Friday, December 30, 2011

There Went Santa Claus - Driving Across Idahohoho

Wash. man arrested with marijuana wrapped as gifts

Dec 29 2011

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A Washington state man faces felony marijuana trafficking charges after an officer found 3.3 pounds of marijuana wrapped up as Christmas gifts during a traffic stop in northern Idaho.

Jason D. Palmer, 36, of Springdale, Wash., was arrested Dec. 22 as he returned from a trip to Montana, where he had been visiting family. He was bringing back some Christmas gifts for his friends in Washington state but apparently couldn't resist sampling some of the gifts.

Kootenai County sheriff's officials said Palmer was stopped east of Coeur d'Alene because his vehicle was repeatedly changing lanes and following other drivers too closely. The officer said he smelled marijuana as he approached the vehicle. In other words, Santa was stoned.

"When I made contact at the window, the odor increased its potency," the deputy wrote in his report.

"Santa" Palmer told the officer he was a medical marijuana cardholder and had a small amount of "medicine" in the vehicle.

"I asked him what was in the presents and he stated some 'sweaters,'" the deputy wrote.

But a drug-sniffing dog indicated the packages contained something other than sweaters. There were drugs when the officers opened them, court records said.

Deputies also seized $800 in cash Palmer had with him.

Palmer's 12- and 14-year-old sons, who were in the vehicle with him, were taken into custody on suspicion of frequenting, or being in the company of someone in possession of a controlled substance. Prosecuting attorney Barry McHugh told The Associated Press on Thursday that the boys will not be charged. Oh happy day.

Palmer was released after posting a $20,000 bond and a preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 13, court records said. The judge ordered a public defender be appointed for Palmer.

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