WASHINGTON — The judge in the trial of a teen-ager accused of selling federal officials crack cocaine across the street from the White House called the government effort to show how easy it is to buy drugs a "Keystone Kops thing."
First the alleged drug dealer didn't show up to make the sale in Lafayette Park, Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Sam Gaye testified. Next the undercover officer's body microphone malfunctioned. Then the cameraman videotaping the deal missed the action because he was being assaulted by a homeless woman.
"This is like a Keystone Kops thing," U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin exclaimed Thursday as the government presented evidence against alleged drug seller Keith Jackson, 18, whose trial continued Friday.
DEA officials set up the Sept. 1 drug sale to show how easy it is to buy illegal drugs, even in the shadow of the White House. President Bush used the story of the sale as an illustration during his Sept. 5 nationwide speech about the war on drugs.