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Cannabis crime roundup: Fire leads to SoCal seizure, police & customs officials busted

GARDEN GROVE — More than 350 marijuana plants were found late Sunday night during a fire at a Garden Grove business, authorities said.

The blaze was reported around 11 p.m. at an unoccupied commercial building in the 13000 block of Century Boulevard, Garden Grove police said in a statement.

Garden Grove firefighters found the pot plants, and police officers obtained a search warrant to enter the building. No one was injured in the blaze, and there have been no arrests.

Information about the cause of the fire and value of the marijuana was not immediately available. The incident remains under investigation.

Scott Schwebke, Orange County Register


TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s prosecutor’s office says 10 police officers and eight customs officials have been arrested for organizing illegal drugs traffic to nearby Italy.

A statement Monday said those arrested “had a form of cooperation” in two cases when trucks in Italy were found with 10 metric tons (11 tons) of cannabis after crossing from or through Albania.

They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking.

Last year, Albanian authorities destroyed about 2.5 million marijuana plants, four times more than the year before, and seized several metric tons of cannabis at border crossing points or from boats bound for neighboring Greece and Italy.

But despite increased measures this year, dozens of tons of the drug have been seized in Italy or Greece after passing through Albania.

— Associated Press


DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — The first of four Arizona men charged in a home invasion robbery that led to the shooting death of a Colorado college student has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

The Durango Herald reports Daniel Nelson Wright of Phoenix was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to burglary as part of a plea agreement.

Authorities say Wright and his co-defendants entered the Durango home of Samuel Xarius Gordon in May 2016 planning to steal a large amount of marijuana.

Gorden, who attended Fort Lewis College, was shot by one of the intruders and died at a hospital.

Police have not said who fired the gun.

All four men were initially charged with murder, robbery, burglary and menacing.

Wright apologized to Gordon’s family during his sentencing and asked for forgiveness.

— Associated Press


News in pictures

In this Wednesday, April 5, 2017 photo, Kara Bland stands in front of her car in Chicago. Bland’s 2010 Chevy Malibu still had temporary plates when police seized it for a crime she did not commit. She loaned it to the father of her daughter, who was arrested after picking up someone who had marijuana on him. For six weeks, Bland took her daughter to school on a Chicago city bus and relatives helped her run errands before a judge released the car on bond. It took a total of nine months to officially regain ownership and cost her $1,000. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

 


CHOWCHILLA — A woman was arrested Wednesday after authorities found over 1,600 marijuana plants and more than $20,000 while three search warrants were served in Chowchilla.

Evelyn Castillo was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales and theft of utilities, said Madera County Sheriff’s Office officials. During the search,1,617 marijuana plants, 10.74 pounds of processed marijuana and $20,668 were recovered.

Anyone with information on drug related activity should call the MADNET Tip Line at 559-675-7776.

Fresno Bee


KINGSTON, N.H. (AP) — A former New Hampshire lawmaker has filed plans to plead guilty to charges of drug possession and trying to lure a 14-year-old girl over Facebook into a sexual encounter.

A Rockingham County prosecutor said Friday that Kyle Tasker is to enter the plea May 9. Authorities say he tried to lure an undercover police officer, posing as the girl. They say he offered alcohol and marijuana and proposed sexual encounters.

The 31-year-old Tasker was scheduled for trial next month. His lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Nottingham Republican resigned in March 2016.

The prosecutor says Tasker would receive three to 10 years in prison under a negotiated sentence and can ask that six months be suspended off the minimum term if he completes a sex offender program.

Associated Press