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11/08/06 Marijuana Delivery Service in New York

12/29/05 Jailure gives marijuana to prisoners

A Garfield County Detention Facility jailer was charged Tuesday with supplying drugs to an inmate.

Julie Ann Day, 49, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy to take drugs into a jail and a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Day faces two years to life in prison on the charge of delivery and one to five years and/or a fine of $100 to $1,000 on the conspiracy charge. She also faces a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison, or both, on the misdemeanor charge.

A substance, which tested positive for marijuana, was confiscated from an inmate’s cell at the detention facility last week, according to court documents. Recorded conversations between Day and the inmate implied Day delivered marijuana to the inmate, according to the affidavit.

A search warrant for Day’s home was obtained Thursday, and Garfield County sheriff deputies found four straws, consistent with the use of a controlled substance, according to the affidavit.

Two of the straws had a white-powder residue on them, according to an affidavit. Deputies also found three plastic bags, consistent with how controlled substances are packaged.

Day was placed under arrest on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia and later booked at the county jail, according to court documents. Day signed a rights waiver card and agreed to speak with deputies.

Day told deputies she had met a woman within the past two week she only knew as Kim, and Kim gave her an envelope to deliver to the inmate, the affidavit states.

Day told deputies she believed there to be marijuana in the envelope because at one point she had smelled the inmate smoking marijuana and had warned him he was going to get in trouble, according to the affidavit.

She also told him he was going to get her in trouble, according to the affidavit.

Day’s bond was set at $500. The bond amount was originally for the misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Day is scheduled to return to court Feb. 24 for a bond appearance.

12/29/05 New Canadian laws target marijuana growers

The Ontario government has passed a new law meant to crack down on indoor marijuana growing operations in the province. The law allows electricity distributors to cut power to homes where it's suspected residents are trying to grow pot, if they receive a court order to do so.

The law also doubles the maximum fines for tampering with electrical wiring, a common way of disguising the consumption of large quantities of power for a grow op. In 2002, grow ops were estimated to have cost Ontario nearly $100 million.

The province says that as much as 85 per cent of these losses stem from large amounts of electricity stolen by grow-op operators to run hydroponic equipment. The province also passed its fall budget bill today as the government tries to finish up paperwork before rising this week until mid-February.

12/29/05 Marshals never find sex offender, but $22,000 in marijuana!

A U.S. Marshals Service task force uncovered more than $22,000 in marijuana while searching for a convicted sex offender, officials said Wednesday.

The drug seizure occurred Tuesday, when deputy U.S. Marshals from the North Florida task force were searching for Johnny Lamar Sadler Jr., 32, who was wanted on a violation of probation charge stemming from a lewd and lascivious act on a child conviction.

Deputy marshals spotted the drugs in the vehicle of Charlette Maybelle Wagner, 51, of the 5000 block of Pipeline Drive, after making a felony car stop as part of the fugitive investigation. Wagner told them she had more drugs at her home.

Wagner’s mobile home was under surveillance as part of the fugitive investigation, spokesman Dominic Guadagnoli said.Wagner gave consent and deputy marshals searched her mobile home.Guadagnoli and another deputy marshal noticed the smell when they opened the door.

They uncovered marijuana in every room, along with scales, a vacuum sealer and plastic bags of various sizes, Guadagnoli said.“It was everywhere,” spokesman Dominic Guadagnoli said. “Every time we found the end of it we found more.”  Narcotics officers from Escambia County Sheriff’s Office seized the drugs and arrested Wagner on drug possession charges.

12/29/05 The Tehama County Sheriff's Department Marijuana Eradication Team Year End Conclusion - Good job guys!

RED BLUFF The Tehama County Sheriff's Department Marijuana Eradication Team has concluded the 2005 marijuana investigation season, according to Sheriff Clay Parker.

This year the team handled 26 cases and eradicated 81,353 plants, arrested 11 suspects, seized 24 firearms and confiscated 182 pounds of processed marijuana, Parker said.

"According to the attorney general's press release dated Nov. 10, Tehama County would be ranked fifth in the state of having the most plants seized," Parker said.

Deputy Andy Houghtby headed the team.

The team was assisted by personnel from the U. S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, Red Bluff and Corning police departments, Tehama and Glenn Methamphetamine Enforcement Task, California Highway Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcements, DEA and the California Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team.

"The majority of the gardens were located on public lands and can be attributed to large Mexican drug trafficking organizations," Parker said.

12/29/05 82,000 marijuana plants destroyed in the phillipines

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet - The Cordillera Police has burned P46-million worth of marijuana plants and seeds.  After weeklong operations in the towns of Bakun, Mankayan and Buguias, authorities finally located covert marijuana plantations in the province.

The discovery was the result of national antidrug program for a drug-free Philippines, which hopes to end illegal-drug use by 2010.

The police uprooted and destroyed 82,500 fully grown marijuana plants, 20,000 seedlings and 60 kilos of seeds in Lubok, Ahin, Tinoc, Ifugao from December 9 to 11.

Members of the Benguet Police Provincial Office also uprooted 88,000 fully grown plants in Lukok and Tebteb in Badeo, Kibungan, Benguet, on December 11.

