------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Foundation Weekly News Release (Will Foster To Spend Another Christmas Behind Bars, Medical Marijuana Patient Remains Incarcerated Despite Parole Board's Plea For Early Release) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 15:28:33 EST Subject: NORML's holiday WPR 12/22/98 (II) NORML Foundation Weekly News Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org December 22, 1998 Will Foster To Spend Another Christmas Behind Bars, Medical Marijuana Patient Remains Incarcerated Despite Parole Board's Plea For Early Release December 22, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: Medical marijuana patient Will Foster will spend another Christmas in jail despite unanimous approval from the state's parole board to release him. "Will Foster is a loving husband and father of two children who has been wrongly imprisoned for his efforts to treat a painful and debilitating condition with medical marijuana," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "It is unconscionable for Gov. Frank Keating to allow Will to spend another Christmas apart from his family after a parole board moved to correct this injustice. It is time for Will Foster to come home." An Oklahoma jury sentenced Foster in 1997 to 93 years in jail for cultivating marijuana in a 25-square foot underground shelter and other lesser marijuana-related charges. Foster maintains that he grew the marijuana to alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis; however, Oklahoma law does not accept the defense of medical necessity as a basis for acquittal on a marijuana charge. This fall, an appeals court judge found Foster's sentence excessive and reduced the term to 20 years. At Foster's first parole board hearing days later, officials unanimously voted to release him on parole upon approval from Gov. Frank Keating. Keating has thus far refused to act on the parole board's request despite thousands of phone calls, e-mails, and letters from Foster's supporters. Several of Foster's prison supervisors have also written Keating urging his release. They each label Foster as an exemplary inmate who deserves to be reunited with his family. Danny Earls, Unit Manager at North Fork Correctional Facility, writes on Foster's behalf: "I have worked in prisons for a many number of years. I rarely intervene on any inmate's behalf. Mr. Foster and his case are definitely an exception." Unit Manager Tim Brown agrees. "I believe Mr. Foster should be given a second chance to resume his life with his family ... and start a new and better life ... for himself." "Everybody who has reviewed this case, including the appeals court and the parole board, has concluded Will Foster's sentence was a miscarriage of justice," Stroup summarized. "Governor Keating must do what is right and grant Foster's parole." The NORML Foundation urges concerned parties to contact the governor and demand parole for Will Foster so he may be reunited with his family. Contact Gov. Frank Keating at the following address: Gov. Frank Keating State Capitol Building, Room 212 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (P) (405) 521-2342 (F) (405) 521-3317 or (405) 523-4224 For further background on the Will Foster case, please visit the May 1997 issue of Reason Magazine online at: http://www.reasonmag.com/9705/col.smith.html. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Adam Smith of the Drug Reform Coordination Network @ (202) 293-8340. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fight Brews Over State's Inmate Work Program (The Oregonian notes Oregon Governor John "Prisons" Kitzhaber wants to cut the state's 1999-2001 prison-inmate forced-labor budget from $14.4 million to $9 million, saying it has become too expensive - apparently it threatens to limit the number of pot growers and other illegal drug offenders the state can lock up. "What is the price for full compliance, and are we willing to pay it?" Kitzhaber said, referring not to the war on some drug users but to Ballot Measure 17, the 1994 ballot initiative that obliges inmates to work a 40-hour week.) Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 19:22:29 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Fight Brews Over State's Inmate Work Program Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Mail: 1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Forum: http://forums.oregonlive.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Oregonian Author: Michelle Roberts, The Oregonian staff FIGHT BREWS OVER STATE'S INMATE WORK PROGRAM * The Future Of Measure 17's Mandate Will Be At The Center Of Debate During The Upcoming Legislative Session Ballot Measure 17 passed on promises of inmates toiling behind bars -- working a 40-hour week to help pay for their prison stay and make restitution to the victims and communities they had harmed. But more than four years after voters changed the Oregon Constitution to force inmates to work, the vision of prison labor has yet to be realized. To date, slightly fewer than 60 percent of eligible inmates are fulfilling the voters' mandate. And by Oregon Department of Corrections estimates, it will take at least eight more years to employ all the state's eligible prisoners. But even those projections will suffer a serious blow if Gov. John Kitzhaber's budget proposal gains support. The governor wants to slash the 1999-2001 inmate work program budget from $14.4 million to $9 million, saying it has become too expensive and competes too heavily with the private sector, forcing law-abiding Oregonians out of jobs. Kitzhaber's plan has infuriated some Republicans in the Legislature who view it as an attempt to thwart a program he never has liked but that Oregon voters approved by a landslide. The Corrections Department, meanwhile, is at the center of a political storm, caught between contrary philosophies on how inmate work should be implemented: make it self-supportive and risk stealing private sector jobs, or finance it, even at the expense of other government programs. "We need to ask ourselves, 'What is the price for full compliance, and are we willing to pay it?' " Kitzhaber said. Oregon is unique in its struggle because it is the only state that mandates all eligible inmates work a 40-hour week. Other states have experienced fewer problems because they "are not under the same kind of pressure to have 100 percent inmate employment," said Gwyn Smith-Ingley, executive director of the Correctional Industries Association at the University of Baltimore. "At 60 percent in Oregon, to me, sounds like an incredible achievement." Creating inmate work in Oregon so far has required a combination of generous general fund support -- $34 million by the end of the budget biennium -- and the aggressive pursuit of private partnerships and contracts. In proposing to cut the budget for inmate work, Kitzhaber will force the Legislature to debate how it should be implemented and at what expense. The governor said that would have been done four years ago if not for the initiative process that bypasses the Legislature. State Rep. Kevin Mannix, R-Salem, who sponsored the measure in 1994 as a state senator, is poised to fight the governor's proposed budget and push hard for even more financing. "I think the governor is rejecting the will of the people and misinterpreting financial information," Mannix said. Because inmate labor is so cheap, "every dollar we invest, we're getting back two or three dollars in benefit to the taxpayers," he said, and those and other advantages -- like prisoner rehabilitation -- don't show up in a budget document. "I've had to tell these idiots over and over again that the measure had to do with community benefit," said Mannix, who will play an influential role in the debate as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which handles prison issues. "If inmates help a community at a cost lower than outside workers could have provided it for, then taxpayers have come out ahead, even if the state has to underwrite some of the cost." Legislators in both parties agree inmate work will become a center of debate in the session. But where that will lead is uncertain. "This is not something I expect to break down party lines," said State Rep. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, who supports the idea of inmate work but worries about its cost to the general fund. "I think everyone will look at the issue, listen and decide where we should go next. Where that is, I don't know." Kitzhaber, meanwhile, said he is not trying to stall inmate work and denies that his efforts are a back-door attempt to inspire a repeal. "Voters can say 'make gold out of lead,' " Kitzhaber said. "But figuring out how to do this has been monumental. We've bumped into security risks, taken jobs away from law-abiding citizens and competed with the private sector. That's happening at the same time as we're paying millions to get the program up and running. I don't think voters intended these things to happen." Some Inmates Too Dangerous Oregon's total prison population is about 8,500, but roughly a fourth of those inmates are unable to work because they are too dangerous or are mentally ill. Corrections officials have faced serious challenges finding jobs for the 6,688 prisoners who are eligible. Transporting them to jobs and monitoring them are costly. Prisons don't have enough industrial space to employ more inmates on-site. And Measure 17 mandates that inmate work go beyond busy work. "You can't have inmates cleaning the same toilets three times because the constitution says the work has got to be 'meaningful,' " said Nancy DeSouza, communications manager for Inmate Work Programs, an arm of the Corrections Department. "That's why we're trying to help transition inmate work into the private sector so we can save the state money." Measure 17 requires that the "value" of inmate labor either reduce the cost of government or make a profit for the private sector. Although most states ban prisons from getting involved in private enterprise, the Oregon Constitution mandates it. State government provides about three-fourths of the inmate work done in Oregon. It ranges from traditional tasks -- mopping floors, cooking food and scrubbing toilets -- to answering phones for state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services. Inmates build office cubicles that are sold to other government agencies and design bedroom sets for private furniture stores in the Oregon State Penitentiary wood factory. They rebuild car engines and wash several tons of laundry a year. They package meat and process fresh milk for many state institutions. But with the inmate population expected to swell to more than 14,000 in the next decade, there aren't enough jobs to employ all of them through state government alone. So the inmate work program has turned to private industry to make up the difference, putting it under increasing criticism. "Most taxpayers didn't think about the cost to the state," DeSouza said. "They thought we would be able to immediately fire up all these businesses and sell products that wouldn't compete with business or hurt anybody." A Eugene company that manufactured furniture and permanent tents for state parks cried foul when the contract was later awarded to prison workers. And a construction labor union strongly objected when inmate work was used to help build the Umatilla prison. In the most significant example of the competition spurred by inmate work, two dozen employees were laid off in October when Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene opted not to renew its contract with a local private laundry and sent its linens to the Oregon State Penitentiary for prisoners to clean and fold. "The fact that we lost the contract in and of itself is not the issue for me," said Bill Inge, general manager for the Eugene branch of American Linen. "The issue is, and always has been, that here you have a publicly supported enterprise that's competing with the private sector. In this case, it's convicted convicts taking away the jobs of law-abiding, dedicated people on the outside." Ruth Lawsh, 45, of Creswell was among those laid off. Lawsh was hired by American Linen in June. She said it was the first time in years that she and her husband, Charles, 50, a disabled Vietnam veteran, had been able to get off food stamps. The job paid minimum wage, but the overtime alone was almost enough to pay the $384 monthly rent on the couple's apartment. Lawsh even splurged last summer and took the struggling couple's wedding bands out of pawn. "I'm not angry at the prison," said Lawsh, who still has not found full-time work. "I understand the need for prison work. What upsets me is that prisoners don't have to worry about food, bills and clothing." Lawsh was forced to pawn the wedding bands once again to pay the October rent and is back to collecting welfare benefits. "As a taxpayer, I'm paying for their living situation, and then I lose my job to them," she said. "It hurts." Kitzhaber says it's people like Lawsh who need to be protected. "Although we've been pursuing private partnerships to make this program work, we're starting to bump into instances where people are losing jobs they need," said Kitzhaber, who sits on the Prison Industries Board, which approves inmate work contracts. "We need to be careful so this does not get out of control." Besides the Sacred Heart layoffs, no specific numbers are available on how many people have been laid off because private jobs went to prisoners. Mannix, however, vehemently denies inmate work will have a significant impact on private-sector jobs. "I can count them on my fingers and toes," Mannix said, referring to the number of Oregonians who have lost their jobs because of inmate work. "I can't come up with a single good reason for not having inmates work, except for the self-serving reasons of those who worry about the fact that they may not get as much business as they used to get." When prison labor encroaches on private sector jobs, "we're the ones who are vilified," DeSouza said. "Some have made it sound like Sacred Heart Hospital made this heartless decision to switch from a local laundry to a prison," she said, adding that Sacred Heart had planned to drop its American Linen contract long before the hospital decided to use inmate labor. DeSouza said it was unfortunate that workers were laid off but said the Corrections Department should not be criticized for doing what voters ordered it to do. "While there may be individual problems with local groups or labor organizations, we're going to work very hard to diminish those and go around them," she said. "If Oregon's economy takes a downturn, I foresee -- and so do a lot of other people -- more problems of competition with the private sector." TheCorrections Department has developed private partnerships with four companies, including a firm that has taken over production and marketing of the popular Prison Blues line of clothing sewn at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton. Inmates also produce wooden pallets for a Salem company, and assemble cell doors and security windows for a Minnesota firm. Another company is waiting for the necessary permits to build a facility on prison property where inmates can produce concrete building panels. DeSouza and other Corrections officials said they would continue to do what the constitution mandates. "Competition with the private sector is the reality of what we've been charged to do," she said. "That's a reality that every legislator knows, the governor knows and the public knows. These issues are going to come up. "If the people of Oregon decide to repeal Measure 17, or alter it, we'll do that." Mannix Vows Fight Although the governor's budget seeks to scale back inmate work, Mannix has vowed to fight for full legislative support of his initiative. "I'm going to ask counties and cities to come forward with projects they would like to accomplish that are labor intensive, and then designate that certain state funds have to be used to put inmates in the field to accomplish those projects," he said. If the primary goal is to make inmate work self-funded, the program never will benefit voters in the way the measure intended, he said. Until recently, the Corrections Department charged cities and other government agencies about $175 per inmate work crew. A crew generally consists of 10 inmates and a supervisor who travel outside prison walls to pick up trash, repair fences and conduct other labor-intensive projects. To hire the same number of private-sector laborers would cost as much as $900 a day, Mannix said. Now, with the pressure to make inmate work as self-funded as possible, the department has begun charging about $400 a day to cover the full cost of providing the work crew, a move that has turned some state and local agencies away. Some work crews are fully subsidized, or provided at a lower cost if the agency provides supervision. Raising the price is an example of how making inmate work self-supporting flies in the face of what the measure intended, Mannix argues. "Let's say we send out an inmate work crew for free," he said. "Say it cost Corrections $450. The taxpayers just came out ahead $450 because they got $900 worth of good in a community for local government for a cost of $450 to state government. That's a 2-for-1 gain." Mannix said he applies the same logic to legislators who think general fund support money for Measure 17 is a cost burden. "We appropriated a lot of money to implement Measure 17, and some legislators were thinking, 'Gee, it just cost us $22.5 million to implement this.' I said, 'Time out. What benefit did we get back from that? Because if we got back more than $22.5 million worth of inmate work, then we saved the taxpayers some money because we've just done some things we wanted to do and we did it for less.' " Kitzhaber's budget proposal would eliminate the positions of 40 work crew supervisors, meaning that far fewer crews would be available to cities and state agencies at less than the full $400 daily cost. Mannix said he will try to change the mindset surrounding the measure he wrote. "Unfortunately, because we have city government, county government, state government, they look at their own budget dollar as one little box," Mannix said. "They're only focusing on their own little piece of it, not the totality of the effort. And that's the vision part that still needs to be dealt with." Mannix said he also will suggest new ways to get more prisoners into outside work crews to help enforce the measure. "We should let out a number of medium-security inmates who are escape risks, but we're also going to enhance the security level and the power of corrections officers on hand to take adverse action to prevent an escape," Mannix said. "Now, I'm not supporting the idea of chain gangs, necessarily, with shotgun-toting corrections officers, but yes, we need to empower them to shoot if necessary. "That will get more prisoners working." The Corrections Department has requested $20.3 million in general fund support for the upcoming budget biennium, more than twice what the governor proposed. And if funding is reduced, even Kitzhaber admits it will reduce compliance. His shift from heavy financing for inmate work programs coincides with a strong support for prevention programs such as education and reducing juvenile crime. Mannix refutes Kitzhaber's contention that paying for inmate work siphons general fund support from other government programs. "The only reason it would cut into other programs is if it would be run stupidly," Mannix said. Although acknowledging that the inmate work cut was "controversial," Kitzhaber said he would rather provide some general fund support for inmate work than encourage heavy competition for private-sector jobs. "I don't think general fund support is a bad thing," Kitzhaber said. "But it's enormously complicated, and it ought to be a statute. Kevin (Mannix) had little regard for the impact of these costs. Funding some general fund investment is not bad, but the question is, at what point do you start to underfund programs that keep people out of trouble in the first place."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seattle's war on drugs has priorities mixed up (Seattle Times columnist Michelle Malkin says instead of arresting drug dealers in public parks and streets, city attorney Mark Sidran and the Seattle Police Department have focused their energies on taking away private property from people like the McCoys, owners of Oscar's II, using a 1988 drug-nuisance abatement law. Of approximately 100 total cases brought by Sidran since 1990, roughly two-thirds were secret because of open-records rules or "administrative" reasons. Most of the 28 drug-abatement cases Malkin was able to review were filed against people who were never charged, accused, suspected of, or arrested for any criminal activity. Only one was filed against a white person. Twenty-three were filed against blacks, and four were filed against Asians or Hispanics.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 16:48:45 -0800 (PST) From: Robert Lunday (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Michelle Malkin: Seattle's war on drugs has priorities mixed up Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 14:22:04 -0800 From: "Jonathan Zack" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, KOHL_JE@leg.wa.gov Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: Please post this to hemp/drug lists and e-mail it to your friends. Thanks. Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 14:21:42 PST Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 06:02 a.m. PST; Tuesday, December 22, 1998 Michelle Malkin / Times Staff Columnist Seattle's war on drugs has priorities mixed up ALL across this city, from the University District to West Seattle, there are homeowners pleading with police to clean up local drug hot spots in their neighborhoods. Young families feel like hostages in their own homes. Parents forbid their children from playing in their own yards. Despite glowing rhetoric about the success of community policing, top law-enforcement officials have proved unable or unwilling to combat drug-dealing in an efficient manner. The apparent drug-related shooting at Cowen Park last week underscored an embarrassing failure of city government to respond to our communities' basic public-safety needs. One police officer told The Times, "The kind of crimes that occur in Cowen Park just aren't high on our priority list." Others blamed a lack of resources. Sound familiar? Those were the same lame excuses tavern owners Oscar and Barbara McCoy heard when they called police to report suspected criminal activity in their Central District neighborhood. When the McCoys complained that the Seattle Police Department didn't respond quickly enough, Seattle drug-abatement officer Linda Diaz retorted that they were "not as big a priority" and that there weren't "enough resources to go around to baby-sit places." Every resident of Seattle deserves to be free and safe from destructive and disruptive illegal drug crime. But is the city waging a cost-effective war on drugs? Or is it presiding over a gross misallocation of public funds that cheats beleaguered citizens in all corners of the city? Instead of arresting drug dealers in public parks and streets, City Attorney Mark Sidran and the Seattle Police Department have focused their energies on taking away private property from people like the McCoys. As Sidran explained in a recent deposition: "When you're confronting a recurring, repetitive, long-standing problem, at some point . . . you begin to think about draining the swamp instead of constantly chasing the alligators down one by one." The city's favorite "swamp"-draining tool is the 1988 drug-nuisance abatement law. The measure was passed to make it easier for law enforcement to clear out drug dens. In some areas of Washington, the law is being used as intended. A model example was the February 1990 closure of a crack house operated by a Cuban gang in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood. The closure resulted in the arrest of 28 members of the infamous Marielitos crime ring. Another model case, filed by King County, involved a home located north of Seattle whose owners operated a drug ring; they were arrested for multiple heroin sales. Here in Seattle, by contrast, the law appears to be used primarily against law-abiding citizens. Of approximately 100 total cases brought by Sidran since 1990, roughly two-thirds are inaccessible because of open-records rules or administrative reasons. Of 36 cases open to the public, 8 are archived and could not be obtained in time for this column. The remaining 28 raise troubling questions about the city's energetic application of the law: Is the drug-abatement law working as intended in the city of Seattle? Is it reducing drug crime? And is the law being applied in a race-neutral manner? Most of the 28 drug-abatement cases I reviewed have been filed against people never charged, accused, suspected of, or arrested for any criminal activity. None were brought to clean up such conspicuous, publicly owned drug magnets as Cowen Park, Freeway Park, or the streets outside the King County Courthouse. Only one was filed against a white person. Twenty-three were filed against blacks, and four were filed against Asians or Hispanics. In other words, Sidran lodged 96 percent of these drug-abatement cases against minorities in a city where minorities comprise 25 percent of the population. Nearly 90 percent of these 28 cases were located in just two neighborhoods: the Central District and Rainier Valley. The city might reasonably argue that there are a high number of drug-abatement cases concentrated in these areas, where most of Seattle's black residents live, because that is where most drug crimes occur. SPD does not currently provide narcotics arrest data broken down by geographic area or precinct. However, a comparison of other law-enforcement statistics in the East and West Precincts in 1997 shows that the Central District, which is in the East Precinct, is not responsible for most of the city's other major crimes. In fact, the West Precinct reported twice as many thefts as the East Precinct and substantially more robberies, assaults and auto thefts. All are crimes associated with drug activity. Given that data, it's reasonable to expect a far more even distribution of drug-abatement cases between the two precincts than the disturbing pattern that seems to be emerging. Can the city claim that its efforts are at least reducing organized drug-crime rings in those areas? No. The number of gang-related narcotics arrests in the city skyrocketed from 168 in 1992 to 397 last year. The city's law-enforcement strategies are out of whack. Spending huge sums to push the city's drug problems from one "swamp" to another is ineffective - and fraught with dangers to both civil and property rights. Take it from Lindsay Thompson, a Seattle attorney who served as deputy prosecuting attorney for Cowlitz County and handled 300 drug felony cases. "Sidran's swamp analogy is faulty," says Thompson, who happens to live just a few blocks from Oscar's II. "The last thing we as servants in law enforcement should be doing is destroying the village to save it." (Next week: The faces behind the numbers.) Michelle Malkin's column appears Tuesday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lt. Gov. settles ethics charges for $7,000 (The Associated Press says Washington state Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a longtime drug-war hawk, will pay $7,000 to settle state ethics charges arising from his allocation of state funds to oppose a 1997 initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana and other controlled substances.)From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "HempTalkNW" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: Lt. Gov. Brad Owen settles ethics charges for $7,000 Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 20:17:16 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Lt. Gov. settles ethics charges for $7,000 By HAL SPENCER The Associated Press 12/22/98 4:27 PM Eastern OLYMPIA (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who has carved a name for himself as a drug-fighter, will pay $7,000 to settle charges he broke state ethics rules in opposing a 1997 initiative to legalize medicinal use of marijuana and other drugs. Owen, who admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, said Tuesday that paying the money was painful but worth it. "If this what I have to do to see to it that our kids aren't further exposed to illegal drugs, that's what I'll do," he said. Owen, a former Democratic state senator from Shelton, has for years made an anti-drug message a part of his political campaigns. The settlement, to cover costs of the investigation into Owen's activities, was good for taxpayers, said Meg Grimaldi, a spokewoman for the state Executive Ethics Board. "If we'd gone further, there whould have been additional costs to the taxpayers for a hearing," she said. The board in May said it had "reasonable cause" to contend Owen improperly used his office to fight 1997's Initiative 685 to legalize medicinal uses of marijuana and other drugs. The measure failed, but a scaled-down version passed last month. The board contended Owen illegally distributed letters, press releases and other documents against Initiative 685, and used public employees, equipment and federal grant money to fight the measure. State law allows public officials to respond to individual inquiries about their stands on issues. Owen did so on the initiative. "But then he sent his replies to all the legislators," Grimaldi said. "We believe (the replies) may be beyond the normal and regular conduct of his office," the board said in its finding. Owen said the charges were an affront to his right as a politician to speak out on public issues. In addition, he said, the federal grant money was spent making a video and conducting workshops even before the initiative had been certified for the ballot. "To say this grant money was used to fight the initiative was just wrong," he said. Owen said he decided to settle the case for $7,000 after determining "it would have cost me another $25,000 to fight the state." Bellevue attorney and I-685 backer Jeff Haley, who filed most of the complaints against Owen, had complained that when public officials use their offices to wage campaigns, it puts their foes at a disadvantage.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alan Carter McLemore (A list subscriber says the former Texas lawyer, disbarred and incarcerated for growing his own medical marijuana, is being transferred to a halfway house, and might be paroled in June.)Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 09:39:31 EST Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "James R. Dawson" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Alan Carter McLemore Dear Friends, I have some wonderful news concerning Alan Carter-McLemore.(SEE http://gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/maclemore1.htm) Alan is in the process of being transferred to a halfway house where he will most likely get into some type of work release program, (that is if he is not to ill from his many medical conditions) this should happen around or on December 29th 1998! I am also going to take the liberty of releasing a parole date of June 23rd 1999. Alan Carter McLemore, 46, was a practicing attorney in Southeast Texas until arrested in Kountze, Texas on Feb. 8, 1995, for cultivating marijuana. which he used for medicine. He received a 6 1/2 year sentence He has been incarcerated in a federal minimum-security prison facility in Beaumont, Texas. Please Contact Maggi Carter-Maclemore for info on how you can help Alan. Alan has a host of debilitating illnesses for which cannabis or synthetic thc (Marinol) is his only hope for relief. Please see http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/machealth.htm for details of Alans' deteriorating health . Alans story is featured in HR95's Website and there human rights 95 tour http://www.hr95.org/mclemore.htm Thank you for your time. Sinsimellialy, James Merry Christmas and a Hempier New Year! *** WANT TO BE REMOVED? If you don't want to receive this type of information, reply to this email with REMOVE in subject area. Thanks "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate...." Isaiah 13:9 The government's own programs prove that marijuana is a safe and effective medicine! There are currently eight (8) human test subjects who are provided marijuana from the government's own pot farm. Am I so different from them that I am denied equal access to this most beneficial medicinal herb? Will Foster 93 sentence slashed to 20 years by appeals court Judge! Will WILL be released? Stay Tuned. See http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willsrelease.htm Meg Fosters Letter http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/megsrant.htm Please Say it ain't so Meg! How you can help...Write the governor of Oklahoma insisting that he sign Will Fosters' parole papers http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willsparole.htm Free Will Foster in 1998!
