ISSUES 2017 12/17/17

Steve McIntosh
Wednesday, December 13th

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett discusses opioids, human trafficking, scams


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is issues Tony 79 Steve Macintosh and our guest is county secretary district attorney mark Bennett welcome to issues Tony seventeen terror thank you you were actually. District attorney for the eighteenth judicial district court explained network it. How it works here this year. Quipped I'm five counties and most of academies are small enough in terms of population that. District court judges are divided into districts and so like Sumner county for instance. But south of us is an industry twists I think it's harper Kingman. Arbor and I think Pratt county and that's a districts and so each county within that district as a kind of turning that Cedric county has its own district our judges only go to the county courthouse here. So it's a district into itself so when I'm the elected prosecutor in the district attorney. It's an elected position that is when reroute elected the first time point twelfth. That's only time right now well and and reelection or sixteen months is it's important right now can't give marine yesterday warriors are you know it today. You don't wider range of background before getting this job to us about that some of them working you did as an attorney. Well let's start off in. Gary counting Junction City after after law school. Worked of their for a couple of years and came back to which saw its now been. Well let's see this week cavalier last week it was twenty years now and I've been in the DA's office. Start off the gang unit doing general appropriate your doing violent crime and then. I. Had several sort of little awed Clinton niches I was asked to fill arson cases which are a very unusual. Niche sort of the case but I that it arson cases I did. Any number of things defendant in about 992000. I guess was I transferred to the sex crimes domestic violence unit. And ultimately was in charge of that even when I was elected in Japan the district attorney so we prosecuted. Obviously child and adult sex crimes. Child abuse. Domestic violence in the family. Elder abuse and a few other sundry things that would come away a wider ranges is as an experienced up. That arson crime we don't hear a lot of but now they're there and usual crimes that don't that'll occur all along in terms. Actually going to add to it a felony offense. There's lots of incidents where people will set afire here there and it'll get out of hand and the question is was it intentional was it. Designed to you know try to get an insurance settlement or was it to somebody. Mr. I'll fire him you know to know what they're doing that a controls don't kill off loses something to do it to look straight collected insurance. Not as often as he thanked the but it does happen I try to long ago I don't know it's been I guess fourth six years ago where. Contractor who had purchased a home. And the house burned. Significant damage to this house as a foreigner in this fifty profiler those lower house. And just request Hillary found out that he had taken at two separate. Insurance policies on the place for. I had an Aussie six or 700000 dollars apiece and I didn't make a lot of sense and pretty quickly we figured out what happened and he was. Prosecuted and convicted for ourselves. How many people fallen to your responsibility. See we now have 55 lawyers who were forming and about 6570. Support staff we have a few part timers. So on a given day there's some in the neighborhood of 12830. People who work for the offs of this turning. And we also have two buildings I think people may not right recognize that as well downtown courthouse which is running most people probably suspect I don't spend my days at third 535 north main. What's that the northwest corner of a central Maine but we also if you're headed south on the canal are out. Just ask hello if you look back to the west. You see a complex beckon us to juvenile division and that's where the juvenile detention facility is for the juvenile courthouse is. Were all the juvenile offender cases are handled it's where all of the trauma care case is for kids have been abused or neglected. And then. It doesn't entirely fit the so where we had space in the court system it's also the probate department atmosphere right now which is a little. This and maybe make a lot of sense but that again that's where we had space and so that's where. The probate judge panel's probe case as well did you roses is state budget accounting that count. Or can I commission. That's what's my budget and this next. Usually about march we start to have those conversations about what we're gonna need moving forward and and in terms of personality terms space oddly enough right now. The largest issue facing me with the word face my office with respect to budget is it's space. The juvenile division is doing okay on space is that there the kind of group quite a bit and infrastructure down there several years ago and redid the courthouse and and and so we're doing okay down their back at the courthouse in downtown. I'm looking just based space at this point by I have an attorney who Roman. News Israel. Transfer wrecked the downtown division and she asked me yesterday where my office I don't know right now. I don't have a free office to give her so that's if she were attending to a moment. What is it comes to ruin your office telling our budget is nine to millions like them. Making the news. The last few months apple peel it addiction and a growing numbers of overdoses I think one Ohio county is really want to. Young these are fatal to ally on New England. Is where the first called the first in the canary in the coal mine. Sort of calls came. This is going to be an issue folks and and it minister to sweep across