Your article on the front page of the East Oregonian (Thursday, Jan. 16) brought back fond memories of the problem we are encountering today in efforts to get drug control in Umatilla County.
I was born and raised in a milling county where there were hundreds of small mining claims in the nearby mountains when the federal government declared a moratorium on the bootleg production of whiskey. The county sheriff received notice that the federal agents would be in their county and requested that the sheriff reveal to them the suspected location of the illegal stills. When they arrived he gave the location of his suspected bootlegger's stills.
Naturally the feds, with the aid of the sheriff, raided these mines and found a few illegal stills and arrested a miner and his crew. Shortly after these raids had been completed the federal agents left town and headed for the next suspected area that was making booze. Little did they know that the sheriff had only given them the location of those people who did not belong to his group of supporters that kept him in office.
My closest friend's grandfather was the head of the group of bootleggers who paid the sheriff for his share of the profits out of the profits of the entire bootlegging group.
As soon as the federal agents were out of the state the moon shine started to flow and the location of their stills remained a secret.
Today it's not the moonshine but the growing and manufacture of illegal drugs. The manufacture of drugs is small compared to the manufacture of booze. However, as time has passed and 8,000 to 10,000 immigrants per month have managed to illegally cross our borders at hundreds of locations and who have paid their guide out of the money they recieved from their relatives who had already crossed the border and who traded the cost by bringing in drugs from Mexico or China.
Today there are from 8,000 to 10,000 illegal immigrants crossing through our borders and our government is doing little to stop it.
Today many of the financial problems that our county and state have is the added cost of providing medical care, housing and even financial support for hundreds of these illegal immigrants and we, the taxpayers, have to fund the bills through added taxes and other such state and federal programs.
JOHN C. HALLER