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Archive for the ‘Drug Offenses’ Category

French customs officers carry out record cocaine seizure in Caribbean

Courtesy of: http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/18/americas/france-martinique-drug-bust/

thFrench customs officers say they have seized more than 2 tons of cocaine aboard a sailboat that was falsely flying an American flag in the Caribbean.

The drugs, whose value is estimated at more than $105 million, are the biggest cocaine seizure ever carried out by French authorities, said Michael Lachaux, director of customs operations in Martinique.

Officers arrested one Venezuelan and two Spanish citizens who were on board the vessel off the coast of Martinique on Wednesday, Lachaux said in an interview with the radio station France Info on Saturday.

Martinique is an overseas department of France.

In November, French customs officials seized nearly 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of cocaine on a vessel that was also off the coast of Martinique, according to authorities.

Smuggling in undies prompts change at Franklin County jail

Courtesy of: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/04/15/jail-moves-to-halt-smuggling-in-undies.html

tighty-whities-art-g5t119rk2-1tighty-whities-eq-01-jpgInmates soon can buy their tighty whities at the Franklin County jail commissary. Actually, that will be the only place they can get them.

Either that, or go commando.

Jail officials are tired of finding contraband in the bundles of underwear and socks that relatives, friends and co-conspirators deliver to the inmates.

The county commissioners approved a $94,525, one-year contract with the Acme Supply Co. of Glen Cove, N.Y., yesterday to provide 34,000 T-shirts, 1,500 bras (wireless only), 700 sports bras, 20,000 total men’s boxers and briefs, 6,000 women’s briefs and 46,500 pairs of socks (crew and quarter length).

“All white, one color,” said Dave Masterson, director of administrative services. They won’t say: “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday” or “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.”

Inmates can have family and friends put cash in their commissary accounts to buy the undergarments like they do now for snacks.

Jail workers regularly find contraband in the undergarments that people deliver for inmates, Chief Deputy Geoff Stobart said. “They get quite creative.”

People will carefully open a three-pack of T-shirts and rip open the seams to insert contraband such as marijuana or, the latest trend, orally dissolving strips of Suboxone, a drug used to treat heroin addicts, he said. Then they will sew the seam back and heat-seal the package.

Acme will charge the county 89 cents for a pair of men’s briefs (95 cents for boxers) and $2 for a sports bra, the highest-priced item. The county will decide how much to charge inmates, but it will sell them at a profit, Masterson said.

“We’re the only game in town for these guys, so we’re not going to gouge them,” he said.

The jail launders the inmates’ “whites,” Stobart noted, and each gets his or her own clothing back. That’s not the case at all jails, he said.

It was undecided whether the county would add underwear to the packet of hygiene items given to indigent inmates, he said.

If not, they’ll have to go without.

Underwear for inmates “is not a minimum jail standard in Ohio,” Masterson said.

Man faces meth charges after reporting dead bodies, police say

Courtesy of: http://www.twincities.com/crime/ci_27310306/coon-rapids-man-faces-meth-charges-after-reporting


A 60-year-old Coon Rapids man has been charged with methamphetamine possession after police say he called to report there might be dead people in his house.

Dale Allen Oakland has been charged with second-degree controlled substance. He faces up to 25 years in prison and a maximum of $500,000 in fines if convicted.

Authorities say Oakland called police on Dec. 17 to report that there could have been dead bodies in his home. Coon Rapids officers say Oakland answered the door when they arrived armed with a lmeth, a 12-inch knife and a long wooden stick with a spear fastened to it.

KSTP-TV (http://bit.ly/1KFoWUL ) reports Oakland eventually put the weapons down and the officers searched his home. A criminal complaint alleges police found nearly 16 grams of meth.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Oakland has an attorney.

Nike bail: Judge accepts sneakers as bond

courtesy of http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30694512

nike trainers

A man in the US state of Massachusetts has avoided jail for failing to pay court fees by leaving a pair of $85 (£55.94) Nike trainers as a bail bond.

Judge Douglas Stoddart accepted the unusual deposit after offering Jason Duval, charged with drug offences, the chance to “be creative”.

The charges date back to 2012, and Duval, 39, said he was unable to pay after going through a costly divorce.

