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Wed., Oct. 7
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Ogdensburg Rastafarian jailed on probation violation


CANTON — The Ogdensburg Rastafarian, who pleaded not guilty last month to possession or transportation of unstamped cigarettes, has been jailed by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards after multiple violations of probation.

Ibrahim M. Abdulghani, 41, of 315 Belmont Courts, appeared in St. Lawrence County Court Wednesday after he was picked up by Ogdensburg City Police at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on a St. Lawrence County Court bench warrant.

After his initial not guilty plea, Abdulghani had been released under probation supervision. According to city police, he had been arrested at 12:10 a.m. Aug. 31 for disorderly conduct.

As a part of the terms and conditions of his probation, he was not to break any local state or federal laws.

Additionally, according to a uniform court report from probation officials, Abdulghani reported that on Sept. 5 he had been evaluated by chemical dependency as a part of his probation; however, when probation checked with officials at chemical dependency, they reported that they could not either confirm nor deny that Mr. Abdulghani had been evaluated as he had not signed a permission for release of information.

bdulghani was the last of three people arrested for allegedly being in possession of 10,080 individual, untaxed cigarettes and has been charged with

He tested positive for marijuana but was released on probation, with a warning from Judge Richards that if he continued to smoke pot or refused to submit to drug tests, he would be jailed.

Abdulghani, who says smoking marijuana, is a religious ritual for him as a Rastafarian, promised to fight the restriction on the grounds of religious freedom.

Abdulghani was remanded to county jail in lieu of $3,000 cash bail or $6,000 secured bond. No adjournment date has been set.

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