or spread maybe sweep seems a little hyperbolic that spread across. The country. Surreal Rust Belt. Seems to be really getting hammered right now West Virginia. And northern Kentucky Ohio when I read reports that's where. Some the most recent numbers coming out of and what your finding is that. People it's starts primarily. And I'll say this with the caveat that you know. These generalizations but but based on average and what I've talked to folks from the those areas. It's stern with the with pills. More tabs and and that sort of thing that you can get prescribed for pain. People start take on the addicted to rather prescription. They try to get more at some point they can no longer get them legally. They turn to either. People who sell on the street. As a black market value. Some points allowed to feed the addiction people turn to herald. And because it's the same I guess is lashed same type of high. Now but it's much cheaper the problem with hero in this most of the time but if you take a pill you can fairly well. Admin and the expectation at least there was manufactured by pharmaceutical company. I take this pill I know the reaction I want yet take two pills I know the reaction I'll get. If you put her one in your system that's typically just with a that are put in your system of a needle. Once that's and you it's hard to come it's almost impossible to. Regulate. The effect it's gonna have and you hope that it affects you the way it did last week when the guy. But it can be either a higher potency could be a different quality. And what I've I guess they're finding a lot of is that. The low grade stuff. That the people who were dealing it are cutting it or are heading to with. Other drugs that are highly. Rick Francona fatal if there is put into high dose of fentanyl and other things like that. And so the unlike crack and masks which the crack epidemic in the eighties in the mess that's taken place in the nineties and two thousands. As bad as those are their own right that the number of fatalities with this. Drug at the epidemic is is what's really unusual or are really getting people's attention. You take the stuff you die and it's happening about the grows sometime in the tens or twenties. I've heard numbers as high as hundreds and any weekend in certain cities back east so that's obviously yeah. You know really concerned how would you impunity characterize problem here is injury count. You know at the end of the day meth right now still the drug of choice and Sedgwick county. We are seeing. Heroin we are seeing a Buick type crime. Position cases. You know certainly higher and higher rates than we did ten years ago but. We're nowhere near epidemic stage at this point however. The fact we're starting to see them. You know as certainly got the potential law enforcement in my office of the city prosecutors and and so. Who would take it upon ourselves to try to you know warn people and and seeing a sore throat or can we do about it would you know what's something's citizens can actually do other than wring their hands and you know did get detention their lawmakers. There's one very simple thing that has a pretty significant impact that is get rid of hero feels good your medicine cabinet. Played football high school and I've had certainly surges over the years to clean up bad knees. Seems like her to my going to giving a prescription for lower tabs or something like that. And I looked all year to go in my hand couple bottles of that stuff that I never used night I don't like the way it makes you feel so I never take him. Trying to get rid of those if you look at your medicine cabinet you've got lower tabs and and pills like that payments that are popular based payments. There's actually I think to. Walgreens and it may be other places well but the Walgreens at central hillside in the wanna central maze understands. Well both except pills taken in there and sell attorneys inning get rid of them and they will do that Korea. The attorney general Schmidt his office. Issue a press release almost in October. When they did it come on statewide push for people to turn their pills and I'll say of some I had the number 151000 pounds of pills were collect the statewide in Kansas so. That's a good first very good step get them get those things at your house and I don't know some alarm bells and I've talked to the police I know they. I'll say this with caution that if you go to the pharmacy and you and you get. A prescription for payment because you you do have pain and needs management that's a legitimate concern of course. Watch who's around you at the pharmacy you know analysts who follow you home because that they wanted to pills and I haven't seen any cases here. Like that but I have heard the police say you know be aware of your surroundings but. Other times guys just do burglaries and not look for anything else other than pills because they have a street value or they just trying to keep their own habits so. You know these are the kind of things I think people need to be aware what of the powerful new drugs that have surfaced. You know there it is. There's nothing new under the sun right now it seems like honestly if you were to ask the cops what's the most common drug were seen on the street is something news or something different they'd say. It's and it cannot be crass but the common refrain this myth is still king. That's that's the place to meth is still that for the crime of the drug of choice excuse me. And I would add to that meth not only is is an insidious. Drug in that it has incredible detrimental effect on people's health. I mean it's almost part of pop culture now let's talk about people with you can tell from their teeth and theirs skin and all the different visual effects she concealed math but it drives a lot of crime to into how many. Homicides and and other types of crimes or are really driven