Northwest briefly

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A Canadian marijuana activist wanted by U.S. authorities on drug charges said Thursday he believes that being profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes” has increased support for dropping the charges against him on both sides of the border.

“It’s my job as leader of the cannabis culture to thwart the United States government,” Marc Emery, Canada’s so-called “Prince of Pot,” said outside the British Columbia Supreme Court. “The American government and their war on drugs has got to Kafkaesque extremes.”

Emery, of Vancouver, is charged with conspiracy to launder money and distribute marijuana and marijuana seeds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Conviction on the charges would carry a sentence of at least 10 years in prison.

He appeared at the British Columbia Supreme Court on Thursday to set a date for the start of extradition proceedings, but the hearing was adjourned to April 6.

Emery’s battle with U.S. and Canadian authorities was highlighted on “60 Minutes” Sunday.

Associated Press

Prosecutors say the mother of a man accused in a string of armed robberies called 911 to identify her son after she turned on the TV news and saw him robbing a bank.

Several other people called police last week to say they too were sure that the man pictured in surveillance photos on TV and in newspapers was 38-year-old Benjamin A. Laigo III.

On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Laigo with two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with a series of armed holdups at banks and other businesses, including four in Kent and Auburn since Feb. 14.

Listed in court documents as a transient, Laigo remains in custody at King County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for arraignment.

Prosecutors said his mother called police Saturday evening after seeing her son on a surveillance photo from a recent bank robbery. The woman told a detectives she was certain the man in the photograph was her son.

King County Journal

The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps plans to begin protesting in front of businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants throughout Washington state.

The new protest plans would move the organization off the border and into cities and towns for the first time, worrying Hispanic leaders and others about the group’s intentions.

The plans, confirmed by Seattle Minuteman organizer Spencer Cohen, would have volunteers suggest job sites across the state believed to employ illegal immigrants. Minuteman volunteers would wave protest signs and potentially take photographs of suspected illegal workers to post on the Internet.

Illegal immigration concerns along the Mexican border gave rise to the Minuteman project, which began last spring in Arizona.

The Bellingham Herald

Someone who bought a Lotto ticket at a Tacoma grocery store is a new millionaire.

The single winning ticket for Wednesday’s drawing was sold at a Safeway store, the Washington Lottery announced. Wednesday’s jackpot was worth $11 million before taxes. The winning numbers were 9-10-12-13-20-46.

No one had claimed the prize by Thursday afternoon, but the store will receive a $110,000 “retail selling bonus,” said Jacque Coe, spokeswoman for the Washington Lottery.

The News Tribune

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