Peru’s government says that once Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot completes his murder conviction in 2038, he will be extradited to the United States to face trial on charges he extorted and defrauded the mother of a young American woman for whose disappearance he is the chief suspect.
A decree published Sunday in Peru’s official gazette says he will be extradited under an indictment in U.S. District Court in the state of Alabama.
Van der Sloot is serving 28 years in prison after being convicted of killing 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores after meeting her in a Lima casino.
The slaying occurred five years to the day after American teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared during a high school graduation trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, where Van der Sloot lived. She was last seen leaving a bar with him.
Holloway’s body was never found, and no charges were filed against Van der Sloot in the case. A judge later declared Holloway dead.
U.S. prosecutors allege Van der Sloot accepted $25,000 in cash from Holloway’s family in exchange for a promise to lead a lawyer for the family to her body in early 2010, just before he went to Peru.
As one of the largest producers of marijuana-infused edibles in Colorado, Dr. J’s Hash Infusion makes chocolates, caramels and candies. But many of the company’s products contain only a minute fraction of the THC promised on Dr. J’s labels, according to independent tests organized by The Denver Post.
One Dr. J’s milk chocolate Star Barz labeled for 100 milligrams of THC had 0.37 milligrams of the valued psychoactive component, according to three tests conducted by Steep Hill Halent of Colorado, a state-licensed marijuana testing facility. Another popular Dr. J’s chocolate bar, the 100-milligram Winter Mint flavor, tested similarly in two experiments, showing 0.28 milligrams of THC.
“They need to work on their process,” said Joseph Evans, laboratory director at Steep Hill Halent. “I don’t know that it’s irresponsible, but it’s nonprofessional.”
The evolving marijuana industry is still finding its way in Colorado, and one of the evolving aspects is the testing — or lack thereof — of products. The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division enacted new regulations last week, and more changes are to come in May, July and October.
But as the marijuana industry looks ahead to the potential of regular, mandatory testing, Dr. J’s problem seems deeper than a bad batch or two. The two bars that both tested for less than a half milligram of THC were purchased two months and 40 miles apart from each other, and they were separated by 282 batches — or roughly 70,000 units.
“I would be in shock (if those tests were accurate),” said Dr. J’s CEO Tom Sterlacci. “We’re one of the top businesses in Colorado. I wouldn’t be in business this long if we weren’t doing things right 99 percent of the time.”
Enter enforcement agency
Hundreds of customers have complained about Dr. J’s products. At least three recreational pot shops dropped the brand entirely; others said they won’t carry them. And the grousing has the attention of the Marijuana Enforcement Division.
An independent Post study of several products showed that THC levels in edibles are never exactly what the package reads. Mile High Candy’s watermelon drops are labeled at 100 milligrams of THC but actually contained 17. Incredibles’ Mile High Mint chocolate bar advertises 100 milligrams of THC but instead included 146. The Growing Kitchen’s chocolate chunk cookie tested at 101 milligrams on a product labeled for 100.
Colorado marijuana industry leader Dixie Elixirs tested at 60 milligrams of THC with its Dixie Rolls in The Post’s study, which are labeled at 100 milligrams.
“While we are disappointed to learn of The Post’s test results, we also know that testing can vary significantly from one lab to the next,” Dixie Elixirs CMO Joe Hodas said. “Regardless, we will continue to focus on our quality control to be sure all of our products, from edibles to tinctures and topicals, reflect the agreed-upon milligrams of THC.”
But of the 10 edibles tested in the exclusive Post report, no edible had the THC-level problems of Dr. J’s, Evans said.
“You’re talking less than a milligram of THC in a product that says 100,” Evans said. “If people have no confidence in this industry, then there could be a sort of backlash against the whole legal marijuana movement.”
How can these numbers be so disparate? While there’s been much discussion over testing guidelines, it’s still a voluntary action for the growers and makers of marijuana-infused products, or MIPs.
“Right now testing the product is permissive,” said Colorado Department of Revenue communications director Daria Serna. “Starting in May 2014, it could become mandatory for MIPs to test every production batch of edibles for potency.
“Potency testing measures the value of THC in a product, and it also determines if the THC is homogenized in the product.”
The MED investigates complaints, but until testing regulations become firmly standardized, a complaint like this would be addressed as “an advertising violation,” said Serna, “because the product packaging would be inaccurate with a label that read it contained 100 milligrams of THC.”
