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Home » Opinion » The Truth About Drug Dealers

The Truth About Drug Dealers

May 3, 2014

Last week, a local TV station ran a story about a defendant serving life without parole for distributing marijuana. Unfortunately, the story did not include all of the facts.

The truth is that the defendant was a career criminal with four prior drug crimes. He was given leniency and received probation for his first two crimes. He then received jail time for his next two crimes. Even after the four prior criminal acts, he did not change his conduct. Instead, he was caught with 92 lbs of marijuana. He turned down a plea offer from the prosecutor that would have allowed him to be paroled. But rather than accepting responsibility for his conduct, he chose to take the case to trial and was convicted. The judge decided five criminal acts was the end of the line.

Criminal sympathizers are now attempting to use him as a catalyst to change drug laws. Career politician Bob Johnson of Lee’s Summit is one of those sympathizers. His comments for the story show a fundamental misunderstanding of our criminal laws.

As a career prosecutor who has prosecuted hundreds of drug crimes, I know the truth. It is a myth that our prisons are full of drug users. Those defendants never wind up in prison, unless they have long rap sheets for other crimes or repeatedly refuse to obey a judge’s orders while on probation.

But drug dealers are different. Contrary to what Mr. Johnson apparently believes, drug dealing is not a victimless crime. In my years as a prosecutor, I’ve seen too many lives destroyed by illegal drugs to have sympathy for drug traffickers who prey on others for their own monetary gain.

Missouri’s citizens deserve the truth about issues rather than the tired platitudes from career politicians.


Justin Kalwei

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Lee’s Summit Resident and Candidate, Missouri House of Representatives, District 34

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  1. Josh says:
    May 6th, 2014 at 15:46
    I was sentenced to 8 years in Federal Prison amd 5 years of supervised release. I served 73 months and was released 2 years early for good behavior and completing the 9 month Rational Behavior Therapy program. It was the first time I had ever been in trouble and only the second time I had ever been in handcuffs when the indictment for conspiracy to distribute meth came down on me. I am not religious, nor am I one to say EVERYTHING happens for a reason, but this saved my life. I have been drug free for 110 months now, I have a good job, a great girlfriend and most importantly, good family support. None of which I have the "system" to thank for. There is no rhyme or reason for the way the justice system is and to say that I could have cooperated and gotten a lighter sentence, which is true, is not the way justice should work. That is how I was associated and mixed in with the people I was indicted with, they "told" on me. The system is broke, inside and out.
  2. Chris says:
    May 8th, 2014 at 21:18
    So Josh, you were guilty of conspiring to distribute enough meth that the feds took the case (which is a LOT of meth). Then you protected your meth dealing buddies and refused to cooperate with the authorities. And you think this is an example of the system being "broke" because you had to go to prison for dealing just about the most dangerous drug there is? Sounds like the system worked just fine to me.

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