Monday, October 31, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
News staff writer
A circuit judge and a retired judge, both members of Gov. Bob Riley's Task Force on Prison Overcrowding, suggest the state consider reducing marijuana possession to a misdemeanor.
A first offense is a misdemeanor now, but a second is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Current law sends nearly 500 people to prison each year.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jim Hill and former Lee County Circuit Judge Robert Harper, who retired in January after 18 years on the bench, say they don't advocate decriminalizing the drug. However, they say that, in a state with such limited prison space, community drug treatment makes more sense than making users take scarce prison beds.
"According to the prison commissioner, 80 percent of our folks in jail or prison are illiterate or have a drug problem, and I think we need to start looking at who we want in prison," said Hill, who was a district court judge for 10 years before being elected last year to the 30th Circuit.
In response to ("Pot law draws judges' scrutiny" Oct. 31)
Making personal possession of marijuana a misdemeanor is almost a step in the right direction. Almost, but not quite.
As someone who has worked in drug policy and prison reform in Alabama for the last three years I'd like to make a few suggestions to the Task Force on Prison Overcrowding.
1. Marijuana should be seperated from hard drugs and regulated in a way similar to alcohol and tobacco. There should be no threat of arrest, fines, drug testing or any hardship or any other form of punishment imposed on adults who use marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes.
2. Drug courts and treatment resources should be directed at helping those who are addicted to hard drugs. There exists in Alabama a large group of people willing to pay tax on marijuana. The tax money collected could be used to fund drug courts and treatment for hard drug addicts just as the money collected in tax from the sale of alcohol is used to help fund D.H.R.
3. As for start up funding for drug courts and treatment centers, how about doing what Morgan County recently did on a statewide level?
" Morgan County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said he has identified money needed to start the program.
He said the money will come from the law enforcement fund that the county uses for matching funds for drug task force grants."
What a novel idea!
Respectfully Submitted for publication,
Alabama Gubernatorial Candidate 2006
By Ryan Grim
In These Times, IL
The principal disagreement between libertarians and liberals regarding the expansion and protection of liberty goes something like this. Libertarians argue that the state, broadly understood to include both state and federal governments, is the greatest threat to individual freedom. Therefore the best way to guard liberty is to restrict the power of the state to the greatest extent possible, leaving it only to protect two “freedom froms”—the freedom from force and the freedom from fraud. The rest, they say, will work itself out.
Liberals counterclaim that the libertarian critique ignores the reality of other organized forms of power—such as corporations, private militias and intractably racist state governments—that can infringe on an individual’s freedom. They argue that freedom can only exist fully against the backdrop of some measure of equality and opportunity. Liberalism therefore calls for the expansion of state power based on the belief that such power should be used to create space for and protect individual rights and freedoms. In other words, liberals expect their elected government to provide freedom from oppressive nongovernmental forces and to help guarantee equal access to real opportunity.
But what if the government itself becomes the oppressor?
Eric Sterling, a Reagan-era-drug-warrior-turned-reformer who now heads up the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, refers to what he calls the “drug war exception to the Bill of Rights.” Unlawful searches and seizures are not permitted—unless cops are searching for drugs, which are not legal property and therefore not protected. No self-incrimination—unless it’s a drug test. No cruel and unusual punishment—unless you were caught with cocaine. And so our two greatest bulwarks against tyranny, checks and balances and the Bill of Rights, are out the drug war window.
Eric Sterling video
Sterling provides a thorough and insightful look at mandatory minimums, explaining their creation as "an incredible conjunction between politics and hysteria."
Nall for Governor News Release
Contact: Nall for Governor Campaign
Contact Person: Loretta Nall
Telephone Number: 251-650-2271
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site address: http://www.nallforgovernor.com
Alabama Gubernatorial Candidate, Loretta Nall, To Speak in Mobile
Alexander City, AL, Oct. 31, 2005 — Recently declared Alabama Gubernatorial candidate, Loretta Nall, will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Mobile County Chapter of the Alabama Libertarian Party.
This event will take place at the SATORI Coffee and Tea House located at 5640 Old Shell Road near the intersection of University Boulevard beginning at 6:30 p.m. November 3, 2005.
All interested media and supporters are invited to attend.
Mrs. Nall will be speaking about her campaign for Governor and some of the planks, which make up her platform, including drug policy and prison reform, gun ownership rights, check-box style governing system and ballot access reform.
Mrs. Nall who characterizes herself as the "Common Sense" candidate in the upcoming 2006 election has enjoyed widespread media interest from across Alabama. In one NBC 13 Poll Nall leads with 35% and she recently won a phone-in poll on Good Morning Montgomery by a 3 to 1 margin. She has also appeared on the Kevin Elkins Show, The Don Markwell Show, and the Lee Davis Show where the majority of callers have agreed with her ideas and platform.
Nall, who is best known for her drug policy and prison reform work, was arrested in a November 2002 raid on her home less than a week after her Letter to the Editor of the Birmingham News was published.
The affidavit in support of the warrant to search Nall's home used that letter as probable cause.
The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force, which conducted the raid on Nall's home, alleges that the raid yielded 0.87 grams of marijuana.
Nall was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia in February 2004. She maintains her innocence and has an appeal pending.
After her trial in Feb. 2004 Mrs. Nall filed a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission alleging misconduct on the part of Judge Kim Taylor after he commented about the facts of her case to the local media. The Judicial Inquiry Commission sided with Mrs. Nall and reprimanded Judge Kim Taylor for his actions.
In March of 2005 Mrs. Nall again appeared in court for her appeal. The prosecution offered her a plea bargain of 8 months in prison without the possibility of probation or parole in exchange for her guilty plea. Mrs. Nall, who had no previous arrest or criminal record, refused to plea out and instead demanded a jury trial. She wrote a scathing article about her court experience, which was published at LewRockwell and one week later she was visited by the F.B.I.
Loretta Nall, 31, wife, mother of two children living in her native Alabama, became involved in drug policy reform in September of 2002, after enduring a terrifying helicopter raid by local, state and federal agents looking for Marijuana.
Since that time Mrs. Nall has founded and organized 35 state chapters of the US Marijuana Party, has hosted the POT-TV.net News for 18 months, interviewing Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich in regards the drug war in America. Loretta Nall has appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, lewrockwell.com, and numerous daily newspapers across North America on behalf of her campaign to reduce the destructive effects of prohibition in America. In 2004, she visited war-torn Colombia, South America where she studied the affects of aerial fumigation on the food crops of peasant farmers as carried out under U.S. Plan Colombia. Currently, she is Executive Director of Alabamians for Caring Use a group helping to guide a medical marijuana bill through the Alabama state legislature in concert with the Drug Policy Alliance. Mrs. Nall is also a weekly contributor to the "Cultural Baggage Radio Show".
For more information or to request an interview or show appearance please call the Nall for Governor campaign headquarters at 251-650-2271 or email them at email@example.com
Gainesville Sun, FL
TALLAHASSEE - Three Department of Corrections employees, including the son of the state's top law enforcement officer, have been placed on paid leave and face dismissal for undisclosed charges.
All three were involved in a fight at a Tallahassee softball banquet in April that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated.
And all three have ties to Allen Clark, the former DOC Region I director who abruptly quit his $94,000 position in August in the midst of ongoing FDLE and Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny into myriad activities within the prison system.
Earlier this year, FDLE investigators interviewed a man who was beaten by Frye, Clark and Bowen at a softball banquet in Tallahassee on April 1.
The man, James Edward O'Bryan, had accidentally slipped in a pool of beer and vomit, knocking down a female acquaintance of Clark's. Clark, Frye and Bowen then beat the man until he left, the investigation found.
Once outside, those helping O'Bryan said a man they identified as Bradley Tunnell verbally threatened them.
Star-Tribune capital bureau
Monday, October 31, 2005
CHEYENNE -- Two former Wyoming State Penitentiary nurses claim they were fired because they complained about inadequate staffing and training at the Rawlins prison for men.
Karran Bedwell and Debra Long said the Nursing Practice Act compels them to report inadequate health care.
"It's our responsibility to do that," Bedwell said in an interview.
They said the standards of care have gone downhill at the penitentiary since Prison Health Services, a Tennessee-based private contractor, took over medical and mental health services for all the state's penal institutions on July 1.
