Man held after 10 duffel bags of pot are found

LYNDEN – A Border Patrol agent who approached two men near the U.S.-Canadian border here arrested one man and seized 10 large duffel bags filled with 342 pounds of “B.C. Bud,” a potent marijuana, the patrol said. The second man fled into Canada Thursday night. Thanh Mai, 56, a Canadian citizen, was turned over to U.S. Customs. He likely will face charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, the patrol said in a statement Friday.

Oregon

Gator, meth and arson: Police arrested a 26-year-old Springfield man Friday after allegedly finding a 2-foot alligator in his bathtub, a methamphetamine lab in his house and a burning car in his driveway. David Edward Wenetta was charged with arson, possession of a destructive device and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. He was booked in Lane County Jail. The car belonged to Wenetta’s 34-year-old girlfriend, and investigators believe he set it on fire to get back at her after an argument, Sgt. Rich Charboneau said. They found the alligator in his house next to meth-making materials that included scales, glass jars, iodine and chemicals, Charboneau said. It’s illegal to have any reptile or dangerous animal within Springfield city limits. Police arrested Wenetta in a field several blocks from his house.

Shortage of suicide drugs: Patients allowed to obtain prescriptions to end their lives under Oregon’s suicide law may still not be able get the drugs, doctors say. A statewide shortage of seconal, a barbiturate key to the drug cocktail, means those prescriptions can’t be filled. West Salem pharmacist Dave Hochhalter, who has filled more than a half-dozen such prescriptions, said he has not been able to get any seconal for three months.

Steve Quisenberry, who operates two Salem pharmacies, said his wholesaler has none in stock. “They’ve got zippo,” he said. Eli Lilly &Cos., which manufactures the drug, did not respond to requests for information Friday.

But Salem oncologist Dr. Peter Rasmussen, who has assisted a number of patients using the law, said he wonders whether some political strings are being pulled to keep the drug out of Oregon. “What I’ve told my patients is that the drug is not available,” Rasmussen said. “I hope somebody can find out why there is this shortage. I guess I’m just paranoid to wonder if there isn’t some shenanigans going on behind the scenes.”

Oregon’s assisted suicide law has been under attack since it was first passed by voters in 1994. About 70 terminally ill patients have used the law to end their lives. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a directive to the Drug Enforcement Agency that said doctors prescribing federally controlled drugs to end patients’ lives could lose their prescription licenses.

BC

Little temblor: A 3.4 magnitude earthquake shook the ground near Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday morning. The quake hit at 10:30 a.m. and was centered about 14 miles south of Vancouver, according to the Web site of the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network at the University of Washington in Seattle. No injuries or damage were reported, said Lance Holden of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The quake’s depth was recorded at about 10 miles.

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