------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 Officers Cleared In Shooting (The Houston Chronicle says a Fort Bend County grand jury refused to indict seven Houston police officers Monday for the death of Derek Jason Kaeseman, an unarmed man shot 14 times while trying to flee police. The chase started when two officers saw what appeared to be a drug deal between two men. A passenger bailed out before the chase, but the medical examiner's report said the passenger was a male prostitute.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 18:02:12 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: 7 Officers Cleared In Shooting Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: 22 Dec 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: Patti Muck 7 OFFICERS CLEARED IN SHOOTING Driver was slain after freeway chase RICHMOND -- A Fort Bend County grand jury nobilled seven Houston police officers Monday in the death of a suspect who was shot 14 times after a chase down the Southwest Freeway. After about 5 1/2 hours of testimony that involved six witnesses, grand jurors cleared Sgt. Antonio Guzman, 40, and Officers Ruston K. Alsbrooks, 38; M.J. Manuel, 26; Tony N. Nguyen, 29; Leopoldo Rubio-Ronso, 27; Tony Tomeo, 34; and S.W. Wilkins, 34. The officers shot and killed Derek Jason Kaeseman, 24, on Oct. 25 after a lengthy chase that began near downtown Houston and ended in Fort Bend County. The Harris County medical examiner's report, which lists Kaeseman's death as a homicide, stated that 59 shell casings were found at the scene and that Kaeseman suffered 14 bullet wounds, including three in the back. All of the shots that hit Kaeseman were fired from "distant" range, according to the autopsy report, but no definition for "distant" was given. The seven officers are still subject to a Houston Police Department internal affairs investigation but have been performing their regular duties, said HPD spokesman Robert Hurst. "Preliminary information showed there was nothing that was perceived as wrongdoing on the part of the officers," Hurst said. He declined further comment because of the investigation and also said that Chief C.O. Bradford would not comment while the investigation is in progress. Outside the grand jury room, the dead man's mother, Susan Hartnett, 48, a paralegal from Houston, was supported by members of the Justice for Pedro Oregon Coalition, a group formed after Houston officers shot and killed Oregon in a botched drug raid on July 12. The officers involved in that shooting also were nobilled except for one who was indicted on a trespassing charge. "They shot at my kid 59 times," Hartnett said. "I would like to see the officers be accountable for their actions. They murdered my son. That's like giving them a license to kill. They're acting like my kid's life doesn't matter." Her attorney, Vicki Pinak, said civil action will follow the final internal affairs report on the case. "I'm quite upset, too," Pinak said. "I was very disappointed. "We think there's a lot more to it," she said. "I just know the truck looks like a Bonnie and Clyde scene. There's no doubt about it that it was unreasonable force. From the witness statements, I'm just appalled." Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorney Felipe Rendon said grand jurors heard a balanced presentation of the independent investigations by Houston police as well as by Stafford police, in whose jurisdiction the shooting occurred. Prosecutors did not make a recommendation on what action to take, said District Attorney John Healey. Kaeseman died at Hermann Hospital a short time after the chase ended at Corporate Drive and the Southwest Freeway. Houston police said the chase started after two officers saw what appeared to be a drug deal between two men in the 2200 block of Bagby near downtown. After the passenger bailed out, Kaeseman led police on a chase, throwing things from his pickup and ramming a patrol car near Bellaire Boulevard, Houston police said. The medical examiner's report said the passenger was a male prostitute forced from the truck by Kaeseman. Officers said they fired at Kaeseman after he crashed his truck and was climbing out of the passenger side holding something shiny, which later was found to be a can opener. The autopsy, which indicated no gun was found on or around Kaeseman, also showed traces of cocaine in his blood and urine. Kaeseman had been involved in a car chase with police in July 1996 and was placed on 180 days' probation for fleeing a police officer, records show. His mother said he had suffered severe injuries, including brain damage, in a crash four years ago in which he fled from a Manvel police car and went off a bridge. She said he had just gotten through with years of rehabilitation and was working two jobs, one at a bookstore and one for an underground sprinkler system. She said he fled the officers on Oct. 25 because he feared police. Hartnett said her son didn't have time to make a drug deal. He had left her home in southwest Houston just a half hour before the shooting, she said, and did not have time to go downtown before the chase. "They killed my baby, and they think it's OK? I mean, Merry Christmas," Hartnett said. Toylean Johnson, a member of the Pedro Oregon Coalition, said the nobills did not surprise her. "I think it's tragic," she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Subtle As A Frying Pan (Syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum, in The Pioneer Press, in St. Paul, Minnesota, says public discussion of the drug issue is rife with messages that subvert themselves.) Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:23:45 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Jacob Sullum: Subtle As A Frying Pan Pubdate: 22 Dec 98 Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/ Forum: http://www.pioneerplanet.com/watercooler/ Copyright: 1998 PioneerPlanet / St. Paul (Minnesota) Pioneer Press Author: Jacob Sullum, syndicated columnist SUBTLE AS A FRYING PAN Today's hit-you-over-the-head anti-drug propaganda can't help but become tomorrow's camp. The other day, I passed a car with a bumper sticker that read ``DARE to Think for Yourself.'' At first, I thought it was a satirical jab at Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the mindlessly puritanical program that is omnipresent in American schools despite a lack of evidence that it does any good. On reflection, though, I wasn't sure how to interpret the exhortation on the sticker. DARE purports to teach kids how to resist ``peer pressure,'' so its promoters probably do see themselves as encouraging independent thinking. According to this view, only a true iconoclast accepts the government's claims about drugs at face value. That conviction, of course, makes the bumper sticker even funnier; the only question is whether the humor was intended. I'm inclined to think it wasn't, since public discussion of the drug issue is rife with messages that subvert themselves. Look down in the men's room of certain restaurants, and you will see ``Just Say No to Drugs'' imprinted on the perforated plastic liner at the bottom of the urinal. Leaf through a catalog of school supplies, and you will come across various items bearing similar slogans, including the doormats kids trample as they enter and exit the building. In a similar vein, the Associated Press recently reported an embarrassing incident involving a Plainview, N.Y., business called the Bureau for At-Risk Youth. Last fall, the company marked Drug Prevention Week by distributing special pencils to hundreds of schools around the country. ``Too Cool to Do Drugs,'' the pencils proclaimed. But after repeated sharpening, the message became ``Cool to Do Drugs'' and then simply ``Do Drugs.'' The problem -- discovered, aptly enough, by a fourth-grader in Ticonderoga, N.Y. -- led to a recall of the defective product. The AP story said, ``a new batch of pencils will have the message written in the opposite direction, so when they are sharpened, they (will) read `Too Cool to Do' and finally `Too Cool.''' Too Cool to Do? Apparently, the new pencils will encourage kids to be teachers instead of drug addicts. Sometimes anti-drug messages subvert themselves less directly. A memorable scene in the 1989 film ``Drugstore Cowboy'' shows protagonist Matt Dillon laughing as he watches an anti-drug commercial on TV. This sort of reaction is not limited to junkies who knock over pharmacies. When the Partnership for a Drug-Free America started airing its ``This is your brain on drugs'' ad in the 1980s, the eye-catching image of a frying egg must have seemed awfully clever. But the spot quickly generated a rash of lampoons -- including a T-shirt announcing ``This is your brain on drugs with a side of bacon'' -- that neutralized any power the message may have had to scare people. The Partnership clearly did not learn anything from that experience, because its latest batch of ads -- co-sponsored by the federal government and financed with your tax dollars -- includes a spot that plays off the fried-egg theme: A sexy young woman who exemplifies the skinny ``heroin chic'' look smashes an egg and wrecks a kitchen with a frying pan while screaming about the damage done by drug use. The Partnership has thus taken a concept that was not exactly subtle to begin with and transformed it into a very loud, over-the-top bit of hectoring. If the spot has not already been mocked on a sketch comedy show, it's only because broadcasters have promised to reinforce the government's ad campaign, which is bringing them a lot of money. The combination of titillation and moralism in the frying-pan ad is reminiscent of the old paperbacks that warned people away from drugs even while treating them to a salacious peek at the demimonde. ``A cheap and evil girl sets a hopped-up killer against a city,'' says the cover of William Irish's ``Marihuana,'' which shows a menacing man smoking a joint over the prone body of a woman in a low-cut red dress. Books with titles like ``Reefer Girl,'' ``Dream Club'' and ``The Pusher'' featured similar themes and illustrations. A sample of the covers is available as a set of magnets at a gift shop near my apartment. So if the folks at DARE, the Bureau for At-Risk Youth and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America ever wonder whether their work will amount to anything, they should take heart: Today's anti-drug propaganda is tomorrow's camp.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Details of cop's alleged drug deals revealed (The Chicago Sun Times says an FBI agent testified in federal court Monday that Chicago police officer Joseph Miedzianowski, a 22-year veteran of the force, sold up to 330 pounds of crack cocaine to one drug dealer during an 18-month period.)From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Details of cop's alleged drug deals revealed Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 18:17:07 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Chicago Sun Times Online: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cop22i.html Details of cop's alleged drug deals revealed December 22, 1998 BY CAM SIMPSON FEDERAL COURT REPORTER Joseph Miedzianowski sold crack cocaine--often by the duffel bagful--in a church parking lot, outside a grocery store and behind the station house where he worked as a Chicago police officer, an FBI agent testified in federal court Monday. In fact, Miedzianowski, 45, a 22-year veteran of the force, sold up to 330 pounds of crack cocaine to one drug dealer during an 18-month period, said FBI Special Agent Patrick J. Loll. Arrested Wednesday, Miedzianowski, a gang crimes specialist, and 11 others are charged with narcotics conspiracy. More counts against the officer are expected in the coming weeks. He has pleaded not guilty. During a probable cause hearing in federal court Monday, Loll revealed that at least three of Miedzianowski's co-defendants already are cooperating with authorities. One of those men, Joseph DeLeon, 33, of the 3700 block of North Bernard, told authorities that he bought up to 2 kilograms of processed crack cocaine from Miedzianowski every week to 10 days for about 18 months, Loll testified. That could equal up to about 330 pounds. The deals between Miedzianowski and DeLeon occurred at any of three places, Loll testified: a grocery store parking lot near Miedzianowski's home, a nearby service station or the parking lot of a church, which authorities identified as St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church, 5000 N. Cumberland. DeLeon told authorities he got the crack in a duffel bag, Loll said. Miedzianowski's attorney, Phillip A. Turner, tried to poke holes in those stories, noting that law enforcement officials never saw Miedzianowski with drugs and have no other physical evidence. Loll also testified that another cooperating defendant in the case, Marvel L. Passley, 29, said he bought 3 ounces of crack from Miedzianowski just two weeks ago. The deal, Loll alleged, took place ``behind the police station´´ where Miedzianowski worked--Homan Center, 3340 W. Fillmore. About four weeks ago, Passley bought 2 pounds of marijuana from Miedzianowski, Loll said. Authorities also revealed Monday that they seized 50 weapons from Miedzianowski's home last week, including a sawed-off Winchester rifle and a Dillinger pistol found in the bedroom of Miedzianowski's 15-year-old son. Loll said the number of weapons seized exceeded the number of guns registered to Miedzianowski, but he wasn't specific. DeLeon and at least one other drug dealer have told authorities that they obtained guns and ammunition from Miedzianowski. DeLeon said he got a dozen guns and frequently six to eight boxes of ammunition from him, Loll said. In turn, Loll said, the guns and bullets went to members of a street gang. The hearing is set to resume today.