Before that Correctional Medical Services held the main contract for the past six years, and Wexford Health Sources held the contract for the two intensive substance abuse treatment units since 1995.
(AP) Wilmington, Del A former drug and alcohol counselor who worked for Correctional Medical Services at Gander Hill prison claims company officials ordered her to falsify documents.
Denise Rodriguez says the orders came so state inspectors would not pull the company's license to run a prison treatment program.
Rodriguez, who worked for Correctional Medical Services at the prison's drug and alcohol treatment program from 1999 to 2002, says she would have been fired if she refused orders to fabricate entries contained in inmate files.
She says the order came from a supervisor at CMS, one of the largest correctional health care companies in the country.
Oklahoma Daily, OK
October 31, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Colombia captured a top cocaine trafficker wanted for extradition by the United States in a jungle commando raid on Sunday after a firefight with his paramilitary bodyguards, police said.
John Eidelber Cano, a leader of the violent Norte del Valle cartel which is accused of smuggling thousands of kilograms of cocaine to the United States, was arrested near the town of Caucasia in Antioquia province, Colombia's national police said in a statement.
Cano, who has a $5 million government reward on his head, was captured when helicopters and assault troops swooped on his jungle hiding place where he was guarded by about 20 members of a right-wing paramilitary. All the guards, escaped after a short gunfight, the statement said.
Colombia's paramilitary militias, organized in the 1980s by cattle ranchers and drug traffickers trying to protect their property against left-wing rebels, are in peace talks with the government.
Police said they had been following Cano, wanted in New York for drug trafficking and money laundering, for six months and captured him with the help of an informant who will receive the reward.
Norte del Valle is this Andean country's biggest cocaine cartel. Police say it has smuggled billions of dollars of the drug to the United States and has assassinated hundreds of people in central and southwest Colombia where it operates.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio - For three weeks, police said she was a stripper named Gia who sold marijuana and had ties to a Columbus gang.
But 31-year-old Tanya Robinson, an emergency-room nurse and mother of two, was cleared of those charges when officers realized they'd nabbed the wrong woman.
Robinson spent 30 hours in police custody, and her mug shot was included in a media montage put together that day for a news conference on gang-related arrests in Columbus.
"Not only am I being arrested falsely, it's also portrayed to my community that I'm a gang member," Robinson said she recalled thinking.
Three weeks later, Robinson and her attorney, Don Wolery, had their first meeting with Kolsky and Eckhart.
"When Tanya walked in, they both look at her and say almost simultaneously, 'It's not her,'" Wolery said.
The charges were dropped, and Robinson was allowed to return to work at Mount Carmel West Hospital, where she'd been put on unpaid leave.
SAN FRANCISCO The first-ever "Wonders of Cannabis Festival and Exhibition" is drawing thousands of people to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
It's organized by marijuana activist Ed Rosenthal, who says he wants to underscore what he sees as the public's right to use pot.
According to Rosenthal, 750-thousand Americans were arrested last year for marijuana offenses. He calls that "a waste of money, a waste of lives and a waste of psyche." He says cannabis has lots of uses for humans and "should be celebrated."
The event, which concludes Sunday, features medical and legal consultants, cooking demonstrations and a joint rolling competition.
Speakers include comedian Tommy Chong, of "Cheech and Chong" fame. He spent nine months in prison on a marijuana-related conspiracy conviction.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
A 21-year veteran of the Englewood Police Department was arrested Friday and charged with failing to arrest two women that he saw smoking marijuana, Bergen County prosecutors said.
Sgt. Joseph Martin came across two females - one a juvenile and the other an adult - at a private building in August 2005, said Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Jeffrey Ziegelheim. Martin did not arrest the women although he saw them smoking marijuana, Ziegelheim said.
Investigations began after the women were later arrested by officers in a different town and told police that Martin had seen them smoking pot, the assistant prosecutor said.
The women couldn't remember the exact date of the incident, he said.
Martin was charged with official misconduct and released on his own recognizance. He has also resigned from his position with the Englewood police, Ziegelheim said.
BY SCOTT GUTIERREZ
The Olympian, WA
Thurston County narcotics detectives arrested one man and seized at least 90 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms Friday during a raid on a rural property northeast of Millersylvania State Park.
Inside the three-story home and neighboring barn, detectives collected bags of psilocybin mushrooms that allegedly were being prepared for shipment to customers across the country.
The suspect, Douglas D. Hiatt, 41, has a horticultural background and also operates a business that sells herbs and flowers.
Hiatt was booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of illegal drug manufacturing and possession with intent to deliver. Detectives suspect most of his income came from selling mushrooms, and not from his flower business.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Advertiser Big Island Bureau
Friday, October 21, 2005
HILO, Hawai'i — For the second time in six years, marijuana advocate Roger Christie is seeking to impeach Big Island elected officials, saying they failed to properly review the county's marijuana eradication program.
Christie, 56, filed documents in Hilo Circuit Court to impeach Mayor Harry Kim and eight of the nine County Council members.
The Hawai'i County Charter requires the signatures of only 100 registered voters to file a petition for impeachment, a process that is handled much like a civil lawsuit before a judge. Christie gathered 183 signatures over the past month and 105 were deemed valid.
"This is about ending the prohibition of marijuana here forever," said Christie, who describes himself as a "cannabis sac-rament minister" in the "THC Ministry." He said the organization provides a religious defense against prosecution for people who use marijuana for spiritual purposes.
The petition accuses the officials of malfeasance for failing to conduct a review of the eradication program. Christie said a program review is required every four years under the County Charter. Bob Jacobson of Puna/Ka'u was the only council member not named in the documents because he favors a review.
Christie said eradication efforts caused a scarcity of marijuana that has caused people to turn to crystal methamphetamine and other dangerous drugs. He filed a similar action against council members and former Mayor Stephen Yamashiro in 1999, but the petition was dismissed because the identity and addresses of those who signed could not be verified.
However, Christie's 1999 effort had an indirect effect on marijuana eradication.
Because county lawyers are prohibited from representing the mayor or council in impeachment proceedings, council members had to pay out of their own pockets to defend themselves against Christie's first petition. The following year, the council voted to accept additional federal funding for eradication only if the county obtained insurance that would protect council members from future legal challenges.
The county was unable to obtain the coverage, so in 2000 police returned $265,000 in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration funds.
Police said the controversy crippled the eradication program for a time, but the county accepted federal eradication funding in 2001 and the years that followed.
Council Chairman Stacy Higa said he hopes the court will quickly dismiss Christie's latest impeachment filing. He said eradication does not need additional review.
"Any drug is a bad drug, and this has been ongoing for a number of years," Higa said. "The unfortunate thing is that we have to get legal representation."
The impeachment proceeding is pending before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura.
Friday, October 28, 2005
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"One of Florida's top federal law-enforcement officers was arrested late Tuesday after he was accused of exposing himself to a 16-year-old girl in the Mall at Millenia, according to Orlando police.
"Frank Figueroa, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Tampa office, began fondling himself after catching the teen's eye in the upscale mall's food court, an arrest report states. . . .
"Last week, Figueroa promised to vigorously pursue sex crimes after his agents busted a prostitution ring exploiting illegal female immigrants in Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties."
The Crimson White
October 28, 2005
Loretta Nall is a 31-year-old wife and mother of two. She's an Alabama native with a confessed history of drug use.
And now Nall, president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, wants to be Alabama's governor.
She said she favors prison reform, states' rights, abolition of gun control and a checkbox-style government along with the obvious drug policy reform.
Nall said she decided to run in a conservative state such as Alabama because the state is dying for change.
"Cops are teaching kindergarteners it's alright to pee in a cup on demand," she said.
Six days after writing a letter to The Birmingham News urging Alabamians who wanted drug policy reform to join together to enact change in November 2002, Nall was arrested.
That's when she decided she wanted to have a bigger influence in the state. At first, Nall said her decision to run for governor was kind of a joke.
"It was like, 'Gee, I'll run for governor.' Just a remark, you know?," she said.
Nall, however, officially declared her candidacy in late September.
She said she has high hopes for the upcoming election. "I'm an eternal optimist, and I actually think I'll win," Nall said. "Yes, I know everyone thinks I'm a lunatic."
Nall said college students should be interested in one part of her platform: working to get rid of a provision of the Higher Education Act that blocks federal financial aid for students with prior drug convictions.