Duval was originally charged in 2012 with two counts of possession of a Class B substance, possession of a Class C substance and driving to endanger.He can recoup the shoes by paying $100 or doing 10 hours of community service.

He said he was unable to pay $450 in court fees that would have seen the case dropped.

Facing a few days in jail as a result, the defendant explained that his finances were in a parlous state following expensive divorce proceedings. Judge Stoddart of Framingham District Court in Massachusetts said he did not trust Duval enough to release him without bail. But he offered him a lifeline, telling the defendant: “If you can come up with a creative idea to convince me you’ll come back, I’ll work with you. Upon presentation of the brand new trainers, which Duval said were a Christmas gift, the judge appeared satisfied, announcing: “OK, we’ll take them.”

Seattle Thrift Store Finds Pounds of Marijuana in Donation Bin

Courtesy of: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Seattle-thrift-store-marijuana-donation-bin-washington-news-228547871.html


SEATTLE — Despite the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, Seattle police want to remind everyone that thrift stores can’t resell donated bags of pot.

The department released a lighthearted press release on Friday to remind the public of the rules after employees at a thrift store in North Seattle found a large bag of marijuana in the donation bin.

In the release, police say “Donating to thrift shops is a terrific way to give a second life to your well-loved Velcro sneakers, keyboards or flannel zebra jammies,” but they say tires, soiled mattresses, laptops and bags of weed are not welcome.

A thrift store employee called police Thursday afternoon to say he found a garbage bag containing 2.5 pounds of pot in the store’s donation bin.

Police confiscated the marijuana and put it into evidence for destructio



Man survives failed execution, Iran will try again ‘once medical staff confirm his health condition is good enough.’

courtesy http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/131017/iran-man-who-survived-hanging-may-not-be-spared

An Iranian man hung for drug possession has survived his sentence but may be hung again, a punishment international human rights group Amnesty International is attempting to halt.

Thirty-seven-year old Alireza M was hung for possessing crystal meth in the city of Bojnord last week, and was pronounced dead after 12 minutes. But he wasn’t: workers at the morgue discovered that he had survived the ordeal.

“We found him alive again, which made his two daughters very happy,” an unnamed family member said to Iranian state media, according to the BBC.

Unfortunately, Iranian judicial authorities have decided that he will be hung again, writes the Guardian, when he has made a recovery from the first attempt. Convicts must be in good health before they are hung under Iranian law.

Mohammad Erfan said “The sentence issued by the revolutionary court is the death penalty … in such circumstances it should be repeated once again,” according to the Guardian.

“The horrific prospect of this man facing a second hanging, after having gone through the whole ordeal already once, merely underlines the cruelty and inhumanity of the death penalty,” said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, in a press release.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately halt Alireza M’s execution and issue a moratorium on all others,” he added.

The ultimate fate of Alireza M remains uncertain, but Iran is no stranger to execution. According to Amnesty International figures, Iran is one of the top five executioners in the world, joining the ranks of China, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

To Avoid Pot Arrests, Not Kicking a Cop in the Balls (Twice) Is a Good Place to Start

Courtesy of: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2013/09/kicking_cop_in_balls_marijuana.php

pot arrest

It’s 3 a.m. You’re driving around Pleasant Grove, hot-boxing your car, when the cops pull you over for a minor traffic violation. Smoke billows from the window as the officer approaches. The smell of marijuana is unmistakable. What do you do?

NORML, the national pot-advocacy group, has a handy primer on its website, also printable as a wallet-sized “Freedom Card”, that gives some tips. Hide the weed, as well as any paraphernalia; refuse any warrantless search of your person; be polite, and don’t physically resist.

Laketta Ransom, 38, carries no such card in her purse. According to police, she was the passenger in a 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis that rolled by a pair of Dallas police officers working an unrelated traffic stop in the 2000 block of Masters Drive. The two men stopped, sniffed the air, and looked at each other.

“The odor was so strong that both officers commented to one another about the odor of burnt marijuana and pointed out the passing vehicle as the source of the odor,” they wrote in their police report later.

