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Wyo. Supreme Court upholds seizure of drug paraphernalia

By The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. The Wyoming Supreme Court has upheld a Campbell County judge's order that a Gillette smoking accessories shop forfeit pipes and bongs, even after a state jury acquitted the man of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling said Judge Michael N. Deegan was correct in finding that Jeffrey W. Doles' acquittal on misdemeanor criminal charges of delivery and possession of drug paraphernalia does not block state prosecutors from seeking forfeiture of items police seized.

The Gillette Police Department is holding 330 pieces of drug paraphernalia taken from Doles, owner of Hip Hop Hippies smoke shop.

Gillette lawyer Nicholas H. Carter represented Doles. A message left for him by the Associated Press on Tuesday was not immediately returned. The Wyoming Attorney General's Office argued in favor of the forfeiture. Attorney General Pat Crank was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his office said.

Since Doles' acquittal in state court last year, he has been charged in federal court with three felony counts of selling drug paraphernalia. Doles could face up to nine years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Doles had been scheduled to go on trial before U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer in Cheyenne in August on the federal charges. The trial has been postponed, however.

Doles is represented in federal court by public defender Raymond P. Moore, who has asked Brimmer to dismiss one federal charge alleging that Doles offered to sell drug paraphernalia in 2005.

In his motion, Moore states that Doles called local prosecutors after his acquittal in state court and told them that he intended to reopen his business.

"Prior to selling any tobacco items through his business, law enforcement came to the store and saw the defendant stocking his shelves with tobacco accessories," Moore states. "Law enforcement arrested the defendant in anticipation of his opening his business."

Moore argued that authorities brought felony charges against Doles in federal court because they were frustrated about his acquittal in state court.

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