- Subject: RE: Warning!!!!!
- From: Phil Bunch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 01:16:52 -0500 (CDT)
Hear, hear. The illegal trade in wildlife (both flora and fauna) is a very
large problem. It must be controlled. If a person knowingly breaks the law
and profits by their acts they should not complain when apprehended. If
anyone feels that their country should not be a party to the CITES treaty
that is ok and they should take political action to change their
participation. Legally and morally I see little difference between
smuggling plants and smuggling drugs.
I would add that Mr. Portillo stands accused and not convicted if the
information at hand is correct. He should be considered innocent until
proven guilty. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still has to prove their
On Wednesday, July 25, 2001 22:36, newton [SMTP:email@example.com] wrote:
> If some of this story is true, what Pepe Portillo did was wrong, illegal
> he knew it. I have very little sympathy for Pepe. Laws, whether as
> individuals we feel are just or unjust, modify our behavior, which is
> to be in the local or international societies best interest at the time.
> in fact, we feel the law is unjust or plainly wrong, there exists ways to
> about changing them with some effort. Sometimes we win, sometimes not.
> we don't win, perhaps we are not of the majority opinion or hold a
> professional understanding of the nature of the problem that brought
> the law.
> Locally, we have several protected grasses, two of which are known to be
> only locations in several states. Do I want them protected? You bet. Do I
> want some "damned nice fellow" to dig them up and sell them? Hell no. I
> only imagine the ignorance of a person who would do so without regard.
> In countries where plants are endangered, and misguided laws for their
> protection are inadvertently guaranteeing their ultimate destruction due
> habitat changes, concerned people should use the international channels
> influence a change. If failing to do this, then protest, be passionate,
> don't steal and rob future local generations of the opportunity to enjoy
> I will disagree with anyone who sides with this type of activity. As for
> Dave, I am glad there are Dave Martins who help stop the trafficking of
> illegally gotten plants. He is OBVOIUSLY passionate about HIS cause and
> are those who help in the process.
> For each of you reading this who have knowingly purchased or traded for
> illegally gotten plant, what's up with that? You make me real proud. I
> every time you look at it (them) you think about the selfishness of your
> And don't get me started on the comment "THESE 4 CYCADS ARE NOT HURTING
> ANYTHING". I see little if any objective argument of substance in
> written below to defend Pepe. He got caught. Others do not. There are
> more than 4 cycads floating over our borders and disappearing from native
> soils to the greedy hands of private and public collections.
> I would appreciate some dialog on this topic to see if I am, in fact, of
> minority opinion in which case we should all be allowed to plunder other
> countries national treasures whether plants or historical icons, works of
> art and so on. Why hell, let's just walk into the MOBOT and take whatever
> want. What's the issue folks?
> Tim McNinch
> Happy with what I have and staying out of jail while enjoying it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of plantnut
> Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 9:02 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L
> Subject: Warning!!!!!
> 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
> this guy but I think that EVERYONE involved in plants should do
> in their power to make this person 'personna non gratta' EVERYWHERE. He
> 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
> 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
> A CUSTOMER IN CALIFORNIA.. LATER SOMEHOW, 4 OF THE PLANTS WERE DETERMINED
> 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
> ABOUT THE COLOMBIAN CYCADS AND PEPE TOLD HIM THAT HE COULD TRADE PLANTS
> COLOMBIAN DEALERS BUT COULD ONLY GET THEM FOR EXPORT BY CHANGING THE
> 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
> WIRE GOT TAPES OF 2 OTHER CYCAD DEALERS ADMITTING TO GETTING CYCADS INTO
> US FROM SO. AFRICA AND FROM AUSTRALIA. AN AMERICAN DEALER WAS ALSO CAUGHT
> THIS MESS BY BUYING SOME OF THESE PLANTS.
> THE PLANT POLICE , AS THEY ARE NOW CALLED, WAITED AND SET UP A TRAP FOR
> AND SOME OF THE OTHERS AT THE SANTA BARBARA SHOW WHERE PEPE WAS ARRESTED
> 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
> 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
> THIS IS NOTHING WHERE 10 CYCADS LOOSE ON THE STREETS OF CALIFORNIA ARE
> TO CORRUPT THE LIVES OF OUR KIDS.
> SO THIS IS WRONG BUT IT IS OF NOT MAJOR IMPORTANCE AND THEY COULD BE
> 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
> IT TO TRIAL. IT IS JUST A CASE OF BULLYING BY THE PLANT POLICE`. IN
> 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
> 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
> Also, I have the press release that was put out... If anyone would like
> see that.... be glad to post it also...
> Your source for Tropical Araceae