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DEA Lack of Data Storage Results In Dismissed Drug Case 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the wanna-borrow-a-flash-drive dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Dr. Armando Angulo was indicted in 2007 on charges of illegally selling prescription drugs. He fled the country in 2004, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Marshals Service eventually finding him in Panama. As the case developed (and Panama resisted calls to extradite Angulo back to the United States), the DEA apparently amassed so much electronic data that maintaining it is now a hardship; consequently, the government wants to drop the whole case. 'These materials include two terabytes of electronic data (which consume approximately 5 percent of DEA's world-wide electronic storage capacity),' Stephanie M. Rose, the U.S. attorney for northern Iowa, wrote in the government's July motion to dismiss the indictment. 'Continued storage of these materials is difficult and expensive.' In addition, information associated with the case had managed to fill 'several hundred boxes' of paper documents, along with dozens of computers and servers. As pointed out by Ars Technica, if two terabytes of data storage represents 5 percent of the DEA's global capacity, then the agency has only 40 terabytes worth of storage overall. That seems quite small for a law enforcement agency tasked with coordinating and pursuing any number of drug investigations at any given time."
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DEA Lack of Data Storage Results In Dismissed Drug Case

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @01:59PM (#41057237)

    The war on drugs is a disaster. Decriminalize all drugs, since that is the only thing that leads to a decrease in drug use and an increase in treatment.

    • Yes, but what's your opinion of UNEVENLY dismissing cases? Is that better or worse than dismissing none?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:17PM (#41057497)

      The war on drugs is a disaster. Decriminalize all drugs, since that is the only thing that leads to a decrease in drug use and an increase in treatment.

      I own stock in prison companies and if we decriminalize all drugs, then what am I to do?! And then there are all those cops, prosecutors, rehab, and the thousands of people who depend on drugs being illegal for their livings!

      And then there is the morality of it all. Alcohol is different I say!

      And it's important that someone who's been caught several times with a joint go to jail for the rest of their life because we all know stoners are causing all this trouble in society - being all mellow and such rot! They should be in the rat race - working themselves to death to make sure that the 1% keep their socioeconomic status. Don't those pot heads know that they are destroying the fabric of society?!

      And the Bible says somewhere "Thou shalt not smoke a toke. Thous shalt not do blow." and some others; which means drugs aren't Christian - except for alcohol. Jesus had red wine for blood so drinking red wine is drinking Jesus' blood and therefore will get you into heaven. Really! It's in the Bible!

      Enough for now. I just wish you anti-society hippies would keep your mouths shut!

    • My Kingdom, for a Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB USB 3.0 drive!

      Man. These guys are SO 2007!

    • The war on drugs is a disaster. Decriminalize all drugs, since that is the only thing that leads to a decrease in drug use and an increase in treatment.

      Some drugs are more problematic than others. I really don't want someone who's been doing steroids for 3 years to stand in front of my house and ingest PCP.

      Not unless he's surrounded by several policemen with pre-drawn tasers.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        The drugs would be decriminalized, but they'd still be restricted like other prescription drugs.

        Oh and if dude did attack you, why do you need police? You should have your own taser for self-defense.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

          Because if the police were to stop him with deadly or non-deadly force, the risk of me getting sued or going to jail is close to nil.

          If I were to do it, the risk is considerably higher.

          • by Jeng (926980)

            You can be sued for any reason by anybody at any time.

          • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday August 20, 2012 @03:16PM (#41058239) Homepage Journal

            Because if the police were to stop him with deadly or non-deadly force,

            Point #1: The police will arrive too late to save you. Also, as the SCOTUS decided, [nytimes.com] protecting you is not their job, anyway.

            the risk of me getting sued or going to jail is close to nil.

            If I were to do it, the risk is considerably higher.

            Point #2: Dead men tell no tales; get a gun (and, of course, learn how to use it).

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 20, 2012 @04:06PM (#41058919)

            When seconds count the police are but minutes away.

            http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/kasler-protection.html

            "Two women were upstairs in a townhouse when they heard their roommate, a third woman, being attacked downstairs by intruders. They phoned the police several times and were assured that officers were on the way. After about 30 minutes, when their roommate's screams had stopped, they assumed the police had finally arrived. When the two women went downstairs they saw that in fact the police never came, but the intruders were still there. As the Warren court graphically states in the opinion: "For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of their attackers."

            The three women sued the District of Columbia for failing to protect them, but D.C.'s highest court exonerated the District and its police, saying that it is a "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [4] There are many similar cases with results to the same effect. [5] "

            You are responsible for protecting yourself and your family. Any questions?