Another 24,000 mature marijuana plants were destroyed in Mocgao on December 10.

Philippine Army troops, together with members of the Bakun Municipal Police Station in Mankayan, Benguet, pulled up and burned 29,740 marijuana plants and 7,000 seedlings in an area in Bulisay, Kayapa, Bakun.

The Regional Antiillegal Drug Special Operation Task Group and the Action Officer of the Police Regional Office led the destruction of the plants and seeds under the supervision of Senior Supt. Rodrigo Licudine.

Following the "big find," the police set up checkpoints along the Halsema highway to stop farmers who harvested the plants.

The police also confiscated 22 bricks of dried marijuana leaves weighing 19.80 kilos, which the Dangerous Drug Board values at P495,000.

12/29/05 Mariuana bill has changed police procedures.

Initiative 75, a 2003 ballot item requiring Seattle police to make marijuana arrests their lowest priority, has changed police procedures, supporters say.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Dec. 7 that I-75 supporters accused City Attorney Tom Carr of downplaying the impact of the law by understating the number of annual marijuana arrests prior to passage: Carr initially said that there were 74 such arrests in 2002, but -- pressed by I-75 supporters -- he later acknowledged that the correct number was 160.

"I should have checked my figures," he said.

However, Carr stood by his assertion that the initiative has had little effect. "The arrests already were dropping," Carr said. "The initiative didn't do anything."

12/29/05 Granny gets busted for having marijuana. Bahamian gov. says never come back!

A Florida woman who came to the Bahamas to spend Christmas with her grandchildren will be deported for marijuana possession, a judge ruled Wednesday.  Mary Brushe, 50, of Melbourne, Florida, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to having three grams of marijuana. A magistrate judge fined her $500 and ordered her deported. 

Police arrested Brushe in the parking lot of a local shopping mall on Christmas Eve. They thought she was behaving suspiciously and found the drugs in her purse after a search, police said.

Brushe will be deported Thursday and has been placed on a list of people never to be allowed back into the country.


12/29/05 Biology student studies more then plants and trees. Gets busted with 240 lbs of pot.

MARIETTA, N.Y. Authorities say a biology student enrolled in the state's forestry college in Syracuse was doing more than studying plants and trees.  State police say they found nearly 250 pounds of processed marijuana and 36-thousand dollars in cash at the home of 22-year-old Adam Hainer, who's originally from the Plattsburgh area.  Investigators say they found the pot at Hainer's home in Marietta, an Onondaga County hamlet about ten miles southeast of Syracuse. Officials say Hainer is a student at the State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He's being held on 100-thousand dollars bail at the Onondaga County Justice Center jail.

12/29/05 Mother is arrested after her baby tests positive for marijuana

A young mother whose newborn baby tested positive for marijuana was arrested for drug and paraphernalia possession.  Social service agents and police officers entered the 17-year-old’s apartment about 4 p.m. Tuesday on a welfare check. They discovered a small amount of marijuana and rolling papers in a box.

The Department of Social Services took custody of the 1-month-old baby pending results of an investigation.  The mother’s identity was not released because she is a juvenile. She is charged with possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

12/29/05 Marijuana more popular and more potent

Marijuana has been around for a long time. That's why some drug counselors say people see marijuana as harmless but it's more threatening than you might think.
These packages of marijuana now sit in evidence after Marathon County investigators seized them.  This is a high quality variety worth around $90,000 on the street. It's that high quality factor that worries drug treatment providers. "The truth of it is, it's eight times more powerful than it was back in the 1970s," says Dale Christensen, Director of Drug/Alcohol Treatment at North Central Healthcare. Christensen says today pot is grown in a way to increase the hallucinogenic effects and some studies show today's marjuana can cause anything from permanent short term memory loss to mental illnesses like schizophrenia. One Marathon County judge says access to marijuana isn't getting any harder. "I've been told by juveniles on a regular basis over the last 7 or 8 years that marijuana is easier to get than cigarettes or beer," says Judge Greg Grau of Marathon County's Circuit Court.
Judge Grau says he sees kids younger and younger using marijuana. Counselors say the best defense against the drug is for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers.

12/29/05 Officials sniff at bid to legalize marijuana

Two top law enforcement officials in the Pikes Peak region think proponents of a statewide initiative to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana will not find much support here.

The group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER, held a news conference Wednesday at the state Capitol to announce plans to seek voter approval to legalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana for those 21 years or older.

The group said it will try to gather the signatures of 100,000 registered Colorado voters; it needs about 68,000 valid signatures to put the initiative on the November 2006 ballot.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney John Newsome said he thinks the group won’t find a receptive audience in El Paso or Teller counties.

“I have yet to hear any discussion or clamoring for legalization of drugs,” said Newsome, who said he has spoken to 60 groups since taking office in January.

Newsome said he has not seen the proposed initiative and he would have to study it before commenting directly on it. But he said he is generally opposed to any effort to legalize drugs.

“I can tell you in my line of work we see people destroyed by drugs,” he said.

