaded guilty faces the possibility of up to five years in prison. But all have signed plea bargains that say their sentences will be determined by their willingness to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against others, if needed.

In their plea deals, none of the defendants was charged with drug trafficking, which has higher potential penalties. Instead, they were charged with bribery, conspiracy and extortion for the cash they accepted.

How much prison time they get -- if any -- also may be influenced by the allegations of misconduct that have surfaced in the Lively Green probe.

The complete extent of misconduct has never been publicly revealed, but according to witness testimony at the D-M court-martial in June, there was an incident in October 2002 in which informants posing as drug dealers hired hookers after a drug run to a Las Vegas hotel.

The FBI informant paid the prostitutes to have sex with several men who later became defendants, witnesses said.

At one point, they said, a prostitute who was drunk and high appeared to pass out and one of the FBI informants performed lewd acts over the woman's face while someone else took photographs.

The informant involved later destroyed the photos, said the defense lawyer in the D-M court-martial case.

A Tucson lawyer and former federal prosecutor said it's "absolutely probable" that Lively Green defendants will get a break on their sentences because of the misconduct.

"Any time you have credible allegations of misconduct, it is going to impact the resolution of a case," said A. Bates Butler III, who prosecuted drug cases and other federal cases from 1977 to 1981 as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona.

"Jurors don't like misconduct," Bates said, so prosecutors sometimes will try to salvage such cases by offering plea deals to lesser charges so the cases don't get to trial.

Military recruiting officials said they removed the corrupt recruiters once they learned of the crimes, or when they got the go-ahead from the FBI to do so.

"We suspended the soldiers from recruiting duties as soon as we were notified of their involvement," which often was the same day they pleaded guilty, said Douglas Smith, a spokesman for Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky.

Military officials say the criminal acts of Tucson's recruiters are regrettable but not the norm.

"Allegations of recruiter misconduct are rare," considering the thousands of recruiters on the job nationwide, said Janice Hagar, a Marine Corps recruiting spokeswoman. "This was an isolated incident."

[sidebar]

STAR'S 6-MONTH INVESTIGATION
INITIALLY BLOCKED

The Arizona Daily Star compiled the information for this story over six months through court searches, public record requests, and, in one case, by hiring a lawyer when one service would not provide information about its recruiters.

Each of the military services involved -- the Army, Marine Corps and Arizona Army National Guard -- initially invoked the Privacy Act or said the request would have to be handled under the Freedom of Information Act, which can be a lengthy process.

In fact, Defense Department policies specifically allow the release of the information without a FOIA request.

Confronted with those policies, the Army and Marine Corps quickly relented and provided the information. The Arizona Army National Guard did not relent -- even after being advised to by National Guard headquarters in Virginia.

The Star asked Gov. Janet Napolitano's office to intervene and a governor's aide pledged to work with the Guard to get the records released. But the Guard said nearly all the information was "unattainable."

The Guard released the information two-and-a-half months after it was requested, and shortly after the Star threatened legal action.

In an accompanying letter, Guard lawyer Col. Richard Palmatier said the Star's request for the data had been "entirely reasonable" all along.

He blamed the delays on staff mistakes, unplanned sick leaves and the demands of preparing for a deployment.

[sidebar]

THE 11 WHO WERE CAUGHT

These 11 Tucson military recruiters were part of the sting known as Operation Lively Green.

Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Demian F. Castillo

Age: 35.

Recruiting office: 5500 E. Valencia Road

Started recruiting: April 2001

First drug run taped by FBI: February 2002

Stopped recruiting: May 2005

Schools visited: Guard officials say there are no precise records. The recruiting office Castillo worked at covers at least 17 traditional and charter high schools, most on the South Side and in Midtown. See list below.*

Cocaine runs: February 2002 (30 kilos); April 2002 (20 kilos)

Status: Pleaded guilty in May 2005 and is awaiting sentencing. In December 2005, Castillo received a general military discharge under honorable conditions.

Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Raul F. Portillo

Age: 34

Recruiting office: 7290 E. Broadway

Started recruiting: Sept. 2000

First drug run taped by FBI: Unclear. FBI notified National Guard in January 2003 that Portillo was a suspect. But Portillo went AWOL (absent without leave) and is thought to have left the country. He has not been charged.

Stopped recruiting: August 2003

Schools visited: Canyon del Oro High, Catalina High Magnet School

Cocaine runs: Unclear.

