In the small town of Gerald, Missouri, Bill Jakob seemed a godsend. With support from the local police department, the federal agent took on the local methamphetamine problem. Over nearly five months, the man colloquially referred to as “Sergeant Bill” led the charge, searching homes, seizing evidence, and arresting suspects in the town of less than twelve hundred, a place so wracked by the drug trade that its mayor calls the area “a meth capital of the United States”.
And then a reporter—always a pesky reporter—decided to look into the story, and what Linda Trest of The Gasconade County Republican discovered brought the whole operation to a scandalous collapse. As Monica Davey explains for the New York Times:
Sergeant Bill, it turned out, was no federal agent, but Bill A. Jakob, an unemployed former trucking company owner, a former security guard, a former wedding minister and a former small-town cop from 23 miles down the road.
The fantastic vigilante is now the target of a federal criminal investigation, and Gerald has lost three of its five police officers. The drug allegations themselves are in doubt. Seventeen plaintiffs have filed a civil rights lawsuit, and Mayor Otis Schulte is the target of of an impeachment petition.
This is your War on Drugs.