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Park District Cop Acquitted In Shakedown (The Chicago Tribune says a federal jury on Monday exonerated Andre Williams, formerly with the Maywood Park District Police Department, of charges he shared in a $2,000 payoff from a purported drug dealer in 1996. The acquittal came despite audio tape and videotape of the payoff, the cooperation of Williams' partner, and the fact that the purported drug dealer was an undercover agent.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 18:15:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IL: Ex-Park District Cop Acquitted In Shakedown Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Pubdate: 22 Dec 1998 Author: Matt O'Connor Section: Metro Chicago EX-PARK DISTRICT COP ACQUITTED IN SHAKEDOWN MAYWOOD -- A federal jury on Monday acquitted a former officer with the Maywood Park District Police Department of charges he shared in a $2,000 payoff from a purported drug dealer in 1996. An attorney for Andre Williams contended that the officer's partner, who was then cooperating with authorities, had pocketed the $2,000 for himself while misleading the FBI to think he had split half with Williams. The jury's verdict came despite the fact that authorities had audio tape and videotape of the payoff, the cooperation of the partner and the purported drug dealer was an undercover agent. Williams, 31, of Maywood was acquitted of attempted extortion and using a firearm in the commission of a violent felony. According to James A. Payonk Jr., the attorney for Williams, there was no dispute over whether the agent handed over $2,000. The issue was whether Williams had shared in the cash or his partner, Michael Broome, had pocketed the entire amount. Broome was then cooperating with authorities and wearing a hidden recorder after he was caught extorting money from a citizen in 1995. Prosecutors argued that Broome and Williams were partners who regularly shook down suspected drug dealers in Maywood. In the alleged shakedown of the undercover agent in February 1996, tape recordings indicated Williams wanted to call in police dogs to search the drug dealer's car, but Broome stopped him, Payonk said. After the extortion, there was an 8-minute period during which Broome was unaccounted for, suggesting that was when he could have pocketed the entire $2,000 for himself, according to Payonk. The Maywood Park District police force has since been disbanded.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Mandatory-Sentencing Mistake (Washington Post columnist William Raspberry says he was unmoved by the argument of Vincent Schiraldi, director of the Justice Policy Institute, who discovered that during the last 10 years, New York State has increased spending on prisons by very close to the amount by which it has decreased spending on higher education. What persuaded Raspberry that the drug laws constitute poorly thought-out policy, misguided toughness and bad law was Schiraldi's story about Tom Eddy, a classmate of Schiraldi's at the State University of New York in Binghamton who was arrested in 1979 and served 13 years of a 15-to-life sentence for selling two ounces of cocaine.) Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 21:57:23 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WP: The Mandatory-Sentencing Mistake Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Source: The Washington Post Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Page: A23 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: William Raspberry THE MANDATORY-SENTENCING MISTAKE Vincent Schiraldi's call sounded for all the world like another of those false syllogisms that make me crazy. You know: For the money it costs to keep a young man in prison, we could send him to Harvard. Or, if we took the money we're spending on the drug "wars" and spent it on the public schools, every kid in America would have a shot at a first-rate education. Such non sequiturs, I told him, fail to convince anyone not already on your side of the argument. Worse, by giving your opponents such a vulnerable target, you encourage the impression that your argument -- not just your jerry-built straw man -- has been demolished. What Schiraldi, director of the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute, had discovered is that over the past 10 years, New York State has increased spending on prisons by very close to the amount by which it has decreased spending on higher education. So is he saying that if the state spent less on prisons, it would spend more on colleges -- and vice versa? And if he's not saying that, what is he saying? "Look," he told me, "I'm the last person who wants to set up 'straw men' in advocating criminal justice reform. The other side has an easy enough time knocking us down as it is. But I think this higher-ed vs. prisons analysis does provide the needed scale by which to illustrate the growth of the prison system and how prisons have come to dominate our political and social landscape. "New York State is spending nearly twice as much on prisons as it did a decade ago -- a $761 million increase -- while spending on the city and state university systems has declined by $615 million during the same period." Then Schiraldi -- perhaps sensing that my eyes were starting to glaze over -- interrupted his account to tell me about Tom Eddy. "Tom and I were both at SUNY [State University of New York] Binghamton when, in 1979, he was arrested under the Rockefeller drug laws. He wound up serving 13 years of a 15-to-life sentence for selling two ounces of cocaine. "Though Tom and I began in the same place, I started a nonprofit, started a family and launched a life while he wasted over a decade in prison. His story, to me, embodies the wastefulness of these laws, and how our prisons are warehousing people who don't need to be there." And suddenly Schiraldi was making sense to me in a way the mirror-image symmetry of his prison/college dichotomy did not. The spending patterns are not the problem; the problem is poorly thought-out policy, misguided toughness and bad law. The Rockefeller laws -- touted as a no-nonsense approach to ridding New York of the scourge of drugs -- provided mandatory jail times for drug offenses that were often in excess of sentences for violent crimes. Once people understood that not even judges could soften their sentences, people would think twice about dealing drugs. The target, of course, was big-time drug racketeers. One of the first to be snared was Eddy, a national merit scholar in his sophomore year. It's fair to say that Eddy, whose sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo four years ago this month, caused his own problems. But it is also fair to wonder if the state got good value for the money it spent keeping him locked up for more than 13 years. And it is crucial to ask whether it isn't time to end this mistaken policy -- and not just in New York. Much of the prison overcrowding (and the consequent need for huge new outlays for new and expanded prison facilities) is the result of mandatory sentencing for drug offenders, including -- perhaps even mainly -- low-level dealers. When Eddy first ran afoul of the draconian Rockefeller laws, 11 percent of the inmates of New York prisons were there for drug offenses. By last year, 47 percent were in prison for drug offenses. The trend is national and -- Schiraldi's point -- it is the source of our prison-building boom that is distorting state budgets across America. He's right, of course -- right also when he notes that Florida and California now have bigger budgets for prisons than for higher education. But you don't need any false syllogisms to make that point -- no nonsense about how New York could have sent several men like Eddy through college for what it cost to keep him in the slammer. I'm content to let Eddy send himself to college (he's about to get his law degree). I just wish we could admit our mandatory-sentencing mistake and stop throwing good money after bad.
------------------------------------------------------------------- NJ Supreme Court Prohibits "Electronic Roadblocks," Curbs Police Power, Upholds Privacy (The ACLU News says a landmark New Jersey Supreme Court ruling earlier this month prohibits police from indiscriminately searching for personal information about innocent motorists by entering their license-plate numbers into mobile data terminals in police cars. "This is the first time that a court has recognized that a government official's search of a government database might violate statutory or constitutional privacy protections," said Eric Neisser of Rutgers Law School.) Date: Sun, 03 Jan 1999 08:49:48 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: "Cannabis Patriots" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: [cp] ACLU News List-Unsubscribe: (mailto:leave-cp-27149A@telelists.com) NJ Supreme Court Prohibits "Electronic Roadblocks," Curbs Police Power, Upholds Privacy FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, December 22, 1998 NEWARK, NJ -- The American Civil Liberties Union is applauding a landmark New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that prohibits police officers from using "electronic roadblocks" to indiscriminately search personal information of innocent motorists. In a decision announced earlier this month, the court concluded that state statutes do not "permit the random use of mobile data terminals (MDTs) to secure the personal information of motorists by police officers who had no reason to suspect wrongdoing" and that the disclosure of "personal information" in the Department of Motor Vehicle databases violated the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act. "This is the first time that a court has recognized that a government official's search of a government database might violate statutory or constitutional privacy protections," said Eric Neisser, Acting Dean of Rutgers Law School and volunteer attorney with the ACLU of New Jersey. "It is a major step forward in the protection of individual privacy in the digital age," Neisser said. The ACLU of New Jersey, who represented the defendants, challenged the constitutionality of the random police use of MDTs, which gives officers immediate access to state DMV information and warrant data. The ACLU-NJ successfully argued that individual officers should not be permitted to employ these "electronic roadblocks" without some degree of reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, or at least without some uniform standards and supervisory control. "The Court's decision is of national importance because almost every state has passed legislation similar to New Jersey's to comply with the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act," Neisser said. The arguments were raised in consolidated cases involving two motorists -- Mauro Donis and Heidi Gordon -- who were separately stopped by police conducting random checks on passing cars. Both motorists were cited for driving without insurance and driving while under suspension. At trial, the officer who stopped Donis testified that he checked Donis's plates for no other reason other than he "just happened to be behind" Donis's car, and that he conducted random searches of the license plates of cars in front of him if he was "not doing anything else." Similarly, the officer who stopped Gordon testified that he was in the habit of conducting 200 or more random computer searches of license plates while on patrol, as he had done that day. Because the Court said that access to personal information -- such as the driver's name, address, telephone number, or social security number -- is not authorized unless there is some reasonable individual suspicion of wrongdoing, it ordered the State to modify the MDT displays so that they proceed in two steps. In the first step, the MDT would display only "the registration status of the vehicle, the license status of the registered owner, and whether the vehicle has been reported stolen. The registered owner's personal information would not be displayed." Only if the first step indicates a basis for further police action, such as the existence of a warrant or an indication that the registered owner's driving privileges had been suspended, would the police have access to identifying information. The Court also directed the Attorney General to "promulgate guidelines that establish disciplinary measures that will be imposed on any law enforcement officer for improperly using the MDT" to address the concern that police officers will access the databases for personal or impermissible reasons, such as targeting minority drivers. Despite its conclusion that the MDT displays needed to be modified, the Court affirmed the convictions of the two motorists, because even under the Court's new guidelines, the police action in their cases would not have been improper. Although disappointed that the Court did not address the constitutional questions, David Rocah, ACLU-NJ Staff Attorney, said that the decision nonetheless "sets an important precedent in recognizing that government officials do not have the right to simply browse government databases that contain personal identifying information." The case is State v. Donis, Docket No. A-134-97. Acting Dean Eric Neisser was counsel for the defendants on behalf of the ACLU-NJ. Attorneys Roger Martindell and William Slover, both of Princeton, NJ, were co-counsel in the case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Millions At Stake; Drug Tax Refunds Igniting Debates (The Wilmington Morning Star, in North Carolina, says the state has collected $40 million since 1990 from people accused of dealing illegal drugs. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state's "drug tax" was unconstitutional, but the state attorney general's office has so far prevented any of the victims from getting any money back.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 18:28:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NC: Millions At Stake; Drug Tax Refunds Igniting Debates Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Source: Wilmington Morning Star (NC) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://starnews.wilmington.net/ MILLIONS AT STAKE; DRUG TAX REFUNDS IGNITING DEBATES A case in New Hanover County Superior Court where a judge appears poised to order a so-called "drug tax" refund for a convicted drug dealer illustrates a challenge the N.C. Attorney General's Office is facing across the state. Friction between federal and state courts on the constitutionality of North Carolina's drug tax has the Attorney General's Office fighting brush fires where local judges order refunds. At stake could be millions of dollars the state has collected since 1990 from people accused of dealing illegal drugs. The N.C. Department of Revenue has collected $40.4 million through June, primarily by seizing money and property from drug dealers who failed to pay the tax. In the Wilmington case, Franklin Bryant wants back $6,000 in cash and property authorities seized upon his arrest in 1995. Under the drug tax law, dealers are required to pay a tax on their illegal drugs. If they don't pay, the state can take money and property when they are arrested. Mr. Bryant is not alone in his request, which was triggered by a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that appeared to strike down the state's drug-tax law. "Many demands have been made on the Department of Revenue," said Andy Vanore, general counsel to the attorney general. None have been paid, he said. Local courts are handling requests from convicts who want their money and property back, saying the tax is unconstitutional, but judges have gotten conflicting messages from the federal and state appellate courts and no guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court. "The majority of Superior Court judges are ruling in favor of the state in these motions," said Chris Allen, assistant attorney general in the revenue division. Some, however, are not. Mr. Allen said several cases the state has lost are being appealed to the N.C. Court of Appeals. In the most recent case last week, Mr. Bryant asked Superior Court Judge Allen Cobb for a refund of $6,000. Judge Cobb told lawyers during a private hearing that he is inclined to rule in the prisoner's favor. In a separate case he decided in October in Onslow County Superior Court, Judge Cobb ordered the state to refund more than $79,000, plus interest, to two men convicted on drug charges in 1994. Those cases represent a larger problem for the Attorney General's Office. Some judges, including Judge Cobb, have been ruling the drug tax is a criminal punishment that violates constitutional protections against punishing the same person twice for the same crime. Convicts argue a person can't have his money and property seized and then be sent to prison. Federal and state appeals courts have made opposite rulings on the issue, leaving judges room to make their own decisions. Judge Cobb and other judges who have sided with prisoners relied partly on a U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in January that said the state levy is so high it is actually a criminal punishment, not a tax, and is unconstitutional, according to lawyers in the Attorney General's Office. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the state in October, letting the Fourth Circuit ruling stand. Some lawyers and convicts, including Mr. Bryant, took the high court's silence as a nod affirming the lower court's ruling, and they've sought refunds. The Attorney General's Office is arguing the prisoners shouldn't get any money because of the legal pecking order judges should follow when weighing precedent-setting decisions. The office argues state judges are not bound by federal rulings unless they come from the U.S. Supreme Court. In other words, the N.C. Supreme Court trumps decisions from the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. On the drug tax question, the N.C. Supreme Court had declared it was constitutional in a 1997 decision that upheld a 2-1 ruling from an N.C. Court of Appeals panel. With the U.S. Supreme Court silent on the issue, the state Supreme Court ruling should win, said Mr. Vanore. In some cases, the state is taking that message to individual prosecutors and judges. Upon hearing news of Judge Cobb's apparent position on the refund, the Attorney General's Office called New Hanover County prosecutor Mike DeSilva on Monday to point out the N.C. Supreme Court decision. Mr. DeSilva said he will use it when the matter comes before Judge Cobb for a hearing. He agreed state Supreme Court rulings outweigh the federal appeals court. Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office may be sending mixed messages of its own. While lawyers in the office say the state will fight such rulings, they are negotiating a settlement with the two men who won the Onslow case, according to Mr. Allen. The talks could prevent an appeal if they reach a deal. Mr. Allen said such a settlement could encourage more refund requests. "I suppose it depends on the grounds that we arrive at in the settlement," he said. Meanwhile, the General Assembly amended the drug tax law in October in an effort to withstand further scrutiny. One of the main reasons the Fourth Circuit decided the tax was a punishment because it was so high. The law requires tax stamps to be bought on illegal drugs. A person arrested without the stamps was charged $200 per gram of cocaine, $400 for 10 dosage units of LSD, and lesser amounts for other drugs. A 50- percent penalty was added if not paid within 48 hours of an arrest. The new law lowers some of the tax amounts and deletes the late penalty. But ultimately, the only way to put the conflict to rest may be for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a drug-tax case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Board OKs Plan To Test Athletes For Drugs (The Charlotte Observer, in North Carolina, says the Gaston County School Board gave the first round of approval Monday night to testing high school athletes for drugs, alcohol and, possibly, steroids. Board member Kemp Michael said, "The ultimate purpose of this is to use athletics as a way to keep them in the fold." The cost will be $135 per student, or $4,000 to randomly test 10 percent of the county's high school athletes and cheerleaders.)Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 18:28:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NC: Board OKs Plan To Test Athletes For Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Source: Charlotte Observer (NC) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.charlotte.com/observer/ Copyright: 1998 The Charlotte Observer Author: Chip Wilson BOARD OKS PLAN TO TEST ATHLETES FOR DRUGS GASTONIA -- Gaston school board members gave the first round of approval Monday night to testing high school athletes for drugs, alcohol and, possibly, steroids. The question of whether steroids and other performance-enhancing substances will be covered in the random tests likely will be settled by Gaston County commissioners, who will be asked to pony up the additional money it will take -- as much as $135 per student. The commissioners also will decide with their dollars what percentage of athletes will have to take the urine tests. It will cost $4,000 to randomly test 10 percent of the county's high school athletes and cheerleaders. The board voted 7-1 to adopt the drug-testing plan that the commissioners first suggested last summer during a budget session. The only dissent came from board member John Eaker, who said he considered drug testing unconstitutional. But board member Kemp Michael, a lawyer, pointed out the courts have accepted drug testing Please see GASTON / page 4L GASTON from 1L School board OKs drug-test plan for athletes of athletes. He said Gaston's proposed policy isn't aimed at punishing drug users. "The ultimate purpose of this is to use athletics as a way to keep them in the fold," Michael said. The policy -- which still awaits final approval in January -- would suspend a first-time offender from only one football game (because of the limited season), two in other sports. A second offense would force a player out of athletics for the rest of a school year. A third would keep him or her banned for the rest of high school. The policy also provides for parental involvement and the use of outside drug counselors to help a student with a drug problem. The tests would be administered to sports team members selected by computer. Outside medical staff would administer the test and check samples on campus -- specimens testing positive for drugs -- cocaine, PCP, marijuana, amphetamines and opiates -- or alcohol would be shipped to a lab for confirmation. Reach Chip Wilson at (704) 868-7743 or: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Rules Scott Chief Planted Fake Drugs To Justify Cash Found (The Advocate, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says Scott Police Chief Jerry Carpenter planted fake cocaine in a car to justify seizing $55,000 found during an interstate traffic stop.) Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:10:17 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US LA: Judge Rules Scott Chief Planted Fake Drugs To Justify Cash Found Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Author: Angela Simoneaux, Acadiana bureau Source: The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theadvocate.com/ Pubdate: Tues, 22 Dec 1998 JUDGE RULES SCOTT CHIEF PLANTED FAKE DRUGS TO JUSTIFY CASH FOUND LAFAYETTE - Scott Police Chief Jerry Carpenter planted fake cocaine in a car to justify seizing $55,000 cash found during an interstate traffic stop, a state district judge decided Monday. Fifteenth Judicial District Judge John Trahan found Carpenter guilty on one count malfeasance in office and one count filing false police reports in connection with an April 1996 traffic stop on Interstate 10. Carpenter faces up to five years in prison on each count. Trahan set sentencing for 9 a.m. March 15. Carpenter was indicted on five charges in connection with an April 1996 traffic stop on I-10. He was accused of planting the fake cocaine, planting marijuana, filing a false police report, destroying the fake cocaine and erasing a videotape that allegedly showed him planting the fake cocaine in the car while it was parked at the Scott Police station. Friday night, Trahan dismissed the charges that accused Carpenter of planting the pot, destroying the fake cocaine and erasing the tape. District Attorney Mike Harson said he is pleased with the judge's verdict. "It's what the evidence showed. The overall circumstances of this case led to no other conclusion," Harson said. "There were just too many coincidences." Carpenter had no comment. His attorney, C. Michael Hill, said no final decision has been made regarding an appeal. "I have recommended that he seriously consider an appeal, because I don't think the evidence was there," Hill said. As for the verdict, Hill said the chief "took it better than his lawyer did. He was calm. Obviously, he was disappointed." One thing was made clear by testimony in the trial: evidence handling in the case was lax at the very minimum, Harson said. "The evidence handling in this case was kind of peculiar," Harson said. "I think I have more confidence now in how the evidence is handled. But at the time of this case, certainly, there were a great deal of procedural shortcomings, to say the least." For instance, although eight officers were involved in the traffic stop and the subsequent searches, only two filed reports, Harson said. "It's very poor procedure all around. More of that than we'd like," Harson said. Harson now will proceed with the prosecution of Scott Police Officer Byron Romero, accused of planting marijuana in the car. Charges against a third man, officer Darrell Broussard, were dismissed in exchange for his testimony during Carpenter's trial. A second indictment pending against Carpenter charges him with injuring public records, filing false records and malfeasance in office. He is accused in that case of altering accident reports and filing falsified accident reports. Harson said he will wait to see what sort of sentence Carpenter receives in this case before he decides if he will go forward with the second indictment. In his closing arguments Monday, Harson told Trahan that Carpenter planted the fake cocaine in the hopes that the three men involved would not fight the forfeiture of the money. Harson said he believes Carpenter believed the men actually were drug dealers. "His plan got screwed up when it turned out they weren't drug dealers, and they did fight the forfeiture," Harson argued. A district judge ordered the return of the cash to the three men following a forfeiture hearing. Hill argued that Carpenter did not have time to plant anything in the trunk of the car. He also argued that it made no sense for Carpenter to plant fake cocaine because it would not have justified the forfeiture. "It was not a controlled substance, and so the state would not be allowed to forfeit the money," Hill argued. Additionally, Hill argued, there are several reasonable hypotheses as to what actually happened. "The first being, that these Vietnamese men could have had dope in the car," Hill said. "There is much reasonable doubt in this case." In his ruling, Trahan said it is clear that the car was thoroughly searched by two officers on the shoulder of I-10, before it was moved to the station. He said it also is clear that someone intentionally erased the videotape. Three witnesses testified that they saw Carpenter putting something into the trunk on that tape prior to its erasure, the judge added. "All the evidence points to one and only one reasonable conclusion, and that is that Mr. Carpenter planted something in the trunk," Trahan said. Carpenter's second term as police chief expires at the end of the month. He was defeated in the fall election by Darrell Menard.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Biology Of Behavior - The Possible Link Between Genes, Attention Deficit (Newsday discusses some of the research presented to a panel of scientists convened by the federal government earlier this month to discuss the state of medical research about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.)Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:25:11 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: Biology Of Behavior Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Source: Newsday (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newsday.com/ Copyright: 1998, Newsday Inc. BIOLOGY OF BEHAVIOR / THE POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN GENES, ATTENTION DEFICIT DANIELLE SITS quietly for the moment, thinking, huddled in the corner of her classroom closet, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. She had just screamed at her teacher and left the floor awash in papers and pens and books and, well, mess. She can't quite say why she gets so mad and confused, but she knows that her life schedule revolves around taking medicine to control her behavior and her ability to sit still and focus. The 10-year-old has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, so complex a condition that doctors and teachers and parents have taken a hand in diagnosing it. Since kindergarten, the school nurse has come up every lunch hour to hand Danielle her medicine, Ritalin. This is an amphetamine-like drug that has perplexing but positive effects on people with ADHD: the stimulant calms them down. Danielle speaks for the millions of children - and more recently adults - treated for ADHD when asked what the medicine does: "It helps me behave, think, and pay attention." Researchers estimate that 5 percent of the child population suffers from ADHD. Rachel Klein, a clinical psychologist in the psychiatry department at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in Manhattan, says that there is a great neuromythology when it comes to talking about the condition. The behavioral deficit is obvious - inattention, disruptive behavior, inability to sit still - but the underlying biological problem is still elusive. What is it that makes these kids different? Russell Barkley, an ADHD expert, has been thinking hard about this condition for decades. Director of psychology and professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Barkley has fashioned a theory that has been greeted with enthusiasm by colleagues trying to understand what triggers these complex problems. His ideas appear in his latest book, coauthored with Christine M. Benton: "The Defiant Child: 8 Steps to Better Behavior," published by Guilford Press. To understand why people with ADHD are different, Barkley says that you must first know something about how people normally learn self-control. It develops in the first few years of life, when children learn to inhibit, or stop, themselves from responding to their environment. You want a snack? Wait until dinner is over. You want a new video game? Get good grades and at the end of the year it is yours. In other words, humans learn to delay rewards. "There are four executive abilities that children learn during these years that help them delay, or wait, for rewards," Barkley said. Each of these abilities develops slowly, and in sequential order. The first is working memory, which is generally in place by the child's first birthday. A child has the ability to hold a thought in his mind and wait. The constant chattering over the next few years begins to take on new flavors as the child learns to internalize speech. Around 8, they no longer talk aloud to themselves. They can keep their thoughts in their heads. At this age they are also able to internalize their emotions and don't make public displays of their feelings. This is an important stage, Barkley said, because it is during this time that children learn private motivation. They can carry out a behavior even though rewards might be days, weeks or months away. Barkley said that the last of these executive functions is inventiveness. The ability to invent new behavior when faced with an obstacle or old strategy that doesn't work. Together, all of these high-order functions aid in the regulation of self-control. Importantly, all of these abilities come with a sense of time, a skill necessary to plan for the future. Barkley contends that children with ADHD suffer from an impairment in the development of this first skill: inhibition. With this system thrown out of sync, the development of working memory is slowed and the other executive functions never take shape naturally. The most obvious result is seen in behavior: kids talk aloud for years longer than normal; they don't acquire private motivation and constantly seek external rewards; they can't solve problems; and finally, their sense of time is devastated. They can't organize around time - they are governed by the "now" - and they are very disorganized as a result. Barkley calls it "time blindness." These executive functions seem to be unique to humans, which means that they probably developed in the most recent evolution of the brain. These regions, called the frontal lobes, have actually been found to be less active and smaller in children - and adults - with ADHD. "It's quite a provocative theory," Klein said. "We know how to diagnosis the