Cleaned, corrected, timing optimized and some still missing parts added by Tronar For decades, millions of people have come here in search of the American Dream, but for many, that dream is quickly disappearing.
Are you unemployed or stuck in a dead-end job?
Thousands of people around the state are losing their jobs every day.
Are you homeless, or living in a bad neighborhood?
Unemployment shot up to its highest level in nearly 26 years.
If the "American Dream" broke its promise to you, don't worry, we have an answer.
Let me help you help yourself.
I'm gonna give you three and a half grams. You know what to do with this?
'Cause if you know what to do with it, you gonna be all right.
Welcome to the game. This is your guide book.
Our experts are going to give you everything you need.
You can make a thousand dollars in an hour.
It's very easy to make a lot of money with cocaine.
You could have a six figure starting salary...
It's hard for me to believe that something that small could be worth so much money.
You can make a million dollars in a week.
In this program, masters of the trade are going to reveal to you their secrets on how to get paid in this exciting $400 billion global industry.
For the next 90 minutes, we're going to focus on marijuana and cocaine, but the same lessons work for any illegal substance Americans are willing to buy, whether you want to make a few extra bucks, or climb to the very top of the food chain and make billions.
This training guide will show you how to do it.
You want to know how to make money selling drugs?
Name's Bobby Carlton, I've lived pretty much in every ghetto town, and my mom had it rough raising us. She had me very young.
A year after I was, uh, born, my brother was born.
Years later, I'd have two sisters.
Stepfather, two sisters, he'd eventually leave, and then she'd be stuck with four kids.
She'd basically just try to raise a family and try to earn enough to put food on the table.
I look at people, they got to get up, they got to be in an office, they got to go to a factory, they got to bang their heads against a wall, they're trying to earn, earn, earn, but really, what they're doing is just barely making their payments.
They're working just to get by.
I wanted to make money to go live.
I was always looking up to the bigger kids, who, people I perceived cool and trying to emulate them.
The guys hanging on the street corner, not working, they have girls, they have cars, they have money, they seemingly don't ever have to be anywhere at any certain time.
And I want in. I'm in.
What Bobby Carlton was about to discover is that marijuana makes money.
More money than tobacco, cotton, even corn.
It's the most profitable farmed product in the country.
I smoked a joint, and then you just get into it.
And then other people want to do it.
I just broke it down, and I was like, Seven joints were in a bag, it's a dollar for a joint, you pay $5 for that bag.
Okay. I'll buy a bag, break it down, sell five joints, smoke two myself.
It's kind of innocent, right?
Ninth grade... up to that point I was the kind of student that didn't participate but then they were like, "How many grams are in an ounce?" and I was like, "28".
They were like, "How many pounds are in a kilo?" I was like, "2.2."
"And do you want me to tell you how much that costs?"
Hence, everybody at school knew what I was up to that day.
If Bobby Carlton can do it, so can you.
But how can you grow your business?
How do you expand from a small circle of friends and attract more clients?
Making money selling drugs is easy.
Meet Pepe, a retired Southern California drug dealer, who's going to tell you how simple it is to get customers.
Like I say, is not hard. Everybody can do it.
Well, you just walk out to the street and the park and everybody is gonna say, "Hey! Spark it up," and you'll start rolling.
If you smoke outside, you make a friend, because weed makes friends.
Weed makes friends.
Now that you've got some customers, you're gonna need some product.
Where do you get it?
Most people know where to get it, and if you don't know where to get marijuana in bulk to sell, all you have to do is ask one or two people, and someone's gonna know.
I mean, it's all over the place.
People will front you as many drugs as you can sell.
As long as you can continue to pay people back, they will front them to you.
And if you want to skip the middle men? Grow your own weed.
Pepe spent quite a few winters making a lot of money without ever having to leave home.
To grow some weed, uh, in your house, you only need electricity, big lamps, and water.
You get in the internet, you have the seeds, you know.
This is just kind of like a starter kit for people.
You can get it at any hydroponics store and get your whole set-up.
They'll sell you the tubes, the nutrients, the little planters.
In about 45 days, these will grow to about six feet tall, be lush, green, and lovely.
You cut it, you hang it.
Let it dry for a couple of days, and then pick all the buds off.
So how much money can you expect to make?
Yeah, you can make a lot of money.
I mean, like, is gonna grow a pound for each plant, and a pound in the streets goes $2,500, $3,000, if it is a good weed.
Per 10, how much you gonna have?
In three months, people, they doing a whole house.
If you put 50, 150 thousand.
For many dealers, the risk of jail time is worth it.
You make $100,000 selling drugs.
Hide the money, and go to jail, and when you come out, you have money.
If somebody gave me $100,000 to go to jail for five years, I would take it, you know.
What the fuck. I mean, you...
Sometimes, you work 10 years and you don't even see $20,000 in your bank account.
But the nearly one million Americans arrested each year for marijuana are caught on possession charges, and never even sold a joint.
Given the risks, you'll want to save your money as fast as you can and start trading more expensive drugs.
I got into cocaine, and I loved it.
When it comes to cocaine, America is the land of opportunity.
It's the number one consumer of coke in the world.
The largest study of bank notes has found that nearly nine out of 10 bills circulating in the U.S. are tainted with cocaine.
It's a law of nature.
Where there's demand, there's supply.
And that's where you come in.
The life of a coke dealer isn't easy.
When you start out, you're alone, unprotected, at the bottom of a ruthless, international crime syndicate.
Most of the world's cocaine is manufactured by drug lords in South America.
They smuggle over 500 tons into the U.S. every year.
Along the way, it passes through a long line of distributors, until a couple of grams get to you, a pawn in a massive, 70 billion dollar game.
Pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick.
They be out the game early.
Unless they some smart ass pawns.
Curtis Jackson, otherwise known as 50 Cent, had to learn quick.
My mom hustled to provide for me, financially.
And her friends were all the people that were out selling drugs as a lifestyle.
Curtis was raised without a father, and his mother was murdered when he was eight years old.
My mom was all I had, so when I lost her, I lost everything that was pretty much good in my life.
Her old friends bought me things, then they got tired of just buying me things.
They gave me an eight ball of cocaine.
And they told me, if anybody bothers you, you know, you tell them you got it from us, and you'll be all right in the neighborhood.
I was about 12 years old when that happened to me.
That's the incredible thing about cocaine.
You can use it to make ends meet when there are no other options.
You can be anybody, even a kid.
I would say about 14 or 15. That's when I pretty much started into the drug trade.
Let's say you're down and out, like John was, living in South Central L.A., crashing at your family's place, with no money, not even for food.
We were living in the back of my uncle's house.
He had this lemon tree, and one day he came out and he was like, It seems like the lemons ain't growing any shit.
We didn't have no food. You know, me and my mom was eating lemons for dinner.
So, after that, I had to get paid.
The money that you could make on the corner was real good.
I started off with small amounts, then I got to the big amounts.
Crack, the most popular form of cocaine sold in the open market.
It's cheaper than powder, so low income users can afford it.
When you work for an organization, they'll supply you with $10 crack cocaine rocks.
Because most of your customers are addicts, they'll be impatient to make a buy right out on the street.
And the good thing about crack fiends is they'll keep coming back.
Some guys will make anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 a day.
Are you the man with them jumbo 6s?
How many you fucking want?
I'll take about three or four hundred.
It's all in the game yo.
It's harder than functioning in mainstream or corporate America because the dynamics of it is different.
In order to take a position in that world, you can just, "pow." Just shoot.
The chances of getting robbed are pretty great, you know?
You do as much as you can to minimize that, but somebody at some point is gonna want what you have, and they're not gonna have the money to pay for it.
They are gonna try and take it from you.
Eric Sterling is an attorney.
With 30 years' experience investigating the criminal drug world.
He can explain more.
If I steal a television set out of, uh, you know, Best Buy, it lists for $1,000, I'll sell it for $200 on the street.
If I go rob the dope dealer, I get all his cash, and I get drugs.
And the advantage of stolen drugs is when I steal a guy's coke that's worth $1,000, I get to sell it for $1,000!
There's no discount for hot dope.
Ever happened to you?
Not me. No, I never had no problems like that.
'Cause at the end of the day, you fuck me, you gonna know what's happening.
That right there, separates men from the boys.
Are you gonna give them your drugs or are you gonna tell them to fuck off?
And I'm the person that's gonna say fuck off.
If you don't have a pistol, I don't know why you even selling dope.
You won't last. 'Cause somebody gonna try you.
Anyone who is dealing drugs in this community, if they do not have a gun on them, believe me, it's close by.
It's under a stoop, right around a corner, tucked behind a phone booth, but it's close by.
They look up in your face, they look up in your eye, they see the gun and they know who's gonna use it, who ain't gonna use it.