"It doesn't make any sense to me to block aid to students with convictions since higher education is proven to help correct those that may be on a path toward a life of crime," Nall said.
Greg Ostendorf, a UA freshman majoring in telecommunication and film, said he thinks it is such issues that make Nall appealing to college students.
"Her running here is going to bring more interest to college-age kids, and that's been lacking in previous elections," Ostendorf said. "Older people, though, that have been voting for longer won't take her seriously."
Nall said she has a decent chance in the state because of the uniqueness of her platform. She said there's a difference between her platform and Gov. Bob Riley's pushes for a "Biblically-inspired tax cut" and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore's push to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings.
However, Nall said a lot of her platform is actually not that far from the beaten path followed by many Alabama politicians.
"If you pay attention to what I'm saying my platform is actually equally, if not more, conservative than the Republicans," Nall said.
Some UA students said they still have a hard time thinking Nall could pull out a win, however.
Mike Rashid, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said he doubts Nall stands a legitimate chance in Alabama.
"I'd say it's really good for the state to have more diversity in the elections, though," Rashid said.
Katie Thompson, a junior majoring in interior design, said she doesn't think Nall could win, "but anything other than ultra-conservatives running is great."
Christina McDonald, a freshman majoring in elementary education, said she hasn't ever heard of the Marijuana Party before, but said Nall's party didn't really matter to her that much.
"As long as she does what she needs to do for the state of Alabama, then I'm fine with her," McDonald said.
Stockton Record, CA
Published Friday, Oct 28, 2005
To me, Red Ribbon Week is a time not only to make the good arguments against drugs to kids, but time to salvage what shreds of national sanity remain after decades of America's war on drugs.
Next to solving every foreign policy problem militarily, the war on drugs is America's No. 1 bad idea.
The illogic, the staggering cost, the ruinous toll in human lives -- all for a campaign that arguably is a boon to drug cartels and which hasn't banished drugs.
So let's recap. Alcohol is responsible for an estimated 100,000 premature deaths every year. It is legal. If somebody died from marijuana, it is because a bale of it fell on him. There is no record of a single marijuana fatality. Yet it is illegal.
Ironically, President Nixon created a commission to get to the bottom of the marijuana problem and, against all odds, it did. Naturally, its conclusions were rejected.
The commission penetrated the core weirdness of American drug attitudes. It asked, for instance, why we have such fear of legalizing marijuana.
Why do we reject scientific experts who say marijuana is harmless and listen to plaid-jacketed policemen in Peoria who say marijuana is a "gateway drug?" Most motorcycle riders once rode bicycles, but no one calls bicycling a "gateway" to the Hell's Angels.
"Many see the drug as fostering a counterculture, which conflicts with basic moral precepts as well as with the operating functions of our society," the report said, nailing it.
In other words, pot isn't pot; It's the '60s. It's dropping out, loafing around the bong, promiscuous free love, dissent against conformity, militarism, capitalism -- the whole far-left hippie-flippie-dippy rejection of the established value system.
But so is the war on drugs. Only it rejects America from the right.
Conservatives pound the table in support of limited government, fiscal prudence and constitutional principles.
Yet federal money to halt drug traffic and prosecute drug use rose by 1,000 percent between Nixon and Clinton. With no success. The Office of Management and Budget reports that none of the drug-war programs it reviewed is effective.
Unless you count expansion of a vast drug Gulag filled mostly with African-Americans and Latinos. The social divisions created, or made worse, by the war on drugs are hard to overstate. Still wonder why the jury acquitted O.J.?
Or unless you count the rise and stupendous enrichment of drug suppliers. The war on drugs does nothing to reduce demand. But it drives supply into the black market. Cartels are so powerful they undermine governments from Columbia to Miami.
And the wiretaps. The surveillance. Conservatives howled when the Supreme Court recently strengthened governments' powers to take your home through eminent domain; but they roll over when Big Government finds drugs in your cookie jar and takes your home under asset-seizure laws.
What legitimized reducing precious civil liberties and gulled Americans into swallowing the Patriot Act?
The war on drugs.
What compromised fiscal conservatives and allowed George Bush's administration to outspend the previous Democrat! record-holder, Lyndon B. Johnson?
The war on drugs.
What's a big cause of the apathy and cynicism of young voters?
"Our youth cannot understand why society chooses to criminalize a behavior with so little visible ill effect or adverse social impact," Nixon's commission said about pot.
"And the disrespect for the possession laws fosters a disrespect for law and the system in general."
As for the worse drugs, a sensible compromise between legalization which would allow the government to regulate and tax drugs and would weaken the cartels and the failed war is decriminalization.
But there's no point starting that argument when we can't bring ourselves to give pot to people disabled or dying.
If you want Red Ribbon Week to work, tell kids the truth: Some drugs kill you, some addict you, and a lifestyle that revolves around drugs is one of higher risk and lower achievement.
But some drugs don't kill you, some don't addict you, and some people have the capacity to do some drugs in moderation and lead productive, happy lives. Millions, evidently.
Admittedly the ability to tell good choices from bad takes critical thinking skills. Some kids lack these. But critical thinking -- not the party line -- is what schools are supposed to teach.
Especially when the party line is war against the '60s -- or against some vague immorality -- and America is the first casualty.
Contact columnist Michael Fitzgerald at 209 546-8270 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A former New Orleans policeman was sentenced to death again for ordering the murder of a woman who filed a brutality complaint against him.
Len Davis was convicted in 1996 of violating the civil rights of Kim Groves by having her killed.
At the time of Groves' murder in October 1994, Davis was the target of an FBI drug sting that included a tap on his telephone. His call to a convicted hitman was recorded. So was his reaction to news that Groves had been shot.
Eleven police officers were convicted in the drug sting, including Davis, who got an additional sentence of life in prison.
SELMER, Tenn. — A jury convicted McNairy County Sheriff Tommy Riley on felony charges that he facilitated the escape of an inmate who was pregnant with a jailer's child.
Riley could serve three to six years for the charge.
The inmate, Sheila Kirk, was serving two consecutive two-year terms for forgery when she was released with 35 days left in her first term.
Jailer Johnny Carter pleaded guilty in March to having sex with Kirk while in prison and bringing her drugs.
Kirk testified that Riley released her for a three-day furlough to have an abortion, but documents show that Riley released her from her second term, as well.
posted October 27, 2005
A Chattanooga Police officer has been transferred out of the K9 unit after complaints of excessive force, Channel 9 reported.
Deputy Chief Skip Vaughn, following an Internal Affairs probe, had recommended that Officer John Watkins be terminated. However, Chief Steve Parks overrode the recommendation.
He gave Officer Watkins a 28-day suspension and moved him out of the K9 unit. He is on a one-year probation.
Channel 9 earlier showed video of the officer pursuing a man who wrecked a stolen car, then started running. Officer Watkins turned his K9 on the man, and he suffered a severe attack by the dog. Hospital personnel said he almost lost an ear.
Kenneth Stone was charged with evading and resisting arrest and reckless driving.
Chief Parks told Channel 9, “There was not sufficient proof to show that his actions were excessive. I think what he did was reasonable, basically, to what was going on around him. I felt like that he had made some poor decisions in that case, and I felt like maybe that wasn't the best place for him, that he has talents that we can obviously use in this department.”
A Perryville, Mo., man faces a second life sentence for distributing marijuana. Randall L. Doan, 42, was charged on Oct. 21 with one count of intent to distribute more than 5 grams of marijuana, which is a class B felony under state statutes. Because he was a prior offender on felony drug charges, the charges were enhanced to a class A felony.
Officers served a search warrant on Oct. 21 at his home at 1400 S. Kingshighway, Apt. 36, and found a quarter-pound of marijuana, that Doan had arranged to sell to an undercover officer, according to the probable cause statement. Doan reportedly sold a half ounce of marijuana to an undercover officer on Oct. 18, and was charged with a class A felony for the offense. He faces a life sentence if convicted of that crime, too. On a prior offense, Doan pleaded guilty in a Florida circuit court to possession of marijuana in 1998. He is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
by Josh Montez
Rallies in seven cities call on Washington to change pot's classification.
