Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Narcotics Officer Caught Growing Marijuana to Meet Drug Arrest Quota

Agents found two marijuana plantations run by the drug enforcement officer, investigators said. Dmitry Rogulin / TASS

A senior Russian narcotics officer is suspected of growing marijuana with the intent of planting the drugs on innocent people, investigators have said.

Authorities opened the investigation after the suspect, the deputy head of a local drug enforcement agency, staged a drug bust in the western Russian town of Velikiye Luki last week.

Investigators and Federal Security Service (FSB) agents found two marijuana plantations run by the drug enforcement officer, the Pskov region’s Investigative Committee branch said Saturday. 

“The suspect organized the collection of cannabis by a local resident in order to artificially improve personal indicators of uncovering and curbing drug crimes,” the investigators said in an earlier statement.

The Investigative Committee did not say whether it detained the officer or released him pending the investigation.

The unnamed officer faces up to 10 years in prison on charges of exceeding his authority and up to 10 years on drug trafficking charges.

Russian police work on a quota system in which senior officers are known to order their subordinates to “lie, invent crimes or provoke people into committing them” to fulfill quotas.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.