disorder, we know how to treat it, but what has been missing is the underlying biological defect." Recently, scientists from seven laboratories have confirmed an association between ADHD and a gene linked to sensation-seeking behavior. It turns out that 18 percent to 27 percent of people with ADHD have an abnormal number of repeats on a gene called DRD4. Normally, a gene is composed of three base pairs that repeat themselves like a string of letters three to four times. In 7 percent to 10 percent of the population, scientists are now finding seven repeats of this string of genetic letters, or code. The result, some studies suggest, is that cells are less sensitive to dopamine, a brain chemical. It's like the need to raise your voice when speaking to someone who is hard of hearing. The cells require more dopamine to function normally. Because this gene is not found in the majority of ADHD children, however, scientists are hunting for other candidates. As with any psychiatric condition, once scientists understand what these genes do and how they go awry, they can design medicines to help. It is often only during the first year of school that ADHD children come to the attention of people who may be able to help. A major problem for Danielle and others with ADHD is that they act on impulse rather than thought. When Danielle gets mad, she might pour soda over her sister's head, or bring a room down around her. Does she know it's wrong? "Yes," she says. Does she care? "No." Danielle on medicine is an engaging child with far-reaching interests. She can sit for hours at a computer game building puzzles; she can talk about the Civil War with adult skills. She asks lots of questions about life going on around her and is sincerely interested in the answers. In a group of children, Danielle is often the one who feels most comfortable alone. The difference between Danielle on medicine and off medicine is her impulsivity. "I don't misbehave," she says, her smile revealing her shyness. A federally convened panel met earlier this month to discuss the state-of-the-art in ADHD. The group concluded, not without a firestorm, that the psycho-stimulant Ritalin is the most effective treatment available. As with any medicines, there are side effects. Some children complain of feeling tense, irritable and unable to sleep. And no one knows how long a person must stay on Ritalin. It seems that many of the overt behaviors - the talking aloud, the impulsivity - begin to disappear in late adolescence. Behavior therapies have also helped parents learn to manage their children - on and off medicines. These strategies, however, have to be practiced moment by moment and can be exhausting for parents, teachers and the children themselves. Doctors now say that the condition is lifelong, even though symptoms are different in adults. Motivation and the ability to focus are the primary complaints of adulthood. Researchers at the State University at Stony Brook recently finished a decade-long study to determine whether ADHD children were at greater risk for drug abuse in late adolescence or adulthood. Jan Loney, a psychologist at Stony Brook, began her work at the University of Iowa, where she had a natural study design. There was one doctor who always medicated the children he diagnosed, and another who never did. The people selected for the study had been seen between 1967 and 1978, when they were between 6 and 12 years old. In total, 187 boys were medicated and 37 had never been treated with Ritalin. They also pulled together a control group: 49 junior high school students without attention or impulse problems. The study followed up when the particpants were in their early 20s. They were asked about their attitudes towards medication: if they ever experimented with drugs, had friends who exposed them to drugs, and were currently using illegal substances. Those with an ADHD diagnosis had fewer episodes of experimentation and involvement with illegal drugs. The ADHD patients were far more likely to abuse alcohol, however, but there was a big difference between those who had received medicines as a child and those who hadn't. According to Loney, 30 percent of the medicated ADHD patients were alcoholics compared with 45 percent of the unmedicated patients. By comparison, 18 percent of the control group had a drinking problem. These findings were presented earlier this month during the federal panel convened by the National Institutes of Health. Loney stresses that this study was conducted during a different drug-culture climate, and findings could be different if conducted today. There is another important message, Loney said. "Medication seems to be important, and that there could be hazardous consequences if children don't receive treatment."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Biker slain in restaurant (The Montreal Gazette says Lawrence Bellas, 38, a Hell's Angels associate, was shot and killed yesterday by a hit man in a busy east-end restaurant, where two innocent diners were also wounded. Police said there was little doubt Bellas was another victim in the continuing war between the Hell's Angels and the Rock Machine for control of the illicit-drug trade.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Biker slain in restaurant Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 08:57:02 -0800 Lines: 123 Source: Montreal Gazette (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tuesday 22 December 1998 Biker slain in restaurant Two diners wounded as hit man targets Hell's Angels associate MICHAEL MAINVILLE The Gazette PAUL CHIASSON, CP / Two unidentified relatives of victims comfort each other at scene of the east-end shooting. DAVE SIDAWAY, GAZETTE / Grieving family members embrace outside Maison des Bieres Importees on Cartier St. A Hell's Angels associate was shot and killed yesterday by a hit man who opened fire in a busy east-end restaurant and wounded two innocent diners. The target, 38-year-old Lawrence Bellas, died on the floor of the restaurant from a gunshot wound to the chest. Last night, police said there was little doubt Bellas was another victim in the continuing war between the Hell's Angels and the Rock Machine for control of the illicit-drug trade. "The victim was an important associate of the Hell's Angels, who was close to Maurice (Mom) Boucher, among others," said Det.-Lt. Jean-Francois Martin of the Montreal Urban Community police homicide squad. "At this point, it looks like a straightforward settling of accounts between biker gangs." The gunman, his face hidden by a ski mask, burst into the Maison des Bieres Importees on Cartier St. just before 2 p.m., MUC police Constable Jean-Pierre Levis said. 30 Customers Inside There were about 30 customers in the restaurant, most sitting near the bar in the back. The gunman targeted Bellas, who was sitting alone at the front of the restaurant near the door, and opened fire with a handgun, Levis said. "He just came in off the street and started firing right away." Police could not say how many shots were fired, but two men who were also sitting at the front of the bar were hit by at least one bullet each. The men, both in their 40s, were in a hospital last night. One was in good condition after a bullet hit him in the arm. The other was more severely wounded, but police said his life was not in danger. Police were quick to point out that the wounded men had no connection with organized crime. "They had no relation whatsoever with bikers," Levis said. "They were just two innocent bystanders." No one else in the restaurant was injured, but police said some patrons required treatment for shock. After firing, the assailant ran from the restaurant on foot. He was described as 6 feet tall and in his 30s. Bellas was reputed to be a member of the Rockers, a Hell's Angels affiliate. He is known to have been an associate of Boucher, the head of the Nomads, an elite squad of the Hell's Angels, whose recent acquittal on charges that he arranged the killing of two prison guards made headlines. In 1995, Bellas was charged along with Boucher and Hell's Angels associate Steven Bertrand with conspiracy to commit assault. At the time, police alleged that three men had conspired to have a man beaten after he roughed up Bertrand in a bar on Rachel St. Bertrand and Bellas ended up pleading guilty to the charge. Bellas's slaying was the 41st in the MUC this year. There had been 47 by the corresponding date last year. If the shooting was pulled off by the Hell's Angel's enemies, it could signal an escalation in the gang war, with the Rock Machine starting to take the offensive in the wake of the recent killings of a number of high-ranking members of the gang's elite death squad, the Dark Circle. Shortly after the shooting yesterday afternoon, a handful of friends and relatives of the victims briefly milled about near the police cordon. One shaken woman shouted abuse at police officers. "He's not there," said a friend of the distraught woman, who led her away from the crime scene. "He's gone." Another upset man angrily ordered TV crews and photographers to stop photographing the group. The restaurant, just north of Sherbrooke St. across from the Papineau metro station, advertises European specialties, frites maison and coleslaw on its signs. Police said it is not known as a biker hangout or to have any connection with organized crime. "It's a great place. They have 64 different kinds of beer," said one woman who was on her way into the metro yesterday. "Everybody around here eats there. It's full of businessmen and businesswomen. "But you never know who your neighbours are going to be." (c)1998 The Gazette,
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombia Police Make Record 66-Pound Heroin Bust (Reuters says that with Tuesday's haul, Colombian authorities have seized 836 pounds of heroin this year, a 75 percent increase from 1997. Colombia began to produce and export heroin from about 1991, and officials now estimate Colombia has some 12,000 acres of illegal opium poppy plantations.)Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:23:57 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Colombia: Wire: Colombia Police Make Record 66-Pound Heroin Bust Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. COLOMBIA POLICE MAKE RECORD 66-POUND HEROIN BUST BOGOTA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Colombian police seized 66 pounds (30 kg) of high-grade heroin, worth between $2.5 million and $5.5 million wholesale in the United States, in what it said was the "biggest heroin bust in the history of Colombia's war on drugs." A light aircraft was confiscated and its three occupants were arrested in the operation along the remote Guajira peninsula on the Caribbean coast. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that up to 60 percent of the heroin sold in the United States is from Colombia and fetches between $85,000 and $185,000 per 2.2 pounds (1 kg). With Tuesday's haul, Colombian authorities have seized 836 pounds (380 kg) of heroin this year, a 75 percent increase compared to 1997. Colombia began to produce and export heroin from about 1991 drawing on help from Afghan and Pakistani producers and traffickers, according to police sources. Officials estimate Colombia has some 12,000 acres (5,000 hectares) of illegal opium poppy plantations located in central Tolima and Huila, southwest Cauca and northern Cesar and Guajira provinces. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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