Veteran U.S. Agent To Lead Meth Fight In Valley 

Veteran U.S. Agent To Lead Meth Fight In Valley 
Posted by FoM on December 16, 1999 at 12:07:29 PT
By Michael Doyle, Bee Washington Bureau
Source: The Modesto Bee
The Central Valley's newest anti-drug honcho, Bill Ruzzamenti, once stalked a very different sort of high flier.  The kind that steals airplanes in midair. 
A former air marshal who has been with the Drug Enforcement Administration since the agency's birth in 1973, the 51-year-old Ruzzamenti is about to take over as director of a nine-county, federally funded campaign to combat methamphetamine production. From his new Fresno base, kick-started with $800,000 in federal funds, Ruzzamenti will help coordinate anti-meth efforts from Sacramento to Bakersfield, a region crawling with meth labs.  Ruzzamenti's own familiarity with the dangerous drug reaches back to the days of San Francisco's hippies.  "I remember 'speed kills' being scrawled in the alleys of Haight- Ashbury," Ruzzamenti said Wednesday. "Somehow, that message has been lost, and in many areas of California, methamphetamine is now the drug of choice."  The veteran federal anti-narcotics agent joined Stanislaus County Sheriff Les Weidman in Washington this week, representing what's called the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The valley officers were among representatives of 31 regions nationwide who gathered to swap tips and get marching orders from Barry McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug czar.  "It's not just law enforcement," Weidman said of the anti-drug program. "It's treatment and education -- it's not just a body count."  Weidman is vice chairman of the 16-agency board that oversees the new valley program, designated by McCaffrey's office in August, that hired Ruzzamenti for the new job that starts in January.  Ruzzamenti now works as assistant special agent in charge of the DEA's San Francisco office.  Ruzzamenti helped start the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP, a high-profile program that uses helicopters to search out marijuana crops in Northern California forests. The CAMP program has prompted at least one lawsuit against the program over helicopters that allegedly flew too low, as well as some citizen complaints.  Ruzzamenti said the valley's meth problem invites a different strategy.  "Meth is a more insidious problem," Ruzzamenti said. "It's not located just out in the national forests. It may be in downtown Modesto or in rural Tulare County."  An additional $800,000 in federal money is expected in 2001 and $2.1 million in 2002. The money, potentially joined with state funds, is not supposed to create a big new bureaucracy, nor will Ruzzamenti be giving orders to individual narcotics agencies.  Better coordination is the key.  An investigative support and intelligence center will be developed in the Fresno DEA office, with satellite offices in Stockton and Bakersfield. When valley agencies embark on new anti-drug operations, they will fax their plans to a central location in Los Angeles. The idea -- called "deconfliction" -- is to ensure that agencies that don't step on one another's toes.  "The whole point isn't to take the money, build a 12-story building, put a sign on it and write reports," said McCaffrey, a retired Army general. "This allows existing law enforcement agencies to better operate with a modest amount of federal money."  The federal funds for the valley region will be channeled through Stanislaus County, which advanced $100,000 to help the regional program get started.  The drug, said by law enforcement officials to be under the control of Mexican-organized crime gangs, is commonly cooked in rural, come-and-go labs that leave behind noxious waste chemicals. Published: December 16, 1999Copyright  The Modesto Bee. 
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Comment #5 posted by Michael Winn on January 09, 2001 at 11:10:01 PT:
drugsin thenews
 You know Ireally get tired of reading some of the worst and scareiest descriptions of people and drug use in the press. I firmly believe that officials making these commentsare not only wrong butgo out of their way to scare the average citizen into believing anyone who does drugs is anabsolute monster. drugs are simular to alcohol, by this I mean there will allways be the slobernly drunk while the rest of us are responsible and private users.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 16, 1999 at 20:44:47 PT
My My My My!
OOH OOH! I'm going to explore! What? How? Oh Me Oh My! LOL!Thanks FoM!
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Comment #3 posted by Dr. Ganj on December 16, 1999 at 20:15:24 PT
What's Worse, Incineration, or Incarceration?
Ha! LOL! I can picture the poor bloke all sketched out of his balding gourd trying to decide what's worse! I agree, meth is pretty beat. Certainly not my cup of tea. I remember doing it back in 1980 in San Diego, and I went home, only to stare at the cieling all night trying to go to sleep. Not my idea of fun. I guess a lot of people like to work on cars, or clean the house, but that's not my scene.Sorry I haven't posted more, but I've been super busy.Take a look at this link below FoM, and tell me if you like it.Cheers,Dr. G.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 16, 1999 at 19:13:30 PT
Dr. Ganj!You sure have a way with words! Cork a bunch of beakers is a new expression for me! I saw a show on tv where the cops had surrounded a house and it was on fire because the meth lab caught on fire. The thing that was odd about this standoff was when the one guy was in the house and he opened the door to flee the blazing house he saw the cops and shut the door and went back in! I went Eh Gad! That's something only a person on meth would do. I think if a person was high on heroin and his house was on fire, if he didn't sleep thru it, he'd go out and turn himself in. The guy in the house that was on fire finally did come out and they tackled him.Meth was my drug of choice back in the early seventies for about a year until it just went away and they introduced cocaine and it was very boring after meth so I never got into cocaine which was probably a blessing. Meth is a fun drug but my it has some really down sides like becoming psychotic. Paranoia can really get you when your strung out on meth at least the meth from the 70s.
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Comment #1 posted by Dr. Ganj on December 16, 1999 at 15:43:13 PT
This fuzzball has been trying to eradicate reefer for as long as I can remember, and that is a long time, with ZERO success. Now, since that was an utter failure, he thinks he's going to cork a bunch of beakers in a nine county area? Ha! What a goon. Give it up. People like to groove, and no agency, no government, no porker, is going to stop people from getting high. History is replete with that fact.Remember prohibition of alcohol? 1920-1933 Same is true with all the rest of mind altering compounds.What Ruzzamenti needs to try is MDMA. Maybe then he'll get a clue.Cheers,Dr. Ganj
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