04/06/22 Tony Serra

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Tony Serra
Claiming the Moral High Ground

Tony Serra, the infamous San Francisco attorney joins us for the full half hour. At 87 years old, Tony is still practicing law on a regular basis. Topics include drug laws, human rights, snitches, witches and corrupt law enforcement.

Audio file

DEAN BECKER: (00:00)
I am the Reverend Dean Becker keeper of the moral high ground in the drug war for the world. And this is cultural baggage.

DEAN BECKER: (00:14)
Hi, my friends. I am Dean Becker, the Reverend most high. This is cultural baggage on Pacifica radio and the drug. True with network. Please put your ears on. We have a great show lined up for you today with, um, attorney Tony, Sarah. He's now 87 years old kind of mellowed and, and kind of more radical all at the same time. Still actively practicing law. Here we go.

TONY SERRA: (00:37)
I should have never said that I was willing to be interviewed because I don't know anything about the Mexican, uh, cartel. I'm not a cartel lawyer. Okay. The violence, you know, the drug wars in Mexico and, uh, it's only a euphemism in the United States. The drug war was law. Enforcement's, you know, alleged, uh, war and quotes, uh, against, uh, drug traffickers. So, um, you know, I'm a trial lawyer. I do drug cases, you know, I know drugs, I know the history of the prosecution of drugs in this country, but it didn't lead to any carnage like it did in my, the carnage was perpetrated by the government. They incarcerated sometimes for many, many, many years persons who shouldn't have been in going to jail at all when it comes to drugs. And that is a form, you know, of drug violence, I suspect, but, uh, any rate, I'll try to answer whatever questions you have, but, uh, I, I'm not the best candidate.

DEAN BECKER: (01:51)
No, you're a great candidate, Tony for, uh, just getting to the truth, getting to the heart of justice. And that's why I wanted to talk to you. I gotta chastise myself and well, me and Tony were both the remiss pointing out the violence in Chicago and Houston and Baltimore and Detroit and LA. Yeah, it's real friends. We're speaking with Mr. Tony, Sarah, he's a San Francisco attorney. Uh, if I'm right, he's 87 years old and still practicing, still standing for truth and justice. And I want to thank you for be in here, Tony.

TONY SERRA: (02:25)
My pleasure. I hope I can add something meaningful.

DEAN BECKER: (02:29)
I I'm sure you can. Now I wanna give you my, my impetus, my feelings these days is that we, you know, this to be true, but it's just the, the hood winking, the, the sham, the scam of this drug war is becoming more obvious every day, I think, to, uh, more and more people. And, um, from my perspective, it's like, uh, the heart of darkness is the drug enforcement administration. Your response to that thought, sir.

TONY SERRA: (02:58)
Well, let, let me just tell you, I don't, uh, completely agree. You see back in the sixties and seventies, I would agree, but with the, uh, there I say, legalization of marijuana to a great extent. That's one, two, the, um, the, the, uh, the drugs such as the psychedelics and I'm talking, you know, LSD and maybe, uh, mushrooms, uh, maybe DMT those drugs now are being relegated more to psychological and psychiatric forums than they are being pursued by, uh, law enforcement. I used to have a lot of acid cases, men, you know, and, uh, the, the acid cases are in decline, which is a good thing. So I think that what spearheaded a whole different, you know, attitude, uh, with respect to say war on drugs is the fact that we had normal in there fighting, you know, for, I don't know, 40 years to legalize is finally for the most part, legal came in as medical marijuana, you know, but now, uh, so-called recreational marijuana is, uh, illegal in many states.

TONY SERRA: (04:36)
So I, I see just recently in terms of the war are a little bit of victory by us, you know, by, uh, the, the lawyers and the users and the people who know that, you know, the, the, the whole drug, the war in the United States, law enforcement versus a trafficker really, uh, was, uh, uh, you know, misplaced energy. Uh, we used to say that the constitutional rights are battled in drug cases. You know, that we, we had relevant obviously fourth amendment, but there was first amendment. There was you, you know, uh, fifth amendment, sixth amendment. So it was a battlefield, a long time, you know, using your metaphor of war, um, between law enforcement and, uh, those persons who post law enforcement led by entities, you know, like, uh, normal, uh, lots of lawyers, you know, fighting, uh, the drug cases. So, uh, uh, I see, I don't know what you wanna call it a, a chin in their armor. I see a light in the darkness.

