Mayor Defends Pocatello 'Head Shop' Busts, Arrests

Mayor Defends Pocatello 'Head Shop' Busts, Arrests
Posted by CN Staff on February 28, 2003 at 11:49:19 PT
By John O'Connell - Journal Writer
Source: Idaho State Journal 
Pocatello - Toni Reisner wasn't happy when her son Damon Bosquez took a job at Smokey's Den about five years ago, but she thought it was honest work.She believed her son and other workers who sold glass pipes and smoking accessories at a so-called "head shop" protected themselves legally by posting signs informing customers all products were intended only for tobacco use.
Monday morning, police arrested her son and five other employees and owners of local stores on felony charges of selling drug paraphernalia.In Pocatello, police and federal officials confiscated truckloads of alleged paraphernalia from Smokey's Den, 145 S. Third Ave., Pegasus Book Store, 246 W. Center St., and Twenty after Four 218 N. Main St."I want to know how these businesses are licensed in Pocatello, but yet it's illegal," Reisner said. "My kid's never been in trouble in his life."Mayor Roger Chase said the warrants were issued by the federal government, and the city's role was to assist and observe. He said the City Council never discussed the topic."This was a federal indictment, and the law they were citing them on was a federal law and not city or state laws," Chase said.Arrests were also made in Idaho Falls, Boise, Nampa, Mountain Home, Burley and Twin Falls in connection with a federal crackdown on paraphernalia shops.Police charged Bosquez and Mark Sayles, both of Smokey's Den; Bryan Jason Clum and Travis Clifton Shafer, co-owners of Twenty after Four, and store employee Thomas Owen Calvin; and Michelle Darlene Harrison, a Pegasus employee.The defendants have all pleaded not guilty and have been released from jail awaiting trial April 28 and 29.Jack Van Valkenburgh, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, said his organization opposes the raids but will probably not get involved in the case any time soon."We certainly oppose making felonies of these types of problems, and we oppose the criminalization of marijuana for consenting adults for the same reasons we got rid of prohibition of alcohol," Van Valkenburgh said. "I think it's a shame to jeopardize the future of young people's lives in this way."Assistant U.S. Attorney Monte Stiles said the Idaho effort started with a search of the Red Eye Hut in Boise, and authorities realized similar businesses were selling paraphernalia throughout Idaho."If you can find me a Tommy Chong bong with tobacco residue on it then you will be in the 'Guiness Book of World Records,'" Stiles said.Newshawk: druid Source: Idaho State Journal (ID)Author: John O'Connell - Journal WriterPublished: February 28, 2003Copyright: 2003 Idaho State JournalContact: letters journalnet.comWebsite: -- Paraphernalia Archives
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 28, 2003 at 12:06:03 PT
Week in Review: Taming the Net 
By Steven Musil, Staff Writer, CNET News.comFebruary 28, 2003A new sheriff is aiming to clean up the wild, wild Internet: the U.S. Justice Department. The Justice Department has adopted a new crime-fighting tactic: seizing control of domain names for Web sites that allegedly violate the law. The Justice Department took over the -- -- domain, whose owner pleaded guilty to using his site to sell "mod" chips that let Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation owners modify their devices so that they could use them to play illegally copied games, or "warez." Visitors to the site were greeted with the message: "The domain and Web site were surrendered to U.S. law enforcement pursuant to a federal prosecution and felony plea agreement for conspiracy to violate criminal copyright laws." But the Web site is still online and accessible via means other than the domain name. regulars have resorted to using the site's numeric IP address and are continuing to discuss the case. Complete Article:
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