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(CannabisCulture) In an unusual unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that police in almost all cases must obtain a search warrant before searching cell phones or other mobile devices. The ruling brings the huge amounts of data Americans store on cellphones, smartphones, and other mobile devices under the umbrella of constitutional privacy protections. The decision came in two cases, one involving a drug bust and the other a weapons charge. The two cases were consolidated in the court’s opinion in Riley v. California. In ruling in favor of Americans’ privacy, the high court rejected law enforcement arguments that cell phone searches did not require a warrant under an exception that allows police to search the contents of arrested people’s pockets to ensure that they are not armed or do not destroy evidence. While that may be convenient for law enforcement, the court held, constitutional rights trump convenience.
(HighTimes) Last month, authorities in the Dominican Republic arrested 17 men suspected in the extortion of more than $800,000 from American citizens. DEA officials say the majority of those victimized in this scam were led to believe they had illegally purchased pharmaceuticals from the Dominican Republic.
The is how the shakedown happens: After a victim places an order online for prescription medication, someone impersonating a DEA officer contacts them and declares their drug purchase was violation of federal law. “They find a known DEA name for example the DEA head of a Houston office, Dallas, San Francisco, something like that, and they call up claiming to be a DEA agent,” said DEA special agent Steve Robertson.
The conning culprit then gives the victims an ultimatum — either pay a hefty fine or go to jail. Since the victims typically have no interest in being locked up in federal prison, most opt to pay the fine, which the criminal has them do using a prepaid credit card — making the transaction untraceable.
(NYTimes) The Beijing police have released further details about the arrests of Jaycee Chan, the son of the Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan, and of the Taiwanese actor Ko Chen-tung on drug-related charges.
In a statement posted on their official Sina Weibo microblog account Monday night, the police said that a Mr. Chan, a Mr. Ko and several other people were arrested last Thursday in the Dongcheng district of Beijing by antinarcotics authorities acting on a tip-off. Both Mr. Chan and Mr. Ko, it said, admitted to using marijuana and both tested positive for the drug….
Video footage released by China Central Television, the state broadcaster, showed photographs and the full names of the two men, as well as footage of the suspects with pixelated faces being questioned by the police. At one point in the video, a police officer holds up a urine sample and asks the man identified in the video as Mr. Ko to confirm the positive test result for marijuana. Mr. Ko confirms the result.
The video also shows Mr. Chan at his home showing officers his stash of marijuana. The police said in their statement that they had recovered more than 100 grams of marijuana from Mr. Chan’s home.
Police said early Tuesday they came under “heavy gunfire” and made 31 arrests during another night of violence in this battle-scarred St. Louis suburb, where the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer has prompted a federal investigation.