A, assess. "Don't shoot them, kill them."
Because if you shoot them, you gonna make them angry enough to come back and really hurt you.
So, if you're gonna shoot, shoot to kill.
I remember when I first got to L.A.
It was like motherfuckers were shooting each other every day on the news.
It was like, New York, very much like a stabbing society, you know.
Something goes wrong, somebody sticks a knife in your chest.
It was a drug deal gone bad, I got the worst of it.
Stabbed here, stabbed here, stabbed here.
Once in the back of the head, once in the chest, entered the left ventricle, and this is from the open heart surgery.
I don't want to say it's a miracle, but the doctor brought me back to life.
If you really want to lower your risk of getting hurt, stabbed or shot, packing a gun can only get you so far.
Hiring backup is a great idea.
Who do I hire?
Do I hire nobody... Nobody's heard of?
Or do I hire a guy who's got the biggest reputation for being the craziest motherfucker?
The illegal drug market hires people with reputations for violence.
But don't think just because you have a gun and a few guys, you can just go out and start acquiring territory.
Officer Neill Franklin served 33 years on the Maryland State and Baltimore police forces.
Having overseen 17 drug task forces, he can tell you, if you want to be a corner hustler, you're gonna need permission first.
As you try to acquire your market place, there's probably gonna be someone already there.
They're not going to share or give up their territory that easily.
They're not going to share it or give it up. Period.
They would definitely approach you, you will definitely get hurt trying to sell it in an area without someone's consent.
So I registered with the neighborhood thugs, and that's how I got on.
Basically, you got to protect your neighborhood, and do the things that the organization require you to do when you're a member of it.
I remember having a homicide one day, and they sat this inmate before me.
I said, "this guy looks familiar".
Two seconds into the conversation, I realize I used to play with this kid and knew his brothers.
I said, "what are you doing here? How'd you get in here?" He said, "Well, I'm in here for homicide."
I said, "what are you talking about?" He says, "Well, I was in the game. I was in the game."
"And in an alley behind Callow Street,"
"I had to do what I had to do, and I ended up taking someone's life"
"defending myself because I had to defend my territory"
"and my business."
So now you know what it takes to make it on the street in the open market.
But prices for drugs nowadays are way cheaper than when Big John was selling, and the risks are just as high.
If you don't wind up getting killed by rivals, or hooked on your own product, Cops are going to pick you up eventually.
In today's drug market, you're risking your life for less than minimum wage.
It's not worth it.
If you want to go for the real money, you got to get off the corner.
Detroit. City of opportunity.
Once upon a time, the symbol of America's might and power.
The heart of our manufacturing industry.
The home of the American Dream.
This is the Detroit of today.
One of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
Twenty-five percent of the population has left in the last 10 years.
For those without a job or who can't move, they need to hustle.
Mr. X wants to get out of the downward spiral that's hit Detroit today.
And he's going to tell you what that means.
It means I need to keep selling drugs or coke, or whatever the fuck they're selling that's illegal.
Because that's the only way out.
I have a lot of bills. I got rent to pay.
Still gotta eat.
But don't nobody really care about your problems, man.
You got to have the money, so, welcome to the cocaine game.
I rarely show my face on the scene.
Oh, man, I play the phone game, man.
Switch up my phones. Keeps me off the corner.
Uh, what is it that you want?
Yeah I can get you a T for 70.
Okay, cool. I'll see you in 30 minutes. Bye.
That's how you win.
Shit, I'll be damned if somebody tell me, "You got us working eight hours for fucking $60, $70, man."
That's crazy. That's too much work.
I just made that shit in a phone call.
The American Dream is just to have enough money to be able to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, based on your own hard work.
Shit, just what I have on the counter would probably get me anywhere from 10 years to about 15 years.
But if you ask me, it's worth it.
I'd rather be out here getting it than not getting it at all, I still wouldn't be out here.
I've been really trying to free myself, use the coke to free myself.
As a private cocaine dealer, you'll be mostly selling Ts and eight balls, sixteenth or eighth of an ounce little baggies for up to 150 bucks a pop.
Ramping up to 20 customers a day is easy.
You'll be paying $500 for your day's worth of cocaine, and you'll cut it in half with baby laxative, which brings your profit to a total of a grand a day, and you just got started.
Don't bring fiends from outside into your home.
You invite fiends into your house. They will be waking you up while you're asleep, banging on the door.
They might bring the police with them, with the wire taps and everything.
That's how they do it. Man, they try to get as close to you as possible, and you keep them at a distance.
But you got to keep that friendship with them.
You can't be like, aggressive with your customers.
Cause you'll lose. You got to treat them fair, you got to treat them like regular people.
Man, a stash spot is stashed away, hidden.
If you say your house is not hidden.
Get that shit out the house, keep it out the house.
Don't let nobody come to the house to buy it.
I wouldn't put my money in a bank.
I wouldn't put my money anywhere that someone else can control it.
Shit, you gotta hide that too.
It'd be best to hide that wherever you put your dope at.
You get about 500,000 or something like that.
Start me a couple businesses, man, get right up out of this shit.
If you decide that you ever want to pick up this game, shit, pick it up for the right reason, the money only.
Save from the time that you get it to the time that you quit, man.
And you won't be in it so long.
If you choose to be a cocaine dealer, You need to know the rest.
If you're black, you're about four times as likely to be arrested than a white dealer, Which is counter-intuitive.
Because white Americans buy and sell more cocaine than anyone else.
It's the circumstances to where they're actually setting up to sell the drugs, the locations.
See, the black drug dealers will be in the neighborhoods where the law enforcement will search people without very much reasoning.
I mean, my first case, it was like a fluke.
A guy was running.
He, uh, ran where we're at. I happened to be just standing outside, and the police say, "Get up against the fence."
And I'm like, "Man, come on, why I got to get up against the fence?"
Next thing you know, they pulled this big brick out my pocket.
So, that was the beginning of the end, right there.
You're not only more likely to be arrested, but prosecuted, with heavy prison time.
The reason that 94.5% of people incarcerated under the Rockefeller Drug Laws are black and brown is that's the way the DA's operate.
Business mogul Russell Simmons spent years lobbying against the harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws of New York City, which treated the non-violent crime of drug dealing the same as murder.
I mean, imagine you're a model.
You know, a fashion model. You know, like some blonde girl.
It doesn't matter where you're from, you're not going to jail.
And if you're some guy from the hood, maybe you'll go to jail for 20 years.
Hell, they tried to give me 45 years.
So, I did a lot of time. I did, like five years, spring something like that.
And a white drug dealer will be in middle America, somewhere in the suburbs.
That isn't in a space where he can just be searched for no reason at all or go to jail.
Curtis Jackson, Russell Simmons, and many others have successfully persuaded New York to reduce some of their harsh sentencing practices.
But 90% of those convicted on drug charges are still African-American and Latino.
Like they say for any business, the golden rule, location, location, location.
I didn't care about people knew where I lived.
People would just come to my house, and I would go outside and just give them the gram, and we would do the transaction that way.
In 2003, I was the main coke dealer for all the private schools in L.A.
Meet Mike Walzman.
If you're gonna be a private coke dealer, this is the way to go.
In a nice, suburban neighborhood, selling to the largest cocaine market directly.
Mike was a big party-er.
And already knew where to buy cocaine for him and his friends.
So, he was in a perfect position to go into business for himself.
What's going on through my head is, just start selling drugs to support my habit and to support the lifestyle that I wanted.
People want drugs, so I can sell drugs.
'Cause I know where to get it already.
My first rock was about this big, and I remember showing my friends this.
They were like, "No fucking way you have this big of a rock with you right now", "like, this is insane."
And it wasn't like, "stop doing this."
It was like, "This is awesome, this is exciting."
The stories that grew out of me being a coke dealer just went from this to like, you know, this, and I was suddenly, you know, the guy...
You know, that everyone's talking about, I threw a party at the L'Ermitage hotel, and I got, like, the Penthouse suite.
I've always wanted to be loved and accepted.
And that's what selling coke gave me. It gave me that power, it gave me the feeling of acceptance.
It was definitely addictive to be a drug dealer.
Not only the money that you got from it, but the way people talked about you, the way people looked at you, the power that I felt from it.
I just liked having money. It gave me security, it made me feel good.
People don't know what's a gram, and what's not a gram, they've never seen coke before in their life.
The market rate for a gram was about $50 for coke, but if you're a rich girl who didn't know anything, I would probably sell you .5 for about $60 to $75.
A guy like Mike makes half as much as our Detroit dealer, working half as hard, but with virtually none of the risk.
The word got out that I have coke, and I'm selling coke.
The dean in the school, they pulled me in, and they said, "Hey look, you know, we're hearing that you're selling drugs", "and we want to do a drug test on you."
