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Archive for Thursday, June 10, 2010

Federal officials again raid Lawrence store at center of K2 controversy

Sacred Journey closes for most of day

Sacred Journey owner Natalie McAnulla leans her head against the wall outside her store in 2010 while law enforcement officials conducted an investigation inside. McAnulla purchased the store in 2009 and sold K2 there.

Sacred Journey owner Natalie McAnulla leans her head against the wall outside her store in 2010 while law enforcement officials conducted an investigation inside. McAnulla purchased the store in 2009 and sold K2 there.

June 10, 2010, 1:46 p.m. Updated June 10, 2010, 8:08 p.m.

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K2 Debate

Lawrence is a focal point for the current debate in the Kansas Legislature about banning the active ingredient in an herbal substance known as K2. Follow the debate and the progress of the Kansas bills here.

Law enforcement officials have again raided a downtown Lawrence store that was once at the center of the K2 controversy.

Downtown business raided again

Sacred Journey in downtown Lawrence was raided by law enforcement officials for the second time this year. The herbal supplement store still plans to be open for business as usual Friday. Enlarge video

Authorities conducting the raid on Sacred Journey, 1103 Mass., shut down the business for most of the day Thursday. The windows of the store were covered in white paper as law enforcement officials gathered evidence and questioned employees.

“I have a key, so I just barged in and said, ‘I work here. What’s going on?’” Sacred Journey employee Lydia Shontz said. “They said they had a search warrant.”

Shontz said she believed the officers where agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. A van with a U.S. Department of Justice tag was parked outside the store, as well as unmarked cars with Johnson County and Miami County tags.

Jim Cross, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he could not confirm or deny that Sacred Journey was the subject of a federal investigation.

Shontz said authorities were focusing on the diet supplement Que She (pronounced KAY-shee), a mix of Chinese herbs said to be a miracle weight loss pill.

“It’s not that popular at all,” Shontz said. “I don’t think I’ve sold more than two boxes in the whole year that I’ve worked here.”

Store owner Natalie McAnulla, who sat on the ground during the raid, locked out of her own store, said she was frustrated that her business was once again being targeted.

“I don’t know why they keep doing this. We’ve been in the red since the last raid. Why do they have to shut down the business for the day?” McAnulla said.

In February, the store was shut down during a raid by agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with authorities seizing the store’s supply of the marijuana-like substance K2.

On Tuesday, the officers could be seen removing several boxes of evidence from the rear door of the business and hauled out at least one computer before turning the store back over to the owner around 3 p.m.

McAnulla said she was not charged with anything criminally, but was notified that she was being charged $272,000 in taxes.

“Last year when I got this store I thought it was such a blessing,” she said. “I thought I was providing an amazing service to an organic community.”

“It seems unnecessary,” Shontz said, of the raid. “It seems like a lot of force and a lot of money put into something that could’ve been solved with very little force, very little money and very little aggression.”

Sacred Journey planned to re-open for business Friday.

Comments

headly 3 years, 10 months ago

The $270,000 is the KDOR Drug Tax Stamp. http://www.ksrevenue.org/faqs-abcdrugtax.htm

The Kansas Drug Tax is very real. They charged Natalie a drug tax of $20.00 for every pill found on the premises. Sacred Journey sold 2 boxes of pills for a whopping $25.00.

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headly 3 years, 10 months ago

The $270,000 tax they gave her, is not a sales tax or property tax or business tax. It is the "Kansas Illegal Drug Tax." Drug dealers are required to have drug tax stamps on their pot and cocaine baggies.

So.... they seized her diet herbs, did not charge her with any crimes, but then did levy a "drug tax" of $270,000 for selling these herbs that help people lose weight.... Hmmmm.....

That sure makes a lot of sense.

Kansas government gone insane! Pure harrassemnt.

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workinghard 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess they could ask the feds and the state for a phone number that they can call to clear anything they want to sell. If all stores called for every item they wanted to sell, it would cause the feds and the state quite a headache. You would have to record the call to verify you were told it was legal to sell.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 10 months ago

always about you huh Alex? the apple sure doesn't fall far from the tree.

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jrlii 3 years, 10 months ago

The entire "War on Drugs" is based on an extended campaign of lies, half-truths and innuendo.

See http://www.adrugwarcarol.com for a quick, comic-book format explanation of the history.

Virtually all so-called "Drug Violence" is derived from the fact they are illegal.

Back when an addict could walk into a drug store and buy Bayer Heroine off the shelf, you didn't have junkies robbing people to pay for their next fix.

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DeathAtTheOread 3 years, 10 months ago

Maybe the employees need to use one of the old tunnels under Mass Street t escape to the Oread!

