There’s someone with whom UW-Whitewater’s Dean of Students, Mary Beth Mackin, might wish to speak: Tammy Sadek, mother of the late Andrew Sadek.
Readers may recall that in October, I wrote about Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin’s defense of using students ensnared in low-level drug stings as confidential informants. (See, The Dean’s Drug-War Equality Argument.)
Andrew Sadek, a 20-year-old student at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, agreed to work as an informant for the Southeast Multi-County Agency Drug Task Force (SEMCA) after he was arrested for selling pot on campus in 2013. His death calls to mind similar cases in which young drug offenders facing draconian penalties were forced into dangerous undercover work, including Rachel Hoffman, a Florida college student who was murdered in 2008 after agreeing to arrange the purchase of MDMA, cocaine, and a gun for $10,000.
Sadek himself was entrapped by a C.I. who bought marijuana from him on two occasions. Although the total value of the sales was just $80, Sadek faced up to 20 years in prison because the sales occurred in a “school zone.” He agreed to do to others what had been done to him, buying marijuana at SEMCA’s direction from two dealers at his school on three occasions from November 2013 to January 2014. Each time Sadek bought an eighth of an ounce for $60. According to the BCI report, he had to buy from two more dealers “to fulfill his obligation in resolving the charges he had been facing.” But at that point Sadek stopped communicating with his handler at SEMCA, which therefore charged him with two felonies and a misdemeanor on May 9.
That was a week after Sadek was reported missing. On June 27 his body was found in the Red River near Breckenridge, Minnesota, with a gunshot wound to the head.
Dean Mackin supports a policy of using confidential informants, and argues that it should be applied to college students as well as non-college students (“I think the important thing is this is not an anomaly to a college campus,” Mackin said. “It’s the same thing that happens to 19-year-old who has not come to college, who’s working somewhere out in society.”)
Hers is a malicious equality argument, encouraging the extension of misery to more, rather than fewer, people.
(Perhaps she considered herself clever to have advanced that argument; I’ve no idea if she’s able to see how dull and easily overturned her argument truly is. On a campus with so many talented students and faculty, there must be better prospective administrators.)
At the time, I suggested that Mary Beth Mackin go to an inner-city neighborhood, and ask residents there if they felt better about the effects of the Drug War because she supported that effort on her rural campus.
Dean Mackin needn’t trouble herself with a visit to an urban area. Tammy Sadek’s late son attended a rural campus in North Dakota.
If Ms. Mackin believes so truly and deeply, perhaps she’ll deliver her views to Ms. Sadek, directly.
Dean Mackin might wish a bit of preparation before that call.
In the radio interview below, Andrew Sadek’s surviving mother Tammy describes what equal application of Draconian policies feels like: