More Thuggery from the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Only tangentially related to the Maye case, but here’s one more data point supporting the notion that there’s an unfortunate “cowboy” menatality that pervades drug cops in South Central Mississippi. Got this email this morning. The sender wishes to remain anonymous for the time being.

First of all, thank you for the work you are doing concerning Cory Maye. You are bringing much-needed attention to this travesty.

I am a registered pharmacist in Covington County, MS, which adjoins Jefferson Davis County. On July 1st of last year, new legislation went into effect in Mississippi requiring all solid-dose pseudoephedrine products to be moved behind the pharmacy counter. This did not include the liquid dosage forms. (These were later added to the list.)

Long story short: On July 2nd, one day after this new law went into effect, an off-duty member of the Drug Task Force came in to my store and raised hell about the Sudafed Liqui-Gels on the shelves. He removed them, and dumped them on the pharmacy counter. He then told my pharmacy technician that we were in violation of the law, and that he was a DEA agent. We reread the regulations, concluded he was wrong, and put the products back on the shelf.

Mr. off-duty cop then came back into the store, saw what we had done, and threw a fit. At this point, as pharmacy manager, I decided to get involved. We gowent and forth. I showed him a copy of the regulations, at which point he threatened to “turn in” the store manager to the State Attorney General for her “attitude”. Fed up, I replied, “Get the hell out of my store before I call somebody.”

He told me I’d be going to jail. He briefly left, then returned with a uniformed cop. They handcuffed me, roughed me up, shoved me through the store, and took me to jail. I informed him from the beginning that the law requierd me to close the pharmacy. He responded with, “Shut up, boy.” The pharmacy was left open with only a technician present, a felony in Mississippi.

I was not read any Miranda rights, never saw a badge until the 2nd cop appeared, had numerous bruises on my left arm, both wrists, and my right shoulder was displaced (I managed to correct this while lying on the concrete bunk in the jail).

I spent 3.5 hours in jail before my father bailed me out, and I came back to work.

I have had 2 speeding tickets in my 39 years on planet Earth. Nothing else, until now. I am a family man with 2 daughters. I’m a practicing Southern Baptist and a die-hard Republican, (until now). I do wear my hair long and play drums (which equates to Satanism here in good old Mississippi), and I did marry one of those New Orleans girls (also not looked upon favorably).

My employer dissuaded me from speaking to the media or filing charges. The charges against me (public profanity and disturbing the peace) were dropped after the sheriff personally visited my father 3 times asking that everything be forgotten. In December, I decided to risk losing my job and secured legal counsel. My lawyer has filed a federal civil rights case against Covington County, the officer, and the unnamed cop that assisted. My employer knows nothing about this suit, and I still fear I will lose my job because they don’t want the publicity.

I am sending this to you because I applaud your stand against the police-state this country is becoming, and I wanted to lend a bit of background on the Pearl River Drug Task Force.

Thank you for the great job you’re doing. I’m getting the word out down here.

Think these guys aren’t capable of kicking down a door without announcing first?

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