Pipe Makers Free On Own Recognizance 

Pipe Makers Free On Own Recognizance 
Posted by CN Staff on February 26, 2003 at 10:58:25 PT
By Chris Durant, The Times-Standard 
Source: Times-Standard 
Eureka -- After one night in jail, the three Arcata men arrested early Monday morning on federal indictments alleging illegal drug paraphernalia trafficking were freed on their own recognizance Tuesday.Ryan Teurfs, Jason Vrbas and Gabriel Watson, all 29 and owners of 101 North Glass at 550 S. G St. in Arcata, were clad in orange jumpsuits with their hands shackled to their sides as they entered the federal courtroom a few blocks from the Humboldt County Jail.
The courtroom was packed with about 60 employees of the business, family members and supporters. Before and after the proceeding the employees and supporters stood in front of the federal courthouse holding up signs saying "Free 101 North Glass" and shouting "glass blowing isn't a crime."Federal Magistrate Larry B. Nord presided over the one-hour proceeding that was mostly filling out paperwork pertaining to their release.The three reserved their rights to enter their pleas until they go before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh on March 7.Since the Drug Enforcement Administration froze all of their accounts, business and personal, it was determined that the U.S. Marshal's Office will purchase one-way airline tickets for the three; they're responsible for paying for their return flight from Pennsylvania.When the proceeding was over, Nord turned to the defendants and wished them good luck.The indictments are the result of the federal DEA's "Operation Pipe Dreams" and were handed up by a federal grand jury in western Pennsylvania.The indictments named 55 people throughout the nation who are accused of selling or conspiring to sell products the DEA considers mainly intended for the use of illegal drugs."Everything we offer or sell has the word tobacco on it," Vrbas said. "We are not a paraphernalia company."Teurfs, Vrbas and Watson were released from the Humboldt County Jail shortly after noon."I found out what we were doing was illegal when I was face down in my front yard yesterday," Vrbas said Tuesday afternoon.All three owners said they have never had any problems with local law enforcement."They've been into our shop, they know what we do and have never had a problem with it," Teurfs said.Eric Blake, employee and former manager of 101 North Glass said the company has always paid its taxes and has been run legitimately since it was founded."The government has never had a problem taking my money," Teurfs said.Vrbas said he's concerned with the future of his employees."There's pregnant women who don't have medical coverage now," Vrbas said.The company provided two kinds of health insurance for its employees."They're also holding all payroll checks," Vrbas said.Blake said the indictments and arrests were "an extreme shock to everyone."U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said during a Monday press conference in Washington, D.C., that companies that sold paraphernalia over the Internet were mainly targeted."We do nothing on the Internet," Vrbas said. Vrbas said the 101 North Glass Internet site was only for catalog and reference purposes."We only sell to retail stores," Vrbas said.He said that when an order is made the retailer's resale number is thoroughly checked."The next step is March 7," Teurfs said.The three are trying to hire attorneys."They froze my accounts," Vrbas said. "I'm supposed to hire an attorney with no money?"If convicted of the charges, each face up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.Source: Times-Standard (CA)Author: Chris Durant, The Times-Standard Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 Copyright: 2003 MediaNews Group, Inc.Contact: editor times-standard.comWebsite: Articles:US Opens New Front in Decades Old Conflict Shops Remain Open After Taking Hit Hauls in Dealers of Bongs, Roach Clips
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on February 26, 2003 at 12:43:29 PT
More celebrity hogwash
Dionne Warwick now claims "I was FRAMED!" Shouldn't your psychic friends have warned you 'bout all this?
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on February 26, 2003 at 11:38:20 PT
The "Just say Yes" article in comment1
The just say yes article was posted to CNEWS on Sunday. It has no comments at present. It was noteworthy because it called for legalization recalling the conclusions of the Senate Report and sayin decriminalization is stupid when you keep the production and distribution very illegal-
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on February 26, 2003 at 11:26:02 PT
Nothing like the devolvement of democracy is there
Debra McCorkle that writes for AlterNet had a different perspective on the paraphanalia round-up - Her last article has a link on the right side of the above page and it has a great title, "Urine troubled down in Carolina." The link to DRUG WAR BRIEFS: Feds vs. States Rights by Kevin Nelson, AlterNet is also on the right side of that page and dated February 24, 2003 or you can go directly to Debra McCorkle's new piece-Operation Pipe Dreams Is a Nightmare - February 25, 2003People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers. They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide.
 John Brown, acting DEA chief I'd like to direct Mr. Brown to the Web site of of Aloha, Oregon. Not only will they sell me a gun silencer, there is an entire page devoted to explicit directions on how to obtain the necessary paperwork and background check in order to allow me to purchase a silencer online. I have to be at least 21 and innocent of any felony crime. One credit card payment and a little paperwork and I can blow someone's head off with a minimum of personal hearing damage. This article to appear in MacLeans on March 3rd revives the views of the Canadian Senate report last August in an article titled JUST SAY 'YES' -Legalizing marijuana would actually be safer for kids than decriminalization, writes BRIAN BERGMAN Yesterday was a big day on Cnews with 135,989 hits showing in the stat section.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 26, 2003 at 11:04:19 PT
News Brief from WIS-TV
 Irmo Businessman Posts Bond, Awaits Penn. Trial for 'Sneaky Pipes' Megan Hughes on Rothschild's bond hearing 
(Columbia) Feb. 26, 2003 - An Irmo businessman will be free until his trial after posting $15,000 bond Wednesday morning. Edward Rothschild, 48, is charged with several counts of offering or selling drug paraphernalia over the Internet. Investigators say the search of Rothschild's home also turned up nine video poker machines. He's been charged with illegal possession of those machines. Officials also raided his Broad River Road business, Gothic Dungeon. Rothschild's trial will be in Pennsylvania, where he was indicted. No date has been set. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The judge Wednesday asked Rothschild a series of questions about whether he was planning to travel, and Rothschild was very affable, agreeing to limit travel before his trial. He had no comments after the hearing. The charges against Rothschild stem from a nationwide drug paraphernalia crackdown by Attorney General John Ashcroft called Operation: Pipe Dreams targeting sneaky pipes, "Sneaky pipes are marijuana pipes concealed inside everyday items that a student might use such as highlighting markers, key chains or flashlights or even a makeup item such as lipstick and mascara."In 1999 Rothschild was arrested and charged with selling products used to circumvent a drug or alcohol screening test. He was convicted and a paid $2500 fine.
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