Mailed marijuana brings charge

Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 31st 2011 by THCFinder

A man accused of receiving nearly a pound of marijuana through the mail was charged Monday in District Court.

John Lewis Groom, 47, appeared for arraignment by video from the county jail and pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession with intent to distribute.

Judge G. Todd Baugh agreed to release Groom without bond after a public defender said Groom lives in California and the charge stems from an investigation more than two years ago.

Groom has no prior felony convictions and turned himself in when he learned of the warrant for his arrest, the defense attorney said.

According to court records, Groom and Erin Gallagher lived at a residence on Alderson Avenue in October 2008. An investigation by a federal and local drug task force revealed that the pair had  received several packages through the mail containing large amounts of marijuana, authorities said.

About 400 grams of marijuana and $1,538 cash were found during a search of the residence, court records state.

Gallagher, 24, was charged in August and has since pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony drug possession. She is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8. A plea agreement calls for her to receive a three-year deferred sentence.

In a similar but unrelated case, a 50-year-old Billings woman, Mildred Strike, is scheduled to go trial in late February on an allegation that she received a package through Federal Express mail containing seven pounds of marijuana. Strike remains free on a $5,000 bond.   



Man checks into jail with joints sewn in underwear, police say

Category: News | Posted on Sun, January, 30th 2011 by THCFinder
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.  — Police said a man checking into jail had 15 marijuana cigarettes sewn into his boxers.
According to WLKY's news partner the News and Tribune, Dontas Marshall, 41, was sentenced Jan. 5 to 15 years in prison for possession of cocaine.
Marshall, who was out of jail on bond, turned himself in to authorities at his sentencing hearing and was booked in to the Clark County Jail.
According to police reports, a corrections officer noticed Marshall smelled of marijuana.
Jail personnel found nothing in a pat-down search but said that Marshall was clenching his buttocks.
Officers then prepared to strip-search Marshall, who then admitted he had a joint in his boxers, police said.
Officers cut open the boxers and found 15 joints, according to police reports.
Police said, because of the amount, Marshall will face criminal charges.


Drugs Found After Car Stopped On M1

Category: News | Posted on Sat, January, 29th 2011 by THCFinder

Drugs with a street value of more than three-quarters of a million euro have been seized on one of the country's busiest motorways. Detectives uncovered the cannabis in a Northern Ireland-registered car stopped on the M1 near Drogheda. The driver and only occupant were arrested and is being held at Balbriggan Garda station under the Drug Trafficking Act.




The arrest was part of a joint Garda and PSNI operation into drug trafficking. Detectives from the Garda National Drugs Unit stopped the car as it was travelling northbound near the Drogheda toll plaza. Some 30 kilos of cannabis herb and 75 kilos of cannabis resin have been sent for forensic analysis. The haul is believed to have a street value of 810,000 euro.


1970s Marijuana Kingpin Arrested at Seniors Community

Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

A key member of a Miami-based marijuana-smuggling ring was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on Thursday, more than 31 years after skipping out of a federal trial. Mark Steven Phillips, 62, was arrested in his apartment at Century Village, a seniors community where he had been living in recent months, according to a press release by the U.S. Marshals Service.




Along with 13 others, Phillips was charged in May 1979 in what was then the country's largest marijuana importation prosecution in history. The ring, known as the "Black Tuna Gang," derived its name from the radio moniker for the group's Colombian source for marijuana. Phillips, who faces sentencing for a racketeering conviction and adjudication of fugitive charges, told U.S. Magistrate Edwin Torres that he has no property, $600 in a bank account and receives $667 in monthly Social Security benefits, the Miami Herald reported.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Phillips was sleeping when deputies went to his apartment on Monday and was told the "judge wants to see you, Mark" by the lead deputy marshal. "The judge wants to see me from 30 years ago," Phillips replied. Authorities estimate that the ring smuggled 500 tons of marijuana into the U.S. in the mid-'70s.


California woman gets Nebraska prison time for pot

Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A 63-year-old California woman has been given three-to-eight years in a Nebraska prison for the 66 pounds of marijuana found in the back of her sport utility vehicle.

Cynthia Bruckner, of Fountain Valley, Calif., was convicted of a drug-delivery charge in November. The Lincoln Journal Star says Bruckner was sentenced on Thursday.

She had sworn she didn't know the marijuana was secreted in the SUV she was driving along Interstate 80 last February when it was pulled over. A drug dog soon led state troopers to the hidden pot.

Troopers arrested Bruckner and her son, who was traveling with her. He is 43-year-old Scot Christensen, and he lives with her in Fountain Valley.

Christensen was convicted earlier this week and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31.



Chris Bartkowicz Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison

Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 28th 2011 by THCFinder

A Denver-area marijuana grower who was controversially arrested last February was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison on Friday.

Chris Bartkowicz of Highlands Ranch, Colorado was arrested at his home in February, 2010 after DEA agents saw a segment about his medical-marijuana grow operation on local news.

"Whether it's a small grow or a big grow, I don't think the average person realizes how close to their front door it is," Bartkowicz told KUSA in Denver during a segment on Colorado's burgeoning medical marijuana industry.

Days later, DEA agents arrived at Bartkowicz's house, confiscated the marijuana plants he had been growing in his basement, and charged him with felony Marijuana Possession with Intent to Sell, a crime punishable by up to 40 years in prison.

The arrest send shockwaves through the medical marijuana community, as Bartkowicz was a licensed medical marijuana caregiver in Colorado.

Marijuana-rights activists pointed to a guidance the Obama administration issued shortly after taking office that directed law federal enforcement officials "not to focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws."

The DEA says that it had reasonable evidence that Bartkowicz was not in "clear and unambiguous" compliance with Colorado law, as the number of plants he was growing exceeded the amount he was allowed under state law.

In August, a federal judge ruled that Bartkowicz could not use state law as a defense.

In October, Bartkowicz pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 60 months on prison. District Court Judge Philip Brimmer accepted the deal on Friday.




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