Dealing Drugs At 15

Did Nathan Wilkins ever have a chance?

At some point during Thursday morning's show, after reading a script about a 30-year-old who lawmen say started dealing drugs  15 years ago, it hit me:  he was 15 when he allegedly started dealing.  Granted, we're talking about a simple math equation here. But thinking about a 15-year-old, selling drugs, crack cocaine no less, definitely gave me pause.

Nathan Kinta Wilkins is a man from Greenville who has been sentenced to spend the next eleven years of his life in prison.  He pled guilty to serious crimes involving serious drugs.  To picture him at age 15, doing the same thing, is wildly unsettling.  However, it may not be that uncommon.

People who make a career in crime have to start at some age, so why is it so unsettling when that age is 15, or younger?  Perhaps because it begs the question of whether someone who chooses to deal drugs while they are that young really ever had a chance. 

I don't know the story of Nathan Wilkins' life or what happened between the time he was born until the time he sold drugs for the first time.  It seems clear, however, that something was missing from that teenager's life.  People don't just start selling drugs because they're bored.  Our community could go a long way if we understood what is missing from young people's lives before they turn to crime and find a way to fill in the gap.  In the meantime, what will be missing from Nathan Wilkins' life now is the next eleven years. 

 

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ron Location: NC on Jul 9, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    We all have our opinion...but...I think Coach M hit the nail on the head. I would only add that what will also help solve the problem is that parents have got to start raising their kids with moral and respect, and if they don't...hold them accountable until the kids are adults.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 8, 2009 at 01:59 PM
    When I was 15, I was in school and behaving because that is what was expected of me and I followed the rules. Morality is a personal battle and it is possible that at 15 years old, this person made up their mind to sell drugs and morality be damned. Parents in the picture?
  • by John R. Location: Wilson on Apr 19, 2009 at 02:22 AM
    When I was 15 I had a paper route, but I made my little sister do it. I told her if she didn't I would shave her head, and do bad things to her dollies. Ha-ha.
  • by Coach M Location: Rocky Mount on Mar 18, 2009 at 03:01 AM
    The problem is the Justice system. punishment for this crime is too lenient. You have 2 kids, Tim and Tom. Tim's father works 3 jobs to make ends meet and is a Christian trying to raise his son correctly and teach him Christian values. They live in a house with a leaky roof, drive a 1972 Rambler with 3 different colors and eat sandwiches most of the time. Tim has the same pair of shoes he has had for the past 3 years in which he stuffed paper in when he first got them to make them fit. Tom's father doesn't work a job at all, at least not a legal one. His father deals drugs. He drives a Escalade and Benz, lives in a $350,000 home and works when he wants. Tom has 5 pairs of new shoes that cost $150 to $300 a pair, designer clothes and has XBox360, PS3 and Wii. Which life do you think Tim wants to have when he grows up? Time to start making a life of crime less appealing. Then and only then will we have a chance to change the outcome of our youth.
  • by Kathy Location: Bath on Mar 13, 2009 at 07:24 PM
    We find so many young kids into drugs. That's because they had to live in it most of the time. I live in a quiet area of about 25 house trailers and about 15 houses. About every other house is full of drugs. I see it all the time. Its the parents doing the drugs, teaching the kids how its done. I wished that could catch every bit of it and blow it all up.
  • by WearyofExcuses Location: Kinston on Mar 13, 2009 at 05:47 AM
    He made a choice at age 15 to commit criminal acts.At 15 he knew right from wrong and he chose wrong.I don't even feel sorry for the ones who bought his drugs, they also made the choice.Stop giving an excuse to people who choose the wrong path and let's start rewarding those who choose the right one.
  • by ace on Mar 12, 2009 at 06:25 AM
    Why did it take 15 years? This proves he is not stupid. Quit feeling sorry for him. He chose to do this. Feel sorry for all the other lives he has negatively impacted.
  • by ace, on Mar 12, 2009 at 06:17 AM
    He made enough money while he was young to buy you. What was his parent(s) doing. Apparently not the right thing. As far as you know he may have been following their example
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