DEAN BECKER: (06:02)
Well, and look, I, I can agree with you, Tony, but I I'm gonna say this. You need to come to Texas. You you're seeing things in a, in a bright light out there in California. I'm, I'm sorry, sir. But you are here in Texas. The, the drug war is still running rampant. They still,

TONY SERRA: (06:16)
I can understand that. Yes,

DEAN BECKER: (06:18)
Yes, sir.

TONY SERRA: (06:19)
I accept that. I, I accept that Texas is pretty severe, uh, in a lot of ways. Yes. So, uh, and Hey man, I'm from San Francisco, you know, the hip

DEAN BECKER: (06:30)
I was

TONY SERRA: (06:30)
Center of the world, the LSD center of the world, you know, the, the, whatever you wanna call it, we've got the, the Deadheads coming out of San Francisco kinda permeating, uh, the subcultures.

DEAN BECKER: (06:47)
Yes, you do, sir. And, and again, I, I'm not trying to, chastize you, I'm just saying come to Texas and rethink maybe. Yeah. Yeah. I I'm writing a new book. I'm calling it forever. And it deals with the fact that I consider the whole of the drug war to be nothing more than the persecution of witchcraft. What is your response to that thought, sir?

TONY SERRA: (07:07)
It's how you gonna define drug wars? The, the way you're using it now define it for me and then I'll respond

DEAN BECKER: (07:15)
Well. Okay. Uh, the one point, what 4 million in arrests every year, a hundred thousand overdose deaths, and, um, how many millions of man years behind prison bars, uh, that's persecution. And, uh, uh, I just feel they can't defend. I, I have fought for now 20 years to get anybody from the DEA, uh, the attorney general, anybody to come on my show and defend this drug war, and they cannot, they will not ever do it. And I consider that to be an evil, um, uh, arrangement. So

TONY SERRA: (07:50)
It's, they're filled with hypocrisy cause they, they know because, you know, some of them have studied and educat others that, uh, drugs, uh, are, I don't know, a, a manifold, uh, phenomenon, some drugs are great. Other drugs. Yes. You know, are bad. Like, uh, I've, I've defended, uh, you know, charged over, uh, uh, you right on 87. So over the past somewhat, uh, 60 plus years and, uh, first it was the LUS. And then it was, you know, after that maybe pot and hash, and maybe after that, it was a cocaine. And after that it was speed and there was always out there, you know, uh, Mexican, uh, black tar heroin. And, uh, we get China white here, you know, to almost pure white heroin from Southeast Asia and we get Persian brown. So we're, we're big drug consumers. And we understand that the, uh, you know, some drugs should never be outlawed at all.

TONY SERRA: (09:10)
That they're good that they're not bad. And then we are understand least from my perspective that the drug, you know, let's call it. So there are bad drugs, man. Speed is in a good, uh, phenomenon. You, uh, so, uh, neither, uh, is heroin, although different, you know, category of drug, but, uh, the, the phenomenon, uh, is, is, uh, whatever, you know, each wave produced its own, uh, kind of pro and cons. So, uh, I, I guess I'm just lucky to be a San Francisco lawyer and not a, I don't know what Houston lawyer or something like that.

DEAN BECKER: (10:03)
Well, they're busy. I'll tell you that. Uh, Tony, I, I was wanting to, uh, talk about the speed. Now, when I was in the us air force, I was a security policeman, and they made us work. These three different shifts, cons cycling, and you never, you couldn't sleep. And they gave us this stuff called Ritalin, a type of speed, and it's, you know, it was mild, but it led me to move down that road. I started using Biro meth, but the last time I used was this pure liquid called methamphetamine hydrochloride and a little glass tube. And it was so mellow in essence, it showed me that, uh, meth is deadly and dangerous can be, but if it were legal, it'd be a whole lot safer. And your, your response to that thought, sir,

TONY SERRA: (10:49)
I think all drugs should be not regulated by law law. We have too many laws. We are overburdened the whole, you know, uh, legal field has, uh, more than they can handle. I think when it comes to drugs, it should be in a medical, social, psychological psych P zone. And not, you don't go to prison and you don't get arrested and you don't, you know, uh, suffer any kind of, uh, uh, uh, recrimination from law enforcement. You, you, uh, uh, talk, uh, to the psychiatrist and they say a little, probably a little bit of mushrooms won't hurt you. LSD will help you understand yourself. A little bit of speed will kind of keep you working hard. A little bit of, uh, of, uh, heroin will, you know, make you mellow out Fogarty Fogarty, let them handle it. We don't want it. We don't wanna fight law enforcement. We want, we, we want to have a, a, uh, take, take it all off the books, you know, and give it to this, the, the medical profession. That would be my answer.