Status: Declared AWOL from the military in August 2005 -- the same month a warrant was issued for his arrest in an unrelated marijuana trafficking case in Santa Cruz County. In September 2005, Portillo was granted a general discharge under honorable conditions.

Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Mark A. Fillman

Age: 56

Recruiting office: 7290 E. Broadway

Started recruiting: February 2001

First drug run taped by FBI: January 2002

Stopped recruiting: February 2003

Schools visited: Guard officials say there are no precise records. The recruiting office Fillman worked at covers at least 19 high schools, most in Midtown and on the Northwest Side. See list below.

Cocaine runs: January 2002 (11.8 kilos); February 2002 (30 kilos); April 2002 (20 kilos)

Status: About a year after his first drug run, Fillman retired honorably from the military. Two years later, he was charged by the FBI. He pleaded guilty in May 2005 and awaits sentencing.

Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Darius W. Perry

Age: 42.

Recruiting offices: 7290 E. Broadway and, in 2004, at the Western Army Aviation Training Site in Marana.

Started recruiting: September 1996

First drug run taped by FBI: January 2002

Stopped recruiting: May 2004 (transferred to National Guard headquarters in Virginia).

Schools visited: Guard officials say there are no precise records. The recruiting office Perry worked at covers at least 19 high schools, most in Midtown and on the Northwest Side. See list below.

Cocaine runs: January 2002 (11.8 kilos ); February 2002 (30 kilos); April 2002 (20 kilos); July 2002 (20 kilos); August 2002 (60 kilos); October 2002 (60 kilos).

Status: Honorably discharged in May 2006, six months before his arrest. Perry pleaded guilty Thursday and awaits sentencing.

Marine Sgt. James M. Clear

Age: 26

Recruiting office: 2302 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: September2002

First drug run taped by FBI: November 2002

Stopped recruiting: February 2004

Schools visited: Marana High, Nogales High, Tucson High Magnet School

Cocaine runs: November 2002 (20 kilos); February 2003 (30 kilos)

Status: Fired from the military in June 2004 for unrelated misconduct. Convicted of DUI in January 2004 in Tucson. Pleaded guilty in FBI case in August 2005 and is awaiting sentencing.

Marine Sgt. Jared A. Wright

Age: 29

Recruiting office: 2302 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: July 2002

First drug run taped by FBI: February 2003

Stopped recruiting: October 2005

Schools visited: Canyon del Oro High, Flowing Wells High, Ironwood Ridge High, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy

Cocaine runs: February 2003 (30 kilos)

Status: Pleaded guilty October 2005 and awaits sentencing. Fired from the military in December 2005.

Army Sgt. Sheldon L. Anderson

Age: 27

Recruiting office: 2303 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: February 2003

First drug run taped by FBI: March 2004

Stopped recruiting: September 2005

Schools visited: Santa Rita High School

Cocaine runs: March 2004 (30 kilos)

Status: Pleaded guilty September 2005 and awaits sentencing. Fired from the military in February 2006.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Derreck J. Curry

Age: 30

Recruiting office: 2303 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: December 2000

First drug run taped by FBI: August 2002

Stopped recruiting: December 2005

Schools visited: Amphitheater High School

Cocaine runs: August 2002 (40 kilos); October 2002 (60 kilos); January 2003 (40 kilos ); February 2003 (30 kilos); October 2003 (40 kilos); December 2003 (80 kilos)

Status: Pleaded guilty March 2006 and awaits sentencing. In August 2006, the Army took steps to fire him. The separation board's decision is pending.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronricco M. Allen

Age: 36

Recruiting office: 2303 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: May 1997

First drug run taped by FBI: August 2002

Stopped recruiting: February 2006

Schools visited: Since October 2001, Allen worked mainly from his office and did not visit schools, Army officials say.

Cocaine runs: August 2002 (40 kilos); October 2002 (60 kilos). In November 2002, he provided a recruiting vehicle for use in a 20-kilo coke run carried out by others.

Status: Pleaded guilty in March 2006 and awaits sentencing. In April 2006, the Army began proceedings to fire him. The separation board's decision is pending.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Rodney E. Mills

Age: 40

Recruiting office: 2303 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: February 2000

First drug run taped by FBI: August 2002

Stopped recruiting: February 2006

Schools visited: From February 2000 to June 2004, Mills was a field recruiter who likely would have visited one or more schools. When asked to identify which schools, the Army did not provide an answer by deadline. From July 2004 to February 2006, Mills was a station commander and did not visit schools, Army officials said.