Americans for Safe Access protested in seven U.S. cities yesterday asking the Department of Health and Human Services to take marijuana off the 'dangerous drugs' list or face a lawsuit. Twenty-five protesters showed up for the Washington D.C. rally while two hundred gathered in San Francisco. Hillary McQuie with Americans for Safe Access wants marijuana taken off the government's list of Schedule 1 drugs.
"Schedule 1 is reserved for drugs that are addictive, highly dangerous, and have no medical use. That does not describe marijuana at all."
Washington, DC: Depenalizing minor marijuana possession offenses will not increase marijuana use and will enable law enforcement to reallocate criminal justice resources toward addressing more serious crimes, according to a report released today by the JFA Institute and commissioned by the NORML Foundation.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
If they stay on course, the program could start by the end of the year.
County Commission Chairman John Glasscock said he has identified money needed to start the program.
He said the money will come from the law enforcement fund that the county uses for matching funds for drug task force grants.
A federal court consent decree ordering officials to build a new jail also instructed them to develop an alternative sentencing plan, such as a corrections program. The jail is ready, but the commission has been slow to adopt the corrections program.
Judges could sentence those convicted of non-violent, minor crimes to the community program rather than jail them. This would reduce the inmate population and the cost to taxpayers.
Hats off to Morgan County and their willingness to divert drug task force funds away from the drug task forces, who do nothing but fill prisons with non-violent offenders at great expense to the taxpayer, and redirecting those funds to community corrections and treatment. I hope the rest of Alabama will take a page from this book.
SANTA CRUZ (KRON) -- The City of Santa Cruz is considering setting up an official office to distribute medical marijuana to patients who need it.
If the council approves the plan, Santa Cruz will be the first city in the nation with an official office that provides the medication to people with a doctor's recommendation.
Officials are naming the city office the "Office of Compassionate Use." User fees would cover the costs of running the office. The city says it may sue the Federal Government to allow the office to open.
"Right now there is a contest going on and a contradiction between the state which says it's legal to distribute this, our Attorney General says it's legal to distribute this," Santa Cruz Mayor Michael Rotkin told KRON 4's Rob Fladeboe. "Meanwhile the Federal Government says they will arrest anyone who distributes medical marijuana. We would like to clarify this before we set up a city office."
No office would be set up until the courts rule in the case. City officials are also looking into allowing commercial drugstores to distribute pot to people with doctor's recommendations.
Durham Herald Sun, NC
Oct 26, 2005
DURHAM -- Armed with more than 60 pages of documentation and case citations reaching from the N.C. Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, several Durham lawyers today will challenge the constitutionality of an August "back-to-school" operation that rounded up some 200 people -- most of them Duke University students -- for alleged underage drinking and other alcohol offenses.
The challenge will be made in Durham County District Court before Judge Craig Brown.
Its main thrust, according to legal paperwork obtained by The Herald-Sun Wednesday, is a contention that state Alcohol Law Enforcement agents unconstitutionally barged into a Markham Avenue house without a warrant and questioned suspects without advising them of their rights.
The agents were assisted by city police and possibly Duke officers, the paperwork says.
It alleges, among other things, that one undercover officer masqueraded as a student and served as a spy inside the Markham Avenue home for 90 minutes before revealing his true mission. He could have used a cell phone to relay his observations to a judicial official and request a warrant, but he chose not to do so, the paperwork contends.
The paperwork further alleges that other agents and officers surrounded the house and sealed off all possible exits, including windows, and then gave suspects only three options: to admit they were guilty of underage drinking, submit to a breath test or go to jail.
Chinese police have busted a total of 74,419 cases of drug-related crimes, nabbed 49,097 criminal suspects and seized tons of heroin, opium, "ice" and ecstasy pills in the first nine months of the nationwide campaign against narcotics.
Police have seized 7,167 kilograms of heroin, 1,819 kilograms of opium, 4,511 kilograms of "ice," 879,000 ecstasy pills and 1,593 kilograms of ketamine in the January-September period, the Office of National Narcotics Control Commission told a press conference here Thursday.
The office also announced that Chinese police seized 131.9 tons of precursor chemicals from January to September.
The office said that most of the precursor chemicals, such as phenyl acetone, ephedrine, acetone, toluene, hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid, come from domestic sources.
From January to July this year, police dismantled 27 ice and ecstasy labs.
Yang Fengrui, deputy Secretary-General of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said since the Chinese government launched the "people's war against drugs" in April, a series of achievements have been achieved.
The development of drug prevention campaign has made new achievements in containing the emergence of new drug users. In order to contain the development and expansion of new types of drugs including ice, ecstasy, ketamine, the National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) has deployed centralized national popularization and education activities on prevention of new types of drugs.
With the obvious increase of people's awareness of participation in drug control, reports from citizens on clues of drug related crimes have increased.
Through people's reports, southwestern China's Yunnan province has busted 885 cases of drug related crimes, captured 977 crime suspects, seized 860 kilograms of drugs and cashed in up to 1,000,000 yuan of awards to the citizens who reported clues in the first half of this year, Yang said.
Daily - University of Washington, WA
October 27, 2005
A smoking, five-foot-tall bong attracted students to the HUB lawn today as part of the campus's first Marijuana Freedom Baked Sale.
Members of the American Civil Liberties Union at the UW and the Libertarians of the University of Washington sponsored the event, selling brownies to promote marijuana decriminalization. The groups sold more than 300 brownies between 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m., and said proceeds will go to Pakistani earthquake victims.
To attract passersby, members of the two organizations set up an oversized bong in front of their table. Dry ice inside simulated smoke, and a rubber chicken with a fake joint in its beak straddled the bong's carburetor. Don Rasmussen, president of the Libertarians of the UW, called the structure "the biggest bong on campus."
Jordan Edwards, a member of the UW College Republicans (UWCRs) who tabled near the bake sale, said the event was innovative, but had one complaint.
"I challenge their claim, that it's the biggest bong on campus," Edwards said. "I'd like to see some clarification on that."
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The seal was still on the Web site www.theonion.com on Tuesday at the spot where President George W. Bush's weekly radio address is parodied.
With headlines like "Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country" and "Bush Subconsciously Sizes Up Spain For Invasion," The Onion is popular with readers looking for a little laughter with their politics.
White House spokesman Trent Duffy said people who work in the executive mansion do have a sense of humor, but not when it comes to breaking regulations.
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY
From Staff and AP Dispatches
PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- More than $1 billion worth of marijuana plants was found growing in Kentucky by the end of this year's growing season, and 327 suspected growers have been arrested, authorities said.
Kentucky traditionally ranks among the top states in illegal marijuana production. Major eradication efforts typically run from June through September.
This year 502,524 plants were taken, and each had a street value of at least $2,000 at maturity, Kentucky State Police Lt. Ed Shemelya said.
Shemelya said more marijuana would have been confiscated this year, but Kentucky National Guard helicopters that help search the rugged hills were needed along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
"The more eyes we get in the sky, the more dope we can find," Shemelya said. "The area where marijuana is traditionally grown is so rugged and rural we can't cover it all. You can walk all day and never find it without someone in the air to direct the ground forces in."
Shemelya said the National Guard usually provides six to eight helicopters and pilots during the peak harvest season in September to help locate marijuana and to guide officers on the ground.
"I'd say we probably got about 60 percent of what was growing in our primary growing area," he said. "We simply ran out of time and money."
OCT 20 -- (Washington, D.C.) On October 26, 2005, Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Karen P. Tandy will host 200 DC area schoolchildren at the DEA Headquarters Red Ribbon Week Event. Approximately 80 million people participate in Red Ribbon events nationally from October 23-31. The National Red Ribbon Campaign, which is the nation’s largest drug prevention effort, began after drug traffickers in Mexico tortured and brutally murdered Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in March 1985.
DEA’s 20th Anniversary Headquarters event will be emceed by local Channel 8 sports personality Glenn Harris and will feature performances by the Jumping Buddies Jumping Team ( an anti-drug jump rope performance team with 800 members from Virginia schools), the “DARE” Dancers (drawn from Drug Abuse Resistance Education students, and a visit from the Bolling Air Force Base mascots.
In addition, two Florida schoolchildren will present Administrator Tandy with signed red ribbons. Since Special Agent Camerena’s murder, American kids have taken up the banner Kiki inspired—the Red Ribbons they proudly wear every October. Because of Kiki, millions of children in big cities and small towns have taken a stand against drugs: pledging that “drugs are not—and never will be—part of their lives.”