So, at that point, you know, I thought to myself, "Well, I better really slow down on this and not do it any more."
Mike failed his drug test, and was kicked out of school, but never did any hard time.
When dealing small amounts, the nicer the neighborhood, the less chance of getting busted.
But selling only grams and ounces, it'll still take years to get that mansion in the hills you want.
To be a big time player, you need to get committed.
It's time to start building a business.
Instead of selling ounces, I started selling keys.
A key is a kilo of cocaine.
A single kilo can run you about $20,000.
I had what I believe was skills.
This is Skipp. He did really well as a corner hustler.
I had the skills to sit on the wall and make about $8,000 a day.
Once you've stacked up enough money, you can buy larger quantities and supply dealers yourself, which is what Skipp's gonna teach you to do.
I was 10 or 11 years old, my family life was dysfunctional.
My mother worked two jobs, my father wasn't in the home, so before drugs came into the community, lot of people who would hustle would rob banks or rob jewellery stores.
The aggression, the violence wasn't for me.
Skipp was struggling to make ends meet, when he joined the blood gang in order to protect himself from the Crips bullying his neighborhood.
I was a blood gang member, but it was the relationships I had with the Crips that actually introduced me to drugs.
I saw them having money, and I was asking them what are they doing, and the more I hung out with them, I got more into the culture of drugs.
We used to go to, uh, different areas that weren't populated by the L.A. culture so they wanted it, but they didn't have the connection, so we would come out and be that connection.
You'd have to have, uh, a family contact or a friend.
I myself went to Las Vegas.
There are more than a hundred street gangs in Los Angeles.
Police now say they have become heavily involved in the drug trade, exporting their crimes throughout the west.
Going out of town when people knew you were from L.A., that number one, made you a star celebrity.
And then, if you were the guy who had the drugs, it made you an even bigger celebrity.
Made all the girls love and want to come to you.
The difficult part became how to get it out of town.
I myself would always buy a bucket.
Put whatever I want inside of it and go get a girl who likes me.
Don't tell her what's in the car, and let her drive it.
Did the girls ever get pulled over?
Nah, I've been fortunate that that has never occurred.
Um, however, they did get pregnant, and I now have children.
The relationships that I wanted for a weekend have lasted longer than I expected.
A lot of smugglers get someone else to drive.
But how do you keep track of you driver?
The DEA make a living chasing drugs across country.
So they can tell you how the smartest suppliers keep track of their cargo.
This particular vehicle, the owner of the vehicle, the source of supply had rigged this car with a GPS locator and a phone, so he could actually dial into the phone without the driver of the vehicle knowing and he could monitor if the transaction was going correctly or not.
He would know if the vehicle was out of position.
Now, you don't want to put your drugs in the trunk.
You're going to want some new options on your vehicle.
Designing "traps" is standard practice for any local chop shop.
It's kind of like a combination safe.
It has to be a series of things activated in the vehicle before the trap could work.
Like, they may have to have the air conditioning on, the blinker on, and a couple of other things within the vehicle for it to activate.
You got money to spend, you'll get a real good trap.
We've seen some sloppy ones, this is good work.
When they're closed, you would never know by looking at it with your eye that there was a trap inside here so whoever constructed this one was a professional.
It goes the whole length of the back seat area.
So you could fit probably in excess of 10 kilograms of, uh, narcotics, large amounts of currency or weapons.
Now you're ready. But before you hit the road, Pepe has some tips from back in the day when he was running cocaine.
25? 25. No more.
75? 75. You know?
And you get there. You be there.
So how much does a smuggler expect to make?
If they take 10 kilos, they give me $4,000 just to smuggle it, or if it was more? 5,000. It all depends.
So you've driven a few kilos across country, you might be making mid six figures a year.
There's no turning back now.
Once you're in the game, you realize just how many people want drugs.
There's everybody from the Wall Street types to the people on the streets, to kids going to concerts, the stoners.
Everybody wanted cocaine.
What domestic smugglers make in a month, Bobby Carlton would eventually make in a day.
In the 70s, all the cocaine was coming in through South Florida, So that's where Bobby went.
Ended up down in Fort Lauderdale and uh, back then they used to call it the South Florida shuffle.
Everybody and anybody was selling drugs, running drugs, moving drugs.
They were coming in, and they were going everywhere.
The posses buy cocaine for about $5,000 a kilo.
The drugs are then brought here to Miami, where they're divided up and shipped all over the United States.
The initial $5,000 investment is worth $125,000.
A girl that we had known, me and some friends, we had gone over to her house for a party, and I went with her into her garage, and I was shocked.
There was boxes and boxes of cash just all over the garage, and it was just packed with money.
I just looked at her and I said, "Look I don't care what you're into", "or how you do it, I want in."
And she introduced me to somebody, and, uh, that somebody put me on a boat.
The way it works is their drop-off point is Bimini.
Bimini's literally like 70 miles off the coast of Florida.
You can go to Bimini, load up, and then jump off into Miami.
"Go fast boats" are called go fast boats for a reason.
Those things fly.
These, like, Colombian cats hedge their bets.
What they do is they send about 15 to 20 of them at a time.
This way if the coast guard is coming, the odds of getting arrested are very slim, the money's very good.
You get into Fort Lauderdale or you get into Miami, and uh, you drop a boat off, and you get a bunch of cash and that was it.
When you're 18 years old and you come from a very poor family, like stuff's just not happening for you, that's a lot of money.
Fifty grand a day would satisfy most people.
But not Brian O'Dea.
At the height of his career, Brian was one of the most notorious drug smugglers in the world.
He and his 120 employees would take in over $100 million a year.
Brian's going to show you how a college dropout can become the CEO of a major import-export business.
I sent two pounds of hash to myself from England.
I got 19 months for that, and went to prison.
When I got out of prison, I had no money and nothing going on.
So, I thought, maybe I can kick start my getting back into the world with a little coke.
I had $500 in my pocket, and an address.
Couldn't speak a word of Spanish, but figured I could figure it out, so I took off to Colombia, and I said, "Do you know, uh, Benny?"
Showing him my card with Benny's name on it.
I won't say his last name right now. I might get myself shot.
So the guy, he said, "What do you want?"
I went like that, and I said "Well, I got $500 with me."
And, you know, everybody started crying laughing, right.
I told him I just got out of prison, I got my hands on... That's all I could get my hands on, and I'm just trying to get a life started.
So he said, "Senor, muchos huevos."
He thought I had a lot of balls.
He said, "I'm gonna get you 50 grams of coke."
"You can cut it in half 'cause I'll give it to you pure."
"You should be able to get about 10 grand out of that back there"
"if you sell it in grams."
I don't know where I came up with this, but I got a pin, and I heated it with a lighter, and you can put a hot pin under this cellophane here, and that will pop open.
So, then you can slide the cigarettes right out of the pack without breaking the seal.
The 50 grams of coke fit into this pack like it was made to fit into that pack.
I thought, "Ah, this is brilliant!"
I put the cigarettes with the coke in it in my pocket with the pack I was smoking.
Leaving Colombia, you have to go through immigration.
There's no just going and getting on the plane.
So, I'm going through immigration, there are two guys there, and they go...
"On behalf of the Unites States Government, we're checking all people"
"who fit a profile, who seem to be involved with drugs..."
I said, "Are you kidding me? I'm a reporter! I'm a journalist!"
But they said, "We still have to take your clothes off, please", "and get your suitcases off the plane."
I'm going, "No! I'm not taking my..."
"Sir, there's nothing we can do about it. You have to."
I take my pants off, still have my jacket on.
I pass them my pants, cursing and swearing, and my socks, and I reach my hand into my jacket pocket.
I put the cigarettes I was holding the coke in on the bottom and the cigarettes I was smoking on the top, and I flipped it open, the one I was smoking, pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
Offered them a cigarette, which they each took.
I mean, these guys are making 30 bucks a month, we can't forget.
I'm lighting their cigarettes, and I take my jacket off and hand it to them, and my shirt, holding the cigarettes and the coke in my hand the entire time.
The moment they handed me back a piece of clothing that had a pocket in it, shwamp!
I immediately stuffed the coke back in the pocket.
And that's how I got in the coke business.
After that, Brian O'Dea was in business.
He got a small amount of coke, and he dissolved it in water, and then poured in material.
What we used were ponchos, or ruanas as they're called in Colombia.
So, here we now had this piece of material that had a couple of grams of coke in it, and then I just folded up those ponchos buddy, put them in my suitcase, and headed on a direct flight to L.A. from Bogota.
You just soak it in the water, and then evaporate the water off. Simple.
Of course, methanol is what you should be doing it with, and not water, 'cause methanol evaporates off at room temperature.
