Galesburg, Illinois, has been a railroad town for a very long time. Two of Amtrak’s long distance trains, the Southwest Chief and the California Zephyr, stop in Galesburg four times a day—two heading towards the West Coast and two coming east to Chicago. Then there’s the Illinois Zephyr and the Carl Sandburg, two trains also coming from Chicago and running another 100 miles beyond Galesburg to Quincy, Illinois. And that doesn’t count all the freights.
That’s eight trains a day stopping in Galesburg, a town of only 31,000 residents. Of course there are a lot more people in the surrounding towns and countryside, but even so, that’s a lot of railroad activity for what is, by any standard, a relatively small town.
And that’s what’s so remarkable about the local cops constantly busting people for carrying drugs … busting them right there at the railroad station. Each incident is the same: A man steps off the train; a dog sniffs his baggage and raises the alarm; cops check the guy’s luggage; cops bust the guy.
But why Galesburg … a town of 31,000 people?
Because, say the locals, the “mules” can come from several directions on any one of several different trains, get off in Galesburg, which they figure to be a sleepy little town, and proceed into Chicago by bus where presumably most of their customers reside.
Guess what? Galesburg ain’t so sleepy.