Early this morning I received a message from Dennis Cathcart informing me
of a situation regarding Pepe Portillo of Ecuador. Pepe is a friend of
mine and a darned nice fellow... Would do anything to help a friend and
help another 'plant person' get the plant of his hearts desire..... This
got him in trouble...
I do not know what can be done to help him... Dennis is checking into
this.. and I will keep you informed...
I have information from another friend that his arranignment will not be
until August 3rd..
Now, watch for the name Dave Martin in the text below... I never heard of
this guy but I think that EVERYONE involved in plants should do everything
in their power to make this person 'personna non gratta' EVERYWHERE. He is
definitely not the type of person that I would want to know...
Again, I do not know what we can do to stop these idiots from wasting our
tax dollars on one or two plants but I sure hope someone can come up with
an idea... Possibly, write your congressman.... yea, right... that won't
be worth the paper it is written on.....
The following account was authored by George Norris.....
"AS OF NOW, THE STORIES GOING AROUND HAVE HIS WIFE IN JAIL AND HIM FACING
DEPORTMENT AND THESE ARE NOT TRUE.
SO HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED......
BACK IN JANUARY PEPE PORTILLO OF ECUAGENERA IN ECUADOR BROUGHT 10 CYCADS TO
A CUSTOMER IN CALIFORNIA.. LATER SOMEHOW, 4 OF THE PLANTS WERE DETERMINED TO
BE PLANTS NATIVE TO COLOMBIA AND HAD BEEN PUT ON THE CITES UNDER NAMES OF
PLANTS FROM ECUADOR. AT THAT TIME A FELLOW NAMED DAVE MARTIN HAD ASKED PEPE
ABOUT THE COLOMBIAN CYCADS AND PEPE TOLD HIM THAT HE COULD TRADE PLANTS WITH
COLOMBIAN DEALERS BUT COULD ONLY GET THEM FOR EXPORT BY CHANGING THE NAMES
FOR A ECUADOR CITES. MARTIN WAS WEARING A RECORDING DEVICE AND THE TAPES
TURNED OVER TO THE US PLANT AND WILDLIFE AUTHORITIES. MARTIN ALSO WEARING A
WIRE GOT TAPES OF 2 OTHER CYCAD DEALERS ADMITTING TO GETTING CYCADS INTO THE
US FROM SO. AFRICA AND FROM AUSTRALIA. AN AMERICAN DEALER WAS ALSO CAUGHT IN
THIS MESS BY BUYING SOME OF THESE PLANTS.
THE PLANT POLICE , AS THEY ARE NOW CALLED, WAITED AND SET UP A TRAP FOR PEPE
AND SOME OF THE OTHERS AT THE SANTA BARBARA SHOW WHERE PEPE WAS ARRESTED AND
WARRANTS EXECUTED FOR THE OTHER 3. THIS LEFT PEPE'S WIFE INGRID WITH
$15,000 WORTH OF LEGALLY IMPORTED PLANTS TO SET UP FOR THE SHOW AND TO SELL
OVER THE SHOW WEEKEND AND SHE DOES NOT EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH.
GRANTED, WHAT PEPE AND THE OTHERS DID WAS WRONG BUT THROWING THEM IN
FEDERAL PRISON WAS CERTAINLY OVER RE-ACTING. SO EVEN IF THIS TURNS OUT TO
INVOLVE AS MANY AS 10-15 CYCADS, SO WHAT. THIS IS NOT A MAJOR COCAINE BUST.
THIS IS NOTHING WHERE 10 CYCADS LOOSE ON THE STREETS OF CALIFORNIA ARE GOING
TO CORRUPT THE LIVES OF OUR KIDS.
SO THIS IS WRONG BUT IT IS OF NOT MAJOR IMPORTANCE AND THEY COULD BE FINED
AND THAT WOULD BE IT. THE GOVERNMENTS CASE REVOLVES AROUND THE ILLEGAL
RECORDINGS BY A GOVERNMENT SNITCH, HIMSELF AN INDICTED CRIMINAL. THE
GOVERNMENT AS THE VERY BEST HAS A WEAK CASE AND POSSIBLY WILL NOT EVEN BRING
IT TO TRIAL. IT IS JUST A CASE OF BULLYING BY THE PLANT POLICE`. IN ADDITION
THE DAVE MARTIN HAS BE WEARING THIS WIRE TO SHOWS OF ORCHIDS, AROIDS AND
BANZAIS, TRYING TO GET SOME INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE FOR THE PLANT POLICE.
THIS IS NO MORE THAN A PLANT POLICE "STING". THEY HAVE HAD THIS GUY MARTIN
CALLING DEALERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TRYING TO BUY OR SELL ILLEGAL PLANTS
AND ENTRAP OTHERS .
IS THIS THE KIND OF THING WE WANT OUR TAX DOLLARS TO GO TO WHEN DRUGS ARE
COMING IN BY THE TONS. I , FOR ONE, THINK NOT. THESE 4 CYCADS ARE NOT
HURTING ANYTHING AND ALL THIS MONEY SPENT TO CATCH A FEW FOLKS IS PLAIN
WASTEFUL OF SOME VERY LIMITED FUNDS."
Again, I certainly think that this guy 'Martin' should be ostracised by
every 'plant person' in the world....
What do you think?
P.S. Please feel free to forward this message to any list that you are
subscribed to and to anyone not on a list that you feel would like to know.
Also, I have the press release that was put out... If anyone would like to
see that.... be glad to post it also...
Your source for Tropical Araceae