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Officer Discovers Marijuana While Helping Owner of Disabled Vehicle

web posted August 18, 2014

JOHNSTON   It is not uncommon for police officers who are making contact with drivers during a traffic stop, checkpoint or helping the when their car breaks down to find the driver or a passenger with marijuana. It is a lot more common that what you may think these days. But it is the driver and or passenger(s) who determine their fate when the discovery is made. They can cooperate or refuse to cooperate, the latter will always land you in jail.

A good example of how to properly interact with police took place this past Friday when two Johnston Police Officers pulled into the parking lot of a local gas station to help two men who's car was not operational. The two young black males were in the parking lot late at night just as the store is getting ready to close.

When the officers walked over to the men they were polite and explained they were having car trouble as one of the officers assisted by looking under the hood with the driver. In the meantime, the other office walked by the passenger door and could see a "bud of marijuana" sitting in plain sight on the passenger seat.

After the other officer was informed of the discovery, both men were asked to step to the read of the car and asked about the marijuana. The passenger, 29-year-old man, of Johnston, spoke up and said it belonged to him. Both men were checked for outstanding warrants and were clear.

The officer seized the marijuana as evidence and wrote the passenger a traffic summons for simple possession of marijuana and then continued to try to assist the men in getting their car back on the road so they could be on their way.

Nobody went to jail.

If we pick the story up at the time the men were asked to step to the rear of the car and told about the discover of the marijuana and neither claimed it as their own things would have probably gone as follows. Both men would have been placed into "investigative custody" and handcuffed. As the officers finished their investigation and search of the car both men would have been read their rights and told they were under arrest for simple possession of marijuana. They would have been booked at the jail and the vehicle would have been towed.

Cooperation and telling the truth is always a good thing, and a lot cheaper than a tow bill, bond, and then a court fine. The end result, the court date and fine, would be the same, except the judge always smiles upon those who cooperated with the officers and the fine is usually reduced as low as possible.

Edgefield Daily is withholding the identification of the passenger because he did the right thing, even though he was charged. He would not appear in the Daily Bookings as he was not booked into custody anyway.  


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