Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Vision Quest

VisionQuest state director leader of cocaine smugglers

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The Elan Reporter:
Maybe their lawyers can cut them a deal and send them to VQ as a program prisoner. But I think having them incarcerated for 20 years will suit them just fine.

VQ is run by a bunch of corrupt mother fuckers. Man I am laughing so hard right now at VQ. :rofl:  :rofl:

This is old, but I happened to come across this follow-up article for other reasons, and this is the thread it belongs in...  (same paper as the OP).

Given the confusion about the many "Vision Quests" out there, here also is the website of the particular organization in question:

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Ex-VisionQuest official faces charges
Youth rehab exec quit before arrest in big coke case
By Dale Quinn

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.02.2007

The state operations director of the VisionQuest youth-rehabilitation program was arrested on suspicion of moving more than 400 pounds of cocaine across the country, a federal prosecutor said.

Anthony James Zasa Jr., 51, an Elfrida resident, helped coordinate moving the drugs from Arizona to New Jersey, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lacey said.

Zasa has resigned from his position at VisionQuest, which has a facility in Tucson.

Zasa's brother, Roco Zasa, was arrested in Texas when law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on Feb. 22 and found about 440 pounds of cocaine in the Winnebago recreational vehicle he was driving, according to court documents.

Roco Zasa agreed to cooperate with authorities and implicated his brother as the leader in the drug transaction, Lacey said.

Roco Zasa told investigators that his brother and a man identified in court documents as Alex Hetherington originally had the drugs, loaded them onto the Winnebago and agreed to pay him for taking the drugs to New Jersey for distribution.

Drug enforcement agents put fake drugs in the Winnebago, and Roco Zasa continued to New Jersey. There he met Hetherington and Kacey Hallford Root at a hotel at a time Anthony Zasa indicated they would arrive, according to court documents.

Hetherington and Root were arrested at the hotel. All defendants will face prosecution in New Jersey, Lacey said.

Anthony Zasa was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, according to court documents.

He was in federal court Thursday in Tucson, where a U.S. magistrate judge recommended setting bail at $40,000, Lacey said. He said he would appeal that decision and argue that the defendant should remain detained until the trial. Zasa will remain in custody until a federal judge in New Jersey makes a decision about the appeal, Lacey said.

Walter Nash, Zasa's attorney, said the defendant has a spotless criminal history, without a single arrest.

"The allegations of the complaint are that another individual implicated him," he said. "Mr. Zasa was not in possession of any drugs at the time of his arrest."

Zasa's suspected involvement in the drug transaction has not been linked to his duties at VisionQuest, said Mark Contento, the executive vice president of VisionQuest's Western office, based in Tucson.

According to its Web site, VisionQuest provides an alternative to incarceration for juvenile delinquents. County or state government staffers in corrections, probation, mental health and child welfare refer youths to the program.

Zasa resigned from his position as state operations director when he learned he was going to be arrested, Contento said.

"This is something that took us totally by surprise," Contento said. In his position, Zasa had mostly administrative duties and was not directly responsible for taking care of the teens. He did work with children in some programs, Contento said.

He worked in Arizona for about a year, Contento said. Before that, he held an administrative position in New Jersey. In all, Zasa had been with VisionQuest for nearly 30 years, he said.

The program brought in an interim operations director to replace Zasa, Contento said. Staffers in the program also have been notified of his arrest, and counselors are available to provide support for the children in the program, who've also been told about the incident.

"We are not one person; we are a philosophy," Contento said. VisionQuest has 1,600 children in its care and 1,400 staff members nationwide, Contento said.

All of those employees undergo a federal background check and mandatory drug testing before employment, Contento said. They're also drug-tested randomly or if a child is injured under their supervision.

VisionQuest "is highly committed to youth and the actions, or allegations of actions, of an individual should not unfairly taint our reputation," Contento said.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials in New Jersey could not immediately provide information about the case.

• Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 629-9412 or [email protected].

How does the drug cocaine make you feel? I am a writer and have started a new story. My main character has gotten herself hooked on cocaine and blah blah blah. Instead of reading what the long term effects are for cocaine (which is all I can seem to find) i want to know what it makes you feel right in the moment. Anybody know?
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Another article, which also came out at the same time as the one just above:

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Tucson Cititzen

VisionQuest's Az director faces cocaine charge, quits

by David L. Teibel on Mar. 02, 2007, under Local

The director of VisionQuest in Arizona has resigned after his arrest in a cocaine conspiracy case.

The arrest of Anthony James Zasa Jr., 51, came after his brother Roco Zasa was arrested Feb. 22 in Texas following a police stop in which 440 pounds of cocaine turned up in the recreational vehicle he drove, a federal complaint filed in New Jersey said.

Anthony Zasa was arrested Wednesday in Elfrida, where he lives, said Jim Lacey, an assistant U.S. attorney in Tucson.

Zasa submitted his resignation as VisionQuest's director of operations for Arizona at 9 a.m. Wednesday, hours before his arrest, said Mark Contento, executive vice president of the Tucson-based VisionQuest National Ltd.

VisionQuest offers rehabilitation programs for troubled and delinquent youths at facilities in Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Delaware, its Web site said.

Roco Zasa was arrested in Groom, Texas, the complaint said, and he told federal agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration that he was to deliver the drugs to New Jersey under his brother’s direction.

Sham narcotics were substituted for the cocaine, and it was delivered under DEA supervision and surveillance to two other people, Lacey said. The two were arrested earlier this week.

The four will be tried in New Jersey, Lacey said, adding that if convicted, they each would face 10 years to life in prison and a maximum $4 million fine. The four are charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute it.

The complaint said Roco Zasa told agents after his arrest that his brother, who the complaint said originally had the cocaine, and Alex Heatherington loaded the drugs into Roco Zasa's RV and agreed to pay Roco Zasa to drive the cocaine to Kacey Hallford Root, 25, in Elizabeth, N.J.

Heatherington and Root were arrested in New Jersey.

Heatherington, Root and Roco Zasa also were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute it, the complaint said.

Lacey did not know what Heatherington and Root did for a living.

Lacey said the cocaine would wholesale for $4 million in New Jersey.

Contento said he has known Anthony Zasa for about 20 years and "never" had any indication of problems with him.

"We are in shock and disbelief over these allegations," Contento said.

Anthony Zasa transferred from New Jersey to Tucson about a year ago to head VisionQuest's Arizona operation, Contento said.

VisionQuest started in Tucson in 1973. It cares for 1,500 youths a month nationwide, the Web site said.

Contento said counselors in Arizona are working with 100 youths ranging in age from 12 to 18.

"This has no association with VisionQuest," Contento said of the charges against Anthony Zasa.

Contento said Roco Zasa also worked for VisionQuest as a program manager, but left the organization five years ago.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 12:01 am and is filed under Local. Tags for this post: Crime/Safety, David L. Teibel, Local-Crime/Safety, page-a02. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.[/size]


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