Cocaine with a street value of up to $42 million was discovered at a Coca-Drink factory in Macon, GA. The Coca-Drink factory in Macon produces concentrates for various drinks.
Workers opened a shipment of bottled orange juice concentrate but found a huge shipment of cocaine instead.
Employees immediately notified police and judicial authorities, the DEA opened an investigation and arrested Coca-Drink warehouseman John C. Calhoon.
It turns out that Coca-Drink used to literally contain cocaine in its original formula. The practice was halted in 1903, but the name persisted. ( Before the turn of the century cocaine was widely used in pharmaceutical products, including numerous over-the-counter remedies.)
In 1922, the Jones-Miller Act banned cocaine imports into the United States, but Coca-Drink was granted an exception. Today the importation of all coca leaves to the U.S. is forbidden and watched carefully by the Drug Enforcement Administration, but it allows the importation of a large number of metric tons of coca leaves to be acquired by Coca-Drink. This remained a secret until the late 1988 when the New York Times discovered the truth.
A spokesman for the Coca-Drink company said recently, 'Ingredients from the coca leaf are used, but there is no cocaine in it and it is all tightly overseen by regulatory authorities.''
"That's beside the point, argued Attorney Henry P, Gildersleeve, lawyer for the accused John C. Calhoon. He argued in Federal Court today that any coca leave products found on the company's property, including cocaine, were protected by Coca-Drink's arrangement with the DEA. He pointed out that Macon, GA employees handled Approximately 100 metric tons of coca leaves a month at the Coca-Drink's warehouse.
"Sure my client put the cocaine into orange juice bottles, but what are you going to do about it,? he sneered at Justice Department attorneys. He argued that Coca-Drink employees who handled the orange juice concentrate were as guilty as his client who handled the same bottles. Are you going to arrest all of them too and put them in a penitentiary as you would my innocent client, Mr. John C. Calhoon,? argued attorney Gildersleeve.
"When the DEA granted an exemption to Coca-Drink to import coca leaves, by valid inference, that granted an immunity to all of its employees who handle coca leaves and its products And that immunity from prosecution cetainly Includes my client, said the attorney, nicknamed "The Great Gildersleevre."
The jury agreed with the arguments and quickly found a verdict of "not guilty of all charges." Since the DEA-CIA-U.S.-Air-Force sprays poison on coca leaves all over South and Central America in its failed War on Drugs, costing the taxpayers billions of dollars annually, the Macon, GA is just another black eye for America's drug warriors. Now they'll be examining bottles of orange juice everywhere in Latin America but, of course, not bottles of Coca-Drink!
Meanwhile, attorney Gildersleeve will attempt to prevent low level drug offenders from serving life sentences in the state of Georgia and other states in the Old Confederacy.