The Houston Post
Just befpre Christmas, Dan Scarborough, the senior state senator from
northeast Florida, was entertaining
some friends in his family's sprawling ranch-style home.
He was in fine fettle. In another two
days, there would be a big party to celebrate the Scarboroughs' 25th wedding
anniversary. He had a dose-knit family.
His telephone and communications
businesses were thriving. He'd gotten
77 percent of the vote in the last election. Some friends thought the 45-year-
old Democrat would surely make it to
the governor's mansion one day—and
then, maybe, even Washington.
At 11:30 p.m., he was called to the
telephone. It was Sheriff Dale Carson.
"Senator, I got some bad news for
you," the sheriff said.
"What is it, Sheriff?" Dan asked.
"I've got a warrant for your son and
He was told that his daughter Lynn,
20, and son John, 24, were involved
with an alleged cocaine ring. Lynn was
named in four counts of conspiracy to
commit a felony, John in one count. A
trial is expected this spring.
The alleged ring included Linda Blair,
the 18-year-old actress who was possessed by the devil in the film The Exorcist. Except for her, however, not a
single person arrested fit the image usu-
. ally associated with the superjet, "fast-
'Cadillac of drugs'
Called the "Cadillac of drugs," cocaine through the years has been for
those who could easily spend $1500 to
$2000 for an ounce—especially celebrity artists, writers and performers like
Louise "Mary Hartman" Lasser, rock
star Gregg Allman and Tommy Rettig,
who was the child star in Lassie. Vivid
descriptions exist of fantastic parties
where the precious stuff was set out like
sugar in bowls.
A promising earfeer for Florida Slate Sen.
Dan Scarborough (I) may have been nipped
by the' arrest o'Ji Iris daughter Lynn land son
lohn(r) 'fori part in -alleged cocaine ring.
One Family's Battle
by Bernard Gavzer
Elite users of the past included Queen Victoria, Pope Leo XIII, Robert Louis Stevenson,
Sarah Bernhardt, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sig-
mund Freud, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Errol
Cocaine—also called "coke," "C," "snow"
and "toot"—is a white powder that when ingested (usually by inhalation) produces a sensation of welt-being and seems to overcome
. fatigue, hunger and thirst. Its most potent attraction is its alleged power as an aphrodisiac
. Frequent inhalation can damage nose membranes. The National Institute of Drug Abuse
estimates that 1 million Americans use cocaine at least once a month.
It all begins with the coca bush, which
grows on the slopes of the Andes Mountains.
The leaves are picked and processed into
powder, which is moved along smuggleis'
routes from South and Latin America toward
the U.S. Banned here, it wholesales for as
much as $45,000 a kilo as it enters the Miami'
area, America's cocaine gateway.
The Jacksonville case casts cocaine in a new
light. The people involved are not celebrities,
rich or remarkably accomplished. They are, in
fact, the people of Anytown, U.S.A.
Of the 33 indicted, only two were in their
30's; the rest, in their 20's and teens. They included a diver, a marine dealer, a dog handler, a college student, a typist, a meat cutter,
a shipfitter, a laborer, a broker-trainee, a City
of Jacksonville Beach employee, an electrician, a car salesman, a truck driver, a busboy,
a carpenter, a secretary, a printer, a talent
The case demonstrates that cocaine has
reached America's ordinary people, raising a
possibility that many families .like the Scar-
boroughs may find themselves dealing with
what Dan Scarborough calls a "nightmare."
"There's not a parent of teenage children
in Florida today—in America today—who
doesn't live in constant fear about kids smoking marijuana or using drugs," he said. "We
all of us face the nightmare that these young
adventurous people may end up being treated
as hardened criminals."
Non-addictive but dangerous
The penalties for cocaine are very much
like those (or heroin. While cocaine is not
addictive, the law calls it a dangerous drug.
In Florida, conviction on a charge of conspiring to commit a felony can lead to a maximum prison sentence of five years—a frightening prospect for any parent.
For the Scarboroughs, there seemed the
possibility of another penalty: damage to a
premising political career.
Dan Scarborough weighed that question.
He tucked a_ wad of Red Man chewing tobacco into the right side of his mouth, placed
a cowboy-booted foot against a wastebasket,
settled in his swivel chair and said: "Ifs possible 1 been hurt. It's possible I been bad
Maybe this cocaine case would be no more
threatening to his future than his support of
the Equal Rights Amendment or of marijuana
decriminalization. Then it became clear that
he was thinking more of his son's future than
of his own, 'since he hoped that )ohn might
follow him into public office.
"Now, this is going to be a hell of a cross
for him to bear, even though it is clear to me
he is as innocent as a glass of milk and a piece
of pie," Dan said.
in constant fear'