Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some Family Traditions are NOT Worth Keeping up ...

The Dodge Neon sped down Interstate 40 in eastern Oklahoma, its occupants heading to Phoenix, Arizona, to buy a load of dope. It was May 2005. The couple brought along methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to help pass the time on the long journey.

Paul Faulkner, 83, and his son, Michael Smith, were convicted in a drug smuggling ring in north Georgia.

At that moment, Detective Rob Rumble had no clue that the traffic stop he was about to make would launch a years-long drug investigation stretching more than 2,000 miles, from the remote mountains of northwest Georgia all the way down to Mexico.

The investigation showed how an 83-year-old grandfather adapted to the times, morphing from old school bootlegging to dealing Mexican dope. His son acted as the ringleader of the operation. His grandson was tied in too, authorities say.

"I've seen it all. Nothing surprises me," said Rumble, a drug investigator for the district attorney's office in east-central Oklahoma.

After making that traffic stop, Rumble persuaded the nervous, lanky driver from Georgia to work with authorities and tell everything he knew. Investigators were led to a sleepy pocket of Georgia with scenic mountain views where people wave to strangers from their cars and where some homes still fly the Confederate flag. It's the last place one might expect drugs from Mexico. But the demand for drugs is reaching even the most remote corners of America.

Their story has all the intrigue of a classic Southern novel -- three generations of a family business on the wrong side of the law, complete with an old fashioned family feud.
This is where you read the rest of it while listening to the song:
Steve Earle » Copperhead Road Lyrics
Send “Copperhead Road” Ringtone to your Cell
Well my name's John Lee Pettimore
Same as my daddy and his daddy before
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
He only came to town about twice a year
He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
Everybody knew that he made moonshine
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad
He headed up the holler with everything he had
It's before my time but I've been told
He never came back from Copperhead Road
Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge
Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down
I still remember that rumblin' sound
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night
Heard mama cryin', knew something wasn't right
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load
You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road
I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first,'round here anyway
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam
And I came home with a brand new plan
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road
Well the D.E.A.'s got a chopper in the air
I wake up screaming like I'm back over there
I learned a thing or two from ol' Charlie don't you know
You better stay away from Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road
Copperhead Road

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