      • by Jeng (926980)

        There should be doctors who specialize in non-medical drugs. In order to purchase drugs you will need to go to a doctor and get ok'd for specific drugs, you then get a card allowing you to purchase said drugs. If you do not go back for quarterly check-ups your card will be revoked.

        If a significant portion of people who use currently illegal drugs go this route then there will not be enough of a market for illegal suppliers.

        • by jeffmeden (135043)

          There should be doctors who specialize in non-medical drugs. In order to purchase drugs you will need to go to a doctor and get ok'd for specific drugs, you then get a card allowing you to purchase said drugs. If you do not go back for quarterly check-ups your card will be revoked.

          If a significant portion of people who use currently illegal drugs go this route then there will not be enough of a market for illegal suppliers.

          Sure there is. When this un-doctor (prescribing you drugs to make you less healthy) is required to report the use to the insurance companies, after they realize there is a pretty solid correlation with legal blow and heart attacks (or whatever) and want to jack rates for any confirmed users. Black markets will always be around since there are many undeniably negative trade-offs to recreational drug use, and therefore benefits to concealing their use will always be present.

          • by Jeng (926980)

            Black markets will always be around since there are many undeniably negative trade-offs to recreational drug use, and therefore benefits to concealing their use will always be present.

            If you can remove 90% of the volume of what goes though the black markets then you will severely cripple the black markets reducing their prevalence to the point that it will be very hard to even find people who know where to get what.

            • Pot is more or less legal in CA. My last three years crops have been visible on Google earth. It's a safe bet that illegal traffic has been reduced 90% by volume.

              Tweak/Tweakers are still everywhere. Rich ones are the worst.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Some drugs are more problematic than others. I really don't want someone who's been doing steroids for 3 years to stand in front of my house and ingest PCP.

        The law's not stopping him from doing steroids and PCP now, plus the dealer told him that "PCP" was cocaine. That wouldn't happen if those deugs were lagal and regulated. If someone is outside your house in a threatening manner? Call 911 and a cop will be there in five minutes tops (here at least, I've had to call them a few times).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jbeaupre (752124)

      Did you even read the summary? It has nothing to do with illegal drugs. It's about illegally selling prescription (legal) drugs.

      They guy was selling to people that didn't have a prescription.

      • It's not about selling illegal drugs it's about illegally selling drugs?

        • Oblig:

          And they said
          "Aren't you the suicide bomber,
          who blew up the bus last year?"

          I said "No"
          They punched me
          I said "think logically"
          and they said
          "You think logically!"
          And I said
          "... what?"

          -- Tripod, "Suicide Bomber"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h5inz (1284916)
        Meth (speed) is a prescription drug for example: Methamphetamine is FDA approved for the treatment of ADHD and exogenous obesity. It is dispensed in the USA under the trademark name Desoxyn.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine [wikipedia.org]
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Prescription drugs are illegal if you have no presecription, and they actually have cocaine in spray cans for topical use, morphine for hospitals, amphetamines... even Ectasy is produced by legit drug companies. Oh, and since you're trying in vain to be pedantic, there are no "illegal drugs", the terminology used is "controlled substances" which includes everything from Quaaludes (AFAIC only made by a legit company but still illegal) to LSD.

        If you sell oxycontin to Rush Limbaugh, it's still an illegal drug,

      • Why would you want a drug without a prescription? Ok some people want to get high but others maybe it is just the cost.

        I have to take around 9 drugs everyday for the rest of my life currently the cost is subsidised but if it wasn't I might well find this Doctor saving me a fortune, To be frank I go to my GP for a signature for a prescription decided by specialists at the Hospital 6 of these are unlikely to change as I don't see the cardiac specialist any more.

        I can only sympathise with American's without He

    • by Mr.CRC (2330444) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:50PM (#41057857)

      The problem is that "decriminalization" just means that users don't get punished, or just get a fine for possessing less than some threshold of substance. But the manufacturing and distribution are still illegal. Therefore the criminal black market is still incentivized to exist, along with its violence and the leech government entities that try to stop it and who's jobs depend on retaining this disgusting destructive relationship of illegality ensuring the profitability of illegal trafficking for drug dealers, and which ensures billions in government spending on the "War on Drugs" and employs hundreds of thousands of government employees.

      I am simply fed up with the whole thing. Let people do what they want. I have never, ever run into a "meth freak" or any other drug crazed person that threatened me. The really scary people are drunks.