Water, you got to wait forever for the shit to evaporate, which is, you know... It's a learning process.
If these individuals were putting their expertise towards a legitimate goal, could probably be very wealthy as entrepreneurs.
We have seized drugs in prosthetic legs, heroin in kidney beans, in the back of paintings.
Individuals swallow condoms filled with heroin. Heroin pellets, we call them.
Once that condom breaks open or that balloon breaks open, there's not much anyone's going to be able to do to save your life.
A million dollars in a few months is a lot of money.
But how would you like to make that in a few days?
Everyone dreams of climbing to the top of the game one day.
Some people can play baseball, basketball, or sing, or dance.
With some of the icons being millionaires from selling drugs, of course, I wanted... I didn't want to be like Mike.
I didn't want to be like Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, I wanted to be like...
I wanted to be like Freeway Rick!
My name is Freeway Rick Ross.
My claim to fame is being a drug kingpin.
At that time, I never did drugs, I had never smoked weed.
I was going to a junior college playing tennis when my car was broken down.
I was in financial ruins at the time.
I needed some money.
Narcotics is a thing of the future.
If we don't get a piece of that action, we risk everything we have. I mean, not now, but 10 years from now.
When they put those movies out, that made us curious.
I mean it was almost like being a movie star.
You know, how people wished to be movie stars.
That was the way I felt about cocaine.
You know, "how can I get some cocaine?"
We went to the movie, it might have been 15 or 20 of us.
And we were all curious.
Most of the older people were saying, you know, that, uh...
"You can't make any money in South Central off of cocaine."
What I found out is that the PCP dealers made so much money for PCP, they had the money, and they became my first customers.
We just kept escalating and escalating until my mom found out and put me out the house.
I was ghetto-rich at that time so I had plenty of places that I could move.
The trick to becoming a kingpin in any industry is innovation.
Freeway Rick introduced crack to the West Coast.
When people snort cocaine, they snort so much their nose start bleeding.
So, they needed another way to get it into their systems.
People would come by early in the morning, you know, like, doctors and nurses and truck drivers.
They want to get some, and they want to smoke it.
They started saying stuff like, "Man, I wish it was ready to go already."
So we got hip, and we started cooking it up for them, we started calling them Ready Rocks so we would have the powder here and the Ready Rock here.
Eventually, everybody started wanting it, uh, Ready Rocked.
For one minute, it was like, in South Central, then it moved to Inglewood, then it moved to West L.A.
Then it moved to Compton, then it moved to Watts, it's like a virus.
Pretty much every day I could do a million dollars' worth of drugs.
There was days that I would go to two and three million dollars.
I gave a lot of money away.
I mean, that's part of, you know, being successful, so that you can help your family and friends, you know.
Somebody would come up to your house when it was due, car notes, light bills, you know, friends in jail.
So much stuff... You know, just give to kids on the street.
I mean, it's a good feeling when you can help somebody else, you know.
One of the best feelings that you can have, so...
I probably used to take about $40,000 a day around with me just to give out.
You know, 'cause people be coming up to me all day, anyway, to see me.
So, you know, you got to give it to them if you see them.
When you're a kingpin, word travels fast.
Like Pablo Escobar was to many Colombians.
For communities with struggling economies, you are a primary job creator, community leader, godfather, bank and charitable organization.
That's what I want, for somebody to do for me.
You know, if I was in trouble, I would want somebody to give me a helping hand.
When you're this high profile, there's enormous pressure on law enforcement to make a bust.
And if your operation is tight, collecting evidence can be nearly impossible.
That's when Meltin puts a bag of marijuana into Ferral's pocket.
California Judge Jim Gray can explain their thinking.
"I know this fellow may have been involved with drugs before,"
"so I'll plant some on him now."
"So, he's good for it from before, maybe not this time,."
"But I'll just take care of that."
And then, they actually go to court and they involve themselves in what they call "testal lying."
And that's how they busted Freeway Rick.
The cops on my case had planted drugs on me.
I pled guilty to 10 years.
So, knowing the cops are going to arrest you at some point no matter how good you are, what can you do?
The first thing you need to understand is how drug cases work.
Drug cases are prosecuted unlike any other criminal case.
Here's a cop and a lawyer to explain how.
It's impossible for the police to have a normal procedure in a crime where nobody wants to report it.
Nobody calls 911 when they use a drug, buy a drug, or sell a drug.
In traditional law enforcement, a crime gets committed, police try to find who committed the crime.
This is the way drug enforcement works, you look for a suspect, and then you try to trick them into committing the crime...
So the government goes around sort of saying, "Let's find suspect, who should be a..."
"Well, let's try to set some fucker up."
Here we are, observing the DEA, who've arranged to buy drugs from a suspect.
He's the guy on the right with the baseball cap.
He's completely surrounded by law enforcement, and has no idea.
Just chill, just chill. Got any weapons on you? Anything on you?
Nothing? No guns, no knives, no drugs?
All right. But just to protect, do you have anything on you, The reality is that the cops don't really care too much about this one guy.
Their objective is to just use him to cuff more dealers.
We'll lock up this middle man, hopefully, this middle man will cooperate and get us the distributor, and we'll just go up the ladder and keep going up the food chain.
It's very intimidating and overwhelming.
I'm gonna say to you, you know, you got a lot to lose, you're looking at a lot of time.
I mean, even if... Even if you're not, you're gonna try to sell him that he's going.
You know, you're going to jail for a long time.
If they don't know, they may give it up.
You either go to jail, you get a record.
From there, you have trouble getting a job, can't support your family.
Or in the other hand, you become an informant for us, and we'll let you off the charge.
This exact scenario is what gets most dealers into trouble.
One of your employees or customers gets picked up by cops and turned into a snitch.
Yes, this was a situation in Vegas where there was a guy, he started using drugs and Las Vegas Police somehow got a hold of him.
And he told his whole story.
Eighteen-year-old Clifford Townson denies he belongs to any gang, but admits he traveled from Los Angeles here to Las Vegas.
He has been arrested for selling cocaine, and police suspect he is a gang leader.
They actually put it in the newspaper, and on TV.
We were celebrities, we were the L.A. guys who had all the drugs, so...
Well, we were looking at 55 years.
Skipp was offered a deal.
If he would plead guilty, and save the prosecutors the trouble of going to trial.
The offer came that it would be five years as opposed to 55 years.
Um, I signed up for it.
And what happened to the snitch?
He didn't get any time at all.
Matter of fact, he was let go, they might have even paid him, I'm sure.
Federal drug money is allocated to states based on drug arrest numbers.
Alexandra Natapoff is an award winning scholar and nationally recognized expert on snitching.
Snitches are very good at producing arrests.
They may not be very good at solving important crimes, or getting drugs off the street, or making communities safer, but they are very good at producing arrest numbers.
I was standing on the side of 18, 12 officers.
Everybody pack a big gun. You hear me?
And they, they are police. They can shoot you.
I'm a nobody. If they kill me, who gon' believe who gon' care?
Meet Derek Migras, a Texas crack addict who police demanded give them 20 drug dealers in a local housing project.
Mr. Pascal told you if you got incarcerated, bad things can happen in prison, right?
No, he told me that he would make a phone call, and have the biggest dick son-of-a-bitch, excuse my words, y'all, females, but these is his exact words.
"I have the biggest dick son-of-a-bitch in there fuck you every day."
So what you gonna do if you was in my shoes?
Cooperate and say what they want you to... Then what you gonna do?
So Derek gave the police a list of names.
And 28 people were arrested.
Most snitches in the arena of street and drug crime will never have a lawyer.
They'll never talk to anyone about their rights, about the nature of the case that the government has against them.
They'll negotiate with the police officer right there on the street or maybe in the back of the police car.
All right, let me tell you like this here.
I never bought drugs from Regina Kelly. Straight up.
It turns out that all the names were fabricated.
But cases like this happen all the time.
There's another reason Derek Migras gave a list of innocent people to the cops.
Because snitching on a real drug dealer can have very serious consequences.
Rachel Hoffman was a young woman in Tallahassee, Florida.
She was a college graduate, she had a bright future ahead of her.
But she was caught by the police with a small amount of marijuana and some non-prescription pills, and the police threatened her.
They told her that she could work it off.
She could do an undercover drug buy.
She was supposed to buy 15,000 ecstasy tablets, 50 grams of cocaine, and two handguns.
She said, "Mom I don't want you telling anybody", "'cause I'm getting all my charges dropped."
Rachel called her father just hours before the sting operation was to begin.
She said, "Dad, I'm really thinking about you today."
And that was my last conversation with her.
The people that she was set up to meet knew that something was fishy, and so they shot her.
And at the end of the day, when the police were confronted with whether they had made the right decision to send in a 22-year-old college girl to make this kind of drug deal, do you know what they said?
