LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE SNITCH
They serve such an important role in society it's truly a shame when one goes bad. Or worse, I guess I should say.
The snitch who went bad in this case was Tina Rivard of Kalama. A story published here Sunday told of her bizarre efforts to get herself out of trouble by framing Bo Jeremy Storedahl of Kelso in a prescription drug sting.
Turns out, her elaborate little ruse wasn't such a good idea. She ended up pleading guilty to some serious federal charges and faces up to 20 years in prison when she's sentenced March 28.
Like most snitches, she started out with the best of intentions. She was in trouble and tried to make life easier for herself by ratting out someone else.
That's generally how it works. And it's a good thing, usually.
But a good snitch doesn't set up a fake drug buy, bring drugs to the alleged buy, then let the cops swoop in later and bust the guy.
So, Storedahl ends up pleading guilty to an unlawful possession charge. Then, the truth about Rivard comes out. And it's revealed she helped bust another person in August who later pled guilty.
But that was a good, clean bust, authorities say. And the Storedahl possession charge wasn't related to the bogus information being provided by Rivard.
Now, I'm no lawyer and cannot offer legal advice, but Storedahl and that other person should run, not walk, to their lawyers' offices to get those guilty pleas withdrawn, if they haven't already. You now want to go to trial on those charges. You want Ms. Rivard on the witness stand against you. She's the best thing that could have happened to you.
It was a wonderful little Christmas gift.
But worse than sinking those cases, Rivard has tainted the good name of all snitches.
And we need snitches. We always have and always will. Here's how it usually works:
Some drug user gets busted for possession. They get busted because they do stupid things, like drive around with their lights off at night, run red lights in a stolen car with expired plates or bust open a gumball machine in a crowded store so they can steal the nickels. They're stoned, and it takes the cops about half a second to figure that out. They're arrested for all of the above, plus some outstanding warrant, in a lot of cases.
On top of all those troubles they had a baggie with meth in their front pocket. Life isn't looking too good.
But the police are very interested in where they bought those drugs. Some of those charges can go away if that person is willing to help nail their dealer. They jump at this opportunity because they're not so stupid after all.
It's a win-win-lose proposition. The drug user will spend less, or no time in jail. The police put a drug dealer out of business, at least for a while. And the drug dealer? Well, he's the "lose" part of this equation. But two out of three is pretty good.
And snitching is good. Yeah, the drug user needs to find a new dealer, but that's only a minor inconvenience. And sure, there is an alleged code of the street where snitches aren't looked upon so favorably. But that code is a joke. Everybody in your circle ends up snitching. The key is to do it first.
You can be a stand-up guy and take the rap quietly. That sense of satisfaction you'll get from that will last at least a couple of prison meals. There's a word for people like you: sucker.
You're a sucker because that big, bad drug dealer is going to go down eventually anyway. It's a built-in hazard and soon-to-be reality of the profession. The money is great but your customers suck. They really do. They do all of the aforementioned stupid things and much more to get themselves busted. Then, they'll snitch on you to get themselves off.
The dealer can act like he's a tough Mafioso type guy who will "strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger" should you turn on him, but it's a largely toothless threat. You want to know who the really tough guys are, the ones you should fear?
It's the cops.
They have all the cool weapons and they're trained to use them. They have the ability to take away your freedom. They can even get the authority to break down your front door and snatch your naked butt out of bed. They're not afraid of that big-shot criminal, they're itching at the chance to take him down.
You want to see something funny? Watch that Tony Soprano wannabe flopping at the wrong end of a Taser.
But you need to keep these powerful cops in mind if you're going to be a snitch. Don't burn them. Don't lie. Don't set up fake drug buys. They don't like that. You're setting yourself up for a heap of hurt. Ask Tina Rivard.
And worst of all, you're giving snitches a bad name.
Daily News, The (Longview, WA)
Copyright: 2007 The Daily News