Portland NORML News - Saturday, December 20, 1997

Racketeering Law Powerful Tool Against Portland Gangs
(So Why Are More People Dying In Gun Battles Than Ever Before?)

The Associated Press
12/20/97 7:13 PM Eastern

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A racketeering law designed to help
prosecutors fight organized crime is being used to take on another
large Portland street gang.

Three years ago, Multnomah County prosecutors used the law to
go after the Bloods gang. Now it's the Crips' turn to find out
firsthand how the law works.

Prosecutors have targeted six of the most violent and dangerous
members of the Kerby Blocc Crips gang, charging them with
racketeering, which is the organized commission of crimes as a

And if the first round of racketeering convictions is a guide, the
men face sentences of five to 10 years or more in prison on the
racketeering charges alone.

Prosecutors are favoring racketeering prosecutions as a strategy to
battle street gangs because they accomplish several things that a
succession of assault or firearms or drug convictions don't, said
Eric Bergstrom, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney.

In addition to the long prison sentences, the cases get several gang
members off the streets at one time. Also, victims and witnesses
feel safer testifying in large numbers, and the cases target the
older, more powerful members of a gang.

"Hopefully, if we take a core group out, we can disable a gang,"
he said.

In February, prosecutors filed an 18-page indictment that listed 68
crimes allegedly committed by eight members of the Kerby Blocc
Crips. Since then, two have been killed, reducing the total criminal
charges to 52.

Police say they think the Kerby Blocc Crips are responsible for
much recent violence, including a pair of shootings on Nov. 24 in
the Humboldt neighborhood that wounded six people, said
Detective Sgt. Neil Crannell of the Gang Enforcement Team.

Police and prosecutors pored over the criminal records of more
than 400 suspected gang members to see who represented the
biggest threat to public safety. And they used a formula -- which
they want to remain secret -- to determine the most dangerous
gang and the most dangerous members within that gang.

The 1981 Legislature passed the Oregon Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organization Act, which is patterned after federal statutes,
commonly called RICO. Prosecutors must prove a criminal
enterprise exists and that the defendants are members of the
enterprise and have committed at least two crimes on behalf of the

The first time prosecutors used the law against a street gang, 15
members of two Bloods sets, the Woodlawn Park Bloods and the
Loc'd Out Pirus, were convicted of racketeering and other crimes
in 1995. The average sentence was nearly eight years, ranging
from 18 months for David W. Fair Jr. to 39 years for Tyree
Duane Harris.

The Oregon Court of Appeals overturned Fair's conviction in
December 1996, saying prosecutors didn't adequately show the
connection between the crimes and the gang enterprise. However,
prosecutors appealed the ruling to the Oregon Supreme Court,
presenting oral arguments in September.

Of the 15 convicted, 10 are still in prison. Three served their
sentences and were released.

Following the first racketeering convictions, police saw some
decrease in street violence, but younger gang members eventually
moved up to take the place of those in prison.

"After the initial arrests were made, it had a really chilling effect
for about a year," said Lt. Mike Bell of Northeast Precinct.

Street gangs like the Crips and Bloods make good targets for
racketeering charges, Bergstrom said. They boldly display the
evidence needed to prove a criminal enterprise -- the distinctive
clothing, tattoos, gang territory and willingness to brag about their

Bergstrom said the racketeering cases have been a success.

But opinions are divided among people who work with gang
members about the effectiveness and the fairness of the technique.

The prosecutions certainly got the attention of gang members, said
Johnnie A. Gage, House of Umoja executive director.

"I think the good of the community is what the law tries to serve,"
he said.

But others say it is unfair and that there is little evidence that
violence is reduced, as proven by the record 14 gang homicides in
Portland this year.

"The same venom that made Tyree (Harris) is at large,"
Richardson said. "We're still having funerals."

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.

