US Marshals raided a Georgia man's house to serve a slew of outstanding warrants and busted him trying to flush nearly 50 pounds of evidence down the toilet.
The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force of the US Marshals Service enlisted the Bibb County Sheriff's Department to help arrest Joseph Benjamin Griffin II, a fugitive with several open warrants. When cops busted in the door, they found the 42-year-old in the bathroom, desperately trying to flush massive quantities of dried flower down the toilet.
This last-minute strategy might have worked if it was only a joint, but Griffin apparently had around 47 pounds of bud in his house. Most of this weed was already packaged up in sealed plastic bags, so the attempt to destroy the evidence didn’t exactly pan out. After searching the house, cops also found several more bags of bud, a handgun, and $12,600 in cash in the fugitive's vehicle. Police dragged him down to the station, where the US Marshals served him with nearly a dozen outstanding warrants.
Griffin stands accused of several federal felonies, including Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission to Commit Certain Felonies, Probation Violation, and Fleeing or Eluding a Police Officer. But that's not all. The feds also served five more outstanding warrants for motor vehicle offenses, aggressive driving, and alcohol-related offenses.
And thanks to the weed-flushing incident, local cops also got to tack on some charges of their own. The Bibb County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit just charged the man with cannabis trafficking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. On just the cannabis trafficking charge alone, Georgia courts can sentence Griffin to 5 to 30 years in jail, plus a $100,000 fine.
More than a third of all US states have now legalized adult-use cannabis, but Georgia is sadly not one of them. The Peach State does have a very limited medical marijuana program, but legislative attempts to fully legalize weed have failed. With prohibition in full effect, cops and courts are still handing down extreme and excessive penalties for minor nonviolent crimes. In one extreme example, cops arrested more than 70 people at a New Year's party for possessing under an ounce of weed between them.
There are at least a few small signs of progress, though. Georgia has legalized hemp, and some cops have been forced to return small quantities of weed because state crime labs don't have the technology to differentiate between legal hemp and illegal pot. And some major cities, including Atlanta, Savannah, and the beach town of Tybee Island have decriminalized minor cannabis possession.