Protestors Call Foul In Lamesa Drug Bust - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/19/06

Protestors Call Foul In Lamesa Drug Bust

More than a dozen people remain behind bars, charged with dealing drugs in Lamesa.  Saturday, protestors called for an investigation into the June 29th drug bust.  Police arrested 28 people that morning.  All together, 37 were indicted for allegedly selling drugs to an undercover agent.  Since then, 23 of the alleged drug dealers have pleaded guilty, while 13 remain in jail on a $500,000 bond.  One suspect is still at large.

Protestors say the bust was unjust.  They're hoping their actions Saturday will get them some help.  "No justice, no peace," chanted the protestors.  "Today's protest was in marching for justice.  All of these people are being held under these excessive, ridiculous bonds.  We think of it as nothing more than pandering during an election year," said Carl Mackey with the NAACP. 

The protestors say reports from the June 29th drug bust in Lamesa are wrong, so Saturday they let their voices be heard.  Christie Wrighter sites discrepancies in her mother's indictment papers.  "On her indictment it says she knowingly and willingly sold drugs to Tony Garcia, well on his statement, his report is that he never did have any transactions with my mom, at all, that there was a third party involved," said Wrighter. 

Norma Rosales was indicted on three charges, but says she pleaded down to one charge of dealing in a drug free zone.  Rosales tells us, as she talked with her court appointed attorney, she felt she had no choice.  "He said, well, if you don't plead out to this, you're going to be hit on with another charge and then it's going to be worse on you," said Rosales. 

Rosales doesn't deny drugs were involved, but she says she's no dealer.  "I'm not a drug dealer, maybe a drug user, but not a drug dealer," said Rosales. 

Protestors say they also want answers as to why bonds are set so high; some of those arrested are being held on a $500,000 bond.  "Go from half-a-million dollar bond, a million-dollar bond, into probation," asked protestor Sammie Shorts.  "If they were so much, notorious drug dealers, where she had to put a half-million-dollar bond on them to insure the safety of the community, why did they turn around and plea out almost 20 of them, and they're still walking the streets to this day," said Wrighter.

"The whole, entire investigation, from A to Z, it needs to be looked into, and hopefully with us standing here today, with us doing what we did today, we'll have help," added Wrighter.  We're told the NAACP will ask for a federal investigation into the Lamesa drug bust.

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