      If just one stupid kid gets wasted on some drug like "bath salts" and gets killed (by accident, not directly from the drugs) then there are immediate calls to ban it. Well why the heck do we have "bath salts?" Because methamphetamine, MDMA, and cocaine are illegal! Yet they are much safer drugs with a long history of safety data and medical use! We know they are only harmful if you have a heart condition or if heavily abused. Well of course people are going to abuse them, but that's not my problem. At least if they are legal and you can buy them from a dispensary in pharmaceutical grade then we could benefit from:

      1. People can be educated out in the open what is a safe dose, how to keep up your nutrition and minimize harm to your health, and where to get help if you loose control of your use and need help to stop.

      2. Much of the damage to users that is actually caused by the IMPURITY of the drugs, the dirty needles, and the unhealthy lifestyles etc., will be eliminated or reduced. Perhaps we can even develop more quick acting oral drugs so that people will be less inclined to inject to get the same effects.

      3. We can supply people with opiate antidote drugs to protect themselves in case of accidental overdose.

      4. The risk of overdose will be much much lower since the purity will not vary.

      5. The cost of treatment programs could be miniscule compared to criminalization and interdiction.

      6. The black market and all it's innocent bystanders caught in the cross fire will be eliminated.

      7. The price of the drugs will be 5-10x lower, making the theft crime needed for unemployed addicts to support their habits will be proportionally lower.

      8. Many more addicts who were unemployable due to prohibition might be able to manage a "functional addict" lifestyle--remaining employed and productive members of society.

      9. Medical research into safer and more effective anti-depressants, sleep aids, stimulants, and other psychoactive drugs could be dramatically accelerated.

      The criminal black market and all its violence is what scares me. Not dope fiends. I'm personally morally committed to a drug abuse free lifestyle. My family and I don't even drink alcohol. But I'm just so sick of this prohibition crap.

      The economy might even benefit from people using stimulants carefully and in non-abusive quantities. The classic drugs such as amphetamine really aren't all that bad, despite all the propaganda and the fact that on the street they are filled with potentially toxic contaminants!.

      For those of you with an environmental inclination, look at some videos of how cocaine is extracted in the Amazon jungles, and what is done with the chemical waste. This is real tear-jerking stuff. It's just so disgusting and sad. Yet, if it were legal, then all of this could be done in the open by modern companies following international environmental standards, employing people in 9-5 jobs, who could pay taxes and live normal happy lives.

      Now for the bad news: Prohibition is never, ever going to end. It's just too much of a wonderful bonanza for the state.

      • The problem is that "decriminalization" just means that users don't get punished, or just get a fine for possessing less than some threshold of substance. But the manufacturing and distribution are still illegal.

        Grow. Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, ehh... Heroin clinics in Switzerland, uh... And this whole headline? I think real life stack overflow, not ENOSPC or EFBIG.

      • by RajivSLK (398494)

        7. The price of the drugs will be 5-10x lower, making the theft crime needed for unemployed addicts to support their habits will be proportionally lower.

        I agree with everything except point 7. Introduce it at a low enough cost to put all of the illegal avenues out of business. Then slowly increase the price and make it more expensive that it used to be. Just like alcohol and tobacco. Overall usage will decrease dramatically and the government will make money in the form of taxes that can be used to fund

      • Now for the bad news: Prohibition is never, ever going to end. It's just too much of a wonderful bonanza for the state.

        I see no reason to be so cynical about it. Decriminalization suggests that things can and do change despite what law enforcement wants.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday August 20, 2012 @03:01PM (#41058021) Homepage Journal

      Decriminalization is NOT the answer. If we'd simply decriminalized alcohol in 1933 rather than outright legalizing it, we'd still have the bar bombings etc we had when it was completely illegal.

      Legalize it and the gangs and gang violence goes away, the prices drop drastically so maybe that crackhead doesn't have to burglarize your house for his crack, etc.

      If someone wants to shoot heroin, let him shoot heroin. Your drug use is not my business. If you have to steal to support your habit, it's your theivery that's my business when you rob me, not your drug habit.

      However, there is one class of drugs I would keep illegal -- antibiotics. Your illicit use of heroin doesn't affect me, but your use of antibiotics breeds supergerms which DO affect me.

      Don't decriminalize it -- legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. I have a acquaintence who is a crack addict, she was surprised to find when she checked into rehab that there was not only cocaine in her system, but meth as well. Back in the '70s they used to dust pot with PCP. Regulation will keep adulterants out of dope, the dope they're doing is bad enough.

      Lagalizing alcohol worked well. Yes, we still have alcoholics, but a lot lower percentage of teenagers are drinking now than in 1925.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Decriminalization is NOT the answer.

        I agree. All the billions we spend on trying to eradicate drugs, and all we accomplish is pushing the street price up. At some point you have to ask if what you are trying to do is even possible... are our goals even realistic? I have come to realize that no matter what the arguments are for or against, a reasonable person has to conclude that we are not going to eradicate drugs - the best we can hope for is reducing the problem.