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kernal 3 years, 10 months ago

Likely the FBI was using the Justice Department van since it's a division of the Justice Department. Not sure why the FBI would be involved in unregulated diet herbs or back taxes; maybe their presence is just as an assist. Federal motto: "mums the word"!

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prolifersforwar 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure the tea party will take up this cause and protest and intervene the intrusive government in our lives here. Just you wait. Like a gathering storm...

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MacHeath 3 years, 10 months ago

What we have here, is a bunch of over-paid government agents trying to make it look like they do something for their money. Send their lazy butts down to Nuevo Laredo where they can do us all some good, and earn there fat paychecks, and government retirement. Of course harassing a botanicals shop is good work, if you can get it. I doubt that they they worry about getting shot. Plus the coffee and donuts are good. I guess they are trying to nail someone on back taxes, but does anyone think, factoring in the cost of the investigation, that the feds will end up in the black on this one? Does anyone think this is going to do anyone one whit of good? Except for oldenoughtobaturd, who may be old enough to be someones dad. but does not have a lick of common sense. Oh, and bearded gnome. If you put them both it a sack and shook it up, you couldn't tell which one fell out first.

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Mister 3 years, 10 months ago

Uncle Sam is pimpin' too hard.

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toe 3 years, 10 months ago

At least KU is not the lead story.

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Kris_H 3 years, 10 months ago

If it was state taxes, why would the feds be there? However, KDOR doesn't mess around; if you owe them sales taxes and don't pay, they will take whatever you have that they can lay their hands on. I've seen several businesses here in Topeka shut completely down by KDOR's actions.

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75x55 3 years, 10 months ago

I cannot imagine that so many intelligent people have missed the big clue in the story - too busy whining about organic foods and dope smoking I guess.

$272,000 in taxes??!!

Yes indeedy - follow the money, and you will learn all.....

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 10 months ago

so, up to the first shut down, we'd received hundreds of wrong number dials, no I'm not kidding: "you sell the herbs mann?" "you got the herbal cigarettes?" "still selling the K2?" etc., etc., etc. ... ... !!!! after the first closure we received 2 more such calls.

one of our numbers is close numerically to Sacred Journey's.
since the reopening, not one such call.

QED: potheads can't dial the phone! since they quit selling K2, we got no wrong number calls!

somebody sure is determined, I thought all charges were dropped from the first closure.

bouncing bear=a bear high on something? bouncing off the walls bear?

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 10 months ago

They came to Lawrence just to have something to do and have lunch and experience the ambience of the "Perkins Scandal". Outside of that, it's just business as usual for the feds to make it look like they are doing something.

Lawrence loses sales tax again. Another bulding pops up to become a bar.

Why cant' it be the Bouncing Bear Lounge?

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Munsoned 3 years, 10 months ago

If the FDA needs to focus their effort on investigating suncreeens whose ingredients are misleading the public about their actual safety (See http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/) and regulating the hazardous chemicals used in the cosmetics industry without people even realizing it (See http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/). And I am not concerned about the adults who choose to put mercury laden mascara on (although they should be aware that they are); I am concerned about big companies putting toxic chemicals in things like baby wipes, baby shampoo, baby lotion, etc. FDA needs to protect the bodies and well-being of babies and kids whose parents believe they are doing the right thing by using "baby sunscreen spf 100" when it is actually more of a health hazard with most of those products.

If an adult wants to take herbs for whatever reason and get tipsy-- who cares. We put worse things on our lawns every year to kill bugs without even thinking about it. The FDA does not care for anyone but large companies and whoever posted that this herb they are focused on is probably a competitor for some big company product is probably right in some way or another.

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mrbig 3 years, 10 months ago

Why are they being charged so much in taxes?

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conservativepunker 3 years, 10 months ago

But I thought everything was going to be shiny and happy when Barry was President.....

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Richard Payton 3 years, 10 months ago

Will they raid all tea baggers next? Must like tea parties.

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Truami 3 years, 10 months ago

I think they are mad because I can buy a cheaper allergy remedy at sacred journey then any of their artificial and bad for you over the counter pills which are subject to be covered in animal parts.

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LadyJ 3 years, 10 months ago

Natalie, a word of advice, don't take any advice from Yellow House. :)

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Esq2eB 3 years, 10 months ago

This is typical of the Obama Administration, they are doing everything they can to shut down small business owners....from raiding their businesses to forcing them into buying health insurance from big businesses.

So Dark the Con of Man.

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Hoots 3 years, 10 months ago

They just want to put them out of business. Too sad...The day will come.

