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Anti-Drug Program Leader Arrested on Drug Charges

The founder of a Los Angeles-area drug and alcohol abuse prevention group was arrested for selling drugs at a Starbucks in El Segundo. Kendall Craig Farris, 47, is the founder of the Over the Wall Foundation and is a recovering alcoholic and addict. He was arrested last Thursday after narcotics officers set up a drug buy over the phone.

Farris was given an envelope containing $480 by an undercover officer in exchange for methamphetamine and Ecstasy tablets, according to police. The “drugs” turned out to be rock salt and antihistamines, and Farris was arraigned on charges on selling a substance he alleged was drugs.

Farris started Over the Wall in 2007 after overcoming 15 years of drug and alcohol abuse. He has been convicted of various crimes, including robbery, theft, and forgery, which he said he committed to fund his drug habit. While in prison, he wrote a book called “Drugs, Kids and Crime: Surviving Our Drug Obsessed Culture.”

After his release, he began giving speeches about his experience and developed Over the Wall, whose mission is to “help youth, schools, and families prevent drug and alcohol abuse before it starts, and intervene in any drug abuse which may already have begun.”

Betsy Spier, a therapist who is on the Over the Wall board of directors, said she was shocked by the arrest. She said she did not know whether Farris had relapsed or needed money, but she did know he was having trouble sustaining the foundation.

Posted on June 15th, 2009

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