High Times Advertisement Representative Pinched in Pot Sting

18 10 2010

So much for the high life.

So much for the high life

Matthew Stang (left) preceded byKareem "Biggs" Burke and alleged ringleader "Manny" Perez

Cops busted a senior representative for the infamous marijuana magazine High Times along with 45 other people, including a man behind a major hip-hop label, for allegedly operating a multi-million dollar pot ring. Matthew “Woodstock” Stang, known as “Magazine Guy” to his cohorts, whose title in High Times is Senior Advertising Representative, has sold advertising for High Times since 2003.

Dubbed operation “Green Venom,” the feds arrested Kareem (Biggs) Burke , who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z and Damon Dash, after intercepting telephone conversations. According to a federal complaint, Burke and alleged ringleader Geovanny (Manny) Rodriguez Perez discussed “potential marijuana suppliers” in California.

“In the case of the High Times employee, it’s a case of art imitating real life,” said Jim Hayes, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The ring allegedly manufactured the marijuana hydroponically in the greater Miami area and shipped it to New York in tractor trailers that also contained legal merchandise.

“Right now we are focused on taking down the network and, as the investigation continues, we want to make sure that other rival networks or other co-conspirators cannot use the same tools,” Hayes said.

“They dominated the wholesale marijuana market in New York for 20 years,” claims Hayes. It was taken down in an 18-month probe.Federal agents say they seized $2 million and more than 360 pounds of marijuana in the bust.

Stang was freed on $500,000 bail, $100,000 of which had to be cash. He was allegedly the guy who supplied the marijuana to ringleader, and also was ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet. High Times declined to comment on the arrest.
Source: The NYPost


The High Cost of Empty Prisons

14 10 2009

New York:

prisons cost a heap of money and are a massive financial burden

Last Wednesday (07/10/09), changes to New York´s notorious Rockefeller drug laws went into effect, allowing judges to shorten the prison terms of some non-violent offenders; particularly those incarcerated for non-violent crimes such as cannabis posession. This measure will further reduce New York´s prison population, which has already declined in the past 10 years from about 71,600 in 1999 under Mayor Rudy Giuliani to about 59,300 today – The state´s crime rate also dropped substantially during that time.
Nevertheless, the state has been slow to close prisons;  this is a multi-billion-dollar industry – opposition from the correction officers´ union and politicians from the upstate areas where most of our correctional facilities are has been fierce.

It was not until earlier this year that policymakers in Albany, confronted with fiscal crisis, mustered the will to shut three prison camps and seven prison annexes which amounted to a total of about 2,250 prison beds. This move is expected to save $52 million over the next two years.
But the state could go further… The prison system still has more than 5,000 empty beds in 69 prisons. What´s more, there are other ways to lower the prison population. For starters state lawmakers could repeal the Rockefeller mandatory sentencing provisions that remain on the books. This could automatically release hundreds (maybe thousands) of prisoners currently incarcerated where the presiding judge was obliged to impose a mandatory-minimum sentence.

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