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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.


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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.

(Source)


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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.

(Source)


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Out Of Their Minds The Truth About Teens

Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 26th 2011 by THCFinder

From the age of 14, Henry Cockburn spent much of his time stoned on cannabis. His father Patrick, the award-winning foreign correspondent, thought his habit was harmless until the day Henry nearly died and was subsequently sent to a psychiatric hospital. The details of Henry's dramatic breakdown and treatment for schizophrenia makes compelling reading, especially for any parent whose child is using cannabis. Father and son have turned the story into a book. In one extract, Cockburn describes how his son turned from talented artist to disheveled wreck.

 

 

 

"He stopped shaving or washing his hair and went barefoot, so his feet became septic. He also soiled his jeans more than once." Now 29, Henry is in recovery and living in a halfway house in London. The details of his paranoia, his delusions and obsessions add to the growing evidence that the drug can trigger psychosis in people who are already genetically vulnerable. Author Julie Myerson also knows how excessive cannabis use can threaten to wreck families. Her son Jake became hooked on the potent "skunk" form of cannabis and Myerson was forced to throw him out of the family home in south London. Myerson, who also wrote a book about his drug abuse, has said there came a point "when it felt like my son was pulling the whole family over the edge".

Dealing with a pot-smoking teenager who is literally "out of their head" is a frightening situation which more London parents are being forced to confront. Cannabis has always been considered a "soft" drug, albeit illegal. A high without the toxic risks of heroin or cocaine. No drug is "safe", though, and figures from the National Treatment Agency (NTA) reveal that around 750 people a year in the UK - 14 a week - end up in treatment for mental health problems specifically related to cannabis use. Between 2009 and 2010, the overall number of 18- to 24-year-olds on the drug who accessed treatment services in London rose by nearly a third from 660 to 853. These services range from advice to more specialist help. There are many forms of cannabis or marijuana but the prevalence of skunk is causing most concern. Grown intensively indoors, it is up to three times as potent as hash or weed. Helena O'Connell, from Addaction, warns that cannabis use is the "norm" among young people in London and that means smoking skunk. She says: "It's like binge drinking. There's so much peer pressure with skunk and it's unheard of to switch to something milder.


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Police Find Cannabis Plants On Roadside

Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 26th 2011 by THCFinder

Local traffic police came across nine fully grown cannabis plants while helping with traffic control during the removal of a house from a property in Kaitemako Rd, Welcome Bay Today. Constable Daniel Mathews of the traffic unit said that the police noticed the plants on the roadside land, owned by the Tauranga City Council.

 

 

 

They questioned all of the neighboring residents about the plants but no one claimed to know anything about them. "They've just been seized by us for destruction," Mr Matthews said. Mr Matthews said no one had been charged in relation to the plants. Police will investigate the into the growing of these plants some more but as of yet police are still stumped on who is responsible.


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Florida's Jenkins Arrested On Marijuana Charge

Category: News | Posted on Tue, January, 25th 2011 by THCFinder

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been arrested on a marijuana possession charge, his second arrest in the past 20 months. It's also the first arrest under new coach Will Muschamp, who vowed to have players represent the university "the Florida way." Jenkins was arrested early Saturday in a Gainesville nightclub. Corporal Tscharna Senn, public information officer for the Gainesville Police Department, said officers patrolling downtown clubs spotted Jenkins in a public bathroom rolling a marijuana cigarette. She said Jenkins had a "small, clear bag of cannabis." Jenkins was charged with possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, a misdemeanor. He was not taken to jail. Instead, he was released after signing a notice to appear in court Feb. 17.

 

 

 

It's certainly not the start Muschamp wanted at Florida. "There's a certain thing that I'm going to refer to as the Florida way, and that's the way they need to act and that's the way they need to represent our University," Muschamp said during his introductory news conference last month. "And I'm going to demand that and I think that you'll understand in time that that's something that's very important to me." Former coach Urban Meyer's tenure was filled with off-the-field issues. The Gators had 30 arrests involving 27 players during Meyer's six seasons. One of those included Jenkins. Police used a stun gun when arresting him in May 2009 and Jenkins was charged with affray and resisting arrest without violence. Jenkins said he was fighting back after a man tried to pull a gold chain off his neck.

Jenkins signed a deferred prosecution agreement the following month and got his record wiped clean after serving probation and performing community service. Jenkins, considered one of the top cornerbacks in the Southeastern Conference, decided two weeks ago to return to school for his senior season. He's a three-year starter who played most of last year with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He missed the Outback Bowl following surgery. Despite the injury, Jenkins enjoyed his best season. He pretty much shut down the league's best receivers. Georgia's A.J. Green, Alabama's Julio Jones and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery averaged 38 yards receiving against Jenkins and had one touchdown between them. Many believed Jenkins would turn leave early. But after Muschamp took over and hired several assistants with NFL backgrounds, Jenkins opted to stay in school, rehab his shoulder and possibly improve his draft stock this fall. Now, he's facing almost certain punishment for his arrest.


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