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Crack Cocaine Trafficking

December 17, 1989

The lesson couldn't have been clearer: One item in The Times reports that Richard V. Winrow, a black and ghetto-bred 22-year-old man, was sentenced to prison for life for dealing a small amount of cocaine (Part A, Dec. 7).

The other item reports the hardly remarkable fact that large American companies have been profiting handsomely from the sale of millions of gallons of specialized chemicals vital to the making of the cocaine found in Winrow's possession (Part A, Dec. 5). The chemicals, it is reported, are shipped openly from Houston to Colombia in amounts far exceeding any legitimate need.

The tragic irony is that Winrow loses his freedom forever; the corporate heads probably get a bonus for improving the bottom line.

It might logically be said both are businessmen; as one company is said to have retorted: If we don't supply it, they'll only get it somewhere else. Indeed! Winrow could not have said it better.

MARK MILLER

Santa Barbara

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