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igby 3 years, 10 months ago

I suppose some JC kid came to Lawrence, got high and went back home to his or her GOP parents and they found his stash. They have to blame someone so they tell mommy, during the hair brush beating that they got it in Lawrence, at that hippy store by the courthouse. Lol.

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Machiavelli_mania 3 years, 10 months ago

Wow, their product must cut into profits of something Big Pharma has out. The feds no longer protect The People. The Fed merely protect themselves and corporations.

FYI Feds, I will be doing medical tourism when the time comes for me to address a serious or chronic illness. I will go where I think the best treatment is. If that is outside this country, I will go outside the country for treatment.

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thuja 3 years, 10 months ago

"The seeds contained herein are for planting purposes only"

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Jcjayhawk1 3 years, 10 months ago

The funny thing is.....after the first shut down of her store the first check to bounce was to pay taxes. They froze her account and all payments were returned.

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taucetiman 3 years, 10 months ago

"Shontz said she believed the officers where agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department."

D minus for the proofreader of this article. ("where" for "were")

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 10 months ago

Its really sad, that in light of all the publicity about this absurd farce, that somebody didn't have the presence of mind to walk down the alley and toss a stick of dynamite in the back door, while all the government a$$holes were inside sticking their nose where it don't belong. Would serve the lowlife scumbags right, and get the owner some ins. dollars. To hell with fed agents.... worthless bastards.

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akt2 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm going to have a nice cup of herbal tea and go nighty nite. Then when I wake up in the morning I'll drink about 6 cups of black coffee. Chamomile and caffiene. Botanicals. Natural herbal substances. What an addict I am.

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1029 3 years, 10 months ago

actually, you arent supposed to smoke the banana peels. that wont do anything for you. if you want to use banana peels to get high, you have to take them rectally. i read it in a book.

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acg 3 years, 10 months ago

It seems simple to me. If this store were a pharmacy, selling pills pushed by the health care system and the drug companies (i.e., the boys with all the money), no one would say "boo" about it. The establishment doesn't care if you're high, folks, they just want to make sure its on their stuff. You can get a script all day long for prozac, xanax, valium, etc. but heaven forbid you take/smoke/eat/drink something herbal. Nanny state, indeed. What a waste of time, money, energy and resources.

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Rancho 3 years, 10 months ago

Do ya think she forgot to pay her Sales Tax? Big no no.

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gvnobas 3 years, 10 months ago

Stop shutting the store down you incompetents; I purchase yerba mate there and it's the better sort in the whole city. Thanks.

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kernal 3 years, 10 months ago

Any business that calls itself Bouncing Bear sounds like a load of scat to me.

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 10 months ago

I think anything made or produced or sold by Bouncing Bear Botanicals is in question.

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Steve Jacob 3 years, 10 months ago

I think anything made or produced or sold by Bouncing Bear Botanicals is in question.

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lawrencenerd 3 years, 10 months ago

Watch out, soon they are gonna be raiding all the pizza places for putting oregano in the pizza sauce. Kids smoke that stuff you know.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 10 months ago

They should change their name to "Yellow Store Herbs".

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LJ Whirled 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm very unlikely to ever set foot in a store like this, but I don't really see the point in hounding them off the planet. As we, and our Goverments, get broker and broker and broker, we may need to make some decisions about what is important enough to run up huge debt to keep doing. I'm thinking this stuff may not make the cut

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donuthater 3 years, 10 months ago

A local store is raided twice, both times for selling LEGAL products and this is the best story JW could come up with. Your supposed to be journalists! You think maybe this story deserves a little investigation? Lawrence Journal you should be ashamed of yourselves. It's this kind of sham reporting that helps to undermine our democracy.

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MacHeath 3 years, 10 months ago

Now, if you bought the stuff just to feel "a little tipsy", why not buy a bottle of vodka and get a lot tipsy? ok, ill shut up now

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MacHeath 3 years, 10 months ago

Is it still ok to turn in circles really fast?

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 10 months ago

"Liberty275 (anonymous) replies… US DOJ isn't kansas. That's a federal agency. The federal government are the ones we handed state's rights to, now they are turning around to bite us at every turn. That's the basis of the problem. If state's rights would have been left intact and you didn't like the stupid drug laws in Kansas, you could move to New Mexico and trip away your life on mescaline. Unfortunately, America wasted that little bit of freedom on issues like abortion and hate crimes. Enjoy the slope, liberal idocy made it slippery."

L275, I was with you until you "blamed it on the liberals". Conservatives have been just as bad at trampling states rights. For example, the SCOTUS recently using the commerce clause to justify federal drug laws.

Conservatives are the ones who don't care if they are wiretapped without court order because they are afraid of the boogie man. Conservatives are the one's who want every local gun law overturned because they are afraid of the boogie man. Conservatives are against death with dignity because that kills off another consumer.

