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'Fairy Tales' & Drugs in America's Courtrooms

The arrest and conviction of Dennis Hardee, of Philadelphia, was nothing unusual in the annals of America's Drug War. In 2013, he was convicted of taking part in a conspiracy to rob a cocaine stash house and then sell the proceeds. As it happened, there was also nothing unusual in the fact that both the stash house and the drugs were invented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)—a common tactic aimed at going after violent predators […]

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'Outrageous Government Conduct'

The drugs were not real. The sentence was. Emanuel Gerardo Cota-Ruiz, a 36-year-old Mexican immigrant living in Arizona, was sentenced in 2013 to ten years in prison for conspiring to rob a cocaine stash house. Cota-Ruiz had no previous criminal history. He installed drywall. But, as his lawyer explained in court, he was unemployed and desperately searching for money to buy food, clothes and school supplies for his children when he was introduced to someone who described himself as a […]