Discussion Points


Main Premise:

Drug growing in Minnesota has become rampant in the last two decades and marijuana the state’s largest cash crop. Many farmers and rural folks are unaware of the drug growing activity. When they do find out, some become involved and risk their lives; others are prosecuted along with the drug growers. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is the main agency in charge of finding and arresting the drug dealers.

  1. Do you have any personal experience with drug gardens?
  2. Would you have grow one?
  3. Do you think marijuana should be legalized?

Crime Caper:

Involves a crime of large magnitude with a valuable prize. They do not have just one single hero, but a team. Usually there is a complication that throws the caper into jeopardy.

  1. Discuss famous crime capers?

The Barton Family:

Is a dysfunctional, religious family who is broke and desperate. Their home has fallen into foreclosure. They have two sons, a seventeen year old natural son, Billy and a sixteen year old Indian foster son, Jackie. Billy brings them an offer from a local drug dealer to grow a crop of marijuana across the road from their property, which happens to be on federal land. They do so readily, firmly believing their good works will offset the evil of breaking the law and, perhaps, because they are too greedy to pass up this extraordinary opportunity.

  1. Do you think there are many families like the Bartons?
  2. Do you think they should have been let off the hook? Why?

BCA Agents:

Are “unsung heroes” who risk their lives to solve the many crimes of drug dealers. They use informants—both mercenary (paid) and good citizen (volunteer) to help them find drug gardens in the rural areas. Innocent people can be inadvertently drawn into the danger of drug growing. For example, New York television executive Dyanna Dahlberg, who, along with her mother and aunt, has their lives threatened by buying the Barton property. Immediately prior to her purchase of the property, the body of a young Indian man was found burned up in a trailer house unbeknownst to Dyanna. After Dyanna moves in, the daughter of the Barton’s is found dead of a suicide in the garage, and many break-ins occur which frighten the new homeowner.

  1. What do you know about the BCA?
  2. Do you think the Agents were fairly represented? Did old W.D. outfox them? Discuss.

Law Enforcement:

Is caught off guard by the viciousness of drug dealers; they are not trained for that level of crime and its many tentacles of evil. Thus they are dependent on the BCA and their network.

  1. Any comments about Roman Bahnrude and his role as sheriff? Believable?

My Research has been Prodigious:

How to Grow Marijuana
Laws and Legislation regarding the illegality of growing and selling drugs
BCA, a state organization
Death forensics
Ambulance protocol
Real Estate law
Dialogue: notes were kept as to Minnesota syntax and pronunciation.
Cliff hangers are carefully placed at the end of each chapter to keep the book moving along.

Sub-plots are introduced to expand the reality of the caper.

  1. any questions for the author on research?

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