Location: DEA Headquarters
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Time: Wednesday, October 26, 2005
If you have questions or need further information, please contact the DEA Office of Public Affairs at 202-307-7977.
Another document, dripping with blood, surfaces in House of Death case
By Bill Conroy
Oct 22nd, 2005
Earlier this month, Narco News reported that a cover-up of a mass murder case in Mexico goes all the way to the top of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The administrator of the DEA, Karen Tandy, in court testimony confirms that she briefed then Attorney General John Ashcroft on the murders and the participation of a U.S. government informant in those homicides.
Recently, current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed that he, too, is aware of the mass murder case but declined to confirm whether any investigation has been launched into the complicity of federal agents and a U.S. prosecutor in those deaths.
In the case, dubbed the “House of Death,” an informant, under the supervision of U.S. law enforcers, is accused of participating in torturing and murdering a dozen people in a house in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juárez. The homicides were allegedly allowed to play out between August 2003 and mid-January 2004 so that the law enforcers — Homeland Security agents and a U.S. prosecutor — could make a drug case against a Mexican narco-trafficker named Heriberto Santillan-Tabare
By Patrick McCreless
Having been in service only three weeks, the Alexander City Police Department's two new drug dogs have already shown their worth.
"These dogs have done tracking situations, been involved in the execution of search warrants and vehicle checks," said Alexander Police Department officer Jerry Whetstone.
"People have been arrested," he said.
Whetstone, who has worked with dogs since 1988, along with officer Greg Pike, are the two in charge of handling and caring for the dogs.
"At one time, I worked four dogs for the county," Whetstone said. "Prior to that I worked with dogs for the Tallapoosa County Sheriff Department."
This will be the first time for Pike to handle a drug dog however.
"This is something I've been trying to do for a long time," Pike said. "It's been a long time coming."
The dogs, whose names are Bady and Carik, both originally came from the Czech Republic. Just barely over a year old, both dogs went through an extensive 12-week training program at a center in North Carolina.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Introduced: Jun 8, 2005
Last Action: Jun 17, 2005: Referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The top industries supporting Eliot L. Engel are: HERE
By Patrick McCreless
The Alexcitty Outlook
Students had a change of pace Monday as area schools kicked off the beginning of Red Ribbon Week.
Throughout the week, schools all over the country will have different events each day designed to help keep children off drugs.
"We feel like it gives them a good introduction to drug awareness," said Marilyn Lewis of the Alexander City Board of Education.
Lewis also said because of this and other programs, she has seen the number of students who have used drugs decrease.
"We had to wear camouflage and there was an assembly at the high school to kick off Red Ribbon Week," said Dadeville's Councill Middle School counselor Melanie Mckinney.
According to Mckinney, students were encouraged to wear camouflage to symbolize "combat against drugs."
Tuesday, students will be allowed to wear baseball caps so they can "put a cap on drugs," Mckinney said.
United We Stand will be the theme for Wednesday as students wear red, white and blue clothing. Also that day, Chris Graebe from MTV's reality show "Road Rules" will speak about drug prevention.
Alexander City schools are having similar programs. Monday's theme was "Shade out drugs day," in which students got to wear sunglasses. Tuesday will be "Team up against drugs day," where all students can wear their favorite sports team's paraphernalia and on Wednesday, students are asked to bring canned foods that will be donated to charity.
Also visiting schools this week in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week is the Alexander City Police K-9 unit, according to officer James Orr. "Our K-9 unit will be there for a demonstration with our drug dogs," Orr said.
"They will demonstrate how the dog does various searches and different exercises."
And if that weren't enough, during the week, students at Jim Pearson Elementary School will get to celebrate the 25 birthday of Mcgruff the crime dog on Wednesday.
Visiting the school, says Lewis, will be Mcgruff, his nephew Scruff as well as other characters.
"They're going to give some safety messages to the kids plus some drug awareness information," Orr said.
Red Ribbon Week began in 1986 in honor of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed while trying to uncover the identities of key members of a Mexican drug cartel. Angered over his death and the destruction of drug abuse, people from his hometown of Calexico, California began wearing red ribbons. Other organizations soon picked up on the movement and encouraged others to wear ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to fight the use of illegal drugs.
For more information about how to get involved in Red Ribbon Week, visit the National Family Partnership's web site at National Family Partnership's website.
CANTON, Ohio - Authorities say a drug smuggler bragged he drove his truck with marijuana hidden in it through five drug checkpoints from Texas to Ohio before alert Stark County deputies found it.
Officers found about 110 pounds of marijuana stashed inside a false bed of the pickup truck.
Sheriff Timothy Swanson said something didn't look right about the alignment of the tailgate and the bed. So officers drilled a hole through the truck bed and it came out with some clear plastic wrapped around the drill bit, along with the smell of marijuana.
Arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana were Rene Ortiz, 34, and Sandra Elizondo, 23, both of Hartville.
The arrests followed a monthlong investigation by the Stark County Metropolitan Narcotics Unit.
John Oliver, head of the Metro unit, said Ortiz told investigators he paid $5,000 to have the truck altered so items could be concealed in the bed.
A San Francisco Rally for Rescheduling Marijuana will be held at 12pm on Wednesday, October 26th. It will be held at Health and Human Services, 50 United Nations Plaza. Southern California Americans for Safe Access is chartering a bus from San Diego with stops in Santa Ana, the San Fernando Valley, and Santa Barbara. The bus will leave San Diego on the morning of October 25th.
Harrington Group is a developer of homeland security and law enforcement products and solutions including its ShockRounds™ "electric" bullet technology which is positioned as a major breakthrough in less lethal products for the corrections, law enforcement, military and homeland security industries.
Eighteen Greene County residents on Saturday completed the Greene County Sheriff’s Department’s first 50-hour Citizens Auxiliary Law Enforcement Response Training (C-ALERT) program.
County Sheriff Steve Burns, who had welcomed the first class of participants to the “Citizens Academy” program on Sept. 29, was on hand late Saturday afternoon to distribute course-completion certificates and class photos.
The concluding session focused on anti-drug operations, beginning with a discussion about the illegal drug methamphetamine and its production in clandestine “labs.”
The “meth” training session was conducted by Deputy Sheriff Mike Fincher a member of the Sheriff’s Methamphetamine Task Force.
October 25, 2005
If you see students in Carbondale wearing red ribbons, they’re showing their support for just saying no to drugs.
Red Ribbon Week — a national campaign to keep kids off drugs — in Carbondale schools will reach a coda on Thursday when the Army National Guard and the Drug Enforcement Administration land a helicopter at Carbondale Middle and Roaring Fork High schools to help tell kids that taking drugs is taking the wrong path.
The National Guard’s message is “Be real. Stay drug-free,” said Johnny Gonzalez, Roaring Fork School District Carbondale Community Liaison.
The helicopter will land at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Carbondale Middle and 9:30 a.m. at Roaring Fork High School, he said. Guest speakers will jump out of the chopper and talk about staying off drugs.
“This is saving lives, man,” Gonzalez said. “If it impacts one kid, that’ll make a difference.”
Also part of Red Ribbon Week, Roaring Fork High School will present a special movie night in celebration of the work of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed during a drug raid in Mexico in 1985.
The school will show the biographical film “Drug Wars: The Camarena Story” at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the school auditorium.
Camarena’s family began wearing red ribbons after his death to celebrate his fight to squelch drug trafficking from Mexico. This year marks Red Ribbon Week’s 20th anniversary.
For more information, call Gonzalez at (970) 384-5744.
An alleged drug lord with reported links to the Taleban has become the first Afghan citizen to be extradited to the US, prosecutors in New York say.
Baz Mohammad is accused of heading an international cartel responsible for taking more than $25m (£14m) worth of heroin into the US and other countries.
He is alleged to have said that selling heroin in the US was an act of "jihad", or holy war, against America.
Mr Mohammad, 47, says he is innocent. He faces life in prison if convicted.
Mr Mohammad was extradited from Afghanistan late last week, US federal prosecutors announced on Monday.
He is accused on two counts of conspiring to violate US narcotics laws since 1990.
According to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court, Mr Mohammad controlled opium fields in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, processed the opium into heroin and shipped it into the US.
He is also alleged to have told members of his organisation that "selling heroin in the US was a jihad because they took the Americans' money and at the same time the heroin they sold was killing them".
