You Set Me Up!

A drug bust could be the last straw for Washington's mayor

Time and time again, rumors about drug abuse had brought Washington Mayor Marion Barry to the brink of political and personal disaster. Every time, he managed to dance back from the edge. Last week Barry's lucky streak finally ended. An elaborate law-enforcement sting in a downtown hotel caught the mayor allegedly buying and smoking crack cocaine, a misdemeanor charge that could result in a one-year jail term and a $100,000 fine. It might also spell the end of Barry's political career. Said political analyst Mark Plotkin: "If Barry can recover from this episode, he really is a political Houdini."

The bust...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!