The advocacy group said that even if the measure passed, all home-rule cities in Colorado, including Colorado Springs, would have the ability to penalize marijuana users. The measure also would not change current law that makes selling marijuana, smoking it publicly or driving under its influence illegal.

The effort is patterned after a successful campaign by the group to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in Denver. Almost 54 percent of Denver voters approved the initiative last month, although Denver police have continued to cite drug users under state law that makes possession of such amounts a petty offense subject to a $100 fine.

Rick Millwright, commander of the El Paso/Teller Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Unit, said he thinks SAFER will run into demographic and philosophical differences it didn’t have in its bid to legalize pot in Denver.

“Colorado Springs is different than Denver,” Millwright said. “Passing something like this in Denver is one thing, but I think it will be an uphill fight here in this very conservative community.”

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, said they will oppose the measure if it gets on the November 2006 ballot.

“You would basically give people in Colorado a free pass,” Suthers said. “My personal opinion is that it’s not good public policy.”

Romanoff said Colorado already has one of the highest drug-use rates in the nation but ranks near the bottom for drug treatment.

He said that if the initiative passes, it could be tied up in courts for years.

Although Newsome doesn’t believe there would be much support locally for legalizing marijuana, he said he has seen some change in thinking among residents about how to handle drug use.

He said he thinks there is some support for allowing marijuana use for serious medical conditions, and he thinks many people would rather see drug users get help rather than being sent to jail.

He said his office is creating a drug court in Teller County, patterned after one in El Paso County, that would offer treatment rather than incarceration for some drug users.

In 2000, a majority of El Paso County and Colorado voters approved an initiative allowing the use and cultivation of of marijuana for people whose doctors prescribed it.

Newsome said such state laws can conflict with federal drug laws, and there are ongoing legal cases, particularly in California, about which laws should take precedence. He said he could envision a similar problem if the proposed initiative passes.

Mason Tvert, the executive director of SAFER, said federal laws focus on distribution, not possession, and probably would not be used to prosecute personal marijuana consumption.

Tvert also said he does not believe Colorado lawmakers would try to change the law back if voters agree to relax it.

Karen Flowers, spokeswoman for the Denver office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said the Supreme Court has upheld the supremacy of federal drug laws over state and local laws, and she thinks any change decriminalizing state law would fail. She also said federal drug laws make simple possession of marijuana a civil offense.

She said the DEA believes the Denver group’s latest initiative is part of a concerted effort by well-funded lobbying groups in Washington, D.C., to decriminalize all drugs.

“This is not a grass-roots Colorado effort,” she said. “They’re trying to make us guinea pigs.”


12/29/05 Pair arrested in multi-state marijuana operation

A raid at a Picayune home allegedly uncovered five pounds of "high-grade" marijuana and ledgers recording transactions for a multistate drug distribution operation, according to police.

The arrests of Ryan Howard, 27, and Joni Howard, 24, at their home on Glenwood Street has led to involvement of state and federal investigators and could result in other arrests, said Deputy Police Chief David Ervin."The investigation revealed the suspects were allegedly shipping large amounts of marijuana to (their home) while they were out of state," Ervin said.

Police K-9 units raided the home with a search warrant Monday. They also seized $1,000 of alleged drug money and detailed records believed to document illegal drug activity, Ervin said.The ledgers also indicate the couple is involved with other alleged drug offenders, he added.

The couple is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.The investigation has led to another arrest in an alleged conspiracy in which investigators seized $3,000 believed to be intended to purchase a portion of the marijuana, Ervin said.Further details are being withheld as the investigation continues, he said.The Hancock County Sheriff's Department assisted with the investigation.

12/29/05 Police find marijuana plants in home of an attorney

Greeley police found a large stash of marijuana plants in an apartment near Maplewood Middle School recently, and the alleged tenant, Dan Wingler, is a former prosecutor in Weld County.

Police got an anonymous tip saying they'd found a marijuana-growing operation in an apartment at 11221/2 19th Ave., about a block from Luther Park and the middle school.In a cursory search of the apartment, officers found about 30 marijuana plants growing in plastic containers, according to a police affidavit.The apartment door was wide open and no one answered knocks on the door, so the officers went in to see whether someone had been injured inside or whether there were burglary suspects.

Inside, they found about 30 more marijuana plants growing under heat lamps in a closet.Officers got a search warrant and rechecked the apartment and also found some mail addressed to Wingler, according to police reports.A neighbor told police that Wingler was out of town for Thanksgiving.

On his bond sheet, Wingler listed a house in Windsor as his prior address and said he was self-employed as an attorney. He has an office in Fort Collins.Attempts to contact Wingler at home and his law office were unsuccessful. The numbers listed in the phone book have been disconnected.

Wingler allegedly went to the police station a few days later to inquire about the search warrant and agreed to an interview with police.He confirmed that he lived at that address, but when police asked about the marijuana, Wingler said he didn't want to make any more statements.

Wingler was arrested and later released on bond.District Attorney Ken Buck confirmed Wingler was a prosecutor in the Weld office from January 2002-February 2004. Buck took office in January 2005.


