Latest Drug War News

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!

Shop online at and a percentage of each purchase will be donated to our cause! More than 600 top stores are participating!

The Internet Our Website

Global and National Events Calendar

Bottoms Up: Guide to Grassroots Activism

Prisons and Poisons

November Coalition Projects

Get on the Soapbox! with Soap for Change

November Coalition: We Have Issues!

November Coalition Local Scenes

November Coalition Multimedia Archive

The Razor Wire
Bring Back Federal Parole!
November Coalition: Our House

Stories from Behind The WALL

November Coalition: Nora's Blog

February 8, 2005 - The Kansas City Star (MO)

Ark. Drug Bust Crashes Kid's Birthday

By David Hammer, Associated Press

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Police on a drug raid burst into a home during a toddler's birthday party, startling children who were getting ready to eat their cake when the gun-toting officers crashed the party.

Amid wails from children and a few parents - and a phone ringing incessantly with prospective drug buyers - officers arrested a pregnant woman and accused her of selling marijuana from the house.

Shannon Hills Police Chief Richard Friend, who led the raid, found parents about to light candles on a cake adorned with green and white cartoon characters and a big "2" on top.

"The kids were up in high-chairs eating pizza and the cake was just about to be lit and cut when we kicked the party off a little early," Friend said Tuesday. "We got them something they wish they could return."

Police did not know a birthday party was going on when they decided to make the bust.

"The first thing I saw was the birthday table and cake, so I yelled for everyone to put away their guns," Shannon Hills Police Chief Richard Friend said.

"You could see they had a nightmare-come-true. Everyone just froze and looked at me. The parents started crying and then the kids started crying."

Elizabeth Leah Sauls, 21, was hosting her niece's second birthday party at the time of Friday evening's raid.

She was allegedly smoking marijuana in the master bedroom and continuing to sell pot out of the house as the police moved in. Friend said she received 35 calls requesting the drug in the short time that police were there.

"We barely had time to conduct interviews because the phone kept ringing with people wanting to buy narcotics," Friend said.

Sauls was arrested on drug charges but was released without bond because the jail was full, Friend said.

She appealed to the police that she was just selling the marijuana to pay for diapers and food for her 1-year-old, but police said they had been gathering evidence for weeks, making undercover purchases from the home, arresting buyers leaving the home and finding $860 and a pair of scales in the house.

The 2-year-old birthday girl and Sauls' 1-year-old were turned over to their grandmother, who was at the party.

"We have plenty of cases of people providing drugs in diaper bags around children, but at a birthday party? That's unusual," prosecutor Robert Herzfeld said.

For the latest drug war news, visit our friends and allies below

We are careful not to duplicate the efforts of other organizations, and as a grassroots coalition of prisoners and social reformers, our resources (time and money) are limited. The vast expertise and scope of the various drug reform organizations will enable you to stay informed on the ever-changing, many-faceted aspects of the movement. Our colleagues in reform also give the latest drug war news. Please check their websites often.

The Drug Policy Alliance
Drug Reform Coordination Network
Drug Sense and The Media Awareness Project

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

Questions or problems? Contact