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July 24, 2012 - 5:49pm

Self-proclaimed owner of 420 Emporium tries to enlist police to help evade questions

In an apparent attempt to intimidate news reporters from covering the activities of her stores, the woman who has identified herself online as the owner of at least four outlets of The 420 Emporium contacted law enforcement on Monday and accused The Batavian's publisher of harassing her.

A police officer with the Greece PD contacted Howard Owens at 9:18 p.m., Monday, and ordered him to not have further contact with Amber Snover.

Snover was the subject of a story on The Batavian on Monday identifying her as the self-proclaimed owner of 420 shops in Brockport, Fulton, Henrietta and Syracuse.  It's unclear if she also owns the Batavia store at 400 Ellicott St.

When contacted via phone on Monday, Snover denied ownership of all five locations and Owens followed up with a text message question and an exchanged ensured in which she accused Owens of harassing her even though it was his first contact with her.

Owens, who had identified himself clearly on the initial call, informed Snover further via text that he was a reporter with legitimate questions.

When Owens told the Greece PD officer the same thing, the officer told Owens he had no right to contact Snover, that she was "alarmed and annoyed" by the contact and that if he contacted her again "we will issue a warrant for your arrest."

The Public Information Officer for the Greece PD, Capt. Steve Chatterton, said today the contact by the officer was a typical courtesy call placed by a police officer at the behest of an individual who wanted to request no further contact.

Chatterton said no police report was taken and no charges are pending. He said if Owens felt obliged as a journalist to seek an interview in the future with Snover, an arrest warrant would not be automatic. He said the circumstances of the case would be reviewed with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office before deciding how to proceed.

John Woodworth JR
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Howard as a concern citizen of the USA and Genesee County resident. I would like "The Batavian" to request an interview or at least a number to the 420 owner to inquiry why they are selling bath salts?

Gary Spencer
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John,
you can go to their web-site, all the info for all the stores is listed there.....

http://the420emporium.com/

however, I would be careful not to "harass" the owners/employees of the store(s)!! *(sarcasm)

Gary Spencer
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Howard,

Who was the author of this post? I find a little odd that it says submitted by "the batavian" I am not trying to be an ass, but why not take credit for your own post. The vernacular is clearly that of the owner of the batavian!

Having said that, I will say this: keep up the great job! I admire the work you are doing in getting the word out on what is going on with this place (or these places as it were!)

Gary Spencer
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and we can ask why their web site does not mention the synthetic products that they sell!!!

Howard B. Owens
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It felt odd writing in the third person about myself in this case, but I wanted this to be as factual as possible without it being personal. Having written it in the third person it felt odd to put my byline on it.

I realize I have slipped into first person in some stories in the past and I have written whole first-person stories, but this just felt different to me.

Right or wrong, that was my mind set on it.

Janice Stenman
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Don't you just love how someone can sell a harmful substance.....and the guy who is reporting on this is accused of harassment?

Gary Spencer
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makes perfectly good sense to me!!

Cheryl Wilmet
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Howard just wanted to say thank you for the news you provide. I check your website on a daily basis numerous times because you are always informative and definitely honest about the stories you write. I also love being able to communicate with the editor and not ignored. While a lot of us disagree with each other and your opinions, we have a place to discuss the issues which are important to Batavians. Thank you.
Now I have to say that if the owner as she calls herself can't be honest with a reporter, she has something to hide. Her arrogance in calling the police shows she thinks she can sell whatever and everyone else is wrong. My favorite word Karma!

Howard B. Owens
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Thanks, Cheryl.

Charlie Mallow
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Howard, I wonder if they would have threatened a print reporter with arrest as well?

Howard B. Owens
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Charlie, we'll never know. What I wondered about more is would they have threatened a reporter from an organization they were more familiar with and wasn't self-employed. I'm not sure in this case there is any magic about print, just thinking "I never heard of this guy so he most be some internet nut case." We'll never know. (we might be saying the same thing, but with different nuance)

I do give Capt. Chatterton credit for treating me with respect and taking my complaint to him seriously, even if we disagree on the legitimacy of the officer's call (personally, I still feel I'm owed an apology and a withdrawal of the threat of arrest, but the Greece PD and I will never see eye-to-eye on that).