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ChiHawkInKS 3 years, 10 months ago

Am I wrong when I say all (ok, most) drugs should be legal? What is the real reason that they are illegal in the first place? To protect people from themselves? It is just something that I think is very stupid. This is something I feel strongly about (and I typically lean right on most issues).

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spacehog 3 years, 10 months ago

Looks like we have a lot of smelly Merc experts here. I guess I'll go smoke a fatty, at least 10 feet from my front door..........

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jstthefacts 3 years, 10 months ago

Law enforcement didn't make a big enough fool out of themselves last time so they decided to try again. Who checks an balances these arrogant jerks.

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Kelly Johnson 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey, thanks to the feds bringing this stuff to my attention, I'm gonna go get some and try it out! I could stand to lose a few pounds!

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 3 years, 10 months ago

From a site that promotes the sale of the stuff from "Bouncing Bear Botanicals", based in Lawrence...

"WHY DO I FEEL A LITTLE DRUNK AFTER TAKING QUE SHE ? Most users don’t feel anything unusual, but some people can get “tipsy” when first starting on QUE SHE. The intoxicated feeling is due to the tea polyphenol in QUE SHE. Some users may be sensitive to it and have a light buzz associated with being drunk. Drinking more water can help lesson the feeling and the intoxicating effects should lesson after a few days."

So... it seems that someone here in town may (MAY) be promoting this as a way to get stoned. The question is: is it illegal to get stoned on tea polyphenol?

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Randall Barnes 3 years, 10 months ago

the chineese eat 5 meals a day and they are not fat. hmmmmmm ever wonder why ????? so i guess our government wants to keep americans fat.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 10 months ago

Only in America... Land of the somewhat free and home of the gestapo.

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MacHeath 3 years, 10 months ago

Next they will be raiding quick trips and picking up the Monster. What a waist of taxpayer dollars. But...they have to spend it on something, or their budget will get cut next year. We might decide we don't need all these Federal agents...

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Boston_Corbett 3 years, 10 months ago

Snap, I think it is titled "Carnival of Souls"

And the car just went over the bridge.

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frankwiles 3 years, 10 months ago

What's the matter with Kansas? Stupidity like this is what. Can we please stop the VERY expensive War on Plants now?

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laughingtokeepfromcrying 3 years, 10 months ago

How's that lawsuit coming? Got a lawyer?

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 10 months ago

I thought we'd already seen this movie....

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Stuart Evans 3 years, 10 months ago

The government will continue to outlaw any item which can be misused. This is part of the fear based society that we've all not only grown accustom to, but actually begged for. The war on drugs and other things that can be misused is the biggest waste of time and money that the world has ever seen. Land of the free my ass.

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Alexander Neighbors 3 years, 10 months ago

I guess they are targeting another store instead of the yellow house.......

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Liberty275 3 years, 10 months ago

The land of the free... to do as the nanny state thinks is in your best interest. You have brought it on yourselves.

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Graczyk 3 years, 10 months ago

Talk about holding a grudge. Why are these people wasting time on something like this when there are much larger problems?

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musbhiorlo 3 years, 10 months ago

the ingredients sound like things that grow out of the soil. oh how horrible, no wonder!

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gatekeeper 3 years, 10 months ago

Good god. Que she pills are just metabolism boosting pills made from a type of green tea in China. Many employees from my company travel to China each month and bring back lots of types of green tea for the rest of us. Is my place of employment going to be raided because we drink green tea.

I'm really starting to hate Lawrence, Kansas and this country as a whole. We no longer have personal rights. Drink yourself into oblivion leagally, but heaven forbid you take a green tea supplement. It isn't even a stimulant for Christ's sake.

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puddleglum 3 years, 10 months ago

with people trying to make me get high when i eat my penut butter crunch?

might as well go get drunk and run over bicyclists: penalty is much lower.

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rooster 3 years, 10 months ago

KUDZUVINE ROOT COIX SEED(SEMEN COICIS) CHINESE HAWTHORNE LYCICUM CHINESE (FRUIT OF CHINESE WOLFBERRY) CHINESE CHRYSANTHEMUM CHINESE LOTUS LEAF SEA-TANGLE SEMEN RAPHANI CASSIA SEED GYNOSTEMMA PENTAPHYLLUM(THUNB) TEA POLYPHNEOL (EXTRACTED FROM CHINESE GREEN TEA)

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musbhiorlo 3 years, 10 months ago

America, land of the free, we have less than 5 percent of the world's population, but a quarter of the world's prisoners.

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homechanger 3 years, 10 months ago

Jackbooted thugs them Feds they are!

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