Two Plead Guilty To Running Upscale Drug Ring, Vow To Help Police
(Hoping To Avoid 15-Year Prison Sentences Are Michael Francis Hipps
And Adam Wylie Of Portland, Whose Clients Included Prosecutor Dave Peters
Of The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office)

The Associated Press
12/20/97 5:19 PM Eastern

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Two men pleaded guilty to running a
drug ring that catered to Portland's wealthy, and agreed to help
authorities prosecute others in the drug trade.

Michael Francis Hipps, 47, and Adam Wylie, 32, pleaded guilty
Friday to conspiring to distribute and possess cocaine.

They faced maximum sentences of 15 years in prison and
$300,000 in fines, but Multnomah County prosecutors agreed to a
sentence of no more than 16 months. Prosecutors also dropped
nine other drug charges.

The district attorney's office will have two months to evaluate
whether the men are cooperating before sentencing Feb. 24.

Investigators say the two catered to affluent clients in the Portland
area, often conducting their deals in the posh northwest Portland
shopping district.

The partners' cocaine scheme began crumbling in April when a
real estate agent unwittingly gave the dealers' pager number to a
police informant.

An informant wearing a hidden radio transmitter then bought
cocaine from Hipps several times in a supermarket parking lot,
police said.

In May, police recovered more than 200 grams of cocaine and
other paraphernalia -- including a black address book -- from
Hipps' apartment in southwest Portland.

One of the names in the book was former deputy district attorney
David B. Peters. A search of Peters' northeast Portland home
turned up small amounts of marijuana and cocaine, and he was
forced to resign Sept. 1. He pleaded guilty Nov. 24 to the violation
of attempted possession of a controlled substance, and was fined

Peters was one of as many as 100 people listed in five address
books that the two men had. Officers said they recognized many
names in the books, which included people in the medical
profession and people who worked out at the private Multnomah
Athletic Club.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors will return to Hipps $12,000
that authorities seized, a 1989 Honda Accord and an antique slot

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.

California Petition Drive Begins To Make Hemp Use Legal
(Text Included; California Industrial Hemp Initiative Must Collect Signatures
Of 433,269 Registered Voters By May 18 To Get On November 1998 Ballot)

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:47:46 -0800 (PST)
From: Robert Lunday 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Calif. Industrial Hemp Ballot Init. (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 23:34:35 -0700 (MST)
From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" 
Subject: Calif. Industrial Hemp Ballot Init.

California Petition Drive Begins To Make Hemp Use Legal

Saturday, December 20, 1997

This article appeared in:
1) San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune 
2) The Sacramento Bee 
3) San Jose Mercury News 

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A proposal to legalize the growing of hemp for
industrial purposes is the 38th initiative certified to collect voter
signatures for a place on California's 1998 general election ballot.

The petition drive, which started Friday, must collect verified
signatures of 433,269 registered voters by May 18.

The proposal by Sam H. Clauder II of Garden Grove would legalize
the growing, harvesting, storage and use of hemp for use as a building
material or in the production of cloth, paper, fuels and various
building materials and industrial chemicals.

It contends that California's current ban on hemp, a member of the
same plant family as marijuana, prohibits the state from participating
in a thriving global market for industrial hemp.

It raises the number of initiatives in circulation for the November
ballot to 38. Five initiatives are expected to be certified for the June


California Industrial Hemp Initiative
Proposed for the 1998 ballot

Status: The Attorney General is writing the title and summary for the
ballot initiative. It should be certified to collect signatures in the
next few weeks.

For more information, or to send a donation, contact:
Sam H. Clauder II (cdpr@gte.net)
Alan Mason (grassroots@worldnet.att.net)
Clifford Schaffer (schaffer@smartlink.net)



We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California, residents
of the afore-described County (or City and County), hereby propose
amendments to the Health and Safety Code by adding Section 11362.1,
relating to the production and use of Industrial Hemp, and petition the
Secretary of State to submit the same to the voters of the State of
California for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding primary
or general election or at any special statewide election held prior to that
primary or general election or as otherwise provided by law.
The proposed statutory initiative reads as follows:


This initiative shall be known and may be cited as the Industrial Hemp Act
of 1998.

