By Trey Rusk
We worked drug dealers in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It was a tough job. We sat in clubs and drank. Bartenders were good informants along with cocktail waitresses. They usually had some chicken shit misdemeanor charge that they wanted to trade for information.
The dealers were out to make as much money as they could on a single transaction to be able to bank cash and buy more drugs.
We never bought drugs from a drug dealer. We were undercover, but we always flipped a drug user to make a buy. We contacted patrol and let them know that if they caught a drug user in possession of anything to page us day or night. (No cell phones back then) Once they arrested one we would have them bring the druggie to the office to see if they wanted to inform on a dealer.
90 percent of the time they would do it. 40 percent of the ninety percent of them would try to play us. This was stupid because we had informants all over the area and they would rat each other out to stay out of jail. Motel workers, bartenders, and family members usually gave them up. We would put the word out to every ner do well in the area and sometimes the crook would just turn themselves in.
Once they played us, we would lock them up for the original offense. No amount of pleading helped and no other deal was ever offered. We had to be persons of our word or everyone would try to play us. We once had a small time dealer try to play us twice and we locked him up again. I saw him in a bar after he was released and he told me he was moving out of state.
I told him to get the fuck out of town! I always wanted to say that. Problem solved.
My partner and I sometimes paid informants but not often. Paid informants usually bought the drugs with the money and split it for personal use then turned in a small usable amount to us.
Turkey dope was no good. Turkey dope was usually a household ingredient made to look like dope and sold. At that time the laws didn't cover turkey dope so If we bought some and it tested negative we were just out of luck.
Drug field tests usually tested positive each time for patrol on night watch. You see, when the test vials are broken in the clear plastic packet and mixed with the drug it would turn a particular color depending on the drug. Pink, blue or purple. Guess what? As an officer shook the contents and stared at the packet he usually saw the color. This is because red, blue and white lights were swirling around the area and the tester picked up each color.
When the druggie was arrested, he didn't know it was turkey dope because he had just purchased it from a drug dealer and it was packaged like real drugs. The druggie would sit in the county jail for sometimes months before the state lab would come back with a no drug finding.
This type of law enforcement doesn't play today. Now, the D.A.'s office wants a contract made with the informant and probation and parole officers stopped letting their clients work for the cops. It seems that they were consorting with the wrong element.
I always wondered if they were talking about us or the drug dealers.