Charges include fraud, bribery, trafficking
A suspended Hamilton police gangs and weapons enforcement unit officer
already awaiting trial for his alleged role in helping a drug
trafficking organization is facing 16 new criminal charges.
On Tuesday, Craig Ruthowsky was charged with bribery, two counts of
breach of trust, two counts of obstructing justice, public mischief,
two counts of weapons trafficking, fraud under $5,000, trafficking
marijuana, perjury, two counts of conspiracy to commit an indictable
offence, robbery and two counts of trafficking cocaine.
[continues 613 words]
Junk science endangers lives. Forensic junk science in the hands of
overzealous prosecutors, ignorant police detectives and reckless
experts threatens liberty.
There is a crisis in America's government-run crime labs - and it's
not just the result of a few rogue operators. The problem is
long-festering and systemic.
In April, Massachusetts state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan made
national headlines after investigations and lawsuits over her
misconduct prompted the state's Supreme Judicial Court to order the
largest dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.
[continues 670 words]
Though Prop. 64 legalized recreational marijuana, businesses aren't
allowed start selling it until the state establishes a licensing system.
A security guard enters a shop with a sign posted that reads PROP 64
FRIENDLY! in Compton on Wednesday. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County
The online ad for Green Light District -- a pot shop in a brick office
building 5 miles from Disneyland -- was clear: Anyone 21 years and older
was welcome to buy weed with only a "valid ID."
[continues 554 words]
TRENTON - Ed Forchion wants to film a reality show chronicling the
impact of the country's so-called War on Drugs on his life.
He has a couple titles in mind: "The War on NJ Weedman." Or perhaps
even better, "Marijuana Martyr."
Forchion pointed to prosecutors' desire in a drug case in Trenton
that could land him in prison for years to protect the identity of a
confidential informant who allegedly purchased weed from him several
times at his downtown city business.
[continues 814 words]
TRENTON - Marijuana activist Ed Forchion gave a famous Los Angeles
graffiti artist $300 cash, an ounce of weed and an expensive bong to
paint a political statement on the side of his "Weedmobile" in 2008.
The provocative portrait showed NJ Weedman blowing smoke into Uncle
Sam's face. The van would later become a rolling billboard for
Forchion's Trenton restaurant and pot temple, capturing in
cartoonishly large candor his pro-marijuana views and disdain for New
Jersey's "hypocritical" drug laws.
[continues 930 words]
TRENTON - Marijuana legalization activist Ed Forchion and his
attorney took turns bashing police and prosecutors for alleged
perjury and gamesmanship and demanded the resignation of the county's
top law enforcement official during an impromptu news conference
outside criminal court Thursday.
Wearing a burgundy pinstripe suit, Forchion, known as NJ Weedman,
took a hit from a bong and handed out jury nullification pamphlets
following his first appearance in Mercer County Superior Court.
He railed against the tactics of Trenton Police and Acting Mercer
County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and discussed how his attorney,
Edward Heyburn, was at a disadvantage to argue his case in court
without a crucial sworn affidavit of probable cause.
[continues 854 words]
TRENTON - Facing an 11-count indictment on drug charges, Ed Forchion,
aka NJ Weedman, is not breaking a sweat.
In fact, the pro-marijuana activist has challenged acting Mercer
County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri to take the lead on the case.
"I'm ready for it," Forchion said Tuesday shortly after learning of
the indictment. "I really hope that Prosecutor Onofri presents this
case and takes this ass whooping himself."
Onofri announced Tuesday in a press release that a grand jury
returned the indictment charging the 52-year-old with numerous drug
offenses stemming from a raid on April 27 at his restaurant and pot
temple directly across from City Hall on East State Street.
[continues 630 words]
A Toronto cop who, along with three fellow officers, is accused of
planting drugs in a man's car in 2014 now faces new charges for his
arrest of the same suspect a year earlier.
Const. Benjamin Elliot first came under fire last fall during Nguyen
Son Tran's trial when a judge accused him and colleagues Const.
Jeffery Tout, Det.-Const. Fraser Douglas, and Const. Michael Taylor
of lying under oath and planting evidence to justify an illegal vehicle search.
[continues 289 words]
The state's highest court said Wednesday that people convicted on
drug charges in cases that involved a disgraced state chemist, Annie
Dookhan, can seek new trials.
Last year, the Supreme Judicial Court gave special permission to
people to undo their pleas if they had pleaded guilty to drug charges
in Dookhan-related cases. On Wednesday, it ruled that the same
protection must be extended to some defendants who went to trial.
"Regardless whether a defendant pleads guilty to a drug offense or is
found guilty at trial . . . the evidence is still potentially tainted
by Dookhan's misconduct," Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote for the
court. "The taint is still attributable to the government [because]
it may be impossible for the defendant to prove [their] case . . .
was actually tainted by Dookhan's misconduct."
[continues 609 words]
A group of men met among the tombstones of a Paso Robles cemetery
sometime in 2014.
Two of them were lawmen from the SLO County Narcotics Unit, a
multiagency group dedicated to tackling drug crime in the county. The
third was a civilian. A man with a wife and kids and a past checkered
by drug use and criminal charges.
They were there for different reasons. The lawmen knew drugs were
flowing into the county. They wanted to root out the criminals
responsible for selling them and put the dealers behind bars. The
third man was just looking to stay away from the wrong side of those same bars.
