Sunday, July 29, 2012

Synthetic Marijuana in Louisiana

Synthetic, designer drugs were just starting to make waves in Jefferson Parish last fall when Lt. John Ladd, a detective with the Sheriff's Office narcotics division, visited the hospital rooms of two Metairie teenagers hospitalized after smoking man-made marijuana. One 14-year-old girl went into immediate cardiac arrest after taking a toke and had to be resuscitated at East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie. The other, a 16-year-old girl, smoked before what turned out to be a frightening trip to the Esplanade mall in Kenner.
21 people arrested in St. Tammany Parish for selling synthetic marijauna
EnlargeSCOTT THRELKELD / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain announces the arrest of 21 people Wednesday, October 26, 2011, for selling synthetic marijuana and bath salts in convenience stores throughout St. Tammany Parish. Officials recovered about 8,500 packets of synthetic marijuana, $115,000 in cash, weapons and eight vehicles.21 people arrested in St. Tammany Parish for selling synthetic marijauna and bath salts gallery (16 photos)
"They were walking into the mall, and she sees the bushes and trees talking to her and jumping around. She passed out, and they called EMS," Ladd said.
Both girls told Ladd they had been smoking "POW!," an illegal "botanical potpourri" sold by The Rob Shop, a smoke shop with two locations in Metairie.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office investigators on July 19 announcedthe arrests of the business's owners, Robert Bentel Jr. and Robert McPhail, along with nine other suspects in a wide-ranging crackdown on synthetic marijuana manufacturing and distribution in the parish. Detectives seized more than $1 million in cash, drugs and other assets.
Wide appeal
Detectives uncovered an alleged trafficking business that spread to several states. But their investigation also revealed that synthetic marijuana appealed to more than just mischievous high schoolers. Agents watched adults -- including soccer moms and seniors -- make their way into stores that were under surveillance to buy the drug.
Case detective Adrian Thompson said while crack and heroin tend to attract a certain subset of users, synthetic marijuana consumers run the gamut.
"With this drug, it was everyone from 13 to 70," he said. "The well-dressed, well-to-do types and the not-as-well-dressed. Every rung of the socioeconomic ladder was touched. It was completely across the board."
Emergency room doctors at Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans noticed the same diversity in the patients treated there for overdoses of the synthetic substance, according Dr. Victor Tuckler, the ER's toxicologist. He and detective say users are drawn by the drug's over-the-counter availability.
The Sheriff's Office has found synthetic marijuana sold out in the open at service stations and convenience stores as well as on the Internet. No backstreet deals or clandestine hook-ups with a possibly shady dealer.
"A lot of the public believes that it's somewhat safe because it's being sold at retail outlets," said Capt. Keith Simone, another Sheriff's Office narcotics agent.
Dangerous high
That lure, authorities say, is a lie. Many users ingest synthetic marijuana expecting the same effects as naturally grown grass but find themselves suffering from high blood pressure, nausea, high fevers, seizures and hallucinations, Tuckler said.
"A lot of their behavior and their presentation is very similar to people high on cocaine," he said
But what has proven more harmful is the psychosis that seems to accompany the drug's use, Tuckler said. Patients have developed delusions, violent paranoia or extreme suicidal thoughts, symptoms that persist for days, sometimes weeks.
Authorities have no way of knowing the drugs' long-term effects because the chemical makeups are always changing. Accused local manufacturers buy the active ingredients for synthetic marijuana in powder form from unregulated chemists overseas, mostly in China, Thompson said.
They dissolve the powder into liquid acetone, the chemical used in nail polish remover, then spray it onto harmless, dried plant leaves. Authorities suspect they might include additives like hallucinogens and or nicotine.
Those back room chemists and manufacturers stay one step ahead of law enforcement by easily changing the molecular makeup of the raw chemical whenever new laws are passed banning a particular formula.
And the unknown is what makes these drugs even more dangerous, said Dr. Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center.
"A number of these substances have never been tested on anything," Ryan said. "You could use of these substances and end up with Parkinson's syndrome in a week that's never going to go away. No one knows."
Thompson said suspicious parents should keep an eye out for the small flashy packages of "potpourri" that bear names like "POW!", "Nola Diamond", "Mojo", "K-2" and "Spice." Adults of all ages using the drug should beware, Tuckler said. Synthetic marijuana is dangerous not just in the physical, but in the mental sense.
"You have a kid who's in college who just wants to have a good time," Tuckler said. "He experiments and the next day, he's suicidal and paranoid. That paranoia could stay the rest of his life. That's how devastating it could be."
As reported by the Times-Picayune
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Actor Russell Brand in New Orleans Municipal Court