The People of the State of California find and declare as follows:

(a) Industrial Hemp is a vital, sustainable, renewable resource for
building materials, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, industrial
chemicals, medicine, oil, paint, paper, plastics, seed, yarn, and many
other useful products.

(b) The development of a viable hemp industry is in the best interest of
the state economy.

(c) Farmers and agricultural developers in the State of California have
been prohibited from participating in the thriving global market for
Industrial Hemp.

(d) The production of Industrial Hemp and hemp products can be regulated
so as not to interfere with the strict control of controlled substances in
the state.

(e) The production of Industrial Hemp shall be authorized pursuant to
the terms of this act.


The People do hereby enact this measure for the purpose of promoting the
agriculture, economy, public health, safety and welfare of the State of
California by permitting and encouraging the development of an Industrial
Hemp industry while maintaining the strict control of marijuana.


Section 11018 of the Health and Safety Code shall be amended to read as

11018a. "Hemp" means all parts, varieties and species of the plant genus
Cannabis, whether growing or not, that contain a concentration of
tetrahydrocannabinol, the average of which shall not exceed one percent
(1.0%) on a dry weight basis, and that are cultivated and/or possessed for
industrial purposes in accordance with Section 11362.1, the Industrial Hemp
Act of 1998.

11018b. "Marijuana" means all parts, varieties and species of the plant
genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin
extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture,
salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin,
that contain a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the average of which
shall exceed one percent (1.0%) on a dry weight basis, and that are
cultivated and/or possessed for non-industrial purposes.


(a) Production, possession and commerce in Industrial Hemp is hereby
authorized in this state.

(b) Industrial Hemp shall be classified as an agricultural product and
shall be subject to regulation by the Department of Food and Agriculture in
accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(c) No other governmental agency, whether local, state or federal, shall
have any authority to regulate the production, possession and/or commerce
in Industrial Hemp.


(a) Any individual or entity intending to produce, possess, and/or
conduct commerce in Industrial Hemp shall register annually with the
Department of Food and Agriculture, declare the size and identify the
location of the area to be cultivated, and pay an annual registration fee
of twenty dollars ($20.00).

(b) The Department of Food and Agriculture shall maintain records of all
Industrial Hemp registrations and shall make said records available for
public inspection upon request.


(a) Nothing in this act shall be construed as to prohibit, or in any way
inhibit, law enforcement agencies from fully enforcing the controlled
substance laws of this state.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any law enforcement
officer may enter, with or without probable cause, any open field being
cultivated with Industrial Hemp for the purpose of obtaining samples for
scientific testing to determine if the crop being cultivated qualifies as
Industrial Hemp under the provisions of this act.

(c) Any crop found to contain a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, the
average of which is more than one percent (1.0%) but less than two percent
(2.0%) on a dry weight basis, shall be considered an unintentional
violation of the provisions of this Act and shall not result in a criminal
prosecution but shall be considered just cause for the destruction of the

This Act is an exercise of the public power of the state for the
protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the State of
California, and shall be liberally construed to effectuate these purposes.

If this Act is approved by the voters, but superseded by any other
conflicting ballot measure approved by more voters at the same election,
and the conflicting ballot measure is later held invalid, it is the intent
of the voters that this Act shall be self-executing and given the full
force of the law.

The provisions of this Act are severable. If any provision of this Act or
the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that
invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of this Act
which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and
to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

This Act shall be self executing, and shall become effective immediately
upon its approval by the voters.

This Act shall not be altered or amended except by a vote of the people.


Re-distributed as a public service by the:
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project
P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466
Hotline: (303) 784-5632
Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html
"Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information
with 10,000 years of history and fact."

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