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A twice-convicted Omaha drug dealer who bailed out of jail, moved to San Diego five years ago, and got a degree from California Western law school may soon be heading home to do some hard prison time. Forty-two-year-old Randall S. Whitmore of Hillcrest was imprisoned by the feds during the mid-1980s for conspiring to distribute marijuana and cocaine. After his parole in 1989, he was jailed by Nebraska authorities for a similar conviction stemming from state charges of marijuana possession and intent to deliver in 1981. Accusing his attorney of having had a conflict of interest in that case, Whitmore appealed, and in a highly unusual move in 1993, a federal judge let Whitmore out on bail for the duration of his appeal. While at the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln, Whitmore received a degree from the University of Nebraska's College of Business Administration, and when he moved to San Diego he enrolled at Cal Western, graduating with a law degree in January 1996. But as a convicted felon, the Nebraska transplant can't actually practice law, and Cornhusker lawmen still want to lock him up. Last week the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out Whitmore's appeal and ordered his bail revoked, though he may be eligible for parole shortly after he returns to Nebraska. "This is one of the most amazing and disgusting scenarios of jurisprudence you'll ever see in your life," Whitmore told the Omaha World-Herald. "I've been living a new life here in San Diego. Now they want to uproot me." Whitmore told the paper he would continue to appeal rather than simply apply for parole because "I'm innocent." Whitmore's ex-lawyer sees it differently. "The problem with Randy Whitmore is that he blames everybody from the Supreme Court on top to his lawyer on the bottom, but it was he alone dealing dope."

Four score and seven orgies

The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, which received much unwanted publicity after the tragic death of Lt. Kara Hultgren, the female pilot who crashed her F-14 on a failed landing attempt off the San Diego coast in 1994, is back blazing new frontiers for the Navy. Eleven sailors from the carrier are likely to be booted out of the service for participating in a group-sex orgy during a stop in Hong Kong last week. Ten of the sailors, seven men and three women, have already been found guilty by the ship's captain of sodomy, adultery, and fraternization. The trouble started when a female sailor rented a hotel room and invited her friends to party. "Numerous sexual acts were happening in the same place at the same time," according to a Navy spokesman, who characterized the orgy as "an isolated incident." Hong Kong was the first stop for the ship after it left San Diego last month ... A Marine Corps recruiter has been found guilty in a San Diego court martial on charges relating to the death of an 18-year-old Kansas woman killed in a car accident while on a drunken outing with the Marine last year. Staff Sgt. James Finch was reduced in rank to private and given a bad-conduct discharge after a jury found he had violated orders and made false statements. He was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of the woman, whom Finch was attempting to sign up.

Fat and fancy free

Mayor Susan Golding has found another way to get free airplane rides and meal tickets. Her old friend and mentor, Governor Pete Wilson, has just named her to the state Commission on Local Governance, which is studying the ins and outs of how California cities change their boundaries ... For women more athletically inclined, the National Breast Cancer Coalition is sponsoring a 60-day cross-country bike trip, starting from San Diego next March and ending in St. Augustine, South Carolina. Price: $4900, including room and board ... San Diego's Sol Price, the wealthy founder of the Price Club, has taken out big advertisements in the Washington Post castigating Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr and his federal grand jury. "Some of the things they've done to Susan McDougal and Webster Hubbell -- that's carrying things to extremes. The jurors don't really realize that it's their decisions, not the prosecutors," Price, a Democrat, told the Legal Times.

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