Two separate incidents by the U.S. Department of Justice bear attention.

Last week, three Lehigh Valley residents – Clive Anthony James, Winson S. McFarlane, and Oral Hosa Beckford – were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, over 100 kilograms of marijuana.

It is alleged they arranged for the transport of bales of marijuana from Arizona to the Lehigh Valley via a rental truck for further distribution in Pennsylvania – possibly even our local area.

The bales were delivered to a self storage facility in Macungie. The marijuana was hidden inside couches while it was delivered, says the indictment.

Another indictment filed last week is against Nyene Baker, also known as Jason Anderson, of the Philadelphia area, arranged for the transport of about three kilograms of cocaine from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. This operation worked with Baker and two other individuals transporting $70,000 in bulk cash, carried in oversized clothing, to California for the drug.

When arrested after the return flight, they were carrying the concealed cocaine.

Drug trafficking is big business. It also produces casualties.

We know of local individuals who died while under the influence of narcotics – some of them very young.

We see the police reports of shootings and other violence occurring locally over drug deals gone bad, individuals desperate for money to satisfy their addictions, and people just not realizing what they are doing while under the influence of the narcotics.

We attend court hearings and see lives torn apart by drugs. At those proceedings, we see not only the people who committed the crimes because of the drugs, but their innocent victims: young mothers who are battered by pathetic druggies, children who witness the violence and who get no financial support from the parents because all the money goes to buy more drugs.

Illegal drugs are evil. They're a reality, too. Anyone who thinks differently is fooling themselves.

Local police use what resources they can to stymie the drug trafficking, but they're limited in manpower and resources.

The federal government had stimulus money for a lot of things, but not enough was given for drug trafficking enforcement.

When the economy gets bad, drug trafficking increases. There's a ripple effect because it results in more crime and, sadly, more deaths.

One of the necessities for battling drugs is for parents to become involved; to have open and honest conversation with children and to get the children help if there is addiction.

More important, parents must continue to educate their children about drugs.

It's great to see such major arrests as mentioned above. It's not enough, though. Drug pushers must be removed from the streets.

Maybe there could be a "Pusher's List" on the Internet, just like there's a "Megan's List." Such a list would require residential registration, like Megan's List does.

Drug pushers are just as dangerous – and certainly more deadly – than pedophiles

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.cm