        At that point, you might as well make "reducing the problem" the goal instead o

        • by Chirs (87576)

          I agree with you as an ideal, but realistically we do need to worry about drug users. Yes, you can throw them in jail when they steal, but then you have a large portion of society in jail - which does affect me, both in taxes to keep people in jail and in lost productivity dragging down society as a whole (this is the situation now, BTW). But also there is the issue of disease, which tends to thrive in drug communities. Tuberculosis would be all but eradicated by now if not for drug use.

          If the drugs were legal they would be far cheaper and people wouldn't need to steal to support their habit.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            If the drugs were legal they would be far cheaper and people wouldn't need to steal to support their habit.

            Let's say we let the drug price fall to the natural price, effects be damned. I'm not certain that you are correct that people would not need to steal. How is a junkie making a living? Certainly a long-time heroin user is not holding down a job? Wouldn't the junkie just need to steal less?

            But even if I accept your reasoning, it wouldn't help the public health problems created by drug use.

            And of course there is the social burden of millions of additional drug addicts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jeffmeden (135043)

        Decriminalization is NOT the answer. If we'd simply decriminalized alcohol in 1933 rather than outright legalizing it, we'd still have the bar bombings etc we had when it was completely illegal.

        Legalize it and the gangs and gang violence goes away, the prices drop drastically so maybe that crackhead doesn't have to burglarize your house for his crack, etc.

        If someone wants to shoot heroin, let him shoot heroin. Your drug use is not my business. If you have to steal to support your habit, it's your theivery that's my business when you rob me, not your drug habit.

        However, there is one class of drugs I would keep illegal -- antibiotics. Your illicit use of heroin doesn't affect me, but your use of antibiotics breeds supergerms which DO affect me.

        Don't decriminalize it -- legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. I have a acquaintence who is a crack addict, she was surprised to find when she checked into rehab that there was not only cocaine in her system, but meth as well. Back in the '70s they used to dust pot with PCP. Regulation will keep adulterants out of dope, the dope they're doing is bad enough.

        Lagalizing alcohol worked well. Yes, we still have alcoholics, but a lot lower percentage of teenagers are drinking now than in 1925.

        It's been beaten to death (working on a pun here) but those with a drug habit ended up there in a lot of cases because they were already destitute and making crack $1 a hit instead of $10 a hit isn't going to make them less likely to want to steal to get it... they don't have a job and legalizing it won't change that. Drug use, joblessness, homelessness, mental illness, burglary, violence, and emergency health care are all tightly intertwined. The first 3 might be easy to ignore but the last 4 are *your*

        • by rahvin112 (446269) on Monday August 20, 2012 @07:46PM (#41061897)

          Homeless addicts are the exception not the rule and it's foolish to even suggest they are the stadnard (though it's a fun talking point the DEA uses).

          There are estimates ranging from 8% to 10% of the population uses illicit drugs regularly. An even larger percentage in excess of 50% has tried an illicit drug in their lifetime. The vast majority of those people are perfectly stable users with employment and families.

          Alcohol is a far worse drug than nearly every other illicit drug. Cigarettes are far more addictive than nearly every other illicit drug. Yet both are legal, the first because a ban was tried and it caused consumption to sky rocket and violence to explode, the second is legal due to economic dependence on not only the production but the sale.

          Just like Alcohol prohibition legalization will remove the blackmarket, improve safety, reduce violence/crime and provide tax revenue to the government to support the negative side effects.

          The war on drugs has created a police and prison apparatus that costs the tax payers close to 12 billion a year. What has the war on drugs done to personal liberty? Well for one the government now has incentive to go after individual users because they can then seize their assets. In fact, the system incentives going after users and leaving the dealers alone. We have more than a million people in jail that never committed a violent act and are in jail simply for possession of drugs. What the war on drugs has cost this country is simply not worth what it protects (virtually nothing, except for all the people making money off the police state it's created).

  • by icebike (68054) * on Monday August 20, 2012 @01:59PM (#41057243)

    Am I allowed to pup up and point out the obvious that the two Terabytes needed to store this information can be purchased from Seagate via Amazon for $139 bucks [amazon.com]?

    DEA: Buy two drives. One for yourselves, one for discovery. You can take it out of the taxes I paid last year. Pay me back when you collect reasonable discovery charges [cooley.com].

    The trifling cost aside, this seems to suggest that the DEA is aware that their case is fatally weak, and relies on sifting mountains of data that no jury on earth is capable of understanding in the hope of finding some faint pattern in the data that suggests intent. If there were obvious infractions, it would be easy to prove by pointing out 20 or 30 of them and call it a day. If it is so subtle that you need two terabytes to prove it, you probably don't have much of a case anyway.