by people out of their hands on math. Or fighting over a massive debts and and trying to feed it happened so. A lot of collateral consequences of of of that that dragon particular. You're listening to issues Tony seventeen of the Entercom radio stations and against his Cedric county district attorney mark Bennett. Let's talk about switch gears you know but tell us about the illegal immigration and Cedric county. Kind of put a recall those places vote. We are or we're not sanctuary plays the we are we are not what we are yeah. So I guess as Jeff history here and I defer to him because he can take of the balancing your time. Let me. Didn't even your listeners what four on that that. Yeah I mean also appears well say about that that's in my mind the manufactured term. You know there are certain cities like. And I stand San Francisco and a few others. Some larger urban areas. Mainly in the West Coast have mayors and and she counsels who have. Adopted or or or. Embraced that old that term. And they say we don't we so please don't enforce immigration. Rules. OK I'm not sure what role of mayor frankly has if if the mayor of any particular city till the police chief U Wheeler walked. And for certain laws I think the police chief probably tell the mayor. Humidifier and finally chief because you know the noise to mayors have all the law. Cancer in this case and in which time not giving missed left me a long while our time because he's not certain and I think like that but. The long story short is for anyone to be. Taken into custody they have two of as the pro costly to commit a crime and and while listeners may not like won't won't like this this. There is a reality and that is that being there is no crime for being. And meaning there's no crime for a static for being static from put it a different less. Egg British way or less hawkish way. Coming across the border illegally is a crime being here after having cross border is not a crime there is no. It is not a crime under federal law to be here is a crime to come here illegally and so the feds threw the ice agents will enforce them and a police officer can just walk him say use. Look like he might be here illegally I'm gonna take you into custody. That would be a violation of Fourth Amendment and so. The second thing is once they're held in custody. There has to be some finding of probable cause and images has set Vaughn and so. The headache for the the the disconnect that occurred for a short period of time between the sheriff's office and and maybe ice was that share from through legal counsel to look into the cases where there are venture departments who have been sued successfully. Among people who were held indefinitely on an ice hold. And they said if you're gonna put a hold on income give probable cause to the Warner you know we're gonna judge to endorse this. And if you don't I can't hold these folks for very long off from that. Frankly in my opinion irrational response from our sheriff. Folks from other parts of the country said they label us a Sanctuary City allies would bristle at that. And take and this year is fully capable of taking those folks to task is that's that's frankly. It while misstatement of what's your duties fall in the law. And frankly saving the taxpayers. The inevitable lawsuit and so. But more financially you're looking for but the bottom line is this gonna answer I mean the bottom line is we're not a century city whenever were and other than people who want to be called that. Expose their free call themselves that if you want. It's not a term that actually is remaining in the law. You would be in media and politicians we like to make it as short as we can't either in the that it Sanctuary City thing if a little bit of a the mistake that little more than Milan portraits and a yeah I am like most things in life. Give us an update on human trafficking here advocate. You know again the I think we have probably been. More focused on this and says we canning since the late. My short caught 20082009. Early two thousands I guess. And as a result I think people in this jurisdiction are probably more aware of it maybe than other parts the state probably in the country now I think that may be changing it's becoming more and more well known. And people understand issues in the problem. I'm getting is frankly getting the attention it deserves. And I would say the reasons has accounted we have. Pay perhaps more attention to it as we. For the longest time since swells 1985. We have a call exploited missing child unity EM CU and it's a joint task force between which don't police departments sheriff. And at least the asterisk now a DC the department of children families. And they were together and have since the early eighties except I think it was. It was actually before an awful stunning it was Clark owns the DA on semi kill and probably Richard bloom onion I think was would have been the chief of police of time. It was summit also apologized but that's by memory at least on the air I think you're a sounds right and they got together and decided this would be a good thing these these cases would be worked and is it as a joint. Enterprise social workers and cops working together and so they started doing that and has been in fact. What they envisioned a tremendous boon to law enforcement says mechanic. And we've really benefited met over the years when I'm getting at is that outfit because they've been so focused on chip child specific. Abuse. Was one of the first. To notice. That we have a lot of young not women young girls. Who are ring who were being prostitute it and I make the distinction of saying being prostitute as opposed to working as prostitutes. And I think that's probably an old. So nomenclature that deserved a proper burial and and it got it and state law a few years ago. That at any rate these detectives have been paying attention to