Actor Russell Brand must perform 20 hours of community service and pay a $500 court fee to resolve a misdemeanor charge stemming from a confrontation with a photographer in New Orleans. Brand did not appear in Municipal Court Thursday morning, but his attorney, Robert Glass, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to a charge of criminal damage to property.
Russell Brand.jpgActor Russell Brand is shown in mug shot released by the New Orleans Police Department in March. Brand must perform 20 hours of community service and pay a $500 court fee to resolve a misdemeanor charge stemming from a confrontation with a photographer in New Orleans.
Glass said that under a deal with the district attorney's office, the case would be dismissed if the actor provides proof he has completed the service requirement by Aug. 31.
He said he is hopeful Brand may be able to fulfill the requirement through his charitable work with people suffering addictions.
Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press

For more information on a New Orleans Criminal Lawyer call Attorney Harold E. Weiser

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Orleans Criminal Defense

Bridge City man booked in West Bank murder

Published: Tuesday, January 04, 2011, 6:05 PM    by the Times-Picayune

Quentin McClure, of 313 Lafitte St., was booked with second degree murder and with being a felon in possession of a firearm after being arrested without incident at his home Tuesday. McClure is accused being involved in the fatal shooting of Theodore Pierce, 37, who was found dead in the 200 block of Fourth Street shortly after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff's spokesman.
Pierce died from multiple gunshots wounds to the body, and police say they found shell casings from two weapons at the scene.
McClure has several prior arrests for narcotics possession, firearm possession and resisting arrest, authorities said.
Fortunato said investigators also are searching for Chasity Griffin, 21, of Denham Springs in connection with Pierce's death. Griffin is wanted for second degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Griffin also has several prior arrests for narcotics possession, assault and flight from police.
Pierce's girlfriend said he was on Fourth Street getting his car washed at the time of the shooting, and police initially said they were responding to a report of a gun battle in the neighborhood. Authorities have not released a motive.
Anyone with information on the shooting or who knows the whereabouts of Chasity Griffin is asked to contact Homicide Detective Travis Eserman at 365-5300 or Crimestoppers at 822.1111.
For more Information about contact a New Orleans Criminal Defense Laywer 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jefferson Parish DWI Checkpoint

Louisiana State Police and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office have announced a DWI checkpoint in West Jefferson on Saturday. The Checkpoint is for the purposes of testing drivers to determine if they have been drinking and driving. The traffic stops start at 8 p.m. July 7th, 2012 in an unknown location on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish.

The Louisiana State blood alcohol limit is 0.08% of blood alcohol per volume as set forth in Louisiana Revised Statute 14:98. A person shown to have that blood alcohol concentration or higher will be automatic assumed to be intoxicated. A person has the right under Louisiana State Criminal Statutes to refuse to blow 2 times. On a third refusal the Police have the authority to take blood from a suspect.
It is unknown whether or not the police have a blanket warrant to take blood samples from drivers without the need for a particularized warrant. Remember not to waive your rights and the Louisiana State Department of Motor Vehicles has to give you do process before suspending your license.

One of the most controversial aspects of a DUI stop is the field sobriety test (FSTs). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a model system for managing Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) training. They have published numerous training manuals associated with FSTs. As a result of the NHTSA studies, the walk-and-turn test was determined to be 68% accurate, and the one-leg stand test is only 65% accurate when administered to people within the study parameters.

Harold E. Weiser

Friday, June 22, 2012

Termination of Marriage

Termination of Marriage: Love conquers all or Does It?

