Dru Cederberg is heir to the Brach’s candy fortune. She is also a Billings, Montana socialite who held cocaine parties at her home with socially prominent friends. Perhaps I am being unkind. The cocaine didn’t come out until late in the evening, after the fine food had been consumed and the help had cleared away the rich desserts. This drug-fueled social activity went on for at least ten years and involved dozens of prosperous people.
Dru Cederberg won’t be spending a day in prison. She is white, fifty-two years old, and a recent convert to a higher and purer life. More importantly, she is a member of high society and the American criminal justice system hates putting women like Dru Cederberg behind bars.
Besides, Dru kindly participated with federal prosecutors–U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell thanked her for performing “yoman’s service” for the United States government. That means she ratted out her friends including businessman Terri Jabs Kurth and Robert L. Eddleman, Carbon County’s former top prosecutor and one-time Montana Supreme Court candidate.
The only person doing serious time for the high-society drug escapade are the three Latino males who supplied the drugs: Domingo Baez, Maurisio Ramiro and Gilberto Acevedo. Baez, the purported kingpin, will be serving eleven years in federal prison. There is no question that Baez was bringing in the drugs only because people like Dru Cederberg, Terri Kurth and Robert Eddleman made it worth his while.
Federal authorities could have indicted dozens of prosperous white folks had they chosen to do so–that’s how extensive the drug activity was. But drug use among the monied class holds little interest for prosecutors at either the federal or state level.
I am not suggesting that Dru Cederberg should have been sentenced to a decade or longer in the slammer (although federal sentencing guidelines could have been manipulated to justify a life sentence). Eight months of house arrest and a $500,000 fine seems an appropriate sentence. But ask yourself how things would have played out had Dru Cederberg been a black male street hustler running a crack house in the hood. (more…)