this and as a result they brought to my office. And so we sort of paying attention to it and and so we. Pretty aggressive about prosecuting these cases have been. Really since I'd say for past votes 2017 toward toward the answer probably. On so the last ten years so there's been a real and concern concerted effort and and so because it's our radar and saw law law enforcement's radar. And is kind of case we we've Boggs a catalog tension into and now have specialist training for prosecutors. And make your priorities to have his case so about scams furlough for sure. One of the most often reported types scams UC. Well again there's not a lot new under the sun and its feels like divisive issue here blisters are gonna say yeah we know that but just last week Ira and I opened signed papers to open an inquisition which is. And ability issue subpoenas before cases actual files we can help investigators. Get the information they need typically white collar type crimes that the the petitioner the affidavit rather. Simon law enforcement officer related how a woman got a call from what she believed to be her. Grandson Wimbley who was who told her he was in custody unity and some friends and on south of the border of Lou was for the weekend got picked up. And grandma please please you got to send money you're gonna get a call from lower than a minute they were descended to bond me out. A mailers it's a call from a guy who says I'm your sons or grandsons lawyer and it is and you know five grand to this. This number this mail address is bank account or whatever and she did it and I thought I am and I have probably. Pointed out. That particular scam in press releases and in I read a little article most months in the active aging. The good goes on each IKEA and it's monthly period magazine. Or newspaper. And you know just every chance he would again I mentioned that scam and others on the same theme and still again we had its citizens as you can it was taken so. That's a long way of saying. It is that scam and it's others that are on the same basic premise to your call from the Irish get a call from the share your call from my office a thought that resembled. We called senator from the DA's office. And if you don't do XY and Z you're going to earth rather if you YouTube because you have feels sure for jury duty because you have. Failed to pay a traffic ticket because you didn't respond to subpoena. You are going to be arrested momentarily and put in jail in a sense prison. But she can Allred who can result are now over the phone if so give me credit card information. Or now go to run to Walgreens wonder run Wal-Mart buy green dot card which is essentially a prepaid. Credit card. Loaded with five firebox give me that number and thank you very much and OK we welcome our studio and people. Still get taken in by that and it is really deal Brusett publisher's clearinghouse to cynical people. You know it just somebody called us the other caller Kelly. And we still line with this bird for a while and one of us but wives a little under and subjected. If only get under way loaded nobody out and he was don't you know people ask supporters as she version you know people ask what what command it well or things is most. Not everybody has posed the most phones now have some regularly I did yeah. And I would encourage people especially if you you know maybe some people don't keep a landline that. If they're on the phone somebody and you go well let me Monaco McCoy met with whenever sequoia and they say. No no this test have right now and the and this you'd done I mean there's no reason on earth to to deal with somebody in that kind of high pressure sales. Setting. But every time I've got a call like that every time someone else is gonna call that and I know it quickly Google the number. And it's almost inevitably you're gonna get a litany. Don't answer this number kind of warnings already so yeah I mean people. Don't go to blogs and whatnot and say this number call my house and there there's cameras. And you know now the elderly these folks prey on a lot. You know may not be as apt to jump on a cellphone arms or face you know. Tablet or something and and quickly Google the number that's on the line with but. You know the bottom line is that there's no one legitimate and governments especially. That's ever gonna call you on the phone and demand payment over the phone. And on the threat that if you don't you're going to be arrested and incarcerated. That will never happen IRS doesn't do it the SharePoint two I certainly don't do it. And there's no. No one else and in NN official government position would do the same so please install all your listeners but I think Kurds and to. You know talked to that are there elderly neighbors and and family members who may still look low and keep the phone. To to be aware of that as well well we were offered six billion dollars in new Durango. You know that nobody does it for me. Due to be true good teachers sometimes it's what happens well yeah racial problem. You know I I would I would say that the there was an uptick this last spring and summer and the police had a pretty robust response if you noticed. The setting was last week now chief Ramsey at a press conference where he. Mentioned on only. The fact that the police department had responded with that a task force but that it had been so successful that there planning on. I re instituting in here shortly and that's in my county times OK go fast that does. We do we have a good time we get together and it thank you for Jerry too much information with us we appreciate lot of good stuff there a lot of things that. May be our listeners haven't thought about it for a while I guess Cedric county district attorney mark Bennett. And that's all for this edition of the issues Tony seventeenth. Will be back next week thanks for listing I'm Steve back in time.