Articles Posted in Drugs

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The power of the President is enormous. He can push the button and end it all. He can negotiate and enter into treaties with foreign nations – even when it means giving them a button of their own (ahum, Iran).  Another very interesting power the President has, is the power to commute a criminal sentence.

President Obama exercised that power when he commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders earlier this week.  But how does the President commute a sentence? What does it mean to “commute” a sentence? How common is it for a sentence to be commuted? Does a regular Joe inmate even have a chance?

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Heather Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine, Florida was arrested Wednesday after she was accused of driving drunk, news sources report. Harley-Davidson, 49, was booked into the St. John’s County Jail on charges of driving under the influence. She also reportedly received a ticket for failing to maintain a single lane. Harley-Davidson was later released from jail on $1,000 bail. The press did not specify an attorney for her.

According to reports, the incident occurred late Wednesday in the 5500 block of Florida State Road A1A in St. Augustine. An officer in the area reportedly spotted a 2001 Silver Lincoln Continental veering across lanes of traffic; the vehicle continued to veer as the officer pulled it over, sources allege.

The officer approached the vehicle and found Harley-Davidson behind the wheel, reports say. The officer asked Harley-Davidson for her license, but she had a difficult time finding the ID card in her bag, sources allege. “While I was observing her fumble to get her license out, she got upset and tossed the whole purse at me through the window,” the officer reportedly noted in his report.

Based on reports, Harley-Davidson had trouble standing upright, slurred as she spoke, and smelled of alcohol. The officer had Harley-Davidson step out of her car for sobriety testing, sources say. Reports say she could not stand properly. The officer had her fill out a document, during which time she nearly fell to the ground, reports allege.

The officer reportedly had Harley-Davidson walk to a nearby parking lot so they could safely conduct a field sobriety test. As she walked, Harley-Davidson nearly fell again, sources indicate. At that point, Harley-Davidson allegedly became angry and she told the officer that she did not want to take the test. The officer supposedly asked Harley-Davidson to submit to a breathalyzer test three different times; she reportedly refused. It is not clear whether Harley-Davidson actually admitted to having anything to drink before driving.
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Victoria Thomason, a Martin County, Florida teacher, and her son, Russell Thomason, were arrested after they were accused of growing cannabis at their home, news sources report. Victoria, 55, and Russell, 25, were booked into police custody on charges stemming from the cultivation of marijuana. It is unclear whether they qualified for bail. So far, a criminal defense lawyer does not appear to have spoken on either of the defendants’ behalf.

According to reports, Victoria teaches social studies to middle school students in the Martin County school district. Sources say she has been with the district for nearly a decade. Based on reports, Victoria and her son share a home in Martin County.

It is not presently clear what led police to the home, but reports say that the Martin County Sheriff obtained a search warrant for Victoria and Russell’s home recently. During a search, officers found 58 cannabis plants growing inside Victoria and Russell’s residence. The press did not say what stage of growth the plants had reached. It is also unclear whether officers found paraphernalia at the home.

Victoria reportedly told the officers that she grows the marijuana as a medical aid for Russell. “My sense would be that there’s more marijuana growing there than somebody would need for personal use,” a police spokesperson reportedly countered. “My impression and belief is that it was being sold.”

Following her arrest, Victoria has been suspended without pay from her teaching duties. “It is, I think, a little more onerous because we see a teacher doing it, somebody in a position of trust,” a police spokesperson reportedly told the press of the offense. “Parents are sending their students to her classroom in good faith, wanting the right message. And this is certainly not the right message.”

