Warrant Explains Pandora's Box Raid 

Warrant Explains Pandora's Box Raid 
Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2003 at 09:24:26 PT
By Doug Harlow, Staff Writer 
Source: Kennebec Journal 
Waterville  An agreement to order a pipe for smoking marijuana coupled with the proximity of about 250 smoking pipes to the other drug-related items was enough to get a search warrant that led to the raid of Pandora's Box on Main Street in Waterville. The Morning Sentinel obtained a copy of the search warrant Friday. It outlines an undercover trip for Somerset County Detective Tom Rourke on Wednesday to the store.
"Detective Rourke stated that he talked to a clerk and told the clerk that he had a pipe that was capable of holding a couple of grams of weed (marijuana) in it," the warrant, written by Waterville police Detective David Caron states. "Detective Rourke told the clerk that the pipe had been taken by the police and he was looking to get another one similar to the one he had." The clerk allegedly said he was familiar with that type of pipe and would order one for him. The next day, Waterville police raided the store. Hundreds of items were seized in the raid, including smoking pipes, stash boxes, bongs, scales, T-shirts with pictures of marijuana leaves on them and stickers advocating the use of drugs, marijuana in particular. "Without exaggeration," the detective wrote in the search warrant, "each and every time I have encountered someone in possession of such paraphernalia I have always found that the paraphernalia was used to ingest marijuana or other illegal materials." In an interview April 2, the day after Pandora's Box opened on Main Street, store manager Cristopher Johnson said the pipes, scales and bongs all were being sold for tobacco use only. Signs in the store also noted that the items for sale were for tobacco use. Police and prosecutors said that claim was preposterous. They also said the case against Pandora's Box is different from another paraphernalia case they lost last year after a 1999 raid, also on Main Street, because of the blatant display of marijuana-related symbols this time. What may have been the most conspicuous example of in-your-face marijuana advocacy, said District Attorney Evert N. Fowle, was the presence at Pandora's Box of a mask, which covered the head of a smoker. Attached to the mask in the area of the nose and mouth was a flexible hose, which in turn was hooked to a smoking bowl, enveloping the face and head in smoke. "I'm sorry, but I will go to my grave not believing that anyone would use that to consume tobacco," Fowle said. "It looks like a gas mask. "These people at this store were over the top." In the 23-page search warrant, Caron cites other evidence that the pipes and rolling papers on sale at Pandora's Box were for smoking or ingesting illegal substances. Stickers on sale at the store had slogans including "4:20," the time of day known internationally as "burn time" or the hour to light up a marijuana pipe or joint. Other stickers said "killer Bud," "Got Weed?" and "Stoner Chicks Rule." Caron also cited pictures and written material on an Web site. The site on psychoactive drugs shows examples of the same or similar products that were for sale at Pandora's Box, according to Caron. Fowle said misdemeanor criminal charges will be forthcoming in the case. He said he will consult with Waterville Police Chief John E. Morris and others involved in the case to see how and when to proceed. Johnson, the store manager, declined to be interviewed Friday, but the store was open for business. Joseph Correale of Fort Fairfield, the owner of the Waterville store and another in Presque Isle also declined to be interviewed for this story. Johnson said Correale wanted to pass along one message. "He said we're a novelty store," Johnson said. "We just sell novelties." Source: Kennebec Journal (ME)Author: Doug Harlow, Staff Writer Published: April 12, 2003Copyright: 2003 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.Contact: kjedit centralmaine.comWebsite: Paraphernalia Archives
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 14, 2003 at 22:10:34 PT
No I linked to your news page but I went ahead and changed it to your home page. Thank you for linking to CNews. I appreciate it.
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Comment #6 posted by palmspringsbum on April 14, 2003 at 21:55:46 PT:
why thanks so much
I hope you linked to my home page rather than the news page?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 14, 2003 at 16:47:17 PT
I added you page to my personal web pages. Keep up the good work!
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Comment #4 posted by palmspringsbum on April 14, 2003 at 16:30:20 PT:
one good link deserves another?
Why thanks.
palmspringsbum - where it all comes together
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on April 14, 2003 at 15:26:53 PT
Just a Comment
When there's a lot of news I don't post all articles on the front page but they appear on this link in the order that I post them and thought I'd mention this feature again for those who aren't aware of it.
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Comment #2 posted by palmspringsbum on April 14, 2003 at 15:22:45 PT:
and it just occured to me
He's probably hanging his employee out to dry also...trying to put the onus on him.Christopher Johnson strikes me as just the sort of person this movement doesn't need - he certainly doesn't deserve its support or sympathy, in my opinion.That poor clerk...
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Comment #1 posted by palmspringsbum on April 14, 2003 at 15:11:15 PT:
talk about sending a message
Mr. Johnson has lost and the prohibitionists have won, for when they corrupt you (and you then become like them) they have won. And he has just demonstrated to the world he is corrupt, that the truth is an inconvenience in his world.He surrendered when he lied."We just sell novelties." Who does he think he's kidding? Thanks Johnson for sending the message that we're all a bunch of lying mercenary opportunists who think nothing of lying to the press and the public.I'm sure the prohibitionists thank you...not that this means they'll go any easier on you...
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