They said, "Well, she didn't follow protocol."
Now, see that's where everybody feels we're looking to blame someone...
But I asked you what happened, you said, "She deviated from the plan."
Well, and that's where, uh...
Whenever the plan started going, um, south, if you want to say, uh, where we lost contact with Rachel because she did not show up at the location she was supposed to have gone to.
You don't think she was pushed into it, coerced by your officers?
Threatened with prison?
For charges that were never filed?
Again, we don't threaten people to become confidential informants.
That's not part of how we operate. No, sir.
The moral of the story for most dealers is.
But if you do, name innocent people, or demand a witness protection program.
Is having a few counter surveillance guys on your payroll.
If you're a smart kingpin, you run an investigation on the cops following you, so when cops break the law, you've got it on tape, and can negotiate a deal.
That's what Freeway Rick did.
I went in and told them they planted drugs on me, that I didn't have drugs that particular night.
That I was a drug dealer, but that night, I didn't have drugs.
That I didn't shoot at the cops.
What these cops were doing were going around and doing this to a lot of people.
They wind up getting indicted, and when they got indicted, I agreed to cooperate against the cops for what they had did to me.
And that's how the King of Crack spent only five years in prison.
It's a great idea to get an ex-DEA officer on your team as well.
When you're moving tons of illegal cargo, like Brian O'Dea was, you can never be too careful.
We all agreed that we would move this thing forward, that everybody would go on a salary, and the deal was no coke. If you did coke you were out.
The problem was, Brian loved cocaine.
He loved all drugs, ever since he was a kid.
I can tell you about the first day at school, first period, first class.
Around the corner came this guy, Turns out he was the principal.
He took me to his office, and half an hour later, I suffered the first sexual abuse by an adult in my life.
As a Catholic, we were taught sex was punishable by eternity in hell.
So I came out of that office negotiating with God not to strike me dead today.
It was horrible, buddy.
My mind became a place to get out of.
And so I, you know, when I discovered that there were substances that could take me out of there, I was going for them.
And, any and all of them.
The moment I take cocaine, it's a nightmare from that point until I stop.
Coke has such an ownership thing, it wants all of you.
Brian knew this was the biggest deal of his career.
And as long as he stayed clean, he'd be all right.
The first part of the load was 25 tons.
And we met it up in the Bering Sea, and then took it off up into a fjord in Alaska, repackaged it all in wetlock fish boxes, put it all on the trucks, I mean, it was as smooth as silk.
Once it was all offloaded, we started partying.
There was only one little problem, and it wasn't Brian O'Dea.
Brian's partner couldn't help but party with a little cocaine one night.
Then another night, and then another one.
He couldn't stop doing it.
He'd show up at the house in the middle of the night at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning in a limousine, prostitutes, cocaine, booze.
Well, when he found out that the load came in, he came looking for his money.
And we were very concerned about him getting out there with a whole pack of money and creating a giant heat-score with these bags of coke and hookers, so there was a concern about giving him anything, giving him something, giving him a million bucks, what do we do?
So the boys decided to give him 50 grand, and I thought, "He is not going to be happy with 50 grand."
He took that 50 grand, he left that meeting, and he went right to the DEA's office with the money and put it on the table.
And said, "I can tell you where there's millions more just like that."
A few days later, Brian and his team were expecting 50 tons of marijuana to come in.
So Brian took the precaution of hiring an ex-DEA agent to run surveillance on any law enforcement activity in the area.
The load came in, a huge load.
We got a guy out from San Diego who has a spectrum analyzer.
He's able to isolate the transmission frequencies of the DEA, and on the way up, my scanner lights up, and they're talking about following me.
And the moment it crossed the border between Canada and the U.S., Boom, they hit.
DEA, the FBI, alcohol tobacco firearms, coast guard.
Expecting to find reefer.
There wasn't a joint in sight, but there was fresh donuts made and coffee on the brew, and they took that as insult.
You know, you can't help doing stuff like that sometimes.
Seventy-five tons generated, approximately 200 million U.S. dollars.
So where do you find an ex-DEA agent or narc who's willing to work for you?
We've got someone we can recommend.
In high school, I wore overalls with no shirt, my jeans tucked into my boots, and I could yell "yee-haw" louder than the rest of them.
Well, any of the kids that we heard of smoking marijuana, we would beat them up.
The entire time, we'd be drinking and fighting each other.
I decided to be cop because I wanted to be able to fight legally.
I loved everything about law enforcement.
I learned how to manipulate citizens into running, or fighting.
I was very popular among all the other police officers because of the excitement I could get them in.
We were trained when a motorist was speeding, to get real close and then activate the red and blue lights.
Well, I learned to lag way back then turn my lights on to give that motorist the opinion that.
"I might have a chance to outrun this guy." you're addicted to the adrenaline and you don't realize it.
I was the best drug agent in the area.
There's not a day that we don't put somebody in jail for narcotics, for finding mainly marijuana.
I only had 5 miles of highway in my jurisdiction and I made over 100 drug arrests in one year.
He's got a gun! Shoot!
The DEA, they were jealous, because they were supposed to be making all the big arrests.
The first month, I performed seven drug raids.
The DEA were only doing one a year. The entire DEA.
And they had jurisdiction of every county, I only had jurisdiction in one city.
I'll never forget the last marijuana arrest I made.
And something hit me, I thought, "I make three or four of these a day."
Almost everybody I stop has marijuana.
There's marijuana roach in your ash tray, and I smell marijuana.
Ladies, any of y'all got any marijuana on you?
I thought there's got to be something to it.
Well, for years, I had pounds in my house as training aids to train my drug dog.
So, I went home, and I smoked that pot, and I loved it.
I'm like, "This is what it's about."
It's one of the funniest things I'd ever done.
I married my pot dealer, this girl named Candy.
Candy and I were talking, and I said, "Should I make a film on how insane the drug war is"
"or should I just teach people how not to get busted for pot?"
All these secrets I had.
And she said, "You gotta teach 'em how not to get busted."
So we went by every magazine.
High Times, Cannabis Culture, everything out there.
We went on the Internet, and nothing was out there like it.
Coming off the success of the Never Get Busted video series, we begin getting thousands of emails of people being arrested and mistreated by law enforcement.
And if I got an email and it fit exactly what I used to do, I knew they were telling the truth.
And we were getting thousands of these.
So Candy and I were talking and she said, "You know, Barry, you were so good at busting all those citizens,"
"you should start busting some of these crooked cops," and I'm like, "Yeah!"
No matter who you are.
Barry Cooper's a guy you can call if cops plant drugs on you.
Even if you've never dealt drugs in your life.
My granddad told me a long time ago, tough times don't build character.
Tough times show character.
The deputy chief of police at that time.
He called us and he said, "Tell you what I think happened."
"They made a mistake in identity."
Confidential informants ended up planting drugs on the wrong person.
It struck me later on that evening, it just kinda, you know, my eyes popped open, like, "Wait a minute. How do you plant drugs on the right person?"
According to Raymond Madden, an informant was instructed by police to plant a bag of meth in his daughter's car.
But unfortunately, the information was wrong, Yolanda Madden was a working, single mother of two at the time of her arrest.
So Raymond flew to East Texas and met with me.
And I told him how we could catch those officers that planted the drugs on Yolanda.
Because some of them were my ex-partners.
Barry planted two Christmas trees under some grow lamps.
Then, Odessa cops received an anonymous tip that a major drug operation was under way.
As Barry knew they would, the police broke a number of laws leading up to an illegal invasion and search of his house.
Barry proved that Odessa cops routinely break the law, as standard operating procedure in fighting the drug war.
Get these cameras ready.
Hey, I'm Barry Cooper with KopBusters!
Why are you in my house?
I'm busy making sure these Odessa cops quit planting drugs on people.
We're not giving nobody no hassle.
You did too. Y'all planted drugs on Yolanda and she's in prison because of it.
That's giving people a hassle.
You guys are wrong on this one and you know it. You got burnt.
He got a media event, and that thing went national.
In 2008, ex-drug officer Barry Cooper set up Odessa police to bring attention to Madden's case.
It was a success.
And to prove we were right, the judge let her go. She got out of prison.
Painful memories that melt away as Yolanda Madden emerges a free woman.
I went to prison a single mom of two kids, 16 and 11.
My son is 20 and married.
And of course my daughter is, she's getting ready to be 16.
And I'm talking to this young woman, you know, that was just a child when I left.
So, I mean, I miss the years, you know. But...
I've got lots of ways to sting cops.
It just takes money.
If you've come this far, you've learned to beat cases and outsmart the law, while stacking up hundreds of millions of dollars in cash.
This concludes chapter six, How to Be a Kingpin.
