Tag Archives: Police
PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech police found a million liters of illegal alcohol hidden in underground tanks in one of the biggest seizures of untaxed booze ever.
Police have been chasing a widespread web of untaxed alcohol makers and distributors since a batch that included poisonous methyl alcohol killed 45 people and forced the government to ban all liquor sales for several weeks in September last year.
A spokesman said officers found the illicit booze at several unused industrial sites around the steel-making and mining center of Ostrava, in the eastern Czech Republic near Polish and Slovak borders, and at a site near the northern German border.
“Under the floors, in some places under a two-meter layer of cement and rubble, tanks with illegal ethanol were found,” the police said in a statement.
Video footage showed officers and firemen using an earth mover, pneumatic drill and steel cutters to reveal the storage places.
Tax evasion from the sale of the booze would amount to about 12 million euros ($ 15.45 million), the police said.
The Czech Republic is one of Europe’s heaviest drinking countries, and the world’s leader in per-capita beer consumption of around 140 liters per year. Hard alcohol made from flavored ethanol is widely available in bars, stores and market kiosks, and popular especially among poorer Czechs.
Industry experts have estimated illegal liquor make up 15-25 percent of the market.
Police said they have not charged anyone in relation with the case yet. Last year, dozens of people were charged when police traced poisonous illicit alcohol to producers.
($ 1 = 0.7769 euros)
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka, editing by Paul Casciato)
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A lawsuit says that New York City police officers routinely stop black and Latino men without cause and then charge them with low-level misdemeanors when small amounts of marijuana are found.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
That is when the men say police officers confronted them, sometimes violently, searched their clothing and discovered small amounts of marijuana, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit that is expected to be filed on Thursday in United States District Court for the Southern District, in Manhattan.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of five Bronx men, contends that New York City police officers routinely stop black and Latino men without cause and then charge them with low-level misdemeanors when their pockets are emptied and small amounts of marijuana are found.
In each of the cases, the amount of marijuana found on the men would have amounted to little more than noncriminal violations punishable by a fine of up to $ 100 for first-time offenders. But the lawsuit contends that the charging officers falsely claimed the marijuana was in public view, making it a low-level misdemeanor under Section 221.10 of the New York Penal Code, which allows for sentences of up to three months in jail.
Critics of the Police Department say the practice, which they call manufactured misdemeanors, is widespread. The arrests are often the outgrowth of the department’s stop-and-frisk program, which is being challenged in federal court for, among other things, disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic men.
The lawsuit names the city, the department and several officers and supervisors as defendants. It was filed by the Bronx Defenders, which represents low-income defendants, and the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady L.L.P. A similar lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Society is pending in state court in Manhattan.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department declined to comment on Wednesday, saying the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit.
The Police Department charged more than 50,000 people with marijuana misdemeanors in 2011. More than 84 percent were black or Hispanic, a disparity that is even more pronounced in the Bronx.
In an effort to limit these arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has made decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in open view one of his top goals this legislative session. The Legislature failed to act on a similar measure last year, despite support from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly.
Though state law calls for misdemeanor cases to be tried within 60 days, the time limits are seldom met, the lawsuit contends. People arrested in the Bronx have it even worse; a recent series of articles in The New York Times revealed a dysfunctional justice system plagued by long delays that often make it all but impossible for people charged with misdemeanors to ever reach trial.
Two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Francisco Zapata and Danilo Melendez, were featured in one of the articles. They endured long delays and made frequent court appearances waiting for trial before the charges against them were finally dropped.
A version of this article appeared in print on May 2, 2013, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: Federal Suit Claims Police Distorted Marijuana Searches to Create Misdemeanors.
Erik | May 01, 2013 | Comments 0
An apparent marijuana-sniffing moose was on the loose in Vermont which turned out to be an unfortunate situation for one particular illegal pot farmer.
A Vermont moose decided to wander out of the woods and take a stroll through the quiet little town of Burlington. He began his tour of the town at the Vintage Inspired Marketplace possibly to window-shop for a few antiques to help decorate his wooded retreat.
After antique dealer Mary Heinrich Aloi noticed the rather large and funny looking dog without a leash she decided to contact the local authorities to apparently help reunite the strange looking beast back with its owners. “I was amazed at how big it was,” Aloi avowed.
The local police arrived on the scene and made attempts to convince the oversized canine to head back towards its home in the hills. While following the moose-looking pooch around to ensure it and the public’s safety, the little fella apparently lead them directly to an illegal pot plot located in an outbuilding in the Burlington neighborhood.
Damn, and I thought Bullwinkle was cool like that. Oh well, Rocky, looks like we need to find a new weed-friendly moose to kick it with from now on.
Last May, a Tacoma, Wash. cop pulled over Joseph Robertson for speeding. The cop said he smelled marijuana in the car, and after a search police ticketed Robertson for marijuana possession and took his stash in addition to a driving without a valid license charge.
Since then Robertson, who is a medical marijuana patient, had the pot charge dropped says he should get his bag of meds back – and the municipal court has agreed. Twice.
“Appeal or comply,” Municipal Court Judge Jack Emery ordered police and the Tacoma City Attorney last Thursday. Emery isn’t joking around either, adding “Or next week, show up, and I would advise you to bring counsel.”
This is the second time Emery has ordered police to return Robertson’s stash, the first time was back in February some two months after Robertson’s case was dismissed.
Robertson’s possession charge was dropped in December in part due to Washington voters approving of I-502, which legalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, and because he showed proof that he was a medical marijuana patient.
Emery called the police and city’s actions “contemptuous”. Emery said that the city has completely missed deadlines to argue their case, “even if they had merit”.
According to the News-Tribune, the city has been ordered fill out and submit a property release form to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, who has the cannabis locked up in their evidence room.
The Sheriff’s department – which is not under the jurisdiction of Emery and the municipal court – have said that they won’t simply hand the herb over to Robertson, however. Instead, they say that they want to wash their hands of the situation and have Tacoma police get the pot and deliver it to Robertson.
Robertson’s attorney says that if the Sheriff’s Office fails to comply, they will take them to court as well.