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Archive for December, 2011

Wash., R.I. Govs’ Seek Reclassification with DEA for Marijuana

photo from umle.edu

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Adding their voices to legions of other public and law enforcement officials, the governors of Washington and Rhode Island have filed a petition with the DEA seeking to reclassify the legal standing of marijuana.

The petition, filed by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, seeks to change marijuana from a schedule 1 drug to a schedule 2 drug, which would allow its medical use under federal law, reports the Associated Press. The drug is legal for medicinal purpose under both state’s laws.

The federal and state marijuana laws have collided in recent years and caused a great deal of confusion.

To read more click here.

 

One More Tunnel Found on US-Mexico Border in Growing Trend

Border fence along Juarez-El Paso border/istock photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The latest in a series of secret passages used to smuggle drugs from Mexico to the US was found on Tuesday, linking warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana, reports the Associated Press.

“It is clearly the most sophisticated tunnel we have ever found,” Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego, said, according to AP.

The Tijuana warehouse, next to a packaging company and a tortilla distributor, sits on the same block as a federal police office.

Less than two weeks ago US authorities seized 17 tons of marijuana when they discovered a 400-yard passage linking the two towns, according to the AP. The passage had lighting and ventilation.

Tunnels have emerged as U.S. authorities increased on-land enforcement. More tunnels have been found along the border since October of 2008 than in the previous six years, many clustered around San Diego, California’s Imperial Valley and Nogales, Ariz., AP reported.

To read more click here.

Obama Grabbed by the Arm, Secret Service Swarm

Pres. Obama in Cannon Falls, Minn./white house photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Apparently those dismal approval ratings are not the whole story. An adoring fan grabbed the president by the arm at Scranton High School in Pennsylvania on Wednesday as he shook hands with supporters.

ABC describes the president as walking into the high school to a “rock-star welcome” when the woman grabbed first the president’s hand, then his bicep, yanking him towards the crowd. Secret Service swarmed in but Obama was able to loosen the woman’s grip on her own and continued onto the stage, “never losing his smile.”

To read more click here.

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Hinckley Not Dangerous and Should be Released, Lawyer Says

Feds Want Blago to Serve 15 to 20 Years

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors in Chicago want ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich to go away to prison for a long long time.

The Associated Press reports that prosecutors said in court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago that Blago deserves a sentence of 15 to 20 years, suggesting he misused his power in office “from the very moment he became governor.”

AP reported that Blago’s attorneys argued for leniency in court papers, saying he was “an intrinsically good, kind, and decent man.”

Sentencing is set for next Tuesday.

Blagojevich was convicted in his first trial on one of 24 counts.  The jury deadlocked on the remaining counts. In the second trial, he was convicted on 17 or 20 public corruption counts.

To read more click here.

 

Member of Aryan Brotherhood Gets 37.5 Years for Fires and Trying to Murder Disabled African American

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For guys like Steven Scott Cantrell, hate never goes out of style. Luckily in this case, either does justice.

The 26-year-old member of the Aryan Brotherhood, who hails from  from Crane, Tex. was sentenced Wednesday in fed court in Midland, Tex., to 37.5 years for a hate crime stemming from a series of arsons last December including one at a historic African-American church, the Justice Department said. Cantrell was also ordered to pay $550,780 in restitution to the victims.

As part of the arson of the historic church, he tried to murder a disabled African-American man, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said that Cantrell admitted that on Dec. 28, 2010, he set fire to Faith in Christ Church, a predominantly African-American church, as part of an effort to murder a disabled African-American man who he saw passing by the church in his wheelchair.

Authorities said Cantrell admitted that he started the fire with the intent of killing the disabled African-American man whom he believed lived at a shelter inside the church.

The man was not hurt.

Authorities said Cantrell ransacked the church, wrote a series of threatening and racist messages in large letters across the wall of the church next to the pastor’s office, and “tagged” the church with references to the Aryan Brotherhood.

Authorities alleged that the arson was part of a series of racially-motivated arsons that Cantrell set that day to gain status with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. In addition to the church, Cantrell admitted that he set fire to the house of someone he believed was Jewish.

“Today’s sentence reflects the vile nature of this defendant’s actions. Every person, regardless of race, national origin, religion or disability, should have the opportunity to live without fear of threat or harm,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in a statement.