You're almost ready for the top level, Running a Drug Cartel.
But before we go overseas, there's one more way to make money in the game here at home, even more than kingpins.
This is the secret level.
For all you government officials out there, we're going to teach you how to expand your power, and take out political opponents.
All you need is a drug war.
Drugs used to be legal. Heroin, cocaine, everything.
Until about 100 years ago, when America appointed its first drug czar, a man named Harry Anslinger.
In his report to the U.S. Senate, Anslinger detailed the reasons drugs must be outlawed.
This is what he said.
"There are 100,000 marijuana smokers in the U.S.,"
"and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers."
"Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use."
"It causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and others."
Anslinger's popularity soared with voters, and lawmakers began outlawing drugs.
Then the evangelical movement inspired Congress to ban alcohol as well.
Gangsterism was a natural sequel, And battles for exclusive territories erupted with a violence unparalleled in the history of law enforcement.
Guys like Al Capone were suddenly making big bucks.
The black market exploded with such violence that public opinion turned and Roosevelt ended alcohol prohibition, crushing the burgeoning industry.
But Harry Anslinger didn't stop pushing drug prohibition.
In the 1960s, he took his case all the way to the United Nations, and lobbied the whole world to adopt the U.S. policy of outlawing drugs.
Richard Nixon would pick up where Harry Anslinger left off.
America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.
While publicly claiming to address addiction and violence, Nixon used drug policy as a weapon to move against those he thought of as his political enemies.
To fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.
President Nixon created the Drug Enforcement Administration, with an annual budget of $65 million, and started the war on drugs.
If you are a governor, mayor, police chief, or any public official, an enormous amount of money was suddenly available from the federal government.
All you had to do was enlist in the drug war.
All of us in law enforcement, we're soldiers.
We developed the cases, we got the informants, we did the search warrants, we did the wire taps, but we didn't take the money out of it.
So what happened?
All the wonderful little entrepreneurs said, "Now it's my time."
Twelve years later, the federal drug war budget had grown to over $1.5 billion a year.
And the Reagan administration stepped up the rhetoric.
For the sake of our children, I implore each of you, to be unyielding and inflexible in your opposition to drugs.
Say yes to your life.
And when it comes to drugs, just say no.
"Just say no" is sort of a fraud, it's one America talking to the other not even knowing how the other half has to live.
David Simon is the creator of the critically acclaimed series The Wire.
When you're at war, you need a fucking enemy.
And pretty soon damn near everybody on every corner is your fuckin' enemy.
David based the characters in his show on the real world events he observed during his many years as a Baltimore police reporter.
Yeah, we were saying "Just say no" to involving yourself in the drug trade.
It was like telling people in a factory town, "Don't go to work for steel."
Or telling people in Detroit, "Don't go to work for GM."
"Just say no" in West Baltimore is telling somebody, "Don't go work for the only factory that is hiring in your neighborhood."
And the country is telling you implicitly, "We don't need you."
You're a human being without purpose.
And that's 10, to 15, to 20% of our population at this point.
You got to realize we ain't got no jobs around here or nothin'.
You know, so, every time we try to make a little somethin' to get on our feet, to try and help to feed our family, they come kicking the doors in and knocking, knocking us back down again.
Even as you fall into the corner culture and ruin your life, um, you're granted meaning.
You're granted a purpose.
You're gonna go out and you're going to sell this G-pack today.
And you're gonna make money, and you're going to bring that money home to your people.
So "just say no" was a problem.
Um, in that, we had not given the slightest bit of thought as to what people in these worlds were supposed to say yes to, and we still haven't.
By 1986, the U.S. was allocating $2.9 billion per year.
That's when the Democrats seized an incredible opportunity over the media frenzy surrounding Len Bias.
Len Bias with 29...
Len Bias was a college star athlete.
He was signed to go to the Boston Celtics.
Twenty TV cameras.
He signs, like, a contract with Adidas for millions of dollars.
He's got it made. He flew back that night from the signing, celebrating in his dorm room at the University of Maryland, he's snorting cocaine...
And his heart failed and they said it was because of, uh, heavy cocaine use.
And he has a seizure and he dies.
Eric Sterling was working as a lawyer at the House of Representatives at the time.
The story is a horror of how Congress operates.
The Democratic leadership figured if they put together an anti-drug bill, and they play it right, they can win big in the November election.
Responding appropriately to the public's alarm about drugs, which, an alarm they helped create.
We're dealing with nothing less than chemical warfare against the youth of this nation.
Press conferences, speeches, "The Plague."
"Should we put in the death penalty?"
"Yeah, let's have the death penalty!"
Now it's the republicans.
People who push drugs must be put in jail for a minimum of 50 years.
It had this quality of, like, Sotheby's auction, you know.
"I'll see ya! I'll raise ya! I'm tougher, I'm meaner!"
In my nine years working for the Congress, this is the only time we wrote legislation in such haste and without careful consideration.
Actress Susan Sarandon worked with many others to fight against the harsh drug sentences that were spreading out across the country.
I just think people don't understand really.
They just hear "tough on drugs" and they just go, "Yeah!
"Let's do that." You know, "We'll be safer."
They don't understand what it, what it means.
Hamida Hassan, a mother of three children, moved to her cousin's house in Nebraska to escape an abusive boyfriend.
They were selling drugs, and I knew that, you know, but I didn't concern myself with the particulars of what they were doing.
It seemed more safe to me.
Hamida's cousins were busted.
Hamida was given the mandatory minimum of 27 years.
I'm 25 years old, I'm six months pregnant, I have never been in trouble before, and I'm going to be sentenced to a natural life sentence.
Right now, the way the laws stand, you can murder somebody and get out quicker than be in a house where there's a drug bust and you don't even know what's going on.
You can end up serving 30 years.
It's crazy. I mean, it's not right.
Since 1993, Hamida Hassan has been in prison.
And her children have grown up without their mother.
I just always break out in tears, because I just miss my mom a lot and I just hope that she come home soon.
Many of the people in federal prison, as I'm speaking right now, who are there on drug charges, are there on mandatory minimums.
Whatever charge they're serving, they're serving a longer sentence that in part reflects my failures to be a better lawyer in blocking that law.
It pains me very much, you know, when I meet the family members of these people, uh, it breaks my heart.
It was a total success for the Democrats.
Many of the congressmen behind the mandatory minimums were re-elected the following term.
If you really wanna do good in politics, be tough on drugs.
By the late 1980s, The CIA discovered that drug money could help U.S. foreign interests.
Now we all know that the U.S. government and the CIA supported the contras in Nicaragua, in the middle '80s.
Now it is alleged the CIA also helped the contras raise money for arms by introducing crack cocaine into California.
There's no question in my mind there is complicity in the flow of drugs into this country, period.
A senate investigation led by John Kerry of Massachusetts found that individuals who provided support for the contras, were involved in drug trafficking.
Freeway Rick's former South American cocaine supplier was a major contributor to the contras.
Eventually the DEA hired him to set up Freeway Rick, putting him in jail for 20 years.
The DEA paid Rick's supplier for services, and American crack cocaine users helped pay for a U.S. government-supported war in South America.
And when that first cocaine was smuggled in on a ship, it may as well have been a deadly bacteria, so much as it hurt the body, the soul of our country.
But take my word for it, this scourge will stop.
President Bush Senior doubled the war budget.
And by the end of his administration, it had doubled yet again.
During the '90s, government asset forfeiture was also on the rise.
What forfeiture laws do, Is they permit the government to seize assets and money of people where they believe that those assets are connected to drug enforcement.
It's very easy for the government to get assets this way because the standard of proof is so much lower.
No one needs to be charged or convicted of a crime.
The message to law enforcement officers was simple.
In the event that you are an undercover officer and you see someone carrying two suitcases, one is full of money, the other is full of drugs, follow the money.
Drugs coming up from Mexico go north and east.
To seize the large amounts of money, I was instructed to begin working south and west bound traffic.
I got extremely talented at seizing money under the rules of law.
That's highway robbery.
I have heard a police officer say.
"Chief, we need a new vehicle."
He'd say "All right, go out, find a drug dealer and seize one."
And so they literally try to find this property.
If I found 100,000 dollars drug money, that paid my salary for a year, auto expenses, dog expenses, whatever it took to keep me on board, everything after that was profit.
The same problem comes up with regard to police corruption.
You go out in the field and you will see a stack of cash.
So you just lift maybe 10, 20, 30, 40 dollars off the top and nobody notices, and of course there's no accounting anyway, so next time you will lift maybe a hundred.
If I found a stash of money, I'd take a couple hundred bucks, stick it in my pocket and then turn it in.
I'm not proud of that.
Between 2000 and 2003, the Department of Justice earned over one billion dollars in forfeiture proceeds.
