Elizabethton Tennessee Man Gets Five Years for Drugs
September 5, 2012 Department of Justice
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Ronald E. Paris, Jr., 24, of Elizabethton, Tenn., was sentenced on September 5, 2012, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve five years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base ("crack"). Paris pleaded guilty to these charges in January 2012. There is no parole in the federal system.
In April 2011 Paris placed cocaine base ("crack") in the trunk of a rental car with the intent to drive from Chattanooga to Elizabethton, Tenn., where he planned to distribute it. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Criminal Interdiction Unit stopped his car near Interstate 81 mile marker 54 in Sullivan County, Tenn., and found Paris to be in possession of 126.3 grams of cocaine base ("crack"). Paris admitted he was making money by buying drugs in Chattanooga and reselling them in the Elizabethton area.
The indictment and subsequent conviction of Paris was the result of an investigation conducted by the THP Criminal Interdiction Unit, assisted by the Elizabethton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen C.T. Smith represented the United States.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian commended the THP Criminal Interdiction Unit and the Elizabethton Police Department for their work in this case and noted their importance in the effort to stop drug trafficking in and through the Eastern District of Tennessee.
What is Crack?
Crack is the street name for crystallized freebase cocaine. It is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, sold in ready to smoke chunks or 'rocks'. Crack looks like small lumps or shavings of soap, but has the texture of porcelain. Because of the way it looks, crack is often referred to as 'rock' or 'ready-rock'. The rocks are nicknamed 'Crack' because of the crackling sound they make as they are smoked. It is generally more pure than the powdered cocaine from which it is made, but this smokable product can still contain impurities. Crack is five to six times stronger than the cocaine normally purchased on the street.
How is Crack Used?
The most popular method is to smoke the lumps of crack in a two-chambered water pipe. Pipes have been made of various common items including soft drink cans. Sometimes crack is smoked by sprinkling it on tobacco or marijuana. Crack can also be mixed with PCP. This method is called 'spacebasing' or 'spaceblasting'. Crack is being mass marketed on the streets in small vials, folding papers, or foil packets and usually contains one to four pellets for an average of $10 - $20.
A person may become physically and psychologically dependent on crack without realizing it. Some people lose control over their use almost from the start. Studies have shown that crack is one of the most powerful of all illicit drugs in producing a psychological dependency. There is no physical withdrawal from Crack or Cocaine as there is with other drugs such as heroin. The withdrawal symptoms are more of a psychological nature rather than physical including an intense hunger, irritability, fatigue, long but disturbed sleep, and depression.
Ref. Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services.
One constant legal argument is the prison sentences for crack are often far worse than for plain old cocaine. This has led to charges of racism because blacks are the primary users of crack while better refined and more expensive cocaine is used by more affluent whites. Let's stop being racists and allow all the dope minority children can consume flow freely into their communities. After all we don't want the taint of racism no matter what the cost.
82% of drug-zone defendants are black;