The New York Times tells the story of Tommy Adams, who for two troubled years was sheriff of rural Carter County in southeastern Missouri until his arrest last month on charges of distributing methamphetamine.
In a place where distrust of law enforcement has always run deep, the story of a sheriff enabling the scourge he was supposed to fight has not provoked outrage. Many local residents are accepting it, even sympathetically, as another disappointing chapter as a hopeless fight. “We all know who does what, how they do it and when they do it,” said David Bowman, a school maintenance worker and mayor of Ellsinore. “You just turn your head and go on.”