12/29/05 Narcotics charges possible after medical marijuana raids

Federal agents are compiling evidence seized in raids on a San Francisco medical marijuana club and pot-growing operations in the city and Sonoma County, which could soon lead to narcotics charges, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Agents raided the South of Market club late Tuesday after an earlier visit drew a raucous crowd of protesters.

Agents said they had seized a small amount of baked goods at the marijuana club at Ninth and Howard streets and 500 plants at a warehouse on nearby Clara Street.

Earlier Tuesday, agents raided the home of the club owners, Catherine and Steve Smith, and confiscated 122 plants, along with financial records and growing equipment.

A simultaneous raid in the Sonoma County town of Penngrove turned up 217 plants. The DEA said the investigation there led agents to the Smiths.

No one has been arrested. Casey McEnry, a DEA spokeswoman, said that the value of the seized plants was about $2 million and that agents had also taken away 20 pounds of processed marijuana.

"We're working with the U.S. attorney's office, and they are reviewing the evidence to make the determination on whether charges are filed," McEnry said.

The U.S. attorney's office would not comment.

Although medical marijuana growing and use was legalized by state voters in 1996, it is still against federal law.

Steve Smith said Wednesday that he was in "constant fear" of being arrested and had been unable to sleep.

The Smiths dispute the government's report on the size of their growing operation, saying there were only 130 plants -- not 500 -- in their warehouse. They said the agents had also taken about $50,000 in cash from their residence.

The club and affiliated cooperative, called Hope Northern California Net, has been hailed as a model business by city leaders and medical marijuana activists because its primary function is providing free or low-cost marijuana to terminally ill people.

"They were amongst the first to provide to a union of indigent patients medicine at a very low cost and in most cases free," said Caren Woodson, campaign director for Americans for Safe Access, a national coalition of patients and doctors working to legitimize medical marijuana.

The club received an "innovation" award from the San Francisco chapter of the organization.

"A number of dispensaries are models, but Hope Net is at the forefront and continues to lead the way," Woodson said.

The Smiths said their business had expanded with the need for free or low-cost medicinal marijuana.

The co-op has existed for six years, and the club has been open one year, Steve Smith said.

The Smiths grew marijuana for patients, and other growers gave marijuana to the co-op to meet the need of the 100 core patients, who the Smiths said are near death. The 300 other people who receive low-cost marijuana through the club also have terminal diagnoses, Steve Smith said.

People who go to the club and pay full price for marijuana subsidize the operation. If there is not enough marijuana for the terminal patients, the Smiths turn customers away, they said.

They said they did not know if they received marijuana from the Penngrove growing operation, because they don't keep records on who provides them with pot.

"We can't keep records. We would love to. We would love to pay taxes," said Steve Smith, adding that such records would create a paper trail for federal agents.

12/29/05 Delaware Man Arrested in Miss. Marijuana Bust

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP)- A Delaware man has been arrested in Mississippi after Department of Transportation enforcement officers there allegedly found marijuana in the tractor-trailer he was driving.Fifty-none-year-old Stanley Leon of Wilmington, Del., was arrested and charged Tuesday with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. Leon is being held without bond in the Warren County Jail, awaiting arraignment. Officers were conducting a routine inspection at the Interstate 20 weigh station at Bovina when they discovered several bags containing the marijuana in the cab of the truck. The trailer is thought to have been loaded in Arizona and was destined for Delaware.

11/02/05 Denver votes to legalize marijuana possession

DENVER — Voters here approved making Denver the first major city to legalize small amounts of marijuana, but the mayor warned that state law still makes possession of the drug illegal.

"OK of pot issue gives new meaning to Mile High City," said Wednesday's headline in the Rocky Mountain News. The measure, which passed Tuesday with 54% of the vote, says adults 21 and older may possess up to an ounce of marijuana without penalty in the city.

A few other cities, including Seattle and Oakland, have laws that make marijuana possession a low priority for police. A dozen states, including Colorado, have decriminalized possession of small amounts but still issue fines.

Unlike Denver, the Colorado ski town of Telluride, population 2,300, narrowly defeated a measure Tuesday that would have made possession of marijuana the lowest police priority. It might be already: Just 17 citations were issued there last year for pot possession.

Don't expect clouds of marijuana smoke to fill Denver's thin air. Mayor John Hickenlooper said police will continue to arrest and charge people for marijuana because state law still makes possession illegal.

Hickenlooper said the city can adopt an ordinance that is stricter than state law on marijuana but not one that is weaker.

Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C., said Denver's vote will spur initiatives in other cities to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol or tobacco.

"It's certainly likely to energize people. This is the wind in the sails of reform," Mirken said Wednesday. "Rethinking marijuana prohibition is mainstream. This is the heart of America saying, 'Hold on, maybe our current marijuana laws don't make a lot of sense.' And the fact is, they're right."

Mason Tvert, who led the Denver campaign for legalized pot, said he will encourage people who are charged under state law to fight their arrests in court.

In Colorado, having an ounce of marijuana or less is punishable by a $100 fine but no jail time. "It's like a speeding ticket, and only a fraction of people end up going to court over it," said Tvert, founder of SAFER, or Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation.