[continues 3166 words]
Department Investigates Alleged False Testimony That Could Derail Cases
Chicago police have begun an internal investigation into allegations
that as many as six officers lied in their court testimony and are
prepared to take at least one of the officers off the street because
of a judge's determination he had testified falsely in a narcotics case.
The inquiry, confirmed by a police spokesman, comes in response to a
Tribune investigation that documented more than a dozen examples over
the past few years in which judges concluded officers gave false or
questionable testimony in court.
[continues 946 words]
A Harper's Magazine writer recently reiterated a stomach-turning
admission of racist societal control concocted by the Nixon Administration.
That scandal plagued presidency was the first to declare war on
drugs, and did so squarely in the midst of social and racial
upheaval, as well as a foreign war. In a recent article arguing in
favor of the legalization of drugs, writer Dan Baum recounted how
he'd tracked down former Nixon advisor John Erlichman in 1994 for a
book Baum was working on.
[continues 534 words]
PRESIDENT Richard Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean says
he's shocked by the claim that his boss' motivation for declaring
"War on Drugs" was to lock up hippies and black people but admitted
"it's certainly possible."
Dean, 77, addressed the decades-old allegation by former Nixon
domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman a day after it surfaced in a
new magazine article.
"I was surprised by the statements," Dean told the Daily News Wednesday.
"If this was indeed true, it would have been the Nixon-Ehrlichman
private agenda. I can't believe (Nixon administration official Egil)
Bud Krogh would run the program with that agenda knowingly."
[continues 227 words]
THE "WAR ON DRUGS" was actually a political tool to crush leftist
protesters and black people, a former Nixon White House adviser
admitted in a decades-old interview published Tuesday.
John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic
policy chief, laid bare the sinister use of his boss' controversial
policy in a 1994 interview with journalist Dan Baum that the writer
revisited in a new article for Harper's magazine.
"You want to know what this was really all about," Ehrlichman, who
died in 1999, said in the interview after Baum asked him about
Nixon's harsh antidrug policies.
[continues 563 words]
The hits just keep coming for Toronto cops.
The already low morale among police officers was dealt another blow
Thursday with the news that four of their colleagues are charged with
perjury and obstruction of justice.
"It's definitely having an impact on morale, but the officers who work
in this city will keep doing their job to the best of their ability,"
Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack said.
He said cops can't help but be concerned about how the public
perceives them in the wake of the criminal charges for allegedly
planting heroin during a bust and lying under oath at Nguyen Son
[continues 350 words]
Attempted murder, deceit, collusion, perjury, obstructing justice and
something else that won't be revealed until a disciplinary tribunal
in March. These are your cops, Toronto. "It certainly has been an
anomaly week for our service," said Police Chief Mike Saunders,
confirming the latest charges Thursday. And you've got to feel some
sympathy for the guy, who's barely had a moment's peace since he got
the top job.
Const. James Forcillo: Guilty of attempted murder in the six rounds
he fired at the already dying teenager Sammy Yatim.
[continues 1110 words]
Four officers charged with perjury, obstruction of justice
TORONTO - Four Toronto police officers have been charged with
obstruction of justice and perjury after allegedly providing false
testimony in court.
Police Chief Mark Saunders says the officers face a total of 17
charges and have all been suspended with pay as the case plays out in court.
Saunders says a team from the force's professional standards division
will investigate other cases the officers have worked on.
"Anything that questions the integrity of any member of the Toronto
Police Service concerns me," Saunders said at a news conference
[continues 592 words]
On Jan. 11, 1964, Dr. Luther Terry, Surgeon General of the United
States, took bold action and identified cigarette smoking as a public
health hazard. Following this action, a broadbased anti-smoking
public education program was initiated. But the big tobacco industry
was not easily intimidated; they fought back with their own
misleading advertising and even committed perjury in testimony before
Congress. However, over a period of time, the facts and truth
prevailed. In 1965, 42 percent of Americans smoked, but thanks to the
Surgeon General the number has been reduced to 17%. He is responsible
for saving thousands of lives.
[continues 294 words]
Issuing tax certificates gives a false sense of legitimacy, city lawmakers say.
Los Angeles lawmakers want to stop letting new marijuana shops sign
up to pay city taxes because they say there is no way the businesses
could be legal under restrictions approved by voters more than two years ago.
"We shouldn't be making money off of illegal businesses," City
Councilwoman Nury Martinez said.
The council voted Wednesday to request that City Atty. Mike Feuer ask
the finance office to stop issuing business tax registration
certificates to newly established pot shops, one of several proposals
meant to prevent illegal businesses from using city documents to
convince customers they are operating with city approval.
[continues 392 words]
Council Examines Charges That Outlets Are Registering to Claim Legitimacy.
Even as Los Angeles tries to crack down on marijuana businesses, one
arm of city government - its tax registration office - has continued
to register pot shops that may not be allowed to operate under
voter-approved regulations. Rick Loomis Los Angeles Times
COUNCILWOMAN Nury Martinez wants officials to verify that shops
comply with city rules before issuing certificates, but they say
that's not doable.
The practice has alarmed some city lawmakers, who complain that
marijuana shops not complying with the rules have used business tax
registration documents to convince customers and landlords that they
are operating legally.
[continues 504 words]