Just how popular are edibles? ArcView Market Research estimates that infused products make up 21 percent of total sales in Colorado, compared with cannabis flower’s 62 percent and concentrates’ 17 percent. But Dixie Elixirs’ Hodas estimates that number has grown since recreational sales opened Jan. 1.
“The number we’ve used is 40 percent of transactions are infused products,” said Hodas, who said his estimation is unscientific and based on anecdotal feedback from dispensary owners and colleagues. “Between December and January, we saw a five-times increase in our sales numbers. So it sounds right to us.”
BotanaCare owner Robin Hackett knew something was off at her Northglenn recreational pot shop when her customers started calling, reaching out on social media and coming into the store with complaints — all about Dr. J’s products, Hackett said. As of last week, Hackett had received nearly 450 individual complaints, she said.
“People kept coming in saying, ‘I ate 100 milligrams … 150 … 200 … 300 … and I didn’t feel anything.’ And you don’t eat 200 milligrams of activated THC and not feel anything,” said Hackett, who has sold 15,000 Dr. J’s edibles since Jan. 1. “Then somebody brought one back unopened, and I had it tested. There was nothing in there. No (THC) at all. The lab confirmed that Dr. J’s is selling chocolate. He duped me and every patient who bought one.”
“I called Dr. J’s and said, ‘You guys are ripping people off,’ ” she said.
Hackett said she spoke with two Dr. J’s reps in the past month — and she reached out to other Colorado pot shops to see if they shared her concerns with the company’s products. Dr. J’s CEO Sterlacci said he’d first heard of Hackett’s bad experience on Thursday when he called her to discuss the matter — after his colleague sent a letter to Hackett threatening legal action.
“If she got a bad batch, she got a bad batch. It happens,” said Sterlacci, who said his batches yield 200-300 units each and that Dr. J’s makes about 30,000-45,000 units per month. “We don’t test every batch, because we’re still doing small enough batches that that would be economically unfeasible at this point. But we test every week or 10 days. We have a commitment to the MED to keep our product at that 100-milligram mark.”
Upon learning about The Post’s study, which showed one Dr. J’s product having less than one-300th the THC it should have had, Sterlacci at first questioned the testing process and Steep Hill Halent, which is one of only three state-licensed marijuana testing labs
“I have literally taken our hash, broken it up into two pieces, given it to different testing labs and they’ve been off by 50 percent,” Sterlacci said. “It comes down to standards. This is a perfect example of the need for the MED to get standard procedures.”
But he later admitted to a problem with Dr. J’s recipe, something his staff discovered a week ago — nearly two months after increasing their batch size by five to 10 times to accommodate the significantly larger recreational market and orders that were 20-30 times their regular size.
“We were making smaller batches prior to recreational, but the demand went so high that we are now making bigger batches,” Sterlacci said. “Because our hash is cold-water extracted, it’s particalized. It’s not an oil like butane or CO2. So if you have the medicine sitting, the particles could fall to the bottom. So somebody could get a high-potency product and somebody could get a low-potency product.
“We changed the recipe in the last week or 10 days. (Hackett) might have gotten it before we realized there was a problem.”
Dr. J’s is now offering refunds on a case-by-case basis to shops if packages are unopened.
Evans said the quality of marijuana testing in Colorado is significantly better now than it was a year ago. But until testing regulations are more stringent, he recommends consumers not put too much faith on the number on a package.
“A lot of confidence isn’t present on the number printed on the packages,” said Evans, who has been practicing environmental chemistry for 25 years. “This shows the importance of testing. I’m amazed that people are out there consuming these products based on the numbers that are printed on the package. It says it has 200 milligrams, but that number is based on what?”
William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, one of the World War II veterans whose exploits were dramatized in the TV miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died at the age of 90.
Guarnere’s son, William Guarnere Jr. of Springfield, confirmed Sunday that his father died at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Guarnere was rushed to the hospital early Saturday and died of a ruptured aneurysm early Saturday night.