Tvert said his group also will seek a state initiative to license and regulate the sale of marijuana. His campaign argued that legalized pot is a safer alternative, considering the problems that arise from alcohol abuse such as violent crime and health risks.

The mayor said he opposed the measure because he considers marijuana a "gateway" drug that can lead to harder substances and "much more self-destructive behaviors." Hickenlooper acknowledged, however, that Denver's vote "does reflect a genuine shift in people's attitudes."

Although Denver's marijuana vote caught attention, the main issue Coloradans approved Tuesday will let the state government keep $3.7 billion in tax revenue over the next five years. The money otherwise would have been refunded to taxpayers under a 1992 constitutional amendment, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which has strict caps on state spending. The statewide referendum passed with 52% of the vote.

11/02/05 ORDINANCES: Ferndale to vote on medical marijuana

Police pledge to ignore rule if it passes She's a Ferndale soccer mom.
Sherry Wells, 59, is the single mother of a sports-and-drama-loving 14-year-old daughter. She's also a lawyer, and one who hardly ever drinks alcohol.

Pollsters would expect her to say no to drugs and to vote a vehement "No!" on Tuesday, when Ferndale and Traverse City get a chance to do what Detroit and Ann Arbor did last year: allow the medical use of marijuana.

The same change has passed in 10 states, but not Michigan. So here, it flies in the face of state laws banning marijuana possession.

Police, including Ferndale Chief Michael Kitchen, have pledged to ignore the ordinance and keep arresting anyone found with the drug.

But proponents, including a group called the Ferndale Coalition for Compassionate Care, led by University of Michigan sophomore Donal O'Leary III, and supported by a Ferndale city councilman, say the experience in Detroit, Ann Arbor and elsewhere sends a message that police can't ignore what their communities want.

Last month, his group mailed a flyer to Ferndale voters that includes endorsements -- used in similar campaigns around the country -- by talk show host Montel Williams and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje said his city's ordinance won by a landslide a year ago.

"I voted for it myself. I don't think you can deny anybody something when they're in pain. The larger point is that folks in Lansing need to hear the message" of Americans who want marijuana laws eased, he said Wednesday.

Advocates say those with serious illnesses need marijuana to treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other symptoms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and other conditions. But law enforcement officials say that no matter how sick people may be, if they buy marijuana in Michigan, they're breaking state and federal laws, risking arrest and jail time.

Even fans of legalization don't deny that. Local communities "can't supercede state law," said Mike Segesta, an Eastpointe lawyer who helped write Detroit's ordinance and Ferndale's Proposal D.

Passing the ordinances sends a confusing message to young people, telling them that some street drugs are OK, said Deputy Oakland County Prosecutor Jim Halushka.

Last year, he campaigned against Detroit's ordinance. This fall, "Our message stays the same," he said Wednesday. Halushka, the father of a 10-year-old daughter, said approving medical marijuana is a big step toward full legalization. That means it's "a definite threat to children," he said.

University of Michigan researcher Lloyd Johnston, a national authority on youth drug use, said Wednesday there is no evidence suggesting that easing laws on medical marijuana use has affected youth drug-taking behavior, "but there is really very little research on the subject."Wells said she has talked to her daughter about drugs.

"I told her that getting high on life" was better than using mind-altering substances.

Still, Wells said that despite some reservations, she would vote yes.


11/02/05 Woman Sentenced To Prison For Attempted Marijuana Smuggling

(AP) - A 21-year-old woman was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border in her car for $500.

Jhuliana Cohen, who was living with her mother in Tijuana, Mexico, allegedly used a special lane for frequent border crossers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in an attempt in June to smuggle 202 pounds of marijuana.

Her stepfather, Stephen Michael Cohen, was arrested last week in Tijuana and handed over to U.S. officials, who had a warrant for his arrest.

Stephen Cohen is not implicated in the drug operation, but was arrested based on a contempt of court warrant for failing to appear in a civil lawsuit over the theft of a pornographic Web site.

Gary Kremen, the founder of and the plaintiff in the civil case, attended Jhuliana Cohen's sentencing in San Diego federal court Tuesday.


11/02/05 Miami Police Chief's Son Arrested In Marijuana Bust

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The 25-year-old son of Miami police Chief John Timoney was arrested for trying to buy 400 pounds of marijuana from an undercover federal agent, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Wednesday.

A court complaint said Sean Timoney of Philadelphia gave the agent a gym bag filled with approximately $450,000 in cash.

Timoney and Jae Seu, 23, of Glenside, Pa., were arrested Tuesday night in Spring Valley, said Elizabeth Jordan, a spokeswoman for the DEA in Manhattan. They were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance.

The two defendants were taken to Albany for arraignment and were ordered held there pending a bail hearing Friday.

The complaint said the defendants met in a Spring Valley hotel room with DEA agent Leonard Uller at 8:30 p.m. After handing over the cash as a "partial payment," they left the hotel room to inspect the purchased marijuana and were arrested, it said.

The meeting had been arranged by Seu and Uller, according to the complaint.

Miami police said Chief Timoney was "aware of the arrest."

"He does not have all the details and he's not going to comment on it publicly because it's a private family matter," Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss said.