Cocaine runs: August 2002 (40 kilos); Nov. 2002 (20 kilos); January 2003 (40 kilos); February 2003 (30 kilos)

Status: Pleaded guilty in March 2006 and awaits sentencing. In April 2006, the Army began proceedings to fire him. The separation board's decision is pending.

Army Cpl. Jason E. Kitzmiller

Age: 27

Recruiting office: 2303 E. Speedway

Started recruiting: March 2001

First drug run taped by FBI: August 2002

Stopped recruiting: January 2003

Schools visited: Army says records can't be located.

Cocaine runs: August 2002 (40 kilos)

Status: Left the military in January 2003, more than two years before charge were laid. Pleaded guilty in August 2005 and awaits sentencing.

* High schools now covered by the Army National Guard's Valencia Road recruiting office include: Cholla High Magnet School; Desert Mosaic School; Desert View High School; Direct Link II; Downtown Alternative High School; Howenstine High Magnet School; Mary Meredith High School; Presidio School; Project MORE High School; Pueblo Magnet High School; S.T.A.R. Academic Center; Southern Arizona Community High School; Southgate Academy; Southwest Alternative High School; Sunnyside High School; Teenage Parent Program; and University High School. This list may vary somewhat from the one in place when the FBI sting was in progress. An exact list is unavailable, Guard officials said.

High schools now covered by the Army National Guard's East Broadway recruiting office include: Academic & Personal Excellence High School; Academy of Math and Science; Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools; ACE Charter High School; Artworks Academy; Calli Ollin Academy; Canyon Rose Academy; Catalina Foothills High School; Catalina Magnet High School; Desert Rose Academy; Eastpointe High School; Luz Academy of Tucson; Marana High School; Mountain Rose Academy; Mountain View High School; PASS Alternative High School; Rincon High School; Santa Rita High School; and Tucson Preparatory School. This list may vary somewhat from the one in place when the FBI sting was in progress. An exact list is unavailable, Guard officials said.

Sources: U.S. District Court records; U.S. Army; Arizona Army National Guard; U.S. Marine Corps; Santa Cruz County Superior Court records; area school districts and Arizona Daily Star research.

============

US AZ: Tucson Military Recruiters Ran Cocaine
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v06/n1707/a02.html
Newshawk: The Leading Source for News www.drugnews.org
Pubdate: Sun, 17 Dec 2006
Source: Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ)
Copyright: 2006 Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/23
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/corrupt.htm (Corruption - United States)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/coke.htm (Cocaine)

10 comments:

adam said...

I think someone wrote a book about this kind of thing.

In other news, I know you like CĂ©line's Journey To The End of Night, but out of curiosity, what's your opinion of Death On The Installment Plan?

Amy said...

Holy crap...that whole military recruiting thing is screwed up!

(Makes me glad I left Tucson when I did...heaven forbid I had stayed there and had children in the school system there).

Anyway, I figured the whole point in posting that article wasn't necessarily that there's a few bad apples out there dealing drugs on the side and hiding under the disguise of military recruiter. I took it to be a generally commentary on the screwed-upness of the military in general sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think our armed forces are necessarily bad. They've helped alot of wayward youth find a purpose to their lives (other than turning to a life of crime and having bazillions of children that they can't support) and have helped people pay for college after they've put in their time. I'd never join the military, because it's just not for me. Had my financial situation been a little different in college, I might have considered it. Had I not had the fear of breaking a fingernail and fear of not showering or seeing my parents for long periods of time...yeah, I might have considered it. In my teenage years, I had a stronger fear of dying...and joining the military, in my head, meant a greater chance of me potentially dying!

Military recruiters I don't consider to be the best of the best...I consider them to be the car salesmen of the military. And I trust car salesmen about as far as I can throw them.

My general thoughts about the whole drug dealing and military recruiters is this...the military seems to have it's own sort of "rules"...as in, whenever someone in the military commits a crime, it isn't handled by the same police that civilians get pulled over and arrested by for speeding or wife-beating. Criminal acts seem to be handled "internally", like everyone belongs to a super-secret society and no one on the outside knows what goes on inside of it. Things are "sealed" more easily than on the outside, it would seem as well. Heck, as for their own rules, rumor has it that way back when, 18 year olds could drink alcohol. I've heard different stories about whether it was only on base, or whether you could partake off base as well. But still...the military seems to be exempt from the same rules that civilians have to follow. And it could be that sacrificing your life to defend this country affords you certain privelidges...in which case...ok...whatever.