By 2008, that number had tripled.
By the time Clinton left office, Teenage use of drugs was higher.
High school students' use of methamphetamines had doubled.
And heroin and cocaine were cheaper and purer than they were when the first drug laws were passed in 1914.
The war on drugs is not winnable, but it's eminently fundable, and the government is addicted to that funding.
You know, the worst thing about this drug war, it just ruined this job.
You know I began as a police reporter, somebody very sympathetic to good police work, and I still am sympathetic to good police work.
But I have no regard for the drug war any more.
If you're a fan of the HBO series The Wire, you see this emphasized over and over again, that it's all about statistics and numbers.
Radley Balko is a journalist who spent years studying the effects that federal drug money has had on law enforcement.
You need to make as many drug arrests as possible, Seize as many drugs as possible, and that's how you get your grant in the federal government.
If you're running a police department, you don't get massive grant money for solving murder cases, or rapes, or theft.
Your only major financial incentive is to solve drug crimes, and if you don't make the same drug arrests as last year, you won't get the same budgets this year.
And yet, all you're doing is making meaningless street arrests that have no consequence.
You're just harvesting stats.
This incentivizes police departments to set up specialized SWAT teams so police can conduct more drug raids.
And the U.S. government will provide money for SWAT equipment as well.
No-knock raids are some of the most cruel, horrible tragedies a human can go through because it's so terrifying.
I raided over 100 houses in my law enforcement career.
There'd be 15 of us in all this riot gear, and the biggest, fanciest guns we could get.
I was always the guy who kicked the door in, 'cause I was the most aggressive one.
And we threw flash grenades in the window to confuse everybody.
The one that really stands out in my mind was, I remember a blonde-headed girl with blue eyes, like my daughter's, and it almost seems like it was one of my daughters now.
And uh, she had a brother, and they were so scared.
Don't move, you understand?
Did you shoot my dog?
Did you shoot my fucking dog?
Why did you do that?
And we ripped that family apart for a bag of pot?
Sometimes people feed them wrong information, sometimes it's just an accident, where they read, instead of "863" they read "868" and they go into the wrong room.
And when they got to the house of the former marine, Jose Guerena, he had already been alerted by his wife that someone was outside, so he grabbed his rifle.
But before Guerena could remove the safety from his rifle, he was greeted by more than 60 bullets from law enforcement.
The SWAT team refused to let anyone attend to Guerena, leaving no hope for him to survive.
We've raised a generation of cops in Baltimore who can make a drug arrest, but can't do police work.
You don't know how to use an informant and not be used by an informant.
You don't know how to write an intelligent search warrant, you don't know how to retroactively investigate a crime, you don't understand how to maintain a crime scene.
All the things that count as quality police work, that's a direct consequence of the drug war that nobody thought about.
In the 1980s, there were about 3,000 SWAT raids a year.
Today, that number is estimated at around 50,000 SWAT raids a year.
Most serving warrants on non-violent drug offenders.
These raids gone wrong are actually pretty common.
They happen, by my estimate, a few times a week, across the country.
92 year old Kathryn Johnston was killed when narcotics officers knocked down the door at her home on Neal Street, and then opened fire.
Earlier this week, A 68-year-old grandfather of 12 was killed in his home in Framingham, Massachusetts.
While drug war money has financed an unprecedented expansion of U.S. law enforcement, the bulk of drug money has continued to flow outside U.S. borders and into the pockets of true masters of the game.
As a cartel drug lord, your biggest problem is going to be counting your money.
But you'll have a few guys hired to do that.
And a few more guys to count your mansions, houses, planes, boats, luxury cars, and all the material possessions you could possibly dream of.
Like all the kings and emperors before you, you too will have your very own army.
Driving around in custom made tanks designed by top military equipment engineers.
If you're a Mexican cartel lord, And too many of your men find themselves in prison, you just send a couple hundred of your best guys down there and get them out of jail.
The guards won't stop you.
Anyone you perceive as being a threat, you send a message.
You chop off people's heads.
You roll those heads into nightclubs or pile them up and hang their bodies from bridges to keep your competition in line.
As a cartel drug lord, you kill anybody who gets in your way, literally gunning down civilians, as long as you hit your target.
You'll be so used to killing, nothing will faze you any more.
Since 2006, over 50,000 people have been murdered in Mexico's war on drugs.
Most of those cases remain unsolved.
Not because you're careful about covering up your crimes, but because you terrify the police.
What happens when you as a public official, or a police chief, receive an envelope with photographs of your family?
It won't take you long either to resign, or to go along with their wishes.
The drug cartels have more money and more guns than the police do.
In a lot of ways, that doesn't make any difference because the police are on their payrolls, but where they're not, they can literally outgun the police.
To run a global company, you need operatives all over the world.
An international work force rivaling any other Fortune 500.
So where do you find your employees?
Like business school does for our corporate leaders, jails are like the ultimate job fair for gangs, dealers, hitmen, and other criminals for hire.
We was in there beating people up, robbing people.
I almost killed a guy. I beat him so bad that I almost killed him.
You know, tensions are high at all times.
If it's not between the Bloods and Crips, it might be between the blacks and Latinos, or might be between the prison guards and inmates.
80% of the guys in there don't have a high school diploma.
They grow up in a single parent home.
So if you have no one to show you what manhood is, you'll be just like the sharks just out there. only the strongest survive.
From 1920 to 1970 the rate of incarceration in the United States was level.
From the depression, World War II, the postwar boom, through the '50s, through the '60s, the rate of incarceration was level.
Public enemy number one is drug abuse.
In 1970, the rate of incarceration starts going up.
And it has not stopped going up for a half century.
Only 5% of the world is American.
But today, America has 25% of the world's prisoners.
The United States of America, the land of the free, leads the world in the incarceration of our people.
We hunt the poor, And incarcerate them at levels unheard of in the rest of the world.
No other nation comes close. Not China, not Russia, nobody.
There are only two explanations, one is that we are uniquely evil, and the other is that we have uniquely counterproductive laws.
And while the prison population continues to grow, the demand for illegal drugs is still rising.
50% of America has consumed an illegal drug.
Do they think they can lock up half of the country?
There's just no stopping us.
Everybody I know wants to do drugs is doing them.
They don't care if it's legal or illegal, they're doing them.
And they are proud of it.
Some of America's most famous business leaders, like Steve Jobs, has said taking LSD was one of the most important experiences of his life.
Quite a few Americans agree with him.
I don't think it's as much a question about drugs as it's about freedom.
Whatever this freedom word means, we really gotta grab hold of that.
Either we have the right to do what we want to do as long as we aren't hurting someone else, or we're not living in a free country.
I'm just horrified by the way that we think of people because of the choice of substance that they put in their bodies to alter their perception.
And we judge them as good or bad, while we sip our wine and have our cocktail parties and you know...
Stick that hypocrisy right up society's ass for me.
Some of them can kill you the first time you try them and other ones are really fun.
And someone's lying to you if they say they're not.
Our own power as individuals over our own bodies, our thoughts, our minds, our ideas, and our feelings, those are not things that can be taken away from us.
And anybody who would allow the state to take them away doesn't deserve the title "American citizen."
The vast majority of drug dealers never make it.
They're either killed, or wind up in prison.
But Americans just keep demanding more drugs.
Approximately half a million Americans are incarcerated on drug charges.
In recent years we've spent more money building new prisons than building new universities.
And they are beneficiaries, the people who manage these prisons, the prison guards' unions, they all have a vested interest in perpetuating this broken system.
And famous American freedom advocates have been speaking for years about the conflict of interest for politicians.
Are you running for office, and you need more dough?
Adopt a "tough on crime" position, you'll get a lot of money from the prison industry. Think about it.
But even the largest prison system in the history of the world is just another market for drug dealers.
Oh, you can find weed, coke, crystal meth, ecstasy. Even heroin, you can find.
People work there, bring it over, or visitors.
As a cartel drug lord, You're the number one organized crime threat in the United States, having set up franchises in over 1,000 American cities.
You have an operating budget larger than most countries.
You and your partners in crime make over 150 billion dollars a year.
And business shows no signs of slowing down.
Because like any good game, the machine creates an endless supply of players.
The government always says drugs are illegal, because they're bad for you, and we're trying to protect societies, but the government doesn't give a fuck about your safety.
The government, they don't want you to use your drugs, they want you to use their drugs.
So every night on TV, you see a weird ass drug commercial trying to get you hooked on some legal shit.
And they just keep naming symptoms till they get one that you fucking got.
I think once I took my first Vicodin it was just like this feeling of, "Aah," you know, like everything was not only mellow but didn't feel any pain, it didn't... It just kind of numbed things.
I don't know at what point exactly it started to be a problem, I just remember liking it more and more.