    Even if the Goods Doctor (see what I did there?) was guilty as hell, and the DEA is worried that purging some evidence and concentrating on specific acts might give grounds for appeal due to hiding evidence, the simple precaution of copying it to cheap off line storage should be sufficient.

    Something is rotten about this whole story, and I suspect its a huge smoke screen for some other operation, or perhaps proceeding with the case would put methods or undercover operatives at risk, or require personnel that are current not available. Or maybe they know the Doctor is on his death bed or will soon contract some fatal disease, at which will make the whole point moot. Or maybe the doctor is singing like a canary these days.

    • No.. they're just like so many other professionals and too uppity to talk to their own I.T. guys.

    • by fiordhraoi (1097731) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:09PM (#41057389)
      Agreed. Even if you want to say that they need the storage network-available and in a RAID, you could buy an entry level commercial NAS for under a thousand dollars plus the cost of drives. So even with say, 6 drives, you're still looking at sub 3 grand for 10TB of usable storage, and that's assuming you probably paid too much for the drives. I would be that cost wise, that is about the equivalent maybe five to ten hours of a government lawyer's time, to say nothing of the investigators, etc, etc.
      • To clarify: Agreed that the storage issue sounds odd. Dunno about the rest of your conclusions. :)
      • by torkus (1133985)

        Don't these things have to go out for bid? :)

        Bidding process cost >>> actual delivered service or hardware

        Go government! On a more serious note, a prosumer NAS sounds nice but this is storing evidence for a federal investigation. The server must be able to pass an audit review, show detailed metadata, and show that data wasn't tampered with. Just like physical evidence is secured and has a chain of custody. If you question where that pound of heroin came from, you can show - signature to signat

      • by s.petry (762400)

        Maintenance on the drives is higher than tape, why not buy a nice LTO library so that you can keep all your cases off disk and hands off till needed? A tape drive may cost more, but no need to trash other cases with mountains of evidence also. Also costs go down as data increases.

    • Pay me back when you collect reasonable discovery charges [cooley.com]

      I think those only apply to civil cases.

      [

    • by Dunbal (464142) * on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:18PM (#41057523)
      When the government does it, it's $1.39 million per drive.
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      Am I allowed to pup up and point out the obvious that the two Terabytes needed to store this information can be purchased from Seagate via Amazon for $139 bucks [amazon.com]?

      A single disk drive is not someplace to store data you want to keep. It should at a minimum be on a RAID array that does automatic scrubbing for data errors, and is backed up offsite (either through tape or live replication).

      But still, that shouldn't bring the cost beyond a few thousand dollars - which seems a small price to pay to keep a 5 year old case alive.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        Am I allowed to pup up and point out the obvious that the two Terabytes needed to store this information can be purchased from Seagate via Amazon for $139 bucks [amazon.com]?

        A single disk drive is not someplace to store data you want to keep. .

        If you are going to quote me in order to pontificate on the obvious, at least quote the first TWO paragraphs.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          Am I allowed to pup up and point out the obvious that the two Terabytes needed to store this information can be purchased from Seagate via Amazon for $139 bucks [amazon.com]?

          A single disk drive is not someplace to store data you want to keep. .

          If you are going to quote me in order to pontificate on the obvious, at least quote the first TWO paragraphs.

          I didn't include the second paragraph because it doesn't change my point:

          DEA: Buy two drives. One for yourselves, one for discovery. You can take it out of the taxes I paid last year. Pay me back when you collect reasonable discovery charges [cooley.com].

          When drive #1 suffers a head crash and massive corruption, how do you recover your data when drive #2 starts developing random block errors?

          Without RAID and constant consistency check with automatic rebuild, two independent drives are only marginally better than one.

      • by turbidostato (878842) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:41PM (#41057757)

        "A single disk drive is not someplace to store data you want to keep."

        Yes it is, of course it is. IT claims to be an engineering and engineering is about solving problems, rationally, and under current constrains.

        That means that when the current option is dismissing a case and trash all data , a meagre 150US$ SATA disk is a perfectly suitable alternative.

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          "A single disk drive is not someplace to store data you want to keep."

          Yes it is, of course it is. IT claims to be an engineering and engineering is about solving problems, rationally, and under current constrains.

          That means that when the current option is dismissing a case and trash all data , a meagre 150US$ SATA disk is a perfectly suitable alternative.

          Well, no, it's still not a suitable alternative because what happens after you've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs getting the case to trial when the disk drive crashes and you can't produce the evidence that you said you had? For the cost of a week's worth of an attorney's time you can store the data properly, no need to shop at Newegg for the cheapest possible solution.