Timoney, who rose through the ranks of the New York Police Department to become a chief and first deputy commissioner, then became chief of police in Philadelphia before moving to Miami.

He is well-known in law enforcement circles and is often sought out by television networks to comment on police affairs.


10/02/05 Police find marijuana inside jail

BEDFORD - Jason Morran of Paoli faces an additional charge after he allegedly snuck marijuana into the Lawrence County jail Tuesday.The marijuana was found after a jail officer smelled it and searched Morran about 7 p.m.Possession of marijuana was then added to Morran's long list of charges.

Morran, 25, was being held at the Lawrence County Security Center today on local charges of resisting law enforcement by fleeing, resisting law enforcement by force and false informing. Additionally, he faces numerous charges in Orange and Harrison counties. He was arrested on Oct. 6.On Tuesday, jail officer Chad Hayes smelled marijuana in Morran's cell and found a small blue sack with a green leafy substance in it while searching him, according to the Lawrence County Police Department.The substance tested positive for marijuana.s of 9 a.m. today, police were unsure as to how the marijuana got into the building. The investigation is continuing.Lawrence County Police Department Chief Deputy Mike Terry theorized someone helped Morran smuggle the marijuana through an opening next to a window. He said marijuana and cigarettes were previously brought into the facility when grout around the window was removed.

“If that's how it came in, he could be charged with damaging county property,” Terry said. “He could also be written up here in the jail and there could be action taken from inside, such as his good time could be taken away or he could lose privileges.”In the meantime, Morran will continue to stay at the jail without bond while his charges are pending.


10/09/05 Man charged in marijuana network
County investigation of drug trafficking ring began in February

Waukesha - A New Berlin man has been charged with playing a key role in a high-grade marijuana trafficking network that was the subject of a lengthy probe by the Waukesha County Metro Drug Enforcement Unit.  Phoumanivong N. Keophiphath, 26, was charged with nine counts of conspiracy to deliver marijuana in a criminal complaint indicating that the investigation dates back to February.

The probe got its start on Feb. 10 when investigators bought an ounce of marijuana from 20-year-old David A. Kleist of Sussex with the assistance of an informant, according to the complaint. In the months that followed, according to the complaint, investigators made a series of additional, larger purchases from other dealers, according to the complaint, and learned details about other figures in the network who provided bulk quantities of marijuana to smaller figures.

In May, investigators learned from a mid-level dealer that Keophiphath was the supplier at the top of the network, providing shipments of up to 13 pounds at a time, the complaint says.

When he was arrested on May 31, according to the complaint, Keophiphath had in his car $2,000 in cash that police provided earlier for an undercover buy involving the mid-level dealer as well as a cardboard box containing $32,100.

Others charged so far in connection with the network are Kleist, Michael D. Drljaca, 20, of Sussex, and George J McNeice, 23, of Milwaukee.

10/09/05 N.H. Clerk Found Sleeping With Marijuana

MERRIMACK, N.H. Nov 9, 2005 — Police say a 19-year-old convenience store clerk fell asleep on two jobs this week: minding the store and selling drugs.

Sammer Gandhi of Nashua was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after two Merrimack police officers found him sleeping in the store's office with a quarter-pound of marijuana.

It happened late Monday at a 7-Eleven store after a customer called police to report no one was in the store.

Police searched the building and say that they found Gandhi sleeping in a back office, with a big bag of pot, a scale and a smaller bag of pot. They say he was packaging the marijuana for resale.

10/09/05 Traverse City, Ferndale voters favor medical marijuana

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Laura Barber says she's convinced good will come from a newly approved city ordinance instructing police to go easy on those who use marijuana for medical purposes, although critics dismiss it as a worthless gesture. "I believe in my heart that it will have an effect," said Barber, executive director of the Coalition for Compassionate Care, which led the petition drive to get the measure on the local ballot. Her 32-year-old husband, Matthew Barber, was convicted of possession last year. Laura Barber says he uses marijuana to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Voters in this northern Michigan community endorsed the ordinance during Tuesday's election, with 1,594 in favor and 925 opposed -- a 63 percent approval rate. It doesn't make marijuana legal but declares possession, use or delivery of the drug by a medical patient the "lowest law enforcement priority of the city." Meanwhile, a proposal to allow medical use of marijuana in the suburban Detroit city of Ferndale passed 1,894 to 1,222. Detroit and Ann Arbor adopted similar measures in 2004. But state law prohibits possession and use of marijuana, raising doubts about the legality of the municipal ordinances. The Michigan attorney general's office last year concluded the Ann Arbor ordinance was contrary to state law, spokeswoman Allison Pierce said.

Ralph Soffredine, a city commissioner and former police chief in Traverse City, said its new ordinance "doesn't mean anything." But he said city officials likely would ask the courts to clarify the matter. Police don't enforce the law on the basis of priority lists, said Capt. Pat Hinds of the Traverse City force. If the ordinance is intended to get officers to look the other way when a crime is committed, "that's troublesome," he said. "I don't know if this has any effect, don't know if it's legal," Hinds said. "Everybody's trying to figure out what it means and where we're at. This is pretty much uncharted territory." Laura Barber said her husband, a former corrections worker, turned to marijuana to relieve severe muscle pain from multiple sclerosis after prescription drugs failed.