The cops pulled the car over and asked Ransom and the male driver to exit the vehicle. The man complied, but Ransom refused and began arguing with the officers. When she began rummaging through her purse, her hands out of sight, officer Aaron Tolerton feared she might be reaching for a weapon and tried to pull her out of the vehicle.

In response, Ransom flexed her right leg and kicked Tolerton in the testicles, “causing extreme pain.” Then, she did it again. In a final act of defiance, she took her bag of weed and threw it at him.

Ransom, who listed her occupation as babysitter, was arrested for assaulting a public servant and marijuana possession. Her companion, who adhered to the NORML guidelines much more closely, was allowed to leave.

Pot plants in the front, pal in the trunk

Courtesy of: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2013/09/20130903-063852.html

Oh Canada

It could have been a scene out of the Trailer Park Boys.

Cops in Halifax stopped a suspicious car without its headlights on and found a load of pot plants in the front and rear seats, and the driver’s buddy in the trunk.

The Toyota was pulled over about 10 p.m. Sunday and police found the driver surrounded by 20 marijuana plants and his passenger in the trunk, “seemingly to make room for the marijuana in the front seat area” the RCMP said in a statement.

A 23-year-old man from Brookside, N.S., and a 24-year-old man from Hatchet Lake, N.S., each face charges of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and cultivation under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The men will appear in Halifax court Oct. 30.

Marijuana-wrapped arrow shot at Wash. jail

Courtesy of: http://news.yahoo.com/marijuana-wrapped-arrow-shot-wash-jail-234949171.html


BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A man is accused of trying to get marijuana into a Washington state jail by attaching it to an arrow he shot onto the roof.

A Whatcom County sheriff’s employee saw the man step out of his pickup truck and use a bow to launch the arrow toward the jail’s second-floor recreation area, but it missed its target.

Sheriff Bill Elfo says the man, identified as 36-year-old David Wayne Jordan, was arrested for investigation of introducing contraband into the jail, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement.

The Bellingham Herald reports (http://is.gd/BKajJv ) Jordan served 20 days in the jail earlier this month for assault and resisting arrest.

The sheriff says Jordan told deputies he had been aiming at a squirrel, but he couldn’t explain why he needed to attach marijuana to the arrow to go squirrel hunting.

Farmer gets only probation for growing 8,000 pot plants

Courtesy of: http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/farmer-gets-only-probation-for-growing-8000-pot-plants

farmer jail

DETROIT — A southeastern Michigan farmer recovering from throat cancer was sentenced to probation instead of prison Tuesday for growing thousands of marijuana plants, due partly to many handwritten letters from supporters who described him as a modest, selfless man who helps others at every turn.

“This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said.

Edwin Schmieding, 61, was caught growing 8,000 marijuana plants at his Lenawee County farm and greenhouse in 2011. His wife told police that they were trying to tap the state’s medical marijuana market, although production that large is illegal.

Schmieding’s attorney, Sanford Schulman, noted that most plants were small and of low quality.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Schmieding told the judge as relatives wept in the courtroom gallery. “I’ve lived a hard-working life. I give you my word: I’ll be a responsible citizen.”

Schmieding began growing marijuana in 2010 after years of growing cut flowers and other plants. He and wife Linda lived in a home built with their own hands and warmed by firewood during winter.

Friedman was influenced by letters from relatives and friends, even Schmieding’s former wife, in the rural area. A neighbor said Schmieding regularly lent tools and helped him pour concrete. Family members said they were inspired by his modesty and independence as well as his courage during cancer treatments.

“Because of this farming that will someday be legal … his family lost everything. He has suffered enough,” brother-in-law Arthur Radabaugh wrote.

Michigan voters in 2008 approved the use of marijuana to relieve the side effects of certain illnesses. But only licensed caregivers and users can grow it in relatively small quantities.

Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Barrington Wilkins didn’t object to a departure from the sentencing guidelines. He said Schmieding “wasn’t intending to be Pablo Escobar,” a notorious Colombian drug lord. Friedman gave Schmieding credit for a day in custody and placed him on supervised release, or probation, for two years.

“It’s a bad thing that’s happened to you, but you’ve lived a good life,” the judge said.

Schmieding still is likely to lose his farm because of the drug conviction. Wilkins recently dropped charges against Linda Schmieding.