Odds and Ends – Friday September 1 – September 7, 2017

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German police seize thousands of ‘Trump’ ecstasy tablets

Berlin (AP) – German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.) Police in Osnabrueck, in northwestern Germany, say they found the drugs while checking an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway on Saturday. They say the people in the car, a 51-year-old man and his 17-year-old son, told officers they had been in the Netherlands to buy a vehicle but hadn’t succeeded so were returning home. Officers said they found about 5,000 of the orange, Trump-shaped ecstasy tablets along with a large, but unspecified quantity of cash. A judge on Sunday ordered the father and son kept in custody. The car was seized and towed away.

(Police Osnabrueck via AP)
(Police Osnabrueck via AP)

Driver forced to gun engine and jump rising drawbridge

Lower Township, N.J. (AP) – A driver was forced to gun his engine and jump a drawbridge that began rising as he crossed it with his family. Terence Naphys, of West Deptford Township, had paid the toll to cross the Middle Thorofare Bridge with three family members in his vehicle on Aug. 1. The bridge links Cape May with the Wildwoods near the Jersey shore. As he was crossing the steel grate, it began to rise 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters) because a vessel was trying to cross, police said. “My wife said, ‘I think the bridge is opening,’” Terence Naphys told KYW-TV in Philadelphia. “He accelerated, and of course then we landed with a big impact on the concrete on the side,” said Jackie Naphys. Police said the landing caused minor damage to his vehicle. No one was hurt. Authorities said the operator of the bridge was to blame for the scare. “An employee for the Cape May County Bridge Commission stated that a large vessel was approaching the bridge and they had no contact with that vessel due to their radio being down,” police said in their report. The bridge tender told police he activated the bridge’s lights and gates in anticipation that all vehicles would be clear. However, he wasn’t sure because of sun glare. Terence Naphys said he would never cross the bridge again.

Man denies purposely spraying manure on border patrol car

Montpelier, Vt. (AP) – A man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he sprayed liquid manure on a marked U.S. Customs and Border Protection car after confronting an agent about why he wasn’t doing more to arrest people in the country illegally. Mark Johnson, 53, of Alburgh, entered the plea in Vermont Superior Court in North Hero to state charges of disorderly conduct and simple assault of a law enforcement officer with fluids. He declined to comment afterward. Johnson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his livelihood was hurt by people working on Vermont farms who could be in the country illegally. He said he asked the agent why he wasn’t doing more to arrest people working in the U.S. illegally. Customs and Border Protection says the job of the border patrol is to keep people from entering the country illegally. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is responsible for enforcing immigration law inside the country. Johnson, who has a long history of minor brushes with the law, said he didn’t know the car was nearby when he turned on his manure spreader. Border Patrol agent Robert Rocheleau said in an affidavit that Johnson sprayed his car after a profanity-laced tirade Aug. 3 in Alburgh, just south of the Canadian border, in which Johnson complained the border patrol wasn’t doing enough to combat illegal immigration. At one point, Johnson “wrapped his arms around himself and yelled ‘Everyone is squeezing me to … death,’” Rocheleau’s affidavit said. Rocheleau said he expressed sympathy to Johnson and tried to get out of his way. Johnson then got back into his tractor. At first, a “wave of manure” missed the car by a couple of feet, the affidavit said. “While passing by my vehicle Mr. Johnson then engaged the PTO shaft to his trailer and covered my vehicle in cow manure,” the affidavit said. Rocheleau drove to a nearby port of entry where he took photographs of his car and reported the incident to his supervisor. He then washed his car and reported what had happened to the Grand Isle County sheriff’s department, he said.

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)