By Attorney Harold E. Weiser III of the Weiser Law Firm 3801 Canal Street #205 New Orleans, Louisiana 70119 504-358-2273
Take the case in La. in the early 1960’s of Betty and “Lucky” Louie concerning divorce. he asked her to return or he would file for a legal separation. Since Betty was unwilling to return to Louie at their domicile despite his request for her to do so, reconciliation seemed doomed. And Louie filled for a legal separation which was the legal road toward divorce under such circumstances in the early 1960’s. The court granted them a legal separation.  In court it was brought out that Betty’s mother did not think that Louie was good enough for her daughter. The father did not believe anyone was good enough for his daughter; furthermore, he declared her too immature to marry. The court granted Louie’s request for a Bernard Parish) and a year later Betty’s attorney filed for a divorce which was granted.  It seems that Louie’s love claimed that she was too young to fulfill the role as Louie’s wife was a self- fulfilling prophecy.   In other words, Betty followed her parents’ demand that she leave her husband and their domicile in order to reunite with her parents. And notwithstanding, she had flatly refused Louie’s request to return to him at their matrimonial domicile or accompany him to any other living arrangement whatsoever.
In order to understand what had happened prior to this marriage debacle the following narration is necessary. Betty and “Lucky” Louie had eloped from New Orleans (Orleans Parish) to a neighboring parish (St. Bernard) to get married. Betty was 18 years old and Louie was 21. However, after locating a justice of the peace in Chalmette (St. Bernard Parish) they were told that a marriage license was needed to have their dreams fulfilled.  So, “Lucky” Louie’s attempt at married was thwarted or at least delayed – giving him (and her) a second chance to reconsider. Without hesitation the following week the two love birds obtained a marriage license from the parish of their birth – Orleans.  Again without hesitation and with determination Betty and Louie returned to Chalmette and proceeded to tie the knot at the same Justice of the Peace This time they were successful.  At least for the immediate endeavor.
In spite of all this, their perseverance would soon turn into an endurance of no small consequence. Upon reaching their honeymoon suite at the Montelone Hotel in the famous Vieux Carre (French Quarter), the young bride decided to give her loving parents a telephone call to inform them of the good news.  Blown out of all proportions the news was received like the loss in Battle of Dunkirk in London in 1940 Her mother responded that it was totally unacceptable. Furthermore, she said that she would never speak to her daughter again if she did not leave that “rascle.”  Her father threatened to kill that “damn” college boy.  Obviously, the road to marital bliss was full of rocks and craters as well as treacherous in-laws.  Very soon La. divorce law was called upon to remedy the dreadful situation – which it did!
 For more information contact a New Orleans Divorce Attorney 

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Orleans Police Department

Mistrust of New Orleans police affecting trials at Criminal District Court

Published: Monday, July 18, 2011, 2:30 PM
Times-Picayune Staff
cannizzaro-sign.JPGDistrict Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says he wants to show criminals what-for and restore public trust in a justice system dogged by scandal.
"I served on a jury this spring in what should have been an open and shut case but none of the jurors, black or white trusted the police work in the case. Many of the jurors have knowledge of how the NOPD conducts its business and the question came up repeatedly when we were considering police testimony.
"We finally convicted but only because we could do it by completely disregarding police work and testimony."
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Orleans police arrest 51 people on drug, prostitution charges during undercover stings

New Orleans police arrested 51 people on drug and prostitution charges during stings between May 9 and June 3, Superintendent Ronal Serpas said Wednesday.
drugbust.jpgNew Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas discusses the arrests of 51 people who were taken into custody for drug and prostitution violation during recent sting operations. The mug shots of some of those who were arrested are behind him.
Speaking at a press conference with mug shots of dozens of those arrested displayed behind him, Serpas said those taken into custody bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and counterfeit drugs during the three-week operation.
Complaints from neighbors about illegal activity spurred the action in police districts across the city, Serpas said.
"People try to destroy the quality of life in neighborhoods" with drug dealing and other illegal activities, Serpas said. "We're not going stand for it. We're going to be aggressive."
Serpas also said that many of those arrested are no strangers to law enforcement.
"People are often repeat offenders," Serpas said as he thumbed through a stack of papers several inches thick that he said were the rap sheets for 11 of the 51 people arrested. He said if all those arrested had been included the stack would have been thicker than a ream of paper.
Drug suspect is being sought by NOPD Drug suspect is being sought by NOPD The New Orleans Police Department is looking for a suspect they say bought drugs from undercover officers in a recent sting. Watch video
Commander Michael Harrison, who leads the NOPD's Specialized Investigations Division, said the undercover stings, with their audio and video recordings, are a better way to convict offenders.
"It is the best evidence we can present for criminal prosecution," he said.
In addition to the 51 people already arrested, two other suspects who bought or sold drugs during the stings remain at large. Police said information about the suspects will be released later Wednesday.

Reported by Times-Picayune