DEAN BECKER: (12:23)
I'm I'm with you there a hundred percent. Yes, sir. We could have stopped with a 1906 pure food and drug act. Just make people label what's in the container and turn it loose because it's up to the of people, what they wanna put in their bodies. Quick reminder, you are listening to a cultural baggage on Pacifica radio and the drug truth network. Our guest today is the infamous San Francisco attorney, Tony, Sarah, Tony. You mentioned normal, uh, earlier in our discussion. Yes, today the us Congress passed the more act which basically allows for I'm I'm maybe I'm stretching it, the repeal of federal marijuana laws and allows for banking and all those types of concerns to, to take place. Now that's just the house. The, the Senate is very unlikely to pass that bill. What's your thought there, Tony,

TONY SERRA: (13:10)
I completely agree with you. There's so many people out there that they fear drugs. You know, they're really adamant and politicians are beholden to their constituency. And when a while this, uh, you know, it's a cultural, you know, whatever, uh, lie, uh, persists, uh, out of the mouths of the government, uh, you're gonna have the vast population say it's a horrible thing. And a lot of them they've had bad experiences, you know, like, oh, my son started doing speed. Then he, uh, became, uh, dropped out, you know, something like that. So there is enough bad cases to reinforce their bias. And, uh, the, uh, the bias will manifest itself in voting. And therefore the politicians will subscribe the fiction, even though they know better. That's my thought.

DEAN BECKER: (14:21)
I, I watched, um, um, the, uh, YouTube videos there, these folks call first amendment auditors. And what they do is they, uh, get one or two people. They get cameras, they go to a police station or a federal building, or, you know, a doggy daycare and they film 'em from the sidewalk. And somebody comes out and says, you can't do that here. The cops show up, the cops says, you can't do that here. The supervisor shows up and maybe says, you can do that here. Or maybe they arrest those people. But it's, it's an, to me, it's an example of the fear and paranoia that has developed in these United States since nine 11, that, uh, a camera is somehow a terrorist threat. Your, your response to that, Tony,

TONY SERRA: (15:02)
I see a different side of it because what has occurred, uh, to keep law, honest, transparent is that most law enforcement agencies now require a camera. They, the, they they're carrying, you know, a live camera and they, when they interact with the, uh, subject, you know, either a witness or a suspect that it's all filmed and recorded so that they can't lie about it later. So this is, this just is recent. I don't know, in the last couple of years that this phenomenon of having, you know, uh, everything recorded, so to speak that, uh, uh, occurs between law enforcement and suspects and witnesses. So it's a good thing. They can't lie. See, in the old days they wouldn't record anything and you, you made a statement, they would write a report on it, but they would SL the report. Yeah. You know, they'd do leave stuff out or they put stuff in, or some of the, uh, I don't know, results was their own conclusions. Well, they can't do that now. So, um, you know, that's certainly, that's going to be a check on law enforcement, especially law enforcement proof. That's, that's why I came in because, you know, they were, they were hiding the truth and committing a lot of, uh, the brutal acts on, on peoples, on suspects, cetera. And a lot of it was Ristic. So, uh, now, now is, uh, a good time, uh, to have on camera.

DEAN BECKER: (16:55)
Well, the, the cameras I was talking about though, are average Joes, like me out there with a, with a camera and just, just filming a, a, a site filming an outside of a building. Um, the, the, um, department of Homeland security just came out with a memo saying that it's perfectly legal to film the, or the inside of any federal building, the hallways, the foyers, the lobbies, not the offices, but the, the police don't keep up with this. And they arrest people. They beat the crap out of people for having a camera inside of federal building. And, and I guess that to me is like, they should just pay attention to the new laws and the, and the rulings from, uh, government, your thought there, sir.