The prosecution believes Mr Mohammad had close links to the Taleban regime that was ousted from power during the US-led invasion in 2001.
"The extradition... is an historic step in our work with the Afghan people to end the dual threat of narco-terrorism," said US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Mr Gonzales said the move also "sends a clear message to drug lords around the world: those who seek to destroy American lives will be brought to justice".
At his arraignment, Mr Mohammad pleaded not guilty to all charges.
"I am innocent," he said through a translator.
A further hearing is scheduled on 14 November.
Monday, October 24, 2005
By ANGELA TORRETTA
H&N Staff Writer
A Modoc County doctor convicted of secretly videotaping teenage girls in his examining room was hoping to serve his sentence on the weekends.
But victims and community members protested, and the county sheriff reversed his decision.
“It appeared to need to be corrected based on the viewpoint of the victims, who have a right to weigh in,” said Sheriff Bruce Mix. “This was, so to speak, insult to injury.”
On Oct. 12, Owen Panner Jr. pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of filming the teenagers during pelvic exams. He was sentenced to 30 days on each charge and went to jail last Friday.
Panner was convicted of taping the girls during gynecological interviews at the Modoc Medical Center. The tapes were found later by hunters, half-buried outside in the Alturas area. The discovery reopened an investigation into video cameras that were found hidden in the Alturas hospital in 2001, and the tapes were eventually linked to Panner.
Modoc County District Attorney Jordan Funk pushed for a year in prison - the maximum sentence that Panner could get. Judge Larry Dier instead opted for the more lenient sentence of 60 days, saying Panner had been a contributing member of society.
What is a contributing member of society?
Dear Editor: In response to “Drugs aren’t Libertarians’ top issue" [letters, Oct. 20], I’d like to invite all of your readers to take the time and investigate the claims made by the media that my campaign for governor is about drug policy reform and nothing else.
Drug policy reform is a sexy, controversial topic that helps to sell lots of newspapers and gets more people to tune in to the 6 o’clock news. I freely admit it is a very important issue to me and thousands of other Alabamians, but it is far from my only issue.
Most of the other issues the writer mentioned are planks in my platform that have not been reported on by the media.
For instance, my other planks include states’ rights, non-compliance with the Patriot and REAL I.D. acts, calling for the Alabama National Guard troops to be returned home, no gun control laws, a check-box style governing system, legal lottery and casino gambling run by private enterprise, initiative and referendum, ballot access reform, privatizing public schools, lifting restrictions on distilleries that produce wood and grain alcohol and encouraging increased production of bio-diesel so that Alabama families might produce their own fuel or start community co-ops for that purpose.
October 24. 2005
It seems the Tuscaloosa News is on a roll with responses to the AP article about my candidacy, This is the third LTE they have printed about it in less than a week. Thanks Tuscaloosa News
Sunday, October 23, 2005
THE SAGINAW NEWS
Police say the best way to find pot plants growing outside is to get high first -- as in altitude.
So far this year, a multicounty task force found 500 plants through airborne surveillance. Last year, it grabbed 600, and would have snatched more if not for assignments to take to the air during President Bush's campaign stops.
"The marijuana stands out from the air, and you can actually tell the difference from the other foliage," says State Police Lt. Mel Mathews, commander of the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Mathews, who has spent dozens of hours in helicopters and airplanes scanning terrain during pot flybys, says the decline in recent years in confiscated "grows" -- a term for live-plant busts -- actually is good news.
BAYANET spied 1,900, 3,000 and 5,000 plants in the years 2001 to 2003, respectively, but in the presidential election year of 2004 had to redeploy its helicopters for Bush's security detail.
"We kept being diverted to cover the president," he said of Bush's two Saginaw visits last year. "I don't know how many days we weren't able to do it."
Even so, Mathews believes the overhead threat to horticulturalists specializing in pot has reduced crops raised outdoors in recent years. Just look at this year's even skimpier tally, he said.
Yet the aerial busts bring the biggest cash-value hauls for Mathews' agency, which covers Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Clare, Gladwin and Isabella counties, and aids the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department's pot eradication efforts too.
A pot plant translates into about $1,000 in street value, meaning the $600,000 from flybys last year made up more than half the $1.1 million worth of all drugs BAYANET seized in 2004.
Mathews, of course, does not announce his helicopter and airplane schedules. But they typically fly every day for a week during June, July, August or September, he said.
To kill the pot plants and catch their cultivators, the pilot and a pot spotter team up to lead police officers on the ground to the marijuana target.
Once face to face with a hulking 12-foot pot "tree" whose illicit gardener had abandoned it to the wild, Mathews said his officers "nine times out of 10" dig up the plant and its roots.
"I said, 'Oh, my goodness,' " Mathews recalled of one recent towering pot shrubbery. "That one took some time getting out."
Why is getting high so effective for getting reefer?
Scanning terrain that hosts the nefarious flora, such as cornfields, wooded areas, ditch lines, swamps and rivers, is seamless when you're in a plane or chopper.
Plus, pot jumps out because of its unusual shade of green, Mathews said. "It has a distinct color different than the foliage that surrounds it," he said.
What do you reckon these guys are getting paid an hour to operate shovels for no apparent reason? Why are they digging up pot plants?
It's not as if the plant will grow back from the roots next year. It's an annual plant, not a perennial.
Although it does seem to be a perennial favorite.
October 23. 2005 3:15AM
Dear Editor: In regards to Robert Workman’s letter of Oct. 20, “Drugs aren’t Libertarians’ top issue": I don’t call myself a Libertarian, but I must respond to Mr. Workman, because I believe he has done a disservice to Loretta Nall’s campaign to become our governor.
Either he must be attempting to prevent her from becoming the Libertarian candidate, or else he is simply uninformed about her campaign issues. I have recently looked at her campaign Web site, and heard her twice on local talk radio programs in Montgomery, and she is far from being a one-issue candidate, although it seems media is attempting to make her look that way.
I may not vote for her, but I will say that Loretta Nall impressed me with her knowledge and her ability to more than hold her own when being interviewed.
More impressive to me, is that as part of a project of mine, I have submitted a question by e-mail to, thus far, eight candidates for governor or lieutenant governor, and she was the only one even to be courteous enough to acknowledge receiving it.
My question was: “Will you actively support the proposition of bringing Initiative and Referendum [I&R] to the voters of Alabama, both in your campaign, and afterward?" Loretta Nall replied the same day I sent it to her with a response of “Yes.
Thank you Don. I appreciate your efforts.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. - A Bullitt County man who said he was duped into sexually humiliating a teenage McDonald's worker has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful imprisonment.
Walter Nix Jr., 43, was originally charged with sodomy and assault in the April 9, 2004 incident, which began when a person pretending to be a police officer called the McDonald's in Mount Washington and said the female teenager had been accused of theft.
In a plea bargain, Nix will get probation after agreeing to a one-year term for the felony and for sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor. The woman, who was a senior in high school when the incident occurred, approved of the deal.
The man who phoned the store pretending to be a police officer accused the employee of theft and ordered her strip-searched. Nix was engaged at the time to the store's assistant manager, Donna Jean Summers, who asked him to watch the employee.
According to police and court records, Nix said he thought he was following an officer's orders when he directed the employee to do exercises in the nude and perform oral sex on him.
The incident was among at least 70 performed at fast-food restaurants and other businesses from 1995 through 2004 at the direction of a caller who claimed he was investigating crimes, The Courier-Journal reported.
A private prison guard, David N. Stewart, of Fountain, Fla., was charged in July 2004 with impersonating a police officer and soliciting sodomy in the Mount Washington case. He has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is set for Dec. 13.
October 22, 2005
NORFOLK, Va. -- A three month police investigation of street dealing led to the drug arrests and indictments of nearly 200 people.
The 195 suspects arrested or accused under Operation Triple Play have swelled the city's already crowded jail to a record high _ 1,840. The jail is rated for 833 prisoners but has long held many more.
"We have 1,537 beds," sheriff's department spokeswoman Bonita Harris wrote in an e-mail to The Virginian-Pilot. "The rest are on portable stacker bunks with mattresses on the floor; and now, we're close to running out of space."
The city also houses 250 prisoners at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth.
During the raids last week, police seized four vehicles, 16 weapons and drugs such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana with a street value of $113,000, authorities said.
