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1 US MD: Baltimore Police Corruption Trial Reveals Deep Reach Of City'sTue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Marbella, Jean Area:Maryland Lines:219 Added:02/13/2018

One target drove a Mercedes and lived in a waterfront condo on Boston Street; another was homeless, essentially living out of a storage unit where he kept his money balled up in a sock. One lived with his extended family in a house he bought with a lead poisoning settlement; yet another had a half-million-dollar home on two acres of land in Westminster.

The circumstances of the people who were targeted for robbery by the Baltimore Police's Gun Trace Task Force ranged widely, according to witnesses in the federal trial of two of its former members. The sums allegedly taken went from three figures up to six.

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2 US PA: Feds: Philly Officer Sold Drugs Stolen By Corrupt BaltimoreTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Roebuck, Jeremy Area:Pennsylvania Lines:71 Added:11/14/2017

Federal agents arrested a Philadelphia police officer Tuesday, accusing him of conspiring with officers in Baltimore to sell cocaine and heroin seized from that city's streets.

Prosecutors say that Eric Troy Snell, 33, earned thousands of dollars serving as a conduit between corrupt members of a Baltimore police task force who stole the drugs and his brother, who sold them in Philadelphia.

Investigators also have accused Snell of threatening the children of a Baltimore officer who pleaded guilty in the case.

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3 US: Trump's Effort To Blame Obama For The Opioid EpidemicFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Kessler, Glenn Area:United States Lines:98 Added:08/11/2017

"Federal drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years. We're going to be bringing them up and bringing them up rapidly. At the end of 2016, there were 23 percent fewer than in 2011. So they looked at this scourge and they let it go by, and we're not letting it go by."

President Trump -- who two days after this briefing said he would declare the opioid epidemic to be a national emergency -- not so subtly tried to pin the blame on the Obama administration. "They looked at this scourge and they let it go by," the president said, citing statistics that federal drug prosecutions have declined 23 percent since 2011.

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4 US KS: We'll Never Be The SameSat, 29 Jul 2017
Source:Ada Evening News, The (OK) Author:Swenson, Kyle Area:Kansas Lines:82 Added:08/01/2017

Hydroponic Tomato Garden Inspired Police To Raid Family's Home

WASHINGTON - The police report would claim it all kicked off at 7:38 a.m., but Bob Harte later thought it had to be earlier.

His 7:20 a.m. alarm had just yanked him awake. Got to get the kids - a boy in seventh grade, a girl in kindergarten - ready for school. Then he heard, like a starter's pistol setting everything into motion, the first pounding on the front door of his home in Leawood, Kansas, a bedroom suburb south of Kansas City. It was thunderous. It didn't stop. Should I get up? Bob thought. Should I not? Sounded like the house was coming down, he would recall later.

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5 US: OPED: Striking The Right Balance On Asset SeizuresThu, 27 Jul 2017
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Terwilliger, George J. Area:United States Lines:75 Added:07/27/2017

A critical way of ensuring crime doesn't pay is for law enforcement to seize the proceeds of drug deals or other illegal activity. This process, called asset forfeiture, is a valued part of a comprehensive criminal-justice program, but proper oversight is needed to prevent abuse.

Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions restarted the longstanding practice, suspended by the Obama administration in 2015, of allowing state authorities to use federal forfeiture procedures. Mr. Sessions also introduced important safeguards to protect innocent people.

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6 US: Column: The Crisis In Americaas Crime LabsSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Ottawa Sun (CN ON) Author:Malkin, Michelle Area:United States Lines:105 Added:07/17/2017

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.

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7 US FL: Desperate For Help, Heroin Addicts Get 'Hijacked' To FloridaFri, 23 Jun 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Lubrano, Alfred Area:Florida Lines:208 Added:06/23/2017

Alfred LubranoWest Chester addiction psychologist Drew Alikakos dials a number for a local addiction treatment center that he suspects has been illicitly re-routed to a Florida facility. His own phone number was "hijacked" in such a manner.

Alfred Lubrano works for the enterprise team. Previously, he wrote about poverty, and before that, he was a feature writer and columnist.

Last September, West Chester addiction psychologist Drew Alikakos made a jarring discovery: His patients were disappearing.

Gallery:

Philly and Conrail to clean up 'heroin hellscape'

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8 US MD: Maryland General Assembly Ethics Committee Hires SpecialFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)          Area:Maryland Lines:140 Added:01/21/2017

Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, speaks to reporters on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly's 2016 session. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

Special counsel hired for ethics investigation into Baltimore County Del. Morhaim's cannabis work.

The General Assembly ethics committee that's investigating Del. Dan K. Morhaim's work with a medical cannabis company has hired a special counsel to assist with the review.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who on Friday disclosed the hiring of the special counsel, said the action underscores the serious nature of the investigation.

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9 US DC: Outside Lawyer To Review MD Lawmakers Marijuana BusinessFri, 20 Jan 2017
Source:Washington Post (DC)          Area:District of Columbia Lines:72 Added:01/21/2017

[photo] Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) (Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun)

The Maryland General Assembly has hired outside counsel to aid its ethics investigation of a state lawmaker who championed medical marijuana while having a business relationship with a prospective dispensary, a spokesman for the Senate president confirmed Friday.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said on the floor of the legislative body that the ethics committee had recently tapped an outside lawyer to help on a matter.

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10 US CA: City Devastated By Oxycontin Use Sues Purdue Pharma, ClaimsThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Ryan, Harriet Area:California Lines:159 Added:01/19/2017

[photo] A bottle of Oxycontin pills. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

A Washington city devastated by black-market OxyContin filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the painkillers' manufacturer Thursday, alleging the company turned a blind eye to criminal trafficking of its pills to "reap large and obscene profits" and demanding it foot the bill for widespread opioid addiction in the community.

The suit by Everett, a city of 100,000 north of Seattle, was prompted by a Times investigation last year. The newspaper revealed that drugmaker Purdue Pharma had extensive evidence pointing to illegal trafficking across the nation, but in many cases, did not share it with law enforcement or cut off the flow of pills.

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11 US CT: City Devastated By Oxycontin Use Sues Purdue Pharma, ClaimsTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:181 Added:01/17/2017

[graphic] This motion graphic shows how OxyContin flowed out of Los Angeles.

A Washington city devastated by black-market OxyContin filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the painkiller's manufacturer Thursday, alleging that the company turned a blind eye to criminal trafficking of its pills to "reap large and obscene profits" and demanding it foot the bill for widespread opioid addiction in the community.

The suit by Everett, a city of 100,000 north of Seattle, was prompted by a Times investigation last year. The newspaper revealed that drugmaker Purdue Pharma had extensive evidence pointing to illegal trafficking across the nation but in many cases did not share it with law enforcement or cut off the flow of pills.

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12US NY: Cuomo Proposes Decriminalizing MarijuanaThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY) Author:Spector, Joseph Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making another pitch for the state to decriminalize possession of some marijuana.

Cuomo quietly included the proposal in a 380-page State of the State message that he provided late Wednesday to the state Legislature.

"The illegal sale of marijuana cannot and will not be tolerated in New York state, but data consistently show that recreational users of marijuana pose little to no threat to public safety," is on Page 191 of Cuomo's message.

The idea will again stoke a debate in Albany after the issue gained prominence in 2012 -- when the Democratic governor first made the push to decriminalize possession of marijuana.

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13US CA: Pot Dispensaries Are Already -- Illegally -- SellingSun, 08 Jan 2017
Source:Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) Author:Staggs, Brooke Edwards Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/09/2017

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 Register/SCNG)

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."

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