The HBO miniseries, based on a book by Stephen Ambrose, followed the members of Easy Company from training in Georgia in 1942 through the war’s end in 1945. Guarnere, whose combat exploits earned him the nickname Wild Bill, lost a leg trying to help a wounded solider.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
- SAR area covers 50 nautical miles radius and covers possible turnback area
- Various neighbouring countries are assisting to locate missing aircrafts. 34 aircraft, 40 ships, +100 men, +1000 man hours have been deployed. Countries: Vietnam, China, Singapore, Indonesia, USA, Thailand, Australia and the Phillipines
- Air search daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., ship search continues through the night.
- Nothing has been found that appears to be debris from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft
- Various reports of sighting of objects in the media. Vietnamese authorities have reported locating a piece of the aircraft – a door – but that report has not been verified officially by Vietnamese authorities today. SAR has spotted two areas where the aircraft’s tail might be, but it turns out these sightings turn up not being pieces of the aircraft’s tail.
- Oilslick samples have been sent to labs. Malaysia Air is hoping they can report the slicks some from the missing aircraft.
- Authorities are investigating the case of two passengers on the aircraft with fraudulent passport. authorities going through all CCTV, all records.
- There are issues with 5 passengers who did not fly on the aircraft. MAS reiterates baggage from these 5 passengers were removed.
“For the aircraft to just go missing just like that, from the radar blip, there are many theories that have been said in media, there are many experts around the world that have contributed knowledge about what could have happened. and as far as we are concerned, we are equally puzzled. the honourable prime minister used the word ‘perplexing’. we are equally puzzled. to confirm what happened on this aircraft, we need concrete evidence, pieces of the aircraft, to do forensic study. unfortunately again, we are unable to secure any parts of the aircraft to date.”
“We understand you want answers from us, you want details, we are equally eager as you are to find details and parts of the aircraft and we hope you will be patient and our boys in the rescue control centre on the ships now are trying their best to locate whatever they can find in the areas that we have identified and maybe those beyond that. we are every hour, every minute, every second, looking at every inch of the sea.”
An Ohio woman was charged yesterday with disorderly conduct for going into a Walmart and distributing sexually explicit material accusing a store exployee of having an affair with her husband.
Beverly Rolston, 45, arrived at the Walmart in late-November and headed to the electronics department, where a former friend, 45-year-old Amy Kreiner, worked, police reported.
A store surveillance camera recorded Rolston “posting and distributing pictures of Ms. Kreiner with the words ‘Number One Dick Sucker’ and ‘Hide Your Husbands’ written on the pictures,” according to a Middletown Division of Police report. Investigators added that, “Also posted with the pictures is a photo of a female with exposed breasts performing oral sex on a man.”
Rolston’s pictures, cops noted, “were posted in plain view of all the public, including children to see.” Rolston entered the Walmart around midnight, so it is unclear how many minors would have been in the electronics department at that hour.
When police later confronted Rolston at her home, she confessed to distributing the images. “She advised she was upset with Ms. Kreiner for having a year long affair with her husband,” a cop noted. Rolston’s spouse Robert, 37, confirmed the affair during a conversation with the officer.
Rolston was originally charged with pandering obscenities, a felony. However, after her case was bound over to a higher court, a grand jury recently declined to pursue charges. In response, prosecutors yesterday filed a reduced disorderly conduct charge against Rolston.
Seen in the above mug shot, Rolston is scheduled for a March 21 arraignment in Middletown Municipal Court on the misdemeanor charge.
Three third-graders were reportedly caught smoking pot in a bathroom on February 27 at the Sonora Elementary School in Tuolumne County, Calif., according to ABC News 10.
The pint-sized trio was busted by another student who tattled to a school administrator.
Sonora police were summoned to the scene and according to Police Chief Mark Stinson, the two 8-year-olds and one 9-year-old are too young to face any criminal charges, though under California law, no one under 12 is usually charged with a crime, but the students could be subject to juvenile justice proceedings. Investigators are, however, looking into who could have supplied the young children with the drug.
Reportedly, a pipe and a small amount of marijuana was confiscated from the boys and according to police, the children appeared to have had little smoking experience and did not appear to be under the influence of the narcotic when questioned by officers.
Stinson, who spoke to News 10 on Wednesday, told them that the kids were the youngest pot smokers he’s ever encountered in his 33-plus years law enforcement career. He also mentioned that the children’s parents could be held responsible and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, if any of the case’s clues point in their direction.
The children in question were interrogated by school officials, then released to the custody of their parents.
The case will remain under investigation and no news has been released as to how the children were disciplined by school officials.