"It doesn't stop here. This is the beginning," said Lt. Steven Gallagher, executive officer of Norfolk's Vice and Narcotics Squad.
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill aimed at making it harder for people to sue the food industry for causing obesity.
Lawmakers voted 306-120 in favour of the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act - or the "cheeseburger bill", as it has been nicknamed.
The Republican chairman of the House judiciary committee, James Sensenbrenner, said fast-food retailers were not to blame for Americans' over-indulgence.
"It is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excess," he said, adding that anyone suffering from obesity should go to a doctor, not a lawyer.
Increase in Burger Abuse Seen - Comedy from Drug WarRant
BBC News, Peshawar
Police in Pakistan have seized a huge quantity of alcohol stolen from shipments destined for US-led forces stationed in Afghanistan.
Senior Superintendent of Police Saeed Wazir said more than 20,000 bottles of liquor were seized during a raid on a store near the Afghan border.
Mr Wazir said four people were arrested in connection with the raid, "one of the biggest" seizures of alcohol.
Muslims in Pakistan are not allowed to buy alcohol.
Mr Wazir said: "20,352 bottles of Dutch-made liquor were recovered from a store outside Peshawar."
The liquor was seized hours before being moved for sale in the lawless Khyber tribal region.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
By PAUL GATTIS
Times Sports Staff email@example.com
Condi will find Alabama eager to beat UT... and vice versa
TUSCALOOSA - It's been reported that the appearance this weekend of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is little more than a giant photo opportunity for a future presidential candidate.
Or maybe Alabama vs. Tennessee just needs a little diplomatic interlude. And maybe that's why Rice will cram herself into Bryant-Denny Stadium today along with 82,000 others.
Is she taking her weekend guest British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to the Game?
"There's an intense desire to beat Tennessee," Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle said. "I don't want to say hatred. But that's basically what both fans have for each other."
Real Media File
Oct. 21, 2005 12:00 AM
EL CENIZO, Texas - When he looks across the Rio Grande into Nuevo Laredo, Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores sees not the friendly Mexican border town he knew growing up, but the violent trappings of another country far to the south.
"It's a sad, scary sight," he said. "We are in the United States of America, and just across this border, the Colombianization of Mexico is slowly taking shape."
Colombia -Loretta in Colombia
Thursday, October 20, 2005
October 07, 2005
The Alabama Farmers Federation, along with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and other agricultural groups, is sponsoring the second annual Alabama Agriculture Energy Conference Nov. 9. The one-day conference will be at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Conference Center and begins at 8 a.m.
“With the soaring costs of energy, this conference is more important than ever to our farmers,” said Federation Commodity Director Jimmy Carlisle. “Farmers are eager to find ways to conserve energy and are equally interested in exploring the use of alternative, renewable fuels that may be better for the environment.”
In addition to alternative fuels, topics for the conference include agriculture’s role in energy production, biofuel initiatives in Alabama and energy-saving solutions for row crop, aquaculture and poultry producers.
Registration prior to Oct. 26 is $30.
Forms are available on the Alfa Farmers’ website at AlfaFarmers.org.
For Government information, contact Kathy Hornsby of ADECA’s
Science, Technology and Energy Division, at 334-242-5284 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Other conference sponsors include:
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System
The Alabama Poultry & Egg Association
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
Click Here to Download Registration Form
Watch ALFA Biodiesel Video
My response follows.
I encourage you to please write a response as well.
Drugs aren’t Libertarians’ top issue
October 20. 2005 3:15AM
Dear Editor: I find it very disturbing that the only knowledge many people ever receive of the Libertarian Party is its stance on the legalization of drugs. This problem is further compounded its association with candidates who make this issue their campaign’s focal point; for example, we were recently informed that Ms. Loretta Nall, the 31-year-old president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, is seeking the Libertarian nomination for governor of Alabama.
While Ms. Nall is correct that current drug policy is shortsighted, the citizens of Alabama would be much more supportive of a candidate who focuses on restoring all levels of government to their Constitutional limitations rather than harping on drug policy.
The Libertarian Party should focus on eliminating the current system of forced wealth redistribution in which productive citizens are taxed to support nonproductive citizens; the party needs to campaign on eliminating the unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms for law abiding citizens; it needs to work on eliminating the unconstitutional restrictions on political speech codified in the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act; it should work to ensure that citizens have true freedom of religion rather than the current state of two sides pushing equal extremes. In short, the Libertarian Party needs to offer a free-market alternative to the socialism and socialism-lite given as choices by the Democrats and Republicans (respectively), and once the American people see that real freedom can and does work, then we can talk about drug policy.
Dear Editor, Tuscaloosa News
In response to "Drugs aren't Libertarians' top issue", I'd like to invite all of your readers to take the time and investigate the claims made by the media that my campaign for Governor is about drug policy reform and nothing else.
Drug policy reform is a sexy, controversial topic that helps to sell lots of newspapers and get's more people to tune in to the 6 o'clock news. I freely admit it is a very important issue to me and thousands of other Alabama families, but it is far from my only issue.
Most of the other issues the writer mentioned are planks in my platform that have not been reported on by the media.
For instance, my other planks include States Rights, Non-Compliance with the Patroiot Act and REAL I.D., calling for the Alabama National Guard troops to be returned home, no gun control laws, check-box style governing system, legal lottery and casino gambling run by private enterprise, Initiative and Referendum, Ballot Access reform, privatizing public schools and lifitng restrictions on distilleries that produce wood and grain alcohol and encouraging increased production of bio-diesel so that Alabama families might produce their own fuel or start community co-op's for that purpose.
Nall for Governor 2006
Nall for Governor
Actually, Zac has some of the most insightful commentary that any media has thus far dared to express.
Letter to the Editor
posted October 19, 2005
The recent video scenes from New Orleans, of the police beating an unarmed citizen, serve to document that police brutality is alive and well. Unfortunately, most of the incidents are not video taped and in many cases the victim is unable to recount his side of the story, because he is killed. For example, in the recent death of Patrick Lee in Nashville, we only have the police officer’s side of the story because Mr. Lee is dead.
Wake up America. Police brutality is an act of terrorism that occurs on our soil in America. How many more people will have to be beaten or killed before these criminal acts are taken seriously and the killers are held accountable.
I would be the first to admit that I believe there are police officers who serve and protect, but there are also criminals working as police officers who hide behind the uniform and badge. In these instances, police continue to bury the facts and families continue to bury the bodies of their sons, fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters and others.
I am amazed that the police officers who serve and protect will not speak out against these criminal officers who are ruining the integrity of the profession. The blue wall of silence and protection is high and strong and extends far into the system that was established to advocate for justice.
Oct. 22 is the annual national day set aside to protest police brutality. I ask you to join me and other family members from all of the United States who grieve the homicidal deaths of their loved ones because of the senseless and cruel act of police brutality.
Dr. Loretta P. Prater
The Associated Press
MOBILE -- A federal judge, citing appeals court decisions, said it would be improper for him to reverse an 8-year prison sentence for a Honduran businessman who was convicted of lobster-smuggling but whose country now says no law was broken.
A jury in Mobile convicted David Henson McNab in 2000 of violating the Lacey Act, a U.S. law that prohibits people from importing plants and wildlife that were taken in violation of the laws of a foreign country.
The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal after the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that changes in Honduran law, which made McNab's actions legal, did not justify overturning the conviction.
McNab's lawyers turned to Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Butler Jr. in Mobile. But Butler ruled Monday that it would be improper to reverse the sentence because the appeals courts already have upheld it.
The Honduran government, which worked closely with prosecutors during the trial, reversed course and has lobbied strongly ever since for McNab's release.
Johnson Says He Will Continue to “Fight for Victims of Prison Rape”
WICHITA FALLS, TX -- Roderick Keith Johnson, a gay former prisoner who was repeatedly raped and sold as a sex slave by prison gangs, today expressed disappointment in a jury verdict dismissing his civil lawsuit against the prison officials who ignored his pleas for help.
Authorities say they have put a big dent in the marijuana that's being grown in Tennessee.
Just this year, authorities say they’ve destroyed more than a billion dollars worth of the plants.
More than 440,000 plants have been seized, that's 20,000 more than last year.
Each plant is believed to be worth about $2,500.
In years past, officials would find huge patches of pot plants. But now they say they usually only find one or two plants.
