Friday, September 26, 2008

Couple arrested for carrying raw chocolate At US Border

For second time, drug test falsely shows their confection to be hashish

Sep 26, 2008

Staff Reporter

The drug-sniffing dogs were coming. They knew they were in trouble again – for carrying chocolate.

Even with their certified letter from the Department of Justice, which clearly outlined the organic chocolate they were carting across the U.S. border was, in fact, chocolate, Nadine Artemis and her partner, Ron Obadia, prepared themselves for the worst.

Sure enough, just like the last time, the couple was arrested and charged with exporting a controlled substance.

"It was absolutely crazy," said Artemis, 37. "We don't know what it is that sets the dogs off, but it does."

This was Sept. 11. Just one month earlier, on Aug. 3, the pair had attempted to board a plane bound for Minnesota at Pearson airport.

The couple run Living Libations, a natural food and beauty care company.

"I'm a botanical formulator, so we're carrying all this strange stuff – little vials of jasmine, vanilla.

"We have a lot of exotic stuff," she said.

They had also packed some raw, organic chocolate – made of unrefined, unprocessed cacao, maca root, hemp seeds and goji berries.

"At first the (customs officials) said, 'Oh, you guys are just holistic.' Then the dogs came."

The animals went nuts over the chocolate. A rapid drug test was done, which returned a false positive result for hashish.

Artemis and Obadia, a yoga expert who once toured with the Barenaked Ladies, were arrested. Their baby son was taken away.

"They took us into separate rooms and interrogated us. That's when they (lied and) told me Ron had confessed everything," she said. "We were absolutely dumbfounded, confounded, and, of course, afraid. Utterly afraid."

They contacted criminal lawyer Marcy Segal. By month's end, she had arranged for forensic testing that proved the chocolate was, in fact, just that. The charges were dropped.

Business frequently takes the couple to the United States, so they were eager to clear their name. They arranged to meet an immigration lawyer at the Lewiston bridge for a supervised trial run, armed with papers detailing the bogus arrest and a certified letter from the Department of Justice in Brampton explaining the product.

Customs officials initially accepted the papers, but said they still needed to bring out the dogs.

Those charges are still pending.

For Segal, the irony is outrageous.

"Neither of these people consume alcohol or marijuana. They're completely natural," said Segal.

"Clearly, these NIK (rapid drug) tests are unreliable. Whether or not anything is going to be done about it is yet to be determined."

Man charged with battery after passing gas

Sep 24, 2008


SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va.–((((((((((((((((((A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrolman has been charged with battery on a police officer.))))))))))))))))))

Jose A. Cruz, 34, of Clarksburg, was pulled over early Tuesday for driving without headlights, police said. According to the criminal complaint, Cruz smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and failed three field sobriety tests before he was handcuffed and taken to a police station for a breathalyzer test.

As Patrolman T.E. Parsons prepared the machine, Cruz scooted his chair toward Parsons, lifted his leg and "passed gas loudly," the complaint said.

Cruz, according to complaint, then fanned the gas toward the officer.

"The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons," the complaint alleged.

He was also charged with driving under the influence, driving without headlights and two counts of obstruction.

Cruz acknowledged passing gas, but said he didn't move his chair toward the officer nor aim gas at the patrolman. He said he had an upset stomach at the time, but police denied his request to go to the bathroom when he first arrived at the station.

"I couldn't hold it no more," he said.

He also denied being drunk and uncooperative as the police complaint alleged. He added he was upset at being prepared for a breathalyzer test while having an asthma attack. The police statement said he later resisted being secured for a trip to a hospital that he requested for asthma treatment.

Cruz said the officers thought the gas incident was funny when it happened and laughed about it with him.

"This is ridiculous," he said. "I could be facing time."


Well I never knew Farting could get you charged with Battery. How special the American police are. What a stupid pathetic thing to do to someone.

I knew they were a bit out there but this takes the cake and the cookie jar too.




This is a major crime and should be taken seriously. Well it's no wonder their jails are filled to the brim. Next they will be letting loose the Fart Police to catch all them nastys who are threatening innocent Americans.

This rates right up there with the stupid idiot who sent out the memo's to all the Police agencies to watch out for folks with the Almanacs that they are terrorists.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning. Monday, December 29, 2003

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning."

It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways.

"The practice of researching potential targets is consistent with known methods of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations that seek to maximize the likelihood of operational success through careful planning," the FBI wrote.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the bulletin this week and verified its authenticity.

"For local law enforcement, it's just to help give them one more piece of information to raise their suspicions," said David Heyman, a terrorism expert for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It helps make sure one more bad guy doesn't get away from a traffic stop, maybe gives police a little bit more reason to follow up on this."

The FBI noted that use of almanacs or maps may be innocent, "the product of legitimate recreational or commercial activities." But it warned that when combined with suspicious behavior -- such as apparent surveillance -- a person with an almanac "may point to possible terrorist planning."