TONY SERRA: (17:35)
Well, obviously that's true when there's new laws that affect police, uh, I don't know, behavior jurisdiction gathering of evidence. And even though they may not like it, they have to follow it. They're, aren't above the law. And so if it's federal, they, yeah. You know, I don't know, I'm just talking like a, a lay person, like a, a citizen. You would think they'd have a meeting. And they would say, listen, you know, there's been a new law all past from now on, we've gotta do X, Y, Z. And that's what we expect outta law enforcement. We expect law enforcement to follow the law Godammit and to know the law. Yes. You know? Yes. Not, not to be ignorant, willfully ignorant so that they don't have to follow

DEAN BECKER: (18:30)
Now, Tony, I, I doubt you've heard of this, but I, I bring it up. Uh, um, with many of my guests, I'll try to explain it quickly. There was a bust here in Houston, about three and a half years ago, it's called the Harding street bust. And what happened was a group of cops, a, um, division of the, the narcotics. I think there was 14 squads, 30 team squad convinced a judge. They needed a warrant without any evidence. They said there was heroin. They said there was a, a witness. They said there was all these reasons to go kick in the door. Cuz these people were selling heroin to children or whatever. It was, turns out. They, they shot through the doors. They killed the couple inside and, and their dog, the cops shot each other through the walls. Um, they found a, a MI a minor bag of marijuana in the house, no heroin to speak of whatsoever later determined. They lied to the judge. There was no informant, et cetera, et cetera. The cops are now convicted of murder. And I guess my point there is, I know of

TONY SERRA: (19:26)
They're now convicted of murder,

DEAN BECKER: (19:28)
But there are thousands of such instances of door is being kicked in. No warrants used, et cetera, et cetera, here in the city of Houston. And let me finish, sir, since that point in time, the da, the sheriff and the police chief all refused to come on my show. Cause I wanna talk about that corruption, vast, widespread corruption in this town. And nobody wants to talk about it, your response there, please.

TONY SERRA: (19:50)
Well, uh, their silence, uh, you, when facing accusations, if you're silent, it's considered in law and admission against interest. So, you know, they still wanna keep whatever private, their, uh, unlawful tactics. And obviously they're not gonna subject them self, you know, to, uh, being interviewed in a public, uh, uh, sector. And, uh, I think that it's just a self-evident truth. They, they are, uh, protecting themself from the revelation that they not all of them, but there's a, especially with regard to narcotics, uh, law enforcement, there is a lot of corruption, a lot of falsity, a lot of, uh, you know, swearing, uh, in an affidavit to obtain a search warrant to facts that are not true. And, you know, we see that lawyers see you who practice in the field, uh, routine.

DEAN BECKER: (21:07)
Yes, sir. Now, Tony, the, the thing that, um, you know, reminded me of you is, uh, I was listening to a speech you gave at a normal conference. Uh, I was out there in San Francisco. I, I don't know, 15, 17 years ago. And you talked about, we swim in a sea of snitches. That's the, the phrase that I remember from that particular speech you gave and that's still true, isn't it?

TONY SERRA: (21:33)
What a sea of snitches? Yes.

TONY SERRA: (21:35)
A hundred percent snitches is a way of life for law enforcement. You know, they have little, uh, state statements, uh, three free. That means if I bust you and you give me three other people, you know, uh, that I can bust, I'll either, uh, set you free or you'll get some kind of, you know, slap on wrists. And, uh, uh, this happens a lot in San Francisco. They will get a alleged drug dealer and, uh, throw him in the back of a, uh, unmarked police car and have him, uh, kind of hide. And he, they drive into the districts that are pretty notorious for, you know, crime. And, uh, the, the guy, uh, points out people with guns, that guy is holding this, guy's holding this, guy's holding. And then they go, uh, you know, based on that guy in the back seat, they, they go and grab the guy who start.