          IT is not about implementing unreasonable solutions, it's about pointing out why a proposed solution is not reasonab

          • "Well, no, it's still not a suitable alternative"

            Yes, it is.

            "because what happens after you've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs getting the case to trial when the disk drive crashes and you can't produce the evidence that you said you had?"

            In any first world county (and USA allegedly is) the heaviest costs are always those of personnel. You *already* have spent the thousands, probably tens of thousands, of hours needed to collect the evidence. If you *now* just dismish the case, it be

            • by hawguy (1600213)

              "Well, no, it's still not a suitable alternative"

              Yes, it is.

              "because what happens after you've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs getting the case to trial when the disk drive crashes and you can't produce the evidence that you said you had?"

              In any first world county (and USA allegedly is) the heaviest costs are always those of personnel. You *already* have spent the thousands, probably tens of thousands, of hours needed to collect the evidence. If you *now* just dismish the case, it becomes a *lost* sink cost. Now, the MTBF of a consummer market HDD against the difderential of all the already incurred costs versus the delta of adding those because of the trial is enormously possitive such as *even* a Newegg HDD makes sense.

              That sounds like an argument for storing the data on a properly backed up storage array instead of a risky single-drive solution. They've already spend hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars of dollars accumulating the data, and will likely spend hundreds of thousands more to take the case to trial - why risk hundreds of thousands of dollars to save $10,000?

              "IT is not about implementing unreasonable solutions"

              Of course not. And throwing away millions in already spent costs becouse you think unprofessional to store the data in a single HDD -provided that's the only option, is absolutly unreasonable.

              Throwing away millions to save $10,000 seems just as unreasonable as throwing away millions to save $139 so there's undoubtedly more to the stor

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:27PM (#41057615) Journal

      The trifling cost aside, this seems to suggest that the DEA is aware that their case is fatally weak, and relies on sifting mountains of data that no jury on earth is capable of understanding in the hope of finding some faint pattern in the data that suggests intent. If there were obvious infractions, it would be easy to prove by pointing out 20 or 30 of them and call it a day. If it is so subtle that you need two terabytes to prove it, you probably don't have much of a case anyway.

      He spent five years writing and endless stream of perscriptions for painkillers and sedatives/anti-anxiety meds.
      So an alternative theory, which fits the facts, is that the two TB and boxes of files reflect the massive scale of the the Doctor's illegal acts.

      Something is rotten about this whole story, and I suspect its a huge smoke screen for some other operation, or perhaps proceeding with the case would put methods or undercover operatives at risk, or require personnel that are current not available. Or maybe they know the Doctor is on his death bed or will soon contract some fatal disease, at which will make the whole point moot. Or maybe the doctor is singing like a canary these days.

      This is conspiracy theory fabricated out of thin air.
      A journalist wrote an article about the Doctor's habit of perscribing pills, then the fraud unit of the US Attorney General started looking into his practice.
      The DEA and Medicare had all the perscriptions on file, the illegal acts were out in the open.
      There's no smoke screen or undercover operations.

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        He spent five years writing and endless stream of perscriptions for painkillers and sedatives/anti-anxiety meds.

        He's a doctor. He's legally entitled to do that if there is a legitimate medical reason. And in borderline cases, he's entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:49PM (#41057847)
      This whole slashdot story is a sham, and so is your speculation. If you just follow a couple links you can get to the motion itself. What it says is, they know exactly where the guy is, efforts to get Panama to extradite him have failed for years, and since the case is dead they want to close out the files.

      Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with these silly stories. They're always bogus, and they always lead to pages and pages of wild conspiracy theories and political rants. You're making fools of yourselves.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        None of that is a valid reason to dismiss the case.

        Once an indictment is issued, the statute of limitation clock is stopped. It can sit dormant until the death of the subject. It costs nothing to move the case records to storage, and let them sit there for 20 years.

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      I suspect its a huge smoke screen for some other operation

      It's probably not that interesting. The DEA is most likely the same as every other large user-base of users. Storing their cases in word docs, spreadsheets and Jet databases and saving them to the root of the C:, the Desktop, network drives, laptops, etc. Have countless directories named "New Folder" and "DEA stuff" in all levels of the filesystem along with sharing access to "My Documents"

      Sure there's 14TB of data, but I'll bet nobody knows quite where the hell it's all at and not all that willing to dig

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      perhaps proceeding with the case would put methods or secret police at risk

      FTFY, call a spade a spade. If you have secret police, whatever the name, you live in a police state. Of course, without sex laws and gambling laws and drug laws, you would need no secret police. Which is the real reason those laws are on the books.

  • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:05PM (#41057339) Journal

    I guess $150 is too much for the DEA to spend.

    Note to criminals: To avoid prosecution, buy a few 2TB hard drives and fill them with dd if=/dev/urandom of=/mnt/hardrive1

  • Okay... so based on that the DEA's storage capability is about 40 TB.

    Well... that's a little bit less than stellar.

  • The DEA (Score:4, Informative)

    by koan (80826) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:07PM (#41057353)

    Is underfunded because they aren't there to stop drug trafficking, but rather to stop "unapproved" drug smugglers, some one/group in political power makes a lot of untraceable money by selling drugs, this is why they can not be made legal, the drug money finances black ops with money they don't have to ask congress for or get any approval on.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:10PM (#41057397)

    I noticed the summary conveniently forgets to mention that there are also several hundred boxes of paper evidence. The electronic evidence is only one piece they mentioned: claiming, as the summary does, that they are dropping it due to lack of electronic data storage is somewhat misleading. And of course if Panama isn't going to extradite him anyways, which seems extremely likely, keeping the case open is a waste of resources no matter how you look at it.

    And of course it isn't like these are 2 terabytes of Blu-ray movies: it's probably mostly text and image files, and that is a lot of text documents to keep track of and make sure are backed up on a regular basis, with a full chain of custody to ensure they aren't being tampered with and whatnot. Sure, 40 TB sounds like a small amount of data, but then again if you introduce 4 or 5 backups with tampering resistance... it suddenly starts looking like quite a bit.

    • by DanTheStone (1212500) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:17PM (#41057501)

      I noticed the summary conveniently forgets to mention that there are also several hundred boxes of paper evidence.

      From the summary:

      In addition, information associated with the case had managed to fill 'several hundred boxes' of paper documents

      Next time you decide to bash the summary, read it first.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        Exactly.

        Further, storing several hundred boxes of paper documents is not a huge financial burden. Finding it again may be problematic, but the government has plenty of document storage facilities. Scan them all in and store them at the CIA's Utah Data Center.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      I noticed the summary conveniently forgets to mention that there are also several hundred boxes of paper evidence.

      When you already own entire warehouses to hold evidence, storing a few hundred boxes of paper is not expensive

      And of course it isn't like these are 2 terabytes of Blu-ray movies: it's probably mostly text and image files, and that is a lot of text documents to keep track of and make sure are backed up on a regular basis, with a full chain of custody to ensure they aren't being tampered with and whatnot. Sure, 40 TB sounds like a small amount of data, but then again if you introduce 4 or 5 backups with tampering resistance... it suddenly starts looking like quite a bit.

      Any of the major storage vendors will be happy to sell you a WORM storage array that prevents tampering and has remote replication.

      http://www.emc-centera.com/more-about-emc-centera.htm [emc-centera.com]
      https://communities.netapp.com/community/products_and_solutions/netapp_integrated_data_protection/blog/2011/12/19/netapp-snaplock-where-compliance-and-efficiency-meet [netapp.com]

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I noticed the summary conveniently forgets to mention that there are also several hundred boxes of paper evidence.

      But, really, is hundreds of boxes of paper records even that unusual in these kind of cases? (And, TFS actually does mention them, so it was either updated or you didn't read far enough.)

      Sure, 40 TB sounds like a small amount of data, but then again if you introduce 4 or 5 backups with tampering resistance... it suddenly starts looking like quite a bit.

      Industry handles these kind of numbers all

    • by Talderas (1212466)

      That's essentially what happened.

      Panama will not extradite its citizens so there's no way the US will get him as long as he stays in Panama or only visits non-extradition countries. So the evidence, both digital and physical is just sitting there wasting space when it's unlikely that the case will go forward. So the case was dismissed and they get to dispose of all the evidence. The other thing to note is that the case was dismissed with prejudice so it cannot be reopened. The reality was that the only purp

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Which then sounds like he could readily come back to the US.

        So is the message here (guilty or not, because I have no idea) to skip off to a non-extradition country until they can't afford to keep your case open, and then come back a free man as the charges have been dropped with prejudice?

        And, as I said elsewhere, I find it really hard to believe that it's beyond their means to keep storing this stuff. That just doesn't sound right. Storing large amounts of data is something the government should have a l

      • "Panama will not extradite its citizens so there's no way the US will get him as long as he stays in Panama"

        Maybe Noriega can illustrate you about the options.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:12PM (#41057425) Homepage

    These materials include two terabytes of electronic data (which consume approximately 5 percent of DEA's world-wide electronic storage capacity)

    I'm sorry, but a major government agency can't afford two terabytes of data?

    What happens to all of the stuff they seize and sell off? There should be no good reason why they can't have enough funds to pay for this.

