“Do The Time Or Snitch” Ctd

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I just read the post about low-level snitches getting the book thrown at them when they don’t have enough information to provide the government, and I’m reminded of the story of Ciro Mancuso, the father of Olympic gold medalist alpine skier Julia Mancuso, who created and ran a multi-million dollar drug empire in Nevada from the ’60s to the ’90s. When caught and charged with no less than 49 felonies, he negotiated a sweet deal with the government in which he obtained not only a significantly shortened prison sentence but also immunity from prosecution for his family. Amazingly, he was also allowed to keep over $4.6 million in assets.

It is infuriating to contrast this with the fate of John Horner or others from communities where there is also a strong “anti-snitch” culture. This whole sad state of affairs reminds me of Randy Wagstaff’s story from The Wire. 

Randy is a Baltimore teen tries to get out of school trouble by desperately offering the vice-principal details about a murder he’d heard about. The show depicts Randy subsequently getting picked up by the police (who have their own ulterior motives for scaring the drug kingpin who ordered the murder), then carelessly discarded by said police when they realize Randy doesn’t actually have information useful to them. He’s then ostracized (and worse) by his own community when they figure out that Randy’s been talking. Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.