President Obama’s First Pardons Involve Drug Offenses, Coin Mutilation


President Obama has made his first set of presidential pardons–and leave it to Fox’s Shepard Smith to mine the list for the funny.

According to the Justice Department, nine individuals have had their offenses erased by the president’s pen, including four men convicted of drug charges, one man sentenced in 1960 to “felony liquor law violation” and a man sentenced in 1972 to illegal possession of government property.

But then there’s Ronald Lee Foster of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. As Smith puts it:

“Little bit of breaking news coming in. You know the president just took off from Afghanistan and they’ve sent us word now that he has granted his first pardons. Nine pardons granted today, no familiar names at all on the list and no really outrageous charges. Four of those convicted of cocaine charges, some other drug charges, conspiracy charges. I think the most interesting one is from Beaver Falls, PA. Ronald Lee Foster, convicted of mutilating coins. For that he got a year’s probation and a twenty dollar fine. And today, Ronald Lee Foster got a pardon.”

Watch it here, from Fox News:

The Official Department Of Justice Press Release Below:

WASHINGTON – Today President Barack Obama granted pardons to the following nine individuals:

* James Bernard Banks – Liberty, Utah

Offense: Illegal possession of government property; 18 U.S.C. § 641.
Sentence: Oct. 31, 1972; District of Utah; two years of probation.

* Russell James Dixon – Clayton, Ga.

Offense: Felony liquor law violation; 26 U.S.C. § 5604(a)(1).
Sentence: June 23, 1960; Northern District of Georgia; two years of probation.

* Laurens Dorsey – Syracuse, N.Y.

Offense: Conspiracy to defraud the United States by making false statements to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001.

Sentence: Aug. 31, 1998; District of New Jersey; five years of probation and $71,000 restitution.

* Ronald Lee Foster – Beaver Falls, Penn.

Offense: Mutilation of coins; 18 U.S.C. § 331.
Sentence: Oct. 4, 1963; Eastern District of North Carolina; one year of probation and $20 fine.

* Timothy James Gallagher – Navasota, Texas

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine; 21 U.S.C. § 846.
Sentence: Oct. 18, 1982; District of Arizona; three years of probation.

* Roxane Kay Hettinger – Powder Springs, Ga.

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine; 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846.
Sentence: March 31, 1986; Northern District of Iowa; 30 days in jail followed by three years of probation.

* Edgar Leopold Kranz Jr. – Minot, N.D.

Offense: Wrongful use of cocaine, adultery and writing three insufficient fund checks; Articles 112a and 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Sentence: Sept. 14, 1994, as approved Nov. 4, 1994; General court-martial convened at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; bad conduct discharge (suspended), 24 months of confinement and reduction to pay grade E-1.

* Floretta Leavy – Rockford, Ill.

Offense: Distribution of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; 21 U.S. C. §§ 841(a)(1), (a)(2) and 846, 18 U.S.C. § 2.

Sentence: Oct. 19, 1984; District of Kansas; one year and one day in prison and three years of special parole.

* Scoey Lathaniel Morris – Crosby, Texas

Offense: Passing counterfeit obligations or securities; 18 U.S.C. §§ 472 and 2.
Sentence: May 21, 1999; Western District of Texas; three years of probation and $1,200 restitution, jointly and severally.

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