TONY SERRA: (22:49)
Sometimes they buy a gun, sometimes they don't, but all of that is completely legal, uh, illegal the, the person in the back seat center, reliable informant, he's there trying to save his own. Yeah. So, you know, you, the law cannot rely on him, but they don't care. Maybe he'll get a few guns. Maybe they won't, you know, and they have destroyed the guy in the backseat by, uh, exposing him as a drug dealer if that's the situation. So, um, they, they use, uh, you know, tactics that are both from our perspective, that is the criminal defense perspective, illegal and, you know, unethical in, you know, whatever you wanna call it. Uh, you call it a war on drugs. That's the, the undercover NAS are part of that war on drugs and they'll do anything, you know, to secure the, um, they don't even care. Ultimately what happens in court. They wanna get that dope. They wanna get that gun. That's the way they get their promotion. Cetera. Yeah. So not so good

DEAN BECKER: (24:09)
Now, um, Tony, uh, once again, folks, we're speaking with Mr. Tony, Sarah, um, um, infa San Francisco attorney. I, I wanna thank him for being here now, Tony, uh, I heard from Omar fro that you had recently given a speech to the students for sensible drug policy. Could you give us just a, a little summary of what you told them?

TONY SERRA: (24:28)
Well, it was, if, if I thinking right, Omar and I, and I think two or three others talked to a law school, um, in, uh, Santa Clara county and their issue was, uh, uh, centered on, uh, the, um, LS D and, you know, the, the mushrooms, uh, so it was different than all drugs. And they, um, you know, they wanted to know in terms of, I don't know our history, um, what we saw in the courts happening, what we saw on the streets happening, and it's more or less L S D and, and, uh, and you know, the mushrooms. Uh, and, uh, so we were kind of just recounting from our, uh, lifetime of K and experience how first law, how first in general people, and then secondly, law enforcement, and then thirdly courts, fourthly, maybe law got treated, uh, and presently treats, uh, LSD.

TONY SERRA: (25:45)
So it was pretty narrow from my perspective, but important that these young people wanna take it out of the, they wanna make it like marijuana, or maybe even, you know, uh, again, relegated to a medical forum. They want to take it out of criminal law. Sure. And it's a good sign. You had a whole law school there wa watching. I was told and we were on zoom, but they had it in their auditorium. And, you know, the students, someone told me they were 500, uh, there or something like that. And they're going to, uh, you know, you pass the torch and they're the second, third or fourth generation away from the inception of the prohibition, you know, on, uh, psychedelic drugs. And they wanna make 'em legal and they wanna be able to use 'em and they wanna know, you know, the status of the law and what's happening in that field. And I viewed it all as so positive. These young people, all going out there as lawyers and all fighting like, uh, to, for, in your terminology, chief fighting against the war on drugs.

DEAN BECKER: (27:05)
Yes, sir. Well, um, as I recall, I think maybe I did one legal hit of LSD back in 1966. Uh, I'm not sure when the law changed, but I, I believe I did, uh, well friends. We're gonna have to wrap it up here. And Tony, first off, I wanna thank you for taking time to be with us. You know, I, uh, I've, I've admired your work for well decades now. And I just, uh, my hat's off to you.

TONY SERRA: (27:29)
I'm the oldest guy around, you know, still practicing very vigorously. Yes, sir. Sir. I'm right in the middle of a jury trial now, uh, uh, attempted murder on a police officer. So I'm still, I'm 87, but I'm still fighting, man.

DEAN BECKER: (27:47)
Well, Tony, uh, thank Anna for me for helping to arrange this too, please. Yeah. And, uh, I don't know, man, just keep it up. I we'll do this again. All right. Down the road.

TONY SERRA: (27:57)
Okay know, and we appreciate what you do. Keep it up yourself.

DEAN BECKER: (28:01)
Thank you, Tony. All right. Thank you. The great Tony. Sarah can hardly believe it. Uh, folks, if you are one of those first, uh, amendment auditors, I'd like to invite some of you to come on the show and, and talk about what you do. I consider what you do to be very brave, uh, patriotic. Uh, if you wanna hide your name, that's fine. I just need to, you know, I'm a discreet guy. I think you know that I amDean@drugtruth.net. And again, I remind you because of prohibition, you don't know what's in that bag. Please be careful

DEAN BECKER: (28:33)
To the drug truth network listeners around the world. This is Dean Becker for cultural baggage and the unvarnished truth, cultural baggages of production of the Pacific radio network archive are permanently stored at the James, a baker III for public policy. And we dancing.