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Ship Seizures

June 12, 1988

As you all have read, a ship (owned by an Irvine industrialist) valued at more than $2 million was seized by the Coast Guard in international waters. When boarded and searched, authorities found about one-tenth of an ounce of marijuana. A far cry from a huge amount, but nonetheless illegal, according to the new government narcotics law.

Within a very short time, this vessel was released after paying certain fees and fines totaling less than $2,000. In the past, other vessels were seized under the same law, not quite as big and not quite as expensive, but these vessels are still being held or have been sold. Why was this vessel released?

Is the law interpreted in different ways depending upon size and value of your vessel or aircraft? When is the government going to stick to its guns when it comes to drugs, no matter what the quantity?

Men and women in the federal, state, county and city agencies that fight the ravishes of illegal narcotics on a daily basis are laying their lives on the line while the U.S. government changes the rules of the game as they please.

HOWARD D. SUBNICK

Huntington Beach

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