I have to respond to this email, and I hope others do as well. I can't
believe that something like this has been allowed to happen.
I have responded below to various parts of the email......
At 09:02 25/07/01 -0500, you wrote:
>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...
SOAP BOX MODE : On
There is a Rare Plant Nursery in Victoria in Australia who has repeatedly
had his collection of Arisaemas and Trilliums stolen by someone who knows
which are the rare plants and which to leave. Obviously the thief is
helping a "friend" or him/herself to get the plant of their hearts desire.
Now I'm sure to a lot of people this person is a friend and a darn nice
fellow...... however talk to the nursery owner and the person is a rotten
scoundrel.... and talk to the police and the person is just plain a criminal.
Because someone is a friend doesn't make breaking the law RIGHT now does it?
>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...
Obviously all police who are doing their job should also be ostracised
(sp?) from teh community as well. They are doing their job to catch
crooks!! Obviously they are not the type of person you'd "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.....
This may be one or two plants..... but what about the other 500 people
doing the same thing? That's 500 or 1000 plants. Some populations of
plants number in the 10's not the 1000's. Australia has something called
the Wollemi (sp?) Pine that was recently discoverd in the Blue Mountains
near Sydney. It is a relic from the dinosaur age (gee.... so are Cycads)
and I'm sure there are LOTS of people who would like their "heart's
desires" fulfilled and to get one. The location has not been made public,
and there has been extensive tissue culture and seed growth so that there
are now thousands of these plants and they will be in nurseries ithin the
next couple of years. Thankfully (for a change) Parks and Wildlife here in
Australia had the forethought to head off theft by making the plant freely
available so that CROOKS could not steal it and add it to their collection.
Why bother stealing a plant that someone can buy in the nursery for $50 in
a couple of years and $10 a few years after that?
>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.
Far as I can see..... someone who broke the laws of a country was arrested.
Sounds to me like he DID what he was arrested for, in fact this email says
just that, so what is the problem. Basic premise..... You do the crime,
you do the time!!
>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.
Yep it sounds like throwing them in prison was a bit extreme...... but
given the stories you say are going around....... are you sure this isn't
an exaggeration? ANYONE who is caught in a sting operation is thrown into
jail first, then has everything sorted out. We're not talking about a
parking fine here..... this contravenes exportation laws and ends up in
diplomatic problems if something is not seen to be done.
>AND THAT WOULD BE IT. THE GOVERNMENTS CASE REVOLVES AROUND THE ILLEGAL
>RECORDINGS BY A GOVERNMENT SNITCH, HIMSELF AN INDICTED CRIMINAL. THE
So you're saying that turning State's Evidence is wrong then? They're
criminals as well, but thankfully (be it for greed or self preservation or
just plain feeling guilty) they help the ringleaders get caught. Use a
Thief to catch a Theif is another common saying!!
>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.
IF YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG THEN THERE IS NOTHING TO BE WORRIED ABOUT!!
Wy victimise Dave Martin for doing what he is paid for, when ..... if
you're a law abiding citizen ...... then you have nothing to fear.
>What do you think?
I am surprised that people who feel that nature is worth conserving would
be standing up for the illegal import/export of plants. He DELIBERATELY
changed the name for export because he KNEW that it was illegal to export
it. This isn't a case of mistaken identity..... this is calculated theft!!
Obviously there are people out there who like to buy "hot plants" that they
know were illegally imported. They are the ones who should be shot for
being that greedy to add to their collection. I agree with conservation
but not theft.
I am sorry to respond to forcefully to this, but I simply cannot understand
how anyone can stand up for the illegal importation/exportation into/out of
a country. I suppose for most people it is fine if it is womone elses
country, as long as it isn't their own.
SOAP BOX MODE : Off
I hope there are other who feel as I do. If not then there is no hope for
plants in the wild as they will be raped and pillaged to everyone's
"Heart's Content" and the only place that plants will naturally be left is
in collections throughout the world. Sad but true.
Sorry to rant... I just can't believe that this was posted by way of
complaint against a crook being caught!!
Canberra, Australia. USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9
Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Crocus, Cyrtanthus,
Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything else that