A Russian man who “directed and supervised” the operations of a popular bitcoin exchange known as BTC-E has been indicted on a range of charges. He was arrested recently in Greece.
Most of our California readers know that it is illegal to manufacture substances that are listed in the Controlled Substances Act. From marijuana to methamphetamines, anyone caught making these substances can face incredibly serious criminal charges and harsh prosecution. Even possessing certain ingredients and equipment that could be used to create these drugs is forbidden by state and federal laws.
Back in 1971, as some readers here in Pleasanton may remember, then President Nixon dramatically declared a "war on drugs," as is explained by the Drug Policy Alliance. In the years that followed, drug agencies grew in size and strength, resulting in hundreds of thousands of drug charges and equally as many convictions. Although drug detection techniques have become more sophisticated over the years, one staple has remained the same for generations: the drug-sniffing dog.
There are a lot of people in California as well as across the nation who are stunned when a police officer is arrested for allegedly committing a crime. That's because most people believe that because police are sworn to uphold the law, they should know better or simply wouldn't take the risk of attempting to commit a crime. But when you think about it, police officers are people too and just as we do, they too can make mistakes that can leave them on the wrong side of the law.
Despite its growing popularity as a treatment for some disabling health conditions, medical marijuana still isn't legal in every state. Unlike here in California, in many states there is no distinction between medical marijuana and its recreational counterpart, meaning obtaining or possessing the drug in these states is still considered illegal even if there is a medical need for the plant.
Back in October, as some of our more frequent readers here in Pleasanton may remember, we discussed in a post the pros and cons of Proposition 47, a bill that, if passed, would change how the law classified certain nonviolent crimes and how prosecutors and the courts were allowed to handle sentencing in the event of a conviction.
A recent study by Human Rights Watch reveals evidence of coercive conduct by federal prosecutors during plea negotiations for federal drug offenses. As you may know, some 97 percent of all federal defendants agree to plead guilty; if they didn’t, our trial courts would be overwhelmed. Those guilty pleas should never be the result of unfair tactics by U.S. Attorneys and their staff -- and no one in our justice system is supposed to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit.
In a highly unusual move last year, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California filed a civil forfeiture action against an Anaheim man who hadn’t committed any crime.
A 29-year-old San Francisco resident was taken into custody on Tuesday in the science fiction section of the Glen Park Branch Library. Federal prosecutors accuse the man of masterminding an online drug marketplace called “Silk Road,” where buyers and sellers of illegal drugs could make their exchanges in an atmosphere much like that of eBay.
While there are plenty of Spanish speakers in California and across the U.S., speaking a foreign language is not necessarily the same as being qualified to translate legal materials. The difference became clear recently when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated one man’s federal drug manufacturing conviction because the officers who interrogated him mistranslated his Miranda warnings in a way that essentially denied him his Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel -- in particular, the government’s obligation to provide a criminal defense lawyer at public expense if he could not afford one.