The publisher for The Old Farmers Almanac said Monday terrorists would probably find statistical reference books more useful than the collections of Americana in his famous publication of weather predictions and witticisms.

"While we doubt that our editorial content would be of particular interest to people who would wish to do us harm, we will certainly cooperate to the fullest with national authorities at any level they deem appropriate," publisher John Pierce said.

The FBI said information typically found in almanacs that could be useful for terrorists includes profiles of cities and states and information about waterways, bridges, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, buildings and landmarks. It said this information is often accompanied by photographs and maps.

The FBI urged police to report such discoveries to the local U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force.


"Poppy Coin" Found By U.S. Contractors Led To Sensational Warning By Defense Department WASHINGTON, May 7, 2007

This photo provided by the Royal Canadian Mint shows a 2004 silver-colored 25-cent piece, known as the poppy quarter.

The silver-colored 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy — Canada's flower of remembrance — inlaid over a maple leaf. The unorthodox quarter is identical to the coins pictured and described as suspicious in the contractors' accounts. (AP Photo/Royal Canadian Mint)

(AP) An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind the U.S. Defense Department's false espionage warning earlier this year, The Associated Press has learned.

The odd-looking — but harmless — "poppy coin" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "anomalous" and "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.

The silver-colored 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy — Canada's flower of remembrance — inlaid over a maple leaf. The unorthodox quarter is identical to the coins pictured and described as suspicious in the contractors' accounts.

The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy's red color from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada's 117,000 war dead.

"It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source," wrote one U.S.

The confidential accounts led to a sensational warning from the U.S. Defense Security Service, an agency of the Defense Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

One contractor believed someone had placed two of the quarters in an outer coat pocket after the contractor had emptied the pocket hours earlier. "Coat pockets were empty that morning and I was keeping all of my coins in a plastic bag in my inner coat pocket," the contractor wrote.

But the Defense Department subsequently acknowledged that it could never substantiate the espionage alarm that it had put out and launched the internal review that turned up the true nature of the mysterious coin.

Meanwhile, in Canada, senior intelligence officials expressed annoyance with the American spy-coin warnings as they tried to learn more about the oddball claims.

"That story about Canadians planting coins in the pockets of defense contractors will not go away," Luc Portelance, now deputy director for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, wrote in a January e-mail to a subordinate. "Could someone tell me more? Where do we stand and what's the story on this?"

Others in Canada's spy service also were searching for answers. "We would be very interested in any more detail you may have on the validity of the comment related to the use of Canadian coins in this manner," another intelligence official wrote in an e-mail. "If it is accurate, are they talking industrial or state espionage? If the latter, who?" The identity of the e-mail's recipient was censored.

Intelligence and technology experts were flabbergasted over the warning when it was first publicized earlier this year. The warning suggested that such transmitters could be used surreptitiously to track the movements of people carrying the coins.

"I thought the whole thing was preposterous, to think you could tag an individual with a coin and think they wouldn't give it away or spend it," said H. Keith Melton, a leading intelligence historian.

But Melton said the Army contractors properly reported their suspicions. "You want contractors or any government personnel to report anything suspicious," he said. "You can't have the potential target evaluating whether this was an organized attack or a fluke."

The Defense Security Service disavowed its warning about spy coins after an international furor, but until now it has never disclosed the details behind the embarrassing episode. The U.S. said it never substantiated the contractors' claims and performed an internal review to determine how the false information was included in a 29-page published report about espionage concerns.

The Defense Security Service never examined the suspicious coins, spokeswoman Cindy McGovern said. "We know where we made the mistake," she said. "The information wasn't properly vetted. While these coins aroused suspicion, there ultimately was nothing there."

A numismatist consulted by the AP, Dennis Pike of Canadian Coin & Currency near Toronto, quickly matched a grainy image and physical descriptions of the suspect coins in the contractors' confidential accounts to the 25-cent poppy piece.

"It's not uncommon at all," Pike said. He added that the coin's protective coating glows peculiarly under ultraviolet light. "That may have been a little bit suspicious," he said.

Some of the U.S. documents the AP obtained were classified "Secret/Noforn," meaning they were never supposed to be viewed by foreigners, even America's closest allies. The government censored parts of the files, citing national security reasons, before turning over copies under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Nothing in the documents — except the reference to nanotechnology — explained how the contractors' accounts evolved into a full-blown warning about spy coins with radio frequency transmitters. Many passages were censored, including the names of contractors and details about where they worked and their projects.

But there were indications the accounts should have been taken lightly. Next to one blacked-out sentence was this warning: "This has not been confirmed as of yet."

The Canadian intelligence documents, which also were censored, were turned over to the AP for $5 under that country's Access to Information Act. Canada cited rules for protecting against subversive or hostile activities to explain why it censored the papers.
contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car. "Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire like mesh suspended on top."

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army