Both the New York Times and Washington Post yesterday gave some serious e-ink to a drug bust that was announced personally by the district attorney of Montgomery County, which encompasses several well-to-do Philadelphia suburbs. Taking cues from the DA, the Times wrote that an "extensive drug ring" at area prep schools had been taken down, while the Post described a "nationwide drug smuggling operation":
In terms of intricacy and ambition, it appears more suited for the business pages than the crime blotter. But its objective, according to authorities in Montgomery County, Pa., couldn’t have been more simple: saturate eastern Pennsylvania schools in drugs, expand the clientele base and always keep supply pumping.
The DA called it "a network to push poison into our educational institutions and take over drug distribution on the Main Line." Here are the quantities of drugs that authorities seized: eight pounds of marijuana, 23 grams of cocaine, and 11 grams of ecstasy. Between 11 arrested suspects.
Eight pounds! 23 grams! If each person in the "ring" split those amounts equally, they would each have had enough to supply 10 regular marijuana users for a few months and ten regular cocaine users for, like, a day. Here's a recent story from Fort Wayne about the seizure of 582 pounds of marijuana and a recent Los Angeles Times story about the seizure of 3,000 pounds of cocaine.
What I'm saying is, that is not a national news amount of drugs. That is someone's friend J-Dawg who can get you weed.
To be fair to the authorities, they did find three guns, which illustrates at least some level of potential criminal seriousness (although there was apparently no suggestion at the press conference that any of the accused used or planned to use the guns). Also, they put a lacrosse stick on the table displaying seized items during the press conference. Really.