Thursday, February 10, 2011

Georgia lawmaker who helped ban fake weed now eyes 'narcotic bath salts'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Last year, state Rep. Jay Neal successfully pushed legislation that spelled the end of synthetic marijuana in Georgia.

Now the Lafayette Republican is targeting another suburban teenager's faux-drug du jour — "narcotic bath salts," a cheap and legal alternative to cocaine and methamphetamine which Neal says can lead to hallucinations, paranoia, and even cause death. So says Neal via a press release:

“Narcotic Bath Salts create a growing concern within the state of Georgia. I have had several conversations with parents who have personally experienced their teenager citing the legality of this drug as justification for using it,” said Representative Neal. “These are dangerous substances and we must act quickly to remove them from the shelves of the corner convenience store.”

HB 199 would specifically ban five chemicals in the state of Georgia: Methyenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone), Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), Methoxymethcathinone, and Fluoromethcathinone. These chemicals all belong to the chemical family of cathinones, a group of drugs related to amphetamine compounds like ecstasy. Commonly manufactured in China and India, the chemicals targeted by HB 199 are currently sold online and in stores throughout the state as plant fertilizer, insect repellant, and fake “bath salts.” Common brand names of the drug are Ivory Wave, White China, Infinity, Cloud-9, White Dove, and Ocean. These can be purchased for as little as $20 a pack.

So can cigarette cartons. It'll be interesting if manufacturers try to defend the listed chemicals, however. God knows what other profitable products use those tongue twisters.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Add "potential racial bias" to Judge Jack T. Camp's list of offenses

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 6:53 PM

The U.S. Attorney's Office says it uncovered some "disturbing" facts and allegations in an investigation into Federal Judge Jack T. Camp — and defendants sentenced by Camp might have a chance to go back before a judge because of it.

If you recall, Camp pleaded guilty two weeks ago in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to possession of controlled substances and conversion of government property. He was busted by the Feds in early October for buying cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone to share with his girlfriend, Goldrush stripper Sherry Ann Ramos, and gifting her a government-owned laptop computer. Unbeknownst to Camp, Ramos was working as an informant for the FBI.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates — concerned that Camp might have performed his judicial duties poorly during the period when he was taking drugs and seeing Ramos (May-October, 2010) — launched an investigation, and found evidence of potential bias in several cases Camp sentenced.

The details are pretty insane.

A witness, referred to as Witness 1 in the U.S. Attorney's press release, told investigators that Camp had made clear to her on several occasions that he didn't like an acquaintance of hers, an African American male (referred to here as Individual A). The release continues:

Camp told [Witness 1] that when African American men appeared before him, he had a difficult time adjudicating their cases and specifically determining their sentences because he could not differentiate them from Individual A in light of his feelings about Individual A.

Witness 1 also told investigators that Camp might have meted out too harsh a sentence to a defendant because of his feelings about Individual A:

Witness 1 also said that Camp told her about a particular case in his court involving an African-American male and white female co-defendant in which Camp had sentenced the male defendant to 30 to 40 years because the African-American male had a personal relationship with the white female co-defendant, and it reminded him of the relationship between Witness 1 and Individual A.

Yates' office says it couldn't find a case that exactly matched Ramos' description, but that "efforts to make a more conclusive determination are continuing."

Other allegations include Camp's possible leniency to a female defendant who reminded him of Witness 1, and the use of racial epithets in the presence of a Witness 2.

The press release concludes by saying that the U.S. Attorney's Office "will not object to a defendant's request for a resentencing in any case in which the defendant was sentenced during this time [May-October]" and will evaluate any case a defendant requests be reviewed for possible bias or impairment.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spacemen descend on Norcross home to open Christmas gifts, confiscate massive amounts of meth

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM

  • Gwinnett County Police
While you were winding down your Monday afternoon, Gwinnett County Police and Drug Enforcement Agency agents wearing Hazmat suits seized more than 980 pounds of methamphetamine — with an estimated street value of more than $44 million — from a Norcross home.

Officials say yesterday's find is possibly one of the largest meth confiscations in U.S. history. Meth manufacturers say they haven't felt this depressed since the General Assembly required pharmacies to stock pseudoephedrine behind the counter.

According to police, the home on Newbury Road was empty and appeared to be used solely to manufacture the drug. Jose Galvez-Vela of Weslaco, Texas, was arrested and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. Police say they're following up on other leads to determine who's responsible for the drug's production in the home.

After the jump, photos from the seizure.

Continue reading »

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Federal judge's stripper girlfriend makes the big time!

Posted By on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Sherry Ann CI-1 Ramos, before and after
  • Sherry Ann "CI-1" Ramos, before and after
The continuing coverage of Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp Jr. and his alleged, drug-and-gun-infested affair with a Goldrush stripper is the gift that keeps on giving.

And now we're having to share that gift with the rest of the country.

The Smoking Gun has posted a photo gallery of the aforementioned stripper, who's been ID'd as one Sherry Ann Ramos — who, I must say, does not look like the kind of woman who'd make a married federal judge jump the rails. Her mugshot looks like it belongs in a PSA about the perils of meth. She doesn't look quite as, um, used up in all of the photos posted on TSG, but she's no Helen of Troy.

Also, this was, shockingly enough, not the girl's first brush with the law. According to TSG:

Ramos was originally indicted in January 2005 on a narcotics distribution charge, but later cut a plea deal to a lesser count of using a phone to arrange the sale of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. In describing the unnamed stripper/informant used in the Camp probe, FBI agents noted that the snitch's rap sheet included a “federal felony conviction for use of a telephone in connection with a drug trafficking crime.”

Yes, the judge seemed to have picked himself a keeper, alright.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Last BMF suspect indicted in Atlanta pleads guilty

Posted By on Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 6:52 PM


The last of, oh, about 150 suspects to be arrested in the sprawling, multi-state investigation into the Black Mafia Family pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court.

Vernon Coleman — who goes by "Wu," because of his love of Wu-Tang Clan — 'fessed up to one count of conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine. He faces a minimum 10 years in prison and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in December.

Coleman, who was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, ran the Atlanta-based label Life Records, as well as a party promotions firm, Wu Productions. His attorney, Chris Adams, says Coleman threw parties for the likes of NBA star Allen Iverson.

As for how Coleman hooked up with BMF, one of the nation's largest cocaine enterprises and a once-powerful force in the hip-hop industry, Adams says his client helped facilitate cocaine deals between BMF and cocaine distributors in Coleman's native Birmingham, Ala.

Coleman was one of 16 BMF associates indicted in federal court in Atlanta in 2007. It took authorities two years to catch up with him. U.S. Marshals apprehended him in July 2009, after taking a battering ram to the front door of the Sandy Springs apartment where he was staying.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Your love is my drug — no, but really

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Who knew the lyrics of Ke$ha's hit single would be backed by science?

  • majorlycool.com

Romantic love triggers the same effect on the human brain as an addiction, according to a recent study published in this month's issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

Continue reading »

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Add It Up: So much weed, so few ideas

Posted By on Sat, May 8, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Estimated value, in dollars, of marijuana seized by police in Gwinnett County on April 26: 327,000

Estimated value, in dollars, of weed seized seized by federal agents in south Fulton on April 24: 1 million

Estimated value, in dollars, of marijuana that law enforcement officials seized in Rabun County on April 7: 3.5 million

Estimated cost, in dollars, of pot arrests for Georgia taxpayers in 2006: 326 million

Estimated number of people sent to prison in Georgia for selling or possessing weed in 2009: 16,000

Maximum prison sentence, in months, for marijuana possession in Georgia: 12

Maximum prison sentence, in days, for marijuana possession in California: 0

Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 14

Number of bills introduced by Georgia lawmakers this year to allow the medical use of marijuana: 0

Sources: AJC, CNBC, Georgia NORML, "Marijuana in Georgia," Dr. John Gettman

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

BMF member arrested, Jay-Z's 'Death of Autotune' gives nod to the crew

Posted By on Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Is it true? Has every last Black Mafia Family member been arrested? That's what Fox News and the AJC are reporting, citing officials at the U.S. Marshals Service in Atlanta.

But really, it depends on how you look at it.

Impressively, the Marshals have rounded up pretty much every defendant named in seven federal indictments filed in Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, St. Louis and L.A. That comes to nearly 150 men and women who played some role in BMF's sprawling, quarter-of-a-billion-dollar cocaine enterprise, which launched an Atlanta-based record label and was well-connected in the hip-hop world — including a tight relationship with Atlanta rap star Young Jeezy.

Most recently, Vernon "Wu" Coleman, an alleged distributor for the cocaine crew who was named in one of the Atlanta indictments, was arrested July 16. As far as I can tell, there's only one remaining defendant nationwide who's still listed as a fugitive: an L.A. drug dealer who allegedly supplied BMF distributors with kilos of coke in the crew's waning days, after BMF's founders — the brothers Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and Terry "Southwest T" Flenory — were jailed for running the criminal enterprise.

However, there are several suspected BMF members who, for one reason or another, were never indicted. So while it's true that almost every BMF member who was indicted has been arrested, there are still some stragglers.

Continue reading »

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