Monday, June 26, 2006

When Criminals are Victims

Clackamas County Sheriff’s dispatch received a strange phone call at about 7:00 pm on Friday, June 16. An anonymous caller said that someone was being held against their will in a house on SE 25th in Milwaukie. The caller said the received a call from someone at that location who said “if they didn’t get their stuff back” they would kill their hostage.

The hostage was Paul Abelino Canul, 18. Canul was a burglar who broke into the house on SE 25th, probably for the second time. The owner of the home, Bradley John Poppino, 43, was a grower for a medical marijuana club with as many as 50 marijuana plants in his house. Burglars had stolen at least a pound of drying marijuana from Poppino’s home while he was away on a camping trip.

Poppino returned home on Thursday and discovered the break-in. He hid his car and made the house look as if no one was home and enlisted the help of his next door neighbor, Andrew Paul Kester, 27. A group of young men arrived as expected and Poppino and Kester were able to capture Canul, even though his accomplices escaped.

Canul said he pulled a gun, but the two men disarmed him and dragged him to the garage where they duct-taped his wrists and ankles and kicked him to the floor. According to Canul the two men berated him and threatened him for hours, threatening to hurt his family if their marijuana was not returned.

Threatening to cut off one of his toes for each hour until their marijuana was returned, Poppino and Kester forced Canul to make calls to his friends telling them to bring the merchandise back. During the calls Canul was able to let someone know where he was and they finally called the police.

At one point Canul’s eyes were covered with tape and a third man threatened to dispose of his body by cutting it into bits with a chain saw. Canul said, “I’m not a very religious guy, but I prayed.” Photographs of Canul show evidence that he was threatened with a knife on his throat and face. (I wish blogspot would let me put pictures up. Anybody have any advice?)

Canul says he passed out after the chainsaw threat and when he woke up the men seemed to be running out of steam. They were talking about ordering a pizza when a car pulled up in front of the house. Canul hoped that his friends had arrived to save him. It wasn’t the crooks and it wasn’t Domino’s, it was the Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies.

After a brief conversation with Poppino and Kester in the front yard it became apparent that the anonymous caller was correct. Police arrested and charged all parties in the case. “It’s a bit unusual when everyone involved is a victim and a defendant,” said Chris Owen, the prosecutor on the case.

Paul Canul remains in custody in the Clackamas County Jail for the charge of Robbery 1, Attempted Burglary 1, and the unlawful possession of a weapon with the intent to use. The total bail is set at $100,000, in addition to the measure eleven offenses of Robbery 1; with no bail amount.

Bradley Poppino remains in custody in the Clackamas County Jail for the charges of Kidnapping 1 and manufacturing marijuana. This bail is set at $250,000. A preliminary hearing for this matter is scheduled for June 26th, at 3:00 p.m.

Andrew Kester remains in custody in the Clackamas County Jail for the charge of Kidnapping 1, with an associated bail of $250,000. A preliminary hearing for this matter is scheduled for June 26th, at 3:00 p.m.

The marijuana charges for Poppino stem from the fact that he was growing more than the legal amount covered by his permit. This is what Prohibition does; it creates a group of criminals who control the source of the product. So as marijuana becomes legal, the criminals who produce it still think like criminals. They break the rules and take the law into their own hands.

Paul Canul, the only party in the case talking with the press yet, says he thinks he had it coming. “I’d be pretty mad if someone stole my pot,” he said, “I’d probably have done the same thing.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have some facts and some fiction. Now I know not to believe anything I read as truth.

4:37 PM  
Blogger jd chandler said...

Brad - Thanks for reading. My sources on this are the Oregonian and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Dept. If you would like to add your side let me know. You can email me at

11:23 AM  

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