Over the years, marijuana has been legalized in several states on a prescription level. The drug, which can be smoked or reduced and eaten, has purportedly been shown to treat a number of chronic conditions, including anxiety, depression, anorexia, and persistent pain. While not addictive in nature, users may habitually use marijuana for its euphoric effects. It is unclear whether Russell suffers from any medical ailments that would require its use. Medical marijuana is not yet legal in Florida.
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Julio Cesar Luna, Oscar Segura, Jonna Leigh Kimla, Adolfo Ayala Jr., Raul Aaron Rios, Edgar Sanchez Segura, and Mike Lewis Ramirez were arrested in an Okeechobee County, Florida methamphetamine bust on Monday, news sources report. Facing charges of possessing and trafficking methamphetamines are Luna, 28; Oscar Segura, 21; Kimla, 25; Ayala Jr., 22; Rios, 26; Edgar Segura, 26; and Ramirez, 26. Luna’s bail was set at $1.4 million, Oscar Seguar’s at $950,000, and Kimla’s at $65,000. The remaining defendants are being held on $750,000 bail bond each. The press did not say whether the defendants have hired criminal defense attorneys.

Very little information regarding the defendants’ arrests were made available at current press time. According to reports, the federal government, the Drug Enforcment Administration, the Okeechobee County Narcotics Task Force, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement contributed to the investigation that led to the arrests. The agents executed a DEA search warrant at 2828 Northwest 46 Avenue and 3573 Northwest 24 Avenue in Okeechobee as a result of the investigation.

The detectives allegedly seized an unspecified amount of methamphetamines at the two properties. In all, the drugs were purportedly worth $258,000. Luna, Segura, Kimla, Ayala Jr., Rios, Segura, and Ramirez appear to have been arrested at the locations were the drugs were found. Reports say an investigation is still open; it is too early to tell whether there will be more arrests.

“I’m very proud of the Narcotics Task Force, Special Response Team (SRT), and the many deputies that helped with this investigation,” an Okeechobee County Sheriff spokesperson reportedly stated. “We intercepted this shipment before it could be distributed to our citizens. All the officers on this case did an outstanding job.”

Methamphetamine is a crystalized and highly addictive drug that is made using a variety of chemicals, sometimes including that medicine pseudoephedrine. Side effects of the drug include weight loss, acne, sleeplessness, and, in some cases, death. Addicts will often go to great lengths, such as thefts, to feed their drug habit.
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Antonio Castovinci of Delray Beach, Florida was arrested Tuesday in connection to a crash with driver Edwin Loder and his passenger Charlotte Loder back in January, news sources report. Edwin, of Boynton Beach, sustained cuts and a rib fracture in the crash, while Charlotte sustained a badly bruised leg. After the results of a toxicology report came in, Castovinci, 61, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of using false information to obtain a driver’s license and driving under the influence. A county judge set his bail bond at $45,000. The press did not specify a defense lawyer for Castovinci.

According to reports, Castovinci had his Florida license suspended in August 1999 for unspecified reasons. At that time, Castovinci went by Antonio Castrovinci. Only a month later, he re-applied for a Florida license with the last name Castovinci, sources allege. Castovinci allegedly tweaked his social security number and changed his birth date as well and was awarded a license.

The incident occurred on January 18 in the 14600 block of South Military Trail in Delray Beach, reports say. Castovinci was behind the wheel of his 2002 VMW when he drove into the side the Loder’s car, reports say. Additional details regarding the crash, such as whether either driver was attempting a turn, were not available.

Edwin Loder and Castovinci both sustained injuries to their ribs in the accident and were rushed to the Delray Beach Medical Center, sources indicate. Charlotte Loder sustained more minor injuries, but she also required treatment, sources say. It is not clear whether any of the injuries have had lasting repercussions.

Initially, when questioned by police, Castovinci reportedly said he had not consumed alcohol prior to the crash. However, officials allegedly claim that Castovinci displayed signs of drunkenness at the Delray Beach clinic following the crash. Officials conducted a toxicology test with Castovinci’s blood on the night of the crash, sources say.

The report, which came back on August 13, showed Castovinci had a blood alcohol level of .093 and .094, much higher than the limit of .08. Castovinci also tested positive for a sedative called Clonazepam, reports say. It is not clear whether he has a prescription.
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