Apr 18, 2008

Vance Donald, narcotics agent

The undercover narcotics agent, with hair down to his shoulders and a full, scruffy beard, was trying to buy 1,000 hits of LSD.

It wasn't going very well.

For one thing, the wire he was wearing wasn't working.

Two, his back-up, the take-down team that was supposed to rush in on his signal and arrest everyone and make sure he got out safely, had somehow gotten lost, leaving him alone.

Three, the woman selling the drugs was particularly paranoid, and was quizzing him about his made-up phone number and his made-up father's name.

"So, I knew this was a hairy situation," says Vance Donald, recounting a decades-old operation as he prepares for his pending retirement. "I knew this buy wasn't working, so I pulled my gun and said, 'Police, everybody down.'"

Donald, commander of the Clayton County Police Department's Drug Task force, joined the police force 31 years ago, on April 18, 1977. He spent most of that time in narcotics, he said, first going undercover in the early 1980s.

Recalling some of the situations and some of the operations, sitting in his office on Thursday, Donald had to shake his head and laugh a little.

"We were stupid back then," he says.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
After 31 years of 'hairy situations,' Donald retires