Gary Spencer
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hopefully other news outlets will bombard her with calls! she can't have everybody arrested!

Dot Carrigan
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Are you sure it was a police officer who contacted you in the first place?

Howard B. Owens
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Gary, I know from other online cases that have come up that we can't actively encourage people to call her. That could be construed harassment. If I were to in anyway condone that, I could potentially get into trouble.

I get your sentiment, but it would be best if phone calls are limited to news professionals seeking a legitimate interview of clarification of information.

Dot, I was pretty sure of the caller's legitimacy just based on experience and instinct, but Capt. Chatterton did confirm the call did come from a member of his police force.

John Woodworth JR
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Maybe all concern citizens should notify the 420 owner and ask for answers. Dot since the PIO did inform Howard that it was a courtesy call from the officer, I would say yes. Since, it did not go to court, no official investigation and no offical record, a arrest warrant is a little over the top.

Phil Ricci
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I love how people conveniently hide behind the law when it suits them, but dodges it as they sell poison.

Scum.

John Woodworth JR
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Agree Phil...... Time for the residences of Batavia to find the answers they have the right to know. Howard cannot condone or encourage people to pursue 420 ownership for answers. However, the concern citizens of Batavia and Genesee County have the right to ask and the right know what this business is about. Laws cannot deny the people that. Maybe a petitions should be started to get our local government to address our concerns and remove these types of businesses out of residential areas.

Kyle Couchman
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I'm thinking we need another protest, a little more agressive one. Is it legal to actually block a business I mean jus stand in front of the place with such a large crowd that it is effectively shut down. In my experience I know that alcoholic bev laws and trespassing laws can be overlooked if you have a big enough crowd. Students at Cornell do it on several occasions during the year the dont arrest anyone they just keep people off the streets. The police chief there at the time that we landlords and tenants were complaining about trespassing and public intoxicatio/urination and harassment had said theres just too many of them, our job is to keep people safe first. So maybe something similar can happen here?

jason reese
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Well, well,well. If you would have done this six months ago, she would not have been able to set up. Unfortunately Batavia, Ny is a money hungry community. She had to have signed and passed some sort of establishment agreement with the City County State or all three. Blaming 420 emporium for someone using baths salts is a poor excuse. Next time someone goes to set up shop in Batavia, Ny you may want to do your homework before they put cash in your face, then you let them in. No one's fault but your own.

John Woodworth JR
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I am not sure if, that is a safe alternative Kyle. Can you imagine the issues they may come up? The people that tend to visit these types of places really do not give two [email protected]#! about laws and others' safety. However, if 420 customers start laying hands on you it becomes assault which would give the local authorities the ability to search and detain patrons of 420.

Kyle Couchman
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Problem is John if we had alot of people there.... its doubtful any of their customers would go in, especially if those people were snapping pictures and generally being a bit agressive. However you are right there could be a few that would get physical and lead to police having an "excuse" to arrest either patrons or do a search of 420.

C. M. Barons
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John Woodworth JR
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So Kyle, when should we conduct Operation Barricade? :-)

Howard B. Owens
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Jason, where do you get this nonsense?

"She had to have signed and passed some sort of establishment agreement with the City County State or all three."

Absolute rubbish and devoid of anything even resembling fact.

Chris, the link you provided has absolutely no bearing on this this topic.

John Roach
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Not unusual for Jason.

Charlie Mallow
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Howard, we are saying the same thing. Although from what I've heard about the Greece Police Department, threatening reporters might just be a common practice.

Tammy Way
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Just wanted to know -- just where are these chemists that make this stuff--- is it just a group of nerds sitting around the kitchen table mixing chemicals??lol-- sorry i was just wondering

Tim Miller
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Howard - how dare you try to do this thing called "journalism".... Don't you know that "journalists" are simply supposed to take PR notes from businesses and individuals, tweak the words slightly to make it seem as if they had some intellectual input into what is "reported", and publish it?

I am curious as to whether the main provider of print journalism in Batavia has attempted to cover the story, or contact the self-proclaimed owner of 420...

Beth Kinsley
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How about the owner of the property? Has anyone considered contacting him? I can't imagine that he likes all of this negative publicity.

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