People tried to tell me that I had a problem, I would say, "Get that fucking person out of here", "I can't believe they said that shit to me."
"They know nothing about my fucking life."
"Are they out of their fucking mind?"
"I'm not out there shooting heroin."
"I'm not out there fucking, you know, putting coke up my nose."
"I'm not smoking crack."
You're struggling with the argument of, do you have a problem or do you not have a problem, can you control it or can you not, and I literally thought I could control it.
And for one out of ten people, this is how easy it is to fall into the hands of addiction.
I snorted OxyContin and I remember just falling down on that couch and just feeling euphoric, and feeling that, "This is how I should feel, this is how it should always be."
I had fun for a lot of those years.
But for five or six of them, every time I did it, it was a freaking nightmare.
Once you're addicted, the drugs become interchangeable.
You're taking things that people are giving you that you don't even know what the fuck they are.
They look like a pill and they're shaped like something that you take, so you take it.
You know. Xanax, Valium, tomato, tomahto.
You know what I mean, it's the same thing.
All in the same family, fuck it, take it.
You know, OxyContin is very expensive, and I couldn't afford it, so eventually a friend said, "Well, you can do heroin."
"Heroin's a lot cheaper and you can... It's easier to get, actually."
And the cost was huge.
Beyond the price, beyond the dollar.
I started losing my mind.
I was doing too much cocaine, becoming too paranoid.
People started smoking it, I started smoking it.
I started to go with withdrawals.
I was sweating, I was shitting, I was vomiting everywhere, and, you know, I said, "I need to go to a hospital."
Had I have gotten to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died.
Having my mom look over me crying, over her little baby boy, in a hospital, at 2:00 in the morning, I just felt like shit.
My organs were shutting down, my liver, kidneys, everything.
They were going to have to put me on dialysis.
They didn't think I was gonna make it.
My bottom was going to be death.
Within a month, I had relapsed, and shot right back up to the same amount of pills I was taking.
I remember just walking around my house and thinking every single day like, I'm gonna fucking die.
I'm looking at my kids and I need to be here for this.
It was everything that I loved.
And everything that loved me was a price that I was willing to pay to do coke.
That's a horrible price.
And for many addicts, If they can't afford to support their habit, There's an easy solution.
I think when you come from a poor family, you wanna do drugs, and drugs cost money, and then you see a way out.
OxyContin is very expensive. And people keep calling you, you know, people want drugs.
And it was hard not to give them it, because I knew I could make 50 dollars just like that.
The day I ate LSD, the next day I sold LSD.
The day I did cocaine, the next day I sold cocaine.
The day I shot drugs, I was selling dope.
I never meant to get in the dope business.
That wasn't my plan.
But it just started that way.
Eventually I would make my way to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and a kid was reading "What is an addict" and it said very simply, "An addict is a man or a woman whose life is controlled by drugs,"
"in one form or another, the getting and using,"
"and finding ways and means to get more."
And I heard that, and a light went on in my head.
I knew I was an addict for the first time in my life.
When people asked me, "What's wrong with you?"
I'd be like, "yo dude I'm an addict."
Coming off of everything, I literally was up 24 hours a day for 3 weeks straight.
And I mean, not sleeping, not even nodding off for a fucking minute.
Like I was literally just up, looking at the TV.
I had to regain motor skills, I had to regain talking skills.
It's been a learning process, like, it's been... I'm growing.
I just couldn't believe that anybody could be naturally happy or naturally function or be enjoying life in general without being on something.
So I would say to anybody it does get better, you know.
It just, it does.
My name is Marshall, I'm an addict.
Marshall Mathers, Mike Walzman, Brian O'Dea, and Bobby Carlton would take years in and out of treatment programs before they finally got sober.
And this is normal. Addiction is still a modern mystery.
Rehabilitation programs are underfunded, and often unavailable, except for the very rich.
But in promoting a culture of addiction and substance abuse, drug cartels have an even more powerful ally than the pharmaceutical industry.
The number one gateway drug in the world.
Yeah, it's the worst drug on the planet.
95% of the violent offenses ever committed by anyone locked up in prison was done under its influence.
And as any addict will tell you, the quickest way to relapse is compromising your judgment and willpower with alcohol.
With legal drug companies promoting drug use, it would seem almost impossible to fight the monster of addiction.
But there's one industry that's mastered the art of drug dealing, and they know the secret approach that could threaten the entire addiction market.
I'm Patrick Reynolds. My grandfather founded the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
My only memories of my dad were of a man dying from smoking.
Tobacco is killing more than a combined total of all the murders, all the drugs, all the suicides, and all car accidents combined.
Throw AIDS in, tobacco is killing more than the total.
If tobacco were banned tomorrow, and the DEA was going to come after you for smoking, the first thing it would do is it would make it really cool to kids.
We'd have a black market tobacco, there would be tobacco probably manufactured in Mexico, or some other country and imported... They'd find their way.
We know what works for fighting tobacco.
Smoking bans in public places, high tobacco taxes, secession programs, education, and banning tobacco advertising.
What would happen if we used the same approach.
Patrick Reynolds described succeeding with cigarettes and applied that to all drugs?
That approach was tried in Portugal, which had a huge drug problem, And the effort crushed the black market.
NBC sent reporters to study the drop in addiction and abuse rates among teens.
So have you ever used hashish? No, never.
Why not? It's bad for us.
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates was one of the architects of the new policy, has some advice for the rest of us.
I think the strategy can work in any country, you just need to rid yourself of prejudice and take an intelligent approach.
Even America's current drug czar admits that law enforcement isn't the answer to drugs.
If you read the research, you clearly and quickly come to realize that addiction is a disease.
I think for too long we probably thought that we could either arrest our way out of the problem, or solve it through some criminal justice lens, and I think we know from past history that is not the case.
Critics call the war on drugs the single greatest public policy failure of the last 50 years.
The DEA don't want the drug problem to stop.
District attorneys don't want the problem to stop.
Prisons don't want the drug problem to stop. They're pushing it on.
You know, it's ridiculous.
The only person who's paying is the taxpayers.
Freeway Rick Ross and Brian O'Dea continue to give inspirational speeches on the dangers of addiction and the failures of prohibition.
I was sentenced to 10 years. Within an hour and a half, I met guys in there who were doing 75 years for pot.
One of these guys has since died in prison.
And the other guys are gonna die in prison.
But I got the government selling me cigarettes in there for 50 cents a pack.
Don't make sense, does it? Didn't to me. Didn't to me.
Bobby Carlton, now clean for over a decade, runs a sober living house in Los Angeles, And helps other addicts get clean.
You know, it's just the money is so stupid that everybody's a part of the problem, Nobody's part of the solution.
Big John now works as a union electrician and earns over six figures a year.
He and Skipp Townsend volunteer as community activists and gang intervention specialists in Southern California.
I understand that I can't do any better unless I know better.
And so for the most part when individuals ask me for a job, I understand that nine out of ten, they're not even ready to get a job.
It's just what they're sayin'. But they're gonna revert back to what comes easiest.
The current takes the path of least resistance.
So, what's the easiest, what's the easiest path? That's drugs.
After a friend of his was killed by one of the cartels, Pepe left the game. For the time being.
Barry Cooper, after constant arrests and raids on his family's home, is now seeking political asylum outside the United States where he continues to dedicate his life to ending the US drug war.
I'm not going to use our energy to try to change the minds of the old Americans that made the laws and expect us to live under those laws.
I'm going to use our energy to rally the masses who already get it.
And Neill Franklin, after 30 years fighting the war on drugs, is now the executive director of LEAP, an organization of law enforcement who are demanding an end to the drug war.
It wasn't until after his retirement that Neill Franklin chose to speak out.
What I have here is referred to as, in law enforcement, as a shadow box.
And it basically contains the law enforcement officer's career.
And in my retirement celebration, this was presented to me by Ed Toatley.
Ed Toatley was probably the best narcotics agent that the Maryland state police had ever seen.
Ed Toatley was assassinated in October 2000 by a drug dealer.
You get killed in this thing, I'll be like, my generation died in Vietnam.
It's perhaps heroic, but it's absolutely without meaning.
Because whether you make the five kilogram bust, 500 kilos, a truck load.
None of it makes any difference.
Drug dealers and cops are replaced just like that.
People losing parents, people losing sons, people losing daughters.
You know, Ed's kid's lost a father.
And those who are involved in the illegal activity, because you know what, their lives are just as important.
If we decriminalized all drugs, we would have billions of dollars to battle addiction, drug abuse and poverty.
But as long as we support a drug war, we will continue to encourage our children to pick up the game and discover for themselves:
How to make money selling drugs.
Cleaned, corrected, timing optimized and some still missing parts added by Tronar