"My husband and I are not criminals," she said. "This is a man who uses medication to get rid of his symptoms from a terrible disease." Soffredine said he wouldn't object to medical use of marijuana if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and reputable groups such as the American Medical Association supported it. "None of them have recognized this as a medicine," he said. "That's where the battle belongs, in the health field. It doesn't belong in the law enforcement field." Donal O'Leary III, a University of Michigan student and Ferndale resident who led the pro-marijuana campaign there, said he believes local officers pay attention to such ordinances.

"There have been zero medical marijuana-related arrests or prosecutions" in Detroit or Ann Arbor since their measures passed, O'Leary said. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Ferndale Police Chief Michael Kitchen. He has said previously his department would continue arresting anyone found with marijuana.

10/13/05 Patient arrested at Canadian hospital released from King County Jail - By GENE JOHNSON

SEATTLE -- An American medical-marijuana advocate who says he was arrested at a Canadian hospital while waiting to be admitted for prostate surgery, turned over to U.S. authorities and held for several days without having his catheter removed was released from a Seattle jail to seek medical care Thursday.  "The whole time I was in jail, they put a blood-pressure cuff on me. That was all," Steven William Tuck, crying and shaking, said after his release. His lawyer, Douglas Hiatt, and the president of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sunil Aggarwal, brought him to Harborview Medical Center, where he was being evaluated in the emergency room Thursday night.

"The doctors are appalled at the condition he's in," Hiatt said.  Canadian Border Services agents took Tuck, who fled from California to British Columbia in 2001 to avoid prosecution on charges of growing and distributing marijuana, from an admitting-room gurney at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Friday, he and a witness told The Associated Press. Tuck's bid for asylum in Canada had failed, but he said he was trying to appeal the decision.  The agents drove him to the border, where he was turned over to U.S. officials. After a night in the Whatcom County Jail, he was brought to the King County Jail, where he was held to face a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.  On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue ordered him released so he could go to the hospital, on the condition that when his treatment was over, he return to California to face the federal charge.  But Tuck wasn't immediately released, because jail officials had received a detention request from the Humboldt County, Calif., District Attorney's Office, which wanted to make sure he did not flee before being tried on the original marijuana charges. The DA's office agreed late Thursday to drop the detention request, clearing the way for Tuck's release.

Looking gaunt in a gray suit, he stood outside the jail and teared up as he spoke to his wife on a cell phone. In his Kentucky accent, he said, "I don't know, baby. My prostrate's so swole'd up and hurtin', but tell everybody I'm OK, OK? Will you tell my dad?"  He believes he has a urinary infection from the catheter.  "I'm not scared of getting in trouble," he said. "But I am scared of losing a body part."  Tuck said he has used morphine - with a doctor's prescription - and marijuana for nearly two decades to deal with pain stemming from a 1987 parachute accident in the Army, as well as a 1990 car accident. Those injuries have required more than a dozen surgeries over the years. He said he spent more than a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after his parachute failed to open properly.  In jail, he had access to no pain medicine except ibuprofen, and said he suffered severe withdrawal from the morphine.  For privacy reasons, Jail Capt. Roberta Johnson declined to comment on the treatment Tuck received, but she noted the jail has health staff on duty 24 hours a day.  King County Executive Ron Sims said Thursday he was unaware of Tuck's case, but that he would expect a prisoner who came into the jail with a catheter to have it examined and removed or changed as necessary.

A Canadian Border Services Agency spokeswoman in Vancouver said she could not specifically discuss Tuck's arrest, but that agents always obtain a doctor's permission before deporting someone with an obvious medical condition.  "We're not doctors. We rely on doctors and their advice about whether someone is OK to be removed," said the spokeswoman, Janis Fergusson.

Tuck said the agents did follow that procedure.  "They went in there doctor-shopping 'til they found a doctor who said I could go," Tuck said. "I saw them go around to three or four doctors asking them."

10/13/05 2 Greenfield men charged in marijuana operation - From the Journal Sentinel

Greenfield - Two Greenfield men have been charged in connection with a marijuana growing operation in Jefferson County after agents seized plants and cash valued at more than $100,000, the Jefferson County Drug Task Force said Tuesday.  Brothers Joe Elia, 30, and Dario Elia, 28, of the 3800 block of S. 56th St., were arrested Thursday while allegedly tending marijuana plants along Morgan Road in the Town of Concord, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. Officers seized 55 plants worth about $28,000, said sheriff's Sgt. Tim Madson. Officers said they found 16 pounds of processed marijuana worth about $64,000, additional plants and $15,400 in cash the next day at the brothers' duplex and in a safe-deposit box, according to the news release.  The brothers face felony charges of manufacturing with intent to sell marijuana in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Madson said additional charges would be filed, but the task force has not determined whether they will be in Jefferson or Milwaukee county. 

