Rich Paul found guilty in jury trial

Rich Paul on the bullhorn

Rich Paul, the founder of the daily “420 at 4:20” events, was found guilty in a jury trial today of four counts of distributing marijuana and one count of distributing LSD.

It appears that the FBI has been trying to infiltrate the Keene Activist Center (KAC). In April and May of last year, Special Agent Philip Christiana of the FBI, working with New Hampshire Drug Task Force officers Trooper Charles I. Newton, undercover James C. Mayers, Barry Hunter, and a handful of others, used a “confidential informant” by the name of Richard James DuPont, Jr., to set up at least four buys with Rich in the hopes of coercing him into wearing a wire into the KAC. DuPont himself was a heroin dealer who, according to his own testimony, snitched on six other people, at least three of whom were subsequently arrested. When Rich was finally busted, rather than coöperate with the FBI, he promptly went public with the FBI’s attempts at turning him into an informant on other liberty activists.

Additional details including Rich’s account of the FBI’s interview of him can be found at the links below.

Rich was jailed at the conclusion of the trial pending sentencing and is currently at the Cheshire County jail. You can write to Rich in jail using the Mail-to-Jail service. He has not been sentenced yet, but could serve up to 81 years in prison.

Below are links to extensive coverage on Free Keene and other media. We’ll update this page as more coverage is posted.

Cannabis Culture article on 420 celebrations

Thanks to Ian Freeman and Free Keene for pointing out this article for us:—

The Growth Operation for Freedom

By James B. Schlessinger Jr., Cannabis Culture – Friday, April 9 2010

Activists from Keene, New Hampshire are working to create more liberty by challenging and bringing attention to absurd and outlandish laws.

Activists from Keene, New Hampshire are working to create more liberty by challenging and bringing attention to absurd and outlandish laws.

The scene is Keene, New Hampshire, and our intrepid hero is one Mr. Andrew Carroll. Amid a gathering of friends and onlookers, this brave soul held aloft a piece of plant matter. His black trench coat and shock of red hair in stark contrast to the snow-covered square, Andrew dared to openly possess this innocuous natural substance: marijuana. Having advertised this event in advance to ensure a spectacle, the throng numbered a few dozen. A short speech was made, select lines from Nietzsche were read, and Mr. Carroll then offered to pass around the bud, allowing others to participate in this act of civil disobedience.

And lo, in the distance, the king’s men approached. Andrew scrambled to find the person holding the bud so that he could complete the act as intended. Two officers from the Keene Police Department made their way to our hero and engaged him in conversation.

Greetings were exchanged and Mr. Carroll held out his open hand with this small green item visible in his palm. When asked by the lieutenant if it was marijuana, Andrew snapped back, “Yes it is.” The arrest was made, the trial was conducted, and Carroll, not wanting to pay the $420 fine—really!—and give revenue to the state, spent nine days at the local house of corrections.

Read the entire article on Cannabis Culture

Daily rallies starting back up in Keene

According to a Porc411 call on Saturday, 2010-03-06, the 420 at 4:20 rallies in Keene are happening daily again. We’ve had an unusually mild winter this year, and they’ve already been happening sporadically in Keene and Manchester since as far back as January; now that it’s been steadily warm for a while and looks like it will keep being so, the daily rallies are back in action.

“We smoke these in remembrance of lost liberties—and in a hope for a day when the people don’t fear the government, because the government fears the people.”

Another impromptu 420 rally, in Keene

Capuzzo announced over Porc411 today that there will be another impromptu 420 rally due to the unseasonably warm weather, this time in downtown Keene.

Update, 23:55. About half a dozen people showed up; no one was bothered, and no arrests were made.

Early start for 420 rallies

Because of the arrests in Manchester this last week, the 420 rallies have been springing up periodically again. Originally, the plan was to start up again on March 20 in Keene, but that hasn’t stopped a few individuals from doing so early. Nearly every time I walk through downtown Keene around 4:20 PM, I can be sure to see one or two people smoking their weed on the common.

Many of us from Keene will be joining Manchester’s 4:20 celebration this coming Saturday, 2010-01-23. Brian Manning cannot go within 100 yards of Veteran’s Park as part of his bail conditions, so the rally will instead be held in Victory Park. I guess you could say we are working our way towards victory!

More details come to light about yesterday’s 420 arrests

The Keene 420 that took place today was to show support for the Manchester 420 group that was taken upon by cops yesterday, where Brian Manning and “Big Mike” were arrested for smoking in Veteran’s Park. Although there’s no solid proof yet, it’s been revealed that there was some sort of meeting for the newly-elected Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas, taking place right across the street—this may have been the cause for the police activity yesterday, considering how well it had been going for the 420s last year where the cops busted no one.

I spoke with Brian Manning and his account was that two undercover “law enforcement officers” came and said that they could smell the smoke, and saw them smoking earlier. At that point, several other officers showed up, outnumbering the group of activists by one.

There were several locals at the rally, and many came from Manchester to take part in the demonstration. All left without incident.

This coming Saturday, 2010-01-23, there will be a 420 demonstration taking place at Victory Park in Manchester. I’m sure the time is a given.

“Big Mike’s” court date is this Tuesday, 2010-01-19 at 08:30 in Manchester. The more people that are there, the better.

Keene 420 rally in response to Manchester arrests

Porc411 call from Rich Paul:—

We in Keene will be protesting these arrests with our own 420 event, and discussing strategy at the Social Sunday event at Abunara’s. Brian Manning will be attending the Keene event and bringing a contingent from Manchester. Let’s get as many people as possible out there despite the short notice. Grab random stoners and tell them about this. The cops outnumbered the protesters by one yesterday in Manchester. Don’t let them outnumber us today. See you this afternoon.

Last rally of the year: Saturday, 2009-11-14 at 15:00

The season finale of the 420 at 4:20 rallies in Keene will be this coming Saturday, 2009-11-14, from 15:00 to 17:00, in Central Square. People are working on getting a band out there; if you know people in bands, let them know.

We’d like to get at least 150 people out there one more time this season—tell all your friends!

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