ATF carries out "Operation Frontline" in Stockton
STOCKTON, CA - You won't hear this very often: a Stockton man who admits taking part in illegal drug activity wishes he'd been arrested and thrown in jail.
"They could have taken me to jail and I would have faced the consequences. I'm out here, hanging out to dry," said Michael Perry.
Here's the background: Perry was caught up in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Operation Frontline" in Stockton last winter and spring in which people with criminal histories were recruited into illegal activity. Perry admitted being paid $200 after he cooked powder cocaine into crack in a Stockton motel room.
STORY: Dozens jailed in Stockton ATF operation
But instead of being arrested like dozens of others for falling into various ATF stings, Perry wasn't charged. ATF said Perry wasn't "high enough up the food chain."
Perry is currently employed and raising children, but because he wasn't arrested and put in jail, he said others on the streets feel he made deals with the cops.
"I don't feel safe out here. They basically put me out here as a snitch. I'm not no switch," said Perry.
Eighty-four weapons and 55 people were taken off the streets during ATF's "Frontline" effort. Perry wishes that number was 56.
"I feel I made a big mistake. I'm willing to face what I need to face for my mistake," said Perry.