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Marijuana Arrests Reported In Phelps’ Bong Case

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director February 10, 2009

    Arrests reported — but not confirmed — in Michael Phelps bong case

    According to The Los Angeles Times:

    A television station in Columbia, S.C., is reporting that local law enforcement officials have made eight arrests in connection with a house party where Olympian Michael Phelps’ photo may have been taken with a marijuana bong in his hands. Seven of the arrests were for drug possession and the eighth was for drug distribution, according to the WIS-TV (Channel 10) report.

    WIS reporter Jack Kuenzie also reported that the bong’s owner had offered the device for sale on EBay for as much as $100,000. Kuenzie said that the Sheriff’s Department now has the device.

    The television station reported that Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott began to investigate after a British tabloid printed a picture of Phelps with the bong in his hands.

    But the Richland County Sheriff’s Department earlier this morning declined to say whether it had made arrests or confirm the local television station’s report.

    “The reporter who released that story is claiming that he has sources, but we’re not the source of that information,” said Lt. Chris Cowan, the department’s public information officer. “We’re not releasing any additional information. We are investigating, and if we determine that illegal activity has occurred, we will bring charges.”

    And as for the bong that reportedly was being offered online? “I don’t know where he got that information,” Cowan said. “He didn’t get it from us, and I don’t know that to be true.”

    On Monday, a newspaper in Columbia published a story that attempted to piece together how the now-infamous photo ended up in a British tabloid.

    The State’s story didn’t manage to do that. But it did place Phelps inside the house where, according to the television station’s report, the sheriff’s investigation led to eight arrests.

    The newspaper story quotes sources (named and unnamed) who described a party that went on inside the house where the cellphone photo could have been taken early in November:

    Crisp bills lay on the Ping-Pong table. But the players crowded around weren’t using paddles.

    The game that Monday night in November was high-stakes “beer pong,” a drinking game in which players lob Ping-Pong balls into plastic cups.

    Michael Phelps was betting big — and losing.

    “I saw Phelps pull out a roll, a bank-wrapped $2,000,” said Michael Whitworth, who had been invited to a house near Five Points after his band played a show at 5 Points Pub (now Sudworks Taphouse).

    “He said, ‘I’ll match the $2,000,’ ” Whitworth continued, referring to Phelps. “Good ol’ Phelpsie lost it too.”

    And, as for the picture:

    The photo that got Phelps, 23, in trouble could have been taken by any of the dozens of partyers at the house that night — or on other nights when Phelps was in Columbia the first week of November.

    The story notes that those who attended the party were asked on entering the house to respect Phelps’ privacy and not take photographs.

    45 Responses to “Marijuana Arrests Reported In Phelps’ Bong Case”

    1. Jake says:

      I hope they charge Michael Phelps (I like ya Mike but you being arrested brings more help than apologies) so everyone can yell at South Carolina. Maybe that will finally knock some sense into everyone here.

    2. steveo says:

      I support phelps all the way…arod….no way…focus on what is important!!!steroids or weed…no comparison

    3. Troy - Free your mind says:

      This is impossible! Walters said they don’t arrest people for possession!

      We need to start publicly berating these so called peace officers. Why are they not diverting this massive attention to missing children, or special cases involving violent crimes toward children?

      Phelps committed a crime? Ok, where is the victim?

      As an American citizen, I’m so appalled right now. I have lost all faith that this country will ever right itself. There are too many judgmental bigots, eager to put the free minds on trial.

      God himself could not reason with these people.

    4. Brett says:

      What in the god damn world? WTF is wrong with this country. STOP THE MARIJUANA ARRESTS. I don’t even care if it was Michael Phelps. There is no reason for this in the slightest. Keep wasting away taxpayers money ya god damn bums.

    5. pedro says:

      wow instead of the fuking police in SC trying to solve unsolved murders they rather waste all there time on someone who wants to smoke a little cannabis to unwind… so much for my tax dollars

    6. Anonymous says:

      Well I think its fine getting high off trees
      How is it a crime just to puff on weed

      Sit on my couch relax and watch tv
      Pull out my bowl and pack it then play my 360

      We’re getting punished everyday
      I wish someone would say
      Just stop this, why do the guiltless pay

      Every five minutes, seven more are made
      We could help ourselves, and watch crime rates fade

      But we go to jail, and we don’t pass go
      How does murder abuse and rape, compare to taking tokes

      We’re getting punished everyday
      I wish someone would say
      Just stop this, why do the guiltless pay

      Why are we so tough, on those who cause no pain
      Why does this long lost war still go on wasting money and causing shame

      All we ask is to have peace, when we smoke in our back yard

      We’re getting punished everyday
      I wish someone would say
      Just stop this, why do the guiltless pay

      i was bored but anyway … its bogus to waste time and money on investigating a photograph and arresting these people while there are real crimes going on. in my honest opinion Sheriff Leon Lott needs to be demoted to a meter maid as he clearly does not have his priorities straight.

    7. someone says:

      its bogus to waste time and money on investigating a photograph and arresting these people while there are real crimes going on. in my honest opinion Sheriff Leon Lott needs to be demoted to a meter maid as he clearly does not have his priorities straight.

    8. Jeremy says:

      Can they not find better things to do than pick on young people.. students even… the FUTURE of this country?!?!

    9. Joe the toker says:

      Police wasting their time on non-violent smokers again etc etc. This is getting old and ridiculous.

    10. Me says:

      lol, whoever took that photo is a dick

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