So back again to the drug thing...it doesn't really surprise me that recruiters were doing that. I'm sort of surprised that it hasn't happened more often...just because of the way the military can deny them.

Drugs? Heck...I don't want my kids to do drugs behind my back. I hope I raise my future children to know better. As for parents fearing that someone in the position of authority might be influencing them to do drugs or dealing to them, perhaps we should be teaching the little 'uns that drugs are bad, no matter who ya get 'em from. Or teaching our kids not to be so damned gullible. After all, we keep reinforcing the "stranger danger" stuff, telling our kids not to get into a car with someone they don't know. Maybe bump it up a notch with "if something doesn't seem right to you, even if the person is an authority figure, you shouldn't always trust them." This goes for clergymen touching them inappropriately as well as for drug dealing military recruiters.

My final remark is this...I'm sure this isn't the first time it's happened, and it certainly isn't the last. This sticks out in my brain because the investigation was definitely screwed up. But, hey, learn from the mistakes of others...maybe "next time" it won't be so screwed up.

Anonymous said...

Can't Believe what the Media Says....Most of the time they don't know the real story and just write what they here.
The Media Sucks and so does law enforcement.
Why did the Law enforcement get them in in the first place?
Why did the Law enforcement cover there tracks as far as the Prostitute goes?
The FBI paid for a Prostitute and Video taped the sex part and trashed it cause they raped the girl.Yeah FBI raped the girl with the others.They try and make them selves look good by getting these military Etc.Whatever...The FBI is Screwed up.These Guys were innocent had clean records,minding their own business till the FBI Corrupted them.The FBI are the ones who came to them (undercover)to try and set up a sting.Why I don't know.I guess they were bored and decided to mess peoples lives up.Hope they all go to hell!!!
you all need the FACTS !! GET THE FACT before you post things in the paper Etc...

Bob Merkin said...

this was an Anonymous Driveby Comment which was not Flattering and Pleasing to me. It will be Removed shortly.

Anonymous said...

Your a very judgemental individual who sees one arcticle and condemns all recruiters. Priests molest children, doctors rape their patients and lets face it the new trend is for teachers to sleep with thier students, so we need to keep doctors, priests, and TEACHERS out of our schools too. I am e recruiter who does my job with intergrity. There will always be bad people in every occupation in this country. What these recruiters did was wrong but dont judge all of us by their mistakes.

Vleeptron Dude said...

I believe you meant to use the word "You're" rather than "Your." Well, some GED programs are better than others. But there's still time for you to go back to school and become literate.

I am a former US Army soldier. I am an expert in the systemic and widespread Sleaze of military recruiters.

If you're a recruiter with integrity, who treats kids with honesty and respect -- you have my sincere admiration. I wish there were more of you. Manpower requirements need to be filled, and without the draft, it's one of the military's most difficult challenges.

But even in my Draftee days, recruiters were haunting the criminal courthouses, waiting for a judge to give a "choice" to boys facing all sorts of felony charges -- drugs, statutory rape, etc. Any trick, lie or shortcut to make a recruiter's monthly quota (so the recruiter can hang on to his "dick" assignment, the cushiest gig in the career military).

That kind of bottom-of-the-barrel scraping is good for sleazy recruiters, but Very Bad for our legitimate needs for a strong, smart, effective military. Helping illiterate recruits cheat on the GED and fake a negative drug test is coming back NOW in Iraq and Afghanistan to bite America in the ass. It's not good enough for America to have the finest soldiers, marines and sailors on Earth -- on paper.

Apollo said...

Once again I think there is something totally wrong with the FBI, look when they actually go out of thier way to create a crime, just to arrest more people..it should have stopped with the first person who came to the undercover with the cocaine. As an ex solider you have to realize that you are below the poverty level when you look at income. So when you waive money in front of our soldiers then yes they might go for it...Bottom line is that there are so many loop holes in this case..1 year prior 10 soldiers from Ft. Huachuca get arrested for the same exact thing but because the FBI created this crime they were all discharged and given probation..And in an even more corrupt way the FBI asks them to bring in more people. And actually rapes a hooker. and they get away with it. I sat there in one of the sentencings and heard what happend to that girl and it was horrible so really who is to blame here???

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