    If 2TB is 5%, then they've got, what, 40TB total? At one point last year on a project we were using almost 100TB with various backups and the like, but we're easily using 40-50TB right now. This is a solved problem.

    I realize large-scale enterprise storage gets a little more spendy, but surely they have tape backup technology or can afford some disks for a SAN.

    This is like finding out they only really have 10 cars to share among themselves or something. It makes me wonder if this is the "real" reason they're looking to drop the case. It just sounds improbable they can't manage this.

  • Come one DEA, can't just say someone's data center was used in drug trafficking and just confiscate whatever they need and boom problem solved? I mean seams to cover the motor pool.

  • . . . so I have to figure it's the boxes of papers. After all, evidence is supposed to be tracked better than leaving it in a self-storage closet.
  • by tomhath (637240) on Monday August 20, 2012 @02:29PM (#41057639)
    FTFA:

    Yet the motion to dismiss refers to storage of evidence related to Angulo’s case as an “economic and practical hardship.” The reference to “practical” may be key

    No, the practical means the guy is in Panama, and Panama has already said they're not going to extradite him. So quit wasting time and resources - drop the case and move on.

    • FTFA:

      Yet the motion to dismiss refers to storage of evidence related to Angulo’s case as an “economic and practical hardship.” The reference to “practical” may be key

      No, the practical means the guy is in Panama, and Panama has already said they're not going to extradite him. So quit wasting time and resources - drop the case and move on.

      Which is what they did from the sound of it, they just offered up some lame excuse about that thar computer related stuff to placate the republicans.

  • But don't forget the chain of custody requirements for evidence to be used in court. You need to physically store it securely. Provide an audit-able method for prosecutors (and others) to access it if they need. Provide a way to get it to court with a full report of custody/access. Any evidence costs much more to keep than you and I keeping the same paper or electronic data. And that's a good thing.

    My fortune 100 company spends many 100x as much per GB to store customer data (web PII) than I spend to st

  • In 2010, your budget was US$2,415,000,000. ($2.4B or so).

    You can go on fucking Amazon and get a 6 TB RAID for $376, mmmmkay? So, all you need to do is get eight of these little puppies and that will give you 48 TBs of RAIDed drives. It will cost you all of $3008. And then you just need to hire some junior flunkie to keep an eye on the thing. Pay him or her, say $50k. It's not a tough job. So, with benefits etc. it will cost, say $100k to hire them, and that includes buying the arrays and a computer to tra

    • They're gearing up to fight for more funding in next year's budget. "Senator, we had to drop a case against a dangerous drug dealer because we couldn't afford enough data storage!" "Okay, I know computer stuff is expensive. Here's a check with an extra couple of zeroes on it. Oh, and there happens to be an excellent data storage company in the great state of East Dakota."

  • About $40 on Amazon gets you an LTO5 cartridge that would hold the entire case's data. This whole thing doesn't pass the sniff test.
  • For a mere $2200 bucks they can double their storage. Ok so they might need to spend 500 bucks more for a case to contain the drives.

    Drives: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Barracuda-3-5-Inch-Internal-ST320005N4A1AS-RK-Retail/dp/B002AQSVDA/ref=sr_1_13?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1345488036&sr=1-13&keywords=hard+drive [amazon.com]

    Case: http://www.mountainmods.com/extended-ascension-cyo-custom-computer-case-p-493.html?osCsid=lobk16afmjb8rq8kt13ns7bsc3 [mountainmods.com]

    Now that I've solved the DEA's problems, I'm not sure what
  • This must be the first time where preponderance of evidence (standard used for civil cases) was effectively applied to a criminal case and caused dismissal instead of the reasonable doubt standard.

    Or did this not ever even go to court?

  • All this just so Bubba Joe can be stopped from getting high after work down at the power plant.

    Well, that and the lucrative asset forfeiture laws. And power hungry sociopath politicians. And power hungry sociopath local police chiefs who love stroking their boners while arming up a military grade (well, in hardware if not training and mindset) SWAT teams for their town of 20,000 [wired.com].

    Keep voting for BigGummint[tm], though, kids. I'm sure it'll all work perfectly once you finally get the just the right folks into

  • Means they can't store my thoughts and that I've needlessly worn a tinfoil hat all these years.

  • Just a lil something I found on from Google [drugsense.org]. They've spent about a trillion bucks on this over the last 40 years and can't spend a few thousand on some 4 TB drives to crank up their storage space? The question is begged, wtf did they spend the money on? My money's on 'hookers & blow'...
  • I heard last week you can cram 700Tb into DNA. Perhaps the DEA needs to look at DNA storage to solve their woes.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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