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Narc Charged With Heroin Sales

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Since February, a Kalamazoo man named Gary Blalock has been charged with one count of delivery of heroin, extortion by threat of murder and two more counts of heroin delivery. This doesn't sound at all remarkable for a heroin outlaw, except that Blalock is a Kalamazoo pólice detective. Until recently, he was also head of the Kalamazoo Metro Squad, the undercover narcotics team operating in the southwest corner of the state under the direction of the Michigan State Pólice. According to two women who have testified against him in preliminary examination, Blalock gave them heroin as a prelude to motel room sex parties. They also charged he forced one of the women to buy heroin and then threatened to kil! her f she told authorities. The woman Blalock allegedly threatened is Deborah Garthe, who met Blalock when she turned informant for the Metro Squad because of a pending heroin delivery charge. The other woman, 32-yearold Jill Stewart, is Blalock's former fiancee and works as a secretary in the Kalamazoo Pólice Department's detective bureau. Mrs. Stewart, the divorced mother of two, has told a court Blalock gave her heroin on two consecutive nights in February at the Valley Inn Motel in downtown Kalamazoo.and that she then gave the heroin to Garthe. Garthe has told the court that Mrs. Stewart gave her heroin on six or seven different occasions. During an earlier pretrial exam on the extortion charge, Garthe testified that Blalock made her buy heroin, then threatened her life on four different occasions. "He was a policeman . . . and I bought them for him ... I gave them to Gary. I was scared. I didn't want to do it," Garthe told the court. Besides facing the extortion charge and a single heroin count in Kalamazoo Circuit Court, Blalock also faces preliminary exam on two more heroin dclivery charges involving Stewart in Barry County. Since Blalock often appeared in court to testify against drug offenders, Kalamazoo circuit judges have excused themselves and brought in two judges from neighboring jurisdictions to hear the cases. A fourteen year veteran of the Kalamazoo department, the 37-year-old Blalock was assigned to the Metro Squad in 1972, the year he completed a ten week course at the 'Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs National Training Institute. He was reassigned to the Kalamazoo city pólice just a month before his arrest on the extortion charge, and has since been fired and released on $20,000 bond. The jurisdiction of the Metro Squad includes Kalamazoo, Barry and CalJioun counties. Like the Washtenaw Arca Narcotics Team (WANT) and other regional continued on page 30 Nare Charged with Heroin Sale continued from page 5 narcotics team, the Metro Squad is staffed iargely by members of local pólice departments but "coordinated" by the state pólice. Cutting across local jurisdiction and essentially unaccountable to anyone. the toll in distrust and paranoia which the narcotics squads créate is incalcuable. Cases of physical brutality and violated civil liberties probably occui far more of-' ten than they are reported, but at least one case has been documented in detail. During a WANT-led raid on an Ypsilanti apartment in January, the SUN learned that a man had been whipped and beaten for asking out-ofuniform pólice officers to identify themselves. During this raid pólice also pulled hair out of several meji's head, although they had offered only verbal resistance, and threatened to throw a man out a window when he complained his hands were bound too tightly. To understand the extent of officiallysanctioned pólice corruption, it's necessary to look no further than the two well-publicized but largely spurious heroin raids which WANT has conducted in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area in the last five months. Although the only people caught seem to be small-time, addicted street peddlers and the raids have had only a marginal effect, if any , on the area's heroin supply, the raids have supplied WANT with the arrest statistics which it needs to get next year's funding. This is the reason why narcotics squads and major heroin suppliers manage to coexist happily while very small, addicted fisli are sent to prison tbr long terms and pólice pressure increases paranoia, therefore street price, and the amcunt of goods that addicts will have to rip off in order to sur vive. While good pólice work could reach higher in the heroin network and even affect its supply, the effort is too dangerous, time-consuming and meager in statistical result for the teams to bcther with it. Instead, they go mostly after small dealers, concentrating espccially on the harmless substances of marijuana and LSD. Blalock's real crime is not only the heroin dcliveries he is charged with committing, but the extortion and intimidalion, both legal and illegal, which are the stock and trade of the undercover officer.