Agents Raid Warehouse and Seize Paraphernalia

Agents Raid Warehouse and Seize Paraphernalia
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2004 at 12:32:42 PT
By Diana Marrero, Miami Bureau 
Source: Sun Sentinel 
U.S. Customs officials seized more than $1 million in multi-colored bongs, bongs shaped like flashlights and even Sponge Bob bongs from a Miami-Dade County warehouse Monday, in one of the nation's largest drug paraphernalia busts ever.Officials suspect the warehouse supplied so-called head shops that sell such paraphernalia all over the nation -- in direct violation of federal law. The bust comes only months after a nationwide crackdown on drug paraphernalia suppliers that has resulted in dozens of arrests, including comedian Tommy Chong. Chong is now serving a nine-month federal prison sentence for distributing bongs on the Internet.
Call them what you will -- tobacco water pipes, decorative items, you name it -- bongs are used to smoke marijuana, said Anthony Mangione, Immigration and Customs Enforcement resident agent in charge for Fort Lauderdale."You could throw flowers in it and call it a vase. You could stick a light bulb in it and call it a lamp," he said. "But it's still a bong."They have become so pervasive, Mangione said, that gasoline stations, kiosks at malls and convenience stores have become part of the drug trade by selling bongs and glass pipes in all shapes and sizes.Some of the items seized Monday at Da-Con Scientific in southwest Miami-Dade included bongs shaped as guns, in which people could smoke out of the barrel, and bongs disguised as lipstick tubes.Several were decorated with cartoon characters such as The Cat in the Hat. And one kind, disguised as a thermos, was placed inside a Simpsons lunchbox."They're clearly targeting kids," Mangione said. "I don't know too many adults sitting down with a Cat in the Hat bong."Other items seized included metal and glass smoking pipes, roach clips, and other items used for smoking or repacking marijuana, hash or crack cocaine.No one was arrested Monday but the investigation is ongoing.Paul Cecil, owner of Headquarters Tobacco & Gift Shop, said his business is down by more than 50 percent since federal agents seized about $40,000 in bongs and pipes from his Hialeah store last month."They can define anything as drug paraphernalia whether it is or it's not," said Cecil, who noted that agents raided Da-Con only weeks after they intercepted a UPS package the company had shipped to him and wrote down the tracking number.Paul Armentano, a policy analyst for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said that in a time when Americans are worried about terrorism, the federal government's crackdown on drug paraphernalia is a waste of money and effort."One really has to question the federal government's priorities," he said.Complete Title: Customs Agents Raid Miami-Dade Warehouse and Seize Drug ParaphernaliaNewshawk:  Paul Armentano - South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL)Author: Diana Marrero, Miami Bureau Published: May 4, 2004Copyright: 2004 South Florida Sun-SentinelContact: letters sun-sentinel.comWebsite: http://www.sun-sentinel.comCannabisNews Paraphernalia Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on May 05, 2004 at 04:45:14 PT
comment # 2
I've found that an apple can be modified with a ball point pen. Push in from the top a bit, then pull out and 'drill' sideways with the same pen, to just under the 'bowl'.As for drilling sticks, one word: Bamboo.see also: to help make my July 4 voter registration event huge!(click on voter registration drive at )
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on May 05, 2004 at 04:39:46 PT
sent via
rom: Jose Melendez 
Date: Wed May 5, 2004 06:42:18 US/Eastern
To: president
Subject: Attention Law Enforcement or Media:Can you _please_ obtain and mail me copies of the video and disk as described at and below?I would like them now, please, and have already requested them through FDLE, who claim: " Upon review, it was determined that there does not appear
to be a criminal predicate that would warrant investigation by the Office of
Executive Investigations." . . . yet have not responded to my query as to whether their review included actually viewing and listening to the tape.I also now have obtained both close up and macro photographs of the brick on which Officer Raimundo menacingly sharpened his brandished and obviously police issued silver pocket knife.He and his cohorts happily described my impending arrest, along with various fines, confiscation of my assets and a specific promise from the brown haired DeLand Code Enforcement 'agent', who was quite insistent, "I can tell you right now you're not going to get" a transcript of said video tape.-snipThis represents my second personal, written request to law enforcement to release the tape and disk images along with all audio from this incident: war is crime. Free Tommy Chong.Please mail the tape and disc, care of the address of my part-time employer, who has no knowledge of, or need to be bothered by any of this. I am only a part time employee, and spend more than full time efforts at educating myself, to eliminate such systemic racketeering in my nation's government.As a dual citizen (U.S. and Conch Republic), I look forward to celebrating our nation's independence in a public and notorious manner to the fullest of my abilities, this July 4th and 5th, without harassment: peace, and thanks!Yes! You can help, here:"Drug war, the antitrust. Unconstitutional? Right!" See: US Constitution, Article III, Section 3. See also: see also: If all else fails . . . have another drink!Or . . . read a newspaper.(grin)
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Comment #3 posted by cloud7 on May 04, 2004 at 18:47:21 PT
"Where do they get the time and money to keep....
Pay no attention the Iraq tragedies occuring behind the curtain.
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on May 04, 2004 at 17:37:21 PT
The idiots are mad. Mad idiots all.
You know a stick about 3/4 inch around makes a good pipe. You can drill a hole with even a finishing nail and cut the big hole out with a good pocket knife. Three inches is plenty long. Screens are nice but laughing grass burns with fire and not screens.. It is senseless except it means they probably won't kill anybody in a raid.How much a day is this damned prohibition costing anyway in money alone counting black market prices. It has got to be a hundred million a day in this country. That would build a lot of windmills to keep the air clean and the US military out of Iraq. But no.Don't just say no to Cannabis Prohibition. Do everything you can to end this attack on the unalienable rights of man and push back the federal power to its lawful Constitutional limits.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 04, 2004 at 17:13:56 PT
Another Raid
Where do they get the time and money to keep doing this?
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