10/12/05 Council OKs study of marijuana clubs - By Jessica Portner

In a spirited, late-night debate, a divided Mountain View City Council voted Tuesday to move ahead with the controversial idea of making the city Santa Clara County's first to allow medicinal marijuana dispensaries.  In a 4-2 vote, the council directed the city staff to study how such dispensaries operate in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and to consider the prospect of dispensing cannabis through pharmacies. The council chose the study option over immediate approval or discarding the idea entirely.

Mayor Matt Neely said during the meeting that he backs the idea but that the legal and logistical issues would be challenging.  ``The novelty of this concept is profound,'' said Neely. ``Ninety percent of the time we on the council are discussing zoning processes, sewer lines, etc. And 10 percent of the time we lead.''

Neely was joined by Councilmen Greg Perry, Tom Means and Michael Kasperzak in voting for the staff review. Councilman Matt Pear and Vice Mayor Nick Galiotto opposed the measure. Councilwoman Laura Macias was absent.  Monitoring such dispensaries is tricky, particularly in a large state such as California, which has more than 160 clubs statewide. A 1996 state law authorized patients to use medicinal marijuana if they have certain diseases, including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis or migraines.  But city and county governments statewide have wrestled with how to regulate a substance that is illegal under federal law, especially since the Supreme Court ruled in June that users could be federally prosecuted even in the 10 states with medicinal marijuana laws.

Some Mountain View council members also worried how neighbors might respond to having a dispensary in their midst, while others questioned how the clubs might be monitored by police.  During his comments Tuesday, Galiotto spent several minutes chronicling robberies of medicinal marijuana dispensaries in the Bay Area. Galiotto said though it might be more convenient for some local residents to have closer access to medicinal marijuana, ``This is not an operation that is appropriate for our community.''

Several council members said they were moved by the nearly two dozen people that spoke Tuesday in support of pot clubs. A half-dozen medicinal marijuana advocates, gathered outside Mountain View City Hall on Tuesday, collected more than 50 signatures on a letter petitioning the city council to clear pot clubs to operate in the city.  ``We have nothing here,'' said Christine Flora, who was lobbying people passing by on the sidewalk to the cause.  The 40-year-old homeless woman said she commutes by bus, train and bicycle to get medicinal marijuana in San Francisco, prescribed to treat depression and migraines. ``I think it's fabulous that this city is taking a compassionate approach in opening their eyes to this issue.''

10/12/05 Medical marijuana -- an oxymoron - By Denver Nelson

Humboldt State University President Rollin Richmond’s recent marijuana speech before the Arcata City Council prompted me to submit this opinion, which I first expressed in the November 2000 Humboldt-Del Norte Medical Society Bulletin. Marijuana is not a medicine. Marijuana is a recreational drug used by many people to get high. Alcohol is also a recreational drug; no better and no worse than marijuana in its good or bad effects. But alcohol is legal to produce, possess and consume. Alcohol is not a medicine. Heroin, cocaine and amphetamines are hard drugs and are damaging to all illegal users who come in contact with them, be they users, suppliers or innocent victims. Heroin (morphine), cocaine and amphetamines are useful drugs when prescribed by a physician to treat specific diseases or symptoms. When used as prescribed, they are medicines. Marijuana is grown illegally in Humboldt County and in spite of millions of dollars spent on the Rambo-style efforts of CAMP it remains the No. 1 income producer, either legal or illegal, in Humboldt County. This annual infusion of large amounts of illegal cash in this county converts many otherwise law-abiding citizens into criminals and lowers the morals of the entire county.

The active ingredients in marijuana have been available as a prescription medicine in pill form for years. Any physician can prescribe marijuana under its trade name Marinol. Patients do not like Marinol because it does not work as well as other drugs for all the “diseases” marijuana is supposed to help. The marijuana law is a total hypocrisy. The “physicians” who prescribe marijuana get $200 cash for few-second encounter. Growers use the law as a cover to grow commercial quantities of dope. “Clinics” are commercial dope sellers preying on the sick or the allegedly sick. “Patients” often have bogus diseases and many are smoking dope to get high. Those Humboldt County residents who are truly ill (terminal cancer patients, for example) should be able to get free marijuana from our abundant local supply. Legalize marijuana, smoke it to get high -- but don’t call it a medicine. It’s not. Calling marijuana a medicine is a hypocrisy and will only delay its legalization as a recreational drug. Denver Nelson is a retired neurosurgeon. He lives in Eureka. The opinions expressed in this My Word piece do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard.

10/12/05 Police seize more than a ton of marijuana at Ill. truck stop - By AP

TROY, Ill. - Authorities in southern Illinois say three men, one of them from North Carolina, face drug charges after police found them with more than a ton of marijuana at a truck stop. A Troy, Illinois, police officer noticed the men Sunday in the parking lot, standing near the tractor-trailer and unloading boxes from the trailer.

Police say they later determined the truck held 29-hundred pounds of marijuana. Investigators contend the men brought the marijuana from Phoenix and were headed to Michigan. All three are charged with felony marijuana trafficking. The North Carolina suspect is identified as 47-year-old Samuel Jumper of Elon, North Carolina. Police say the other two men are from Phoenix and St. Louis.


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