They say that's a direct result of their crackdown.
Officers Seize About A Thousand Marijuana Plants
WFMY News 2, NC
Oct 17, 2005
Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay says each marijuana plant yields about a pound of the drug with a street value between $800 to a thousand dollars.
Stantonsburg, NC -- Officers in Wilson County raided a marijuana growing operation Monday and seized some one thousand plants worth more than one million dollars.
Acting Stantonsburg Police Chief Chris Wilkerson says hunters found the marijuana field and told his office about it Sunday.
The chief and another officer went to the field where they saw four men, who escaped on foot.
Special to the Sun
Gainesville Sun, FL
October 19. 2005
Efforts to legalize marijuana and fight anti-cannabis federal government initiatives are making slow progress, thanks to traditional lobbying tactics and a concentrated effort in several states, said the executive director of the largest marijuana reform policy organization Tuesday evening.
"We're working to end marijuana prohibition so adults can use it responsibly and not fear going to jail," said Rob Kampia, the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a nongovernmental organization that lobbies in Washington, D.C., during a speech in the Reitz Union Auditorium at the University of Florida.
BY REX BOWMAN / Richmond Times-Dispatch
Oct 19, 2005
Once an agent has chased a bootlegger through the underbrush, demolished a moonshine still with a pickax and watched the white lightning flow into the soil, other law-enforcement jobs begin to look mundane.
For Jay Calhoun, the work sure beats any job that requires wearing a tie and filling out forms. "This is really what I was cut out to do," he said. "I always wanted to work outdoors."
Calhoun, 48, dressed in tattered camouflage fatigues and muddy boots as he arrived at the Lynchburg office of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, is head of the agency's one-of-a-kind Illegal Whiskey Unit.
The unit is a small band of agents who take pride in tracking down and capturing the wily moonshiners who have turned the making of illegal whiskey into a $20 million-a-year business in Virginia and who now may be increasing production.
Charlotte Observer, NC
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Drop in and show your support.
October 14 2005
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- It's not unusual to for inmates to write letters to local newspapers, but they're not usually calling for the release of a stuffed dog named Freckles.
Gina Phillips, who is serving time in a Kern County jail on a drunken driving charge, wrote to The Bakersfield Californian asking for help getting her 7-year-old daughter's toy back.
Authorities impounded Phillips' car during the arrest in September. The car is parked at AV Towing in the Mojave area. Only a car's owner is allowed inside the vehicle, a spokeswoman for the towing company said. And the car is not registered to Phillips, the woman told the newspaper.
"She would just like something familiar," Vi Richards said of her granddaughter. "Everything's all new to her just now."
The girl is living with her grandmother while Phillips is in jail. She has had Freckles since she was 2.
"In terms of simple duration, the drug war- when measured since it first emerged as a coherent national policy in 1914- is now the most enduring modern repression since the Inquisition."
Scripps Howard News Service
October 18, 2005
White House calls LEAP "irresponsible".
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
WSFA TV films Loretta on WACV talk radio show
ATHENS, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - A prisoner in a Romanian jail is suing God, Greek state television reported from Bucharest Tuesday.
"God received different material valuables from me, as well as prayers in exchange for promises of a better life. In reality, this did not happen - I found myself in the devil's hands," the plaintiff said.
The convict is serving 20 years in the west Romanian city of Timisoara. He apparently blames God for the troubles in his life and wants God brought to account for failing to fulfill the commitments He undertook and for taking bribes.
The plaintiff said that when he had been baptized in childhood, he concluded a contract with God that had legal effect - God was supposed to protect him from evil.
The plaintiff said the Romanian Orthodox Church, which, according to him, directly represents God, should compensate him for the alleged God-inflicted damage.
In line with the law, the lawsuit was submitted to court. However, as the defendant is neither an individual nor a company, and is not subject to a civil court of law's jurisdiction, the case is unlikely to be heard regardless of how justified the plaintiff's demands may be, court officials said.
Interviewed By Gary Greenberg
October 17, 2005
Gary Greenberg, a Mother Jones contributing writer, is a psychotherapist and professor of psychology, and the author of "Respectable Reefer," in the November/December issue of the magazine.
Lester Grinspoon, M.D., is associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and the author of Marijuana Reconsidered.
Globe and Mail, Canada
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
VANCOUVER -- Whether we like it or not, we appear headed for what will certainly be a loud and rancorous debate over this country's drug policies. And framing the discussion will be the ever-growing view of health professionals that it's time to turn convention on its ear.
Almost certain to be cited in the national conversation that's ahead will be a study being released here today by the Health Officers Council of British Columbia entitled: A Public Health Approach to Drug Control in Canada. It may be the most comprehensive, progressive and controversial report yet to be published on the issue.
Orlando Sentinel, FL
October 18, 2005
FARAH, Afghanistan -- The bulging burlap sack gave off a pungent odor as Army Sgt. 1st Class Dan Westover peeled it open.
"That's the opium," Westover said. "This is heroin," he said, reaching his rubber-gloved hand into a large bag filled with bright white powder. "And that over there is the hashish."
In all, perhaps 300 pounds of narcotics -- some of it carried in sacks stamped "US food aid" -- were stuffed into the large black footlocker at the American compound outside the city.
"We don't have room for much more," said Westover of Vermont.
"What usually happens is we'll be running a random checkpoint along the road," said Maj. Andrew Harris of Chicago, who commands the small staff of Americans training the Afghans in Farah.
"You'll smell something funny, you'll open a couple of bags, and you'll find it. You ask them, 'What's this?' and they'll say, 'Oh, it's my opium.' "
Though the American mission here is not to interdict the drug trade, the soldiers seize what they can.
"Once we see it, we can't just look the other way," Harris said. "We have to take it."
The carriers are almost always armed, but they seldom resist.
"We're usually with 20 ANA [Afghan national army] soldiers, so they don't give us too much trouble," said Sgt. Rocky Burgraff of Tennessee.
"Sometimes we have to physically persuade them, though."
By Andrew Somers, your Guide to Civil Liberties
About - News & Issues, NY 10/18/05
Monday, October 17, 2005
Mobile District Attorney, John Tyson, (who is notorious for seriously throwing the book at people and then proceeding to beat them about their head and shoulders with it,) has decided that 25,000 people in prison under his prosecution is plenty, Thank You, and he has had a change of heart and now wants to "prevent" crime (which is not his job, mind you).
When you look a it there is little incentive for him to "prevent" crime. Less crime means less work and money for him.
To prevent crime he intends to drug our troubled youth with prescription chemical lobotomy drugs.
He is basically moving his support from the nanny/police state to the theraputic state, which is no better in any way.
Don't buy into it Alabama.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. announced Monday night that he will run for attorney general next year on a platform that seeks to prevent crime rather than just prosecuting it.
Speaking to the Montgomery County Democratic Party, Tyson said he had planned to have a formal campaign announcement shortly after Labor Day, but Hurricane Katrina wrecked those plans.
"You might as well consider this an announcement," he said.
Tyson, 53, is the first Democrat to announce plans to run for the seat held by Republican Troy King, who was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley in March 2004 and plans to seek a full term next year.
As a district attorney for 11 years, Tyson and his staff have been responsible for more than 25,000 felony convictions, but he said he has learned there is more to stopping crime than just prosecuting cases.
No Child Left Undrugged GNN
President Bushs’ plan to screen every person in the USA for “mental illness” and his initiative called The “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health” which specifically targets school children, is nothing short of a windfall and coup for Americas second largest industry, Pharmaceutical drugs. Better living through chemistry they say.
Hard-working correctional professionals deserve a leader who doesn't encourage a spoils system for promotions. How to get ahead in corrections: Have friends at the top. Make it a family affair. Help politicians get elected. Swing a mean bat.
How else to explain the meteoric rise of Allen Clark -- a high school dropout with a terrible disciplinary record -- from correctional officer to director of one of Florida's four prison regions?
Clark, who resigned just as an FBI-Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation of DOC was gaining steam, appears to have had one overriding qualification for his rapid advancement through the ranks; a fast friendship with Corrections Secretary James Crosby.
That Clark was also an enthusiastic campaign worker for Republican candidates, including Gov. Jeb Bush, likely didn't hurt him either. Nor the fact that he is said to be a passionate softball player in an organization that values its softball teams.