Eight arrested in Michael Phelps case

By chillinwill · Feb 11, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - New details have emerged about a party where Olympic champion Michael Phelps was spotted.

    On Feb. 2, a British tabloid published a picture of the 14-time Olympic gold medalist using a water pipe to smoke marijuana. The picture was taken at a party in Columbia back in November when Phelps was here for a visit.

    The Richland County Sheriff's Department has been taking a lot of heat from people in this country and all over the world.

    They want to know why Sheriff Leon Lott is going after Michael Phelps.

    Many are saying the sheriff should concentrate on more serious crimes, or at the very least, not focus solely on the Olympic champion when there were others at the party who were also breaking the law.

    Now it appears the case has expanded beyond Phelps' activities.

    The party took place in November at a house on Blossom Street near Five Points.

    It was at that house where someone snapped the photo of Phelps taking a hit on a marijuana pipe called a bong.

    Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn't ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

    We've now learned that since investigators began trying to build a case, they've made eight arrests: seven for drug possession and one for distribution. These are arrests that resulted as the sheriff's department served search warrants.

    We've also learned that the department has located and confiscated that bong.

    Sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

    The owner, who wasn't even at the party, is one of the eight now charged.

    Phelps is not one of those charged at this point, but the sheriff's department has strong evidence that matches the photo to the house on Blossom Street.

    That house is in the city, but the Columbia Police Department decided not to initiate or take an active role in the investigation.

    Governor Mark Sanford is also weighing in on the sheriff's actions.

    On the FOX News Channel Sunday night, Geraldo Rivera asked Sanford whether Phelps should be prosecuted.

    "I don't see what it gets at this point," said Sanford.

    His spokesman told us Monday night Sanford is letting that quote stand."

    By Jack Kuenzie
    Posted: Feb 9, 2009 03:52 PM

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  1. Spare Chaynge
    wow, To think that they went to all this trouble. swim thought society was a bit more progressive than that.
  2. gmeziscool2354
    Well I believe that one cannot be charged with possesion of marijuana unless one can be proven posses it. Pictures are not defensible evidence of anything since the vallidity of the picture cannot be proven to " beyond Reasonable doubt."
  3. bcubed
    Yeah, they probably don't get Phelps without a snitch.

    (And considering that some jagoff a. sold the photo to the tabloids and b. tried to sell the bong for $100K, it seems likely LE will get their wish!):mad:
  4. snapper
    This is crazy, but SWIM thinks that the attention this case is getting is due to Michael Phelp's prestige. Michael Phelps, want it or not, is a major role model to all kinds of people. People who will mimic his focused desire to achieve, his ambition, his good physical health, etc. Now imagine the horror of the powers when taking a bong hit is added to that list ...
    The whole thing is pathetic and sad though. This would have gotten a lot less attention had the story been ignored and allowed to blow over. No one is going to decide that bonghits are bad because a bunch of people are humiliated and arrested. Rather it will keep Phelp's bong-ripping profile in tabloids, magazines, on the internet and on TV a lot longer, maximizing media attention and conceiving countless new potheads. Not to mention many will have their already present indignation fueled by seening how much LE resources have gone into a totally meaningless direction and how many people have had their lives damaged.
    Just legalize the shit already and leave everyone alone !
  5. MrG
    I think you'll find that the "shock and awe" tactics from the powers-that-be are more likely as a result of having previously been fully paid up members of the Michael-Phelps-is-a-clean-living-all-american-boy fan club and their world is now shattered.

    Not because he's some coke-fiend or skag-head, but because he is walking proof that yes, winners can enjoy the odd bong hit without their life falling apart. The quandary for them is that, due to his immense success at the olympics, their usual rhetoric is shown up for the bullshit that it is. Still, there's that much money surrounding the fella that they'll soon swallow their outrage and rejoin the queue at the trough.

    I remember a few years ago when some snowboarder at the winter olympics got a positive test for marijuana and the response was along the lines of "well he's a snowboarder, what do you expect?". His sponsors weren't exactly shocked.
  6. youdontknow
    "He said he couldn't ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous"

    To me thats the only reason hes making such a big damn deal out of it. If it was a pic of some random person it wouldnt have mattered.

    That sherriff needs to get over himself

    "ohhh a law was being broken in my jurisdiction, a man was smoking pot in my city, you cant imagine how many lives will be ruined if i dont bring him to justice.."

  7. Politicalchalk
    I'm kinda sick of hearing about this. They're making *such* a big deal out of this and there's just....so many more important things happening...even in my bathroom. Is it really so hard to conceive that it's possible to achieve AND having had smoked pot at some point past? Oh, wait....those "above the influence" commercials make it clear that, if you smoke pot, you're clearly not thinking for yourself.

    You ever see the one where they have some kid smoking a joint in his room? He's wearing like 8 t-shirts. The Top one says "I <3 this joint" --> he takes it off to reveal one that like "this is so boring" --> "STOP" --> "Be Myself" (and as one Swimmer's profile says, How can I not be myself?) --> "Free" is the last one. Apparently, human freedom is only achieved after doing what the government says.
  8. MrG
    "You are free, to do as we tell you!"
    Keep repeating . . .
    "You are free, to do as we tell you!"
    "You are free, to do as we tell you!"
  9. fnord
    Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    [h2]Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case[/h2]

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Authorities in the South Carolina county where Michael Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana pipe have been arresting people as they seek to make a case against the superstar swimmer, lawyers for two arrested people said Thursday.

    “ After they arrested him, they didn't ask him, 'Where did you get the marijuana?' or 'Who sold it to you?' Almost all the questions they asked him were about Michael Phelps.
    ” -- Defense attorney Dick Harpootlian ​
    Attorneys Joseph McCulloch and Dick Harpootlian told The Associated Press they each represent a client charged with possession of marijuana who was questioned about the party Phelps attended near the University of South Carolina campus in November.
    The lawyers said the two clients were renters at the house where the party apparently took place. Harpootlian said his client was at the party, but didn't see Phelps smoke marijuana, while McCulloch said his client wasn't there. The two have since moved and were arrested after police executed a search warrant at their new home and accused them of having a small amount of marijuana there.
    "After they arrested him, they didn't ask him, 'Where did you get the marijuana?' or 'Who sold it to you?' Almost all the questions they asked him were about Michael Phelps," Harpootlian said.
    The lawyers would not name their clients, who each face up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine if convicted on the pending charges.
    The Richland County Sheriff's Department would not comment on the lawyers' remarks.
    "As soon as we're ready to release information on this case, we will
  10. Nature Boy
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    What a circus. How can they charge anyone with past possession of marijuana when in the infamous picture, marijuana can't even be seen. It's just a snap of someone who might be Phelps holding a transparent ornament of some kind as far as the law is concerned. What is the intention of arresting some random students over this? A wild witch-hunt because America's hero allegedly enjoys a toke, nuts!! This has got to be one of the craziest War on Drugs stories that I've ever encountered. It defies logic. Fuck, it defies twisted logic. They've gone mad on this one.
  11. D.U.M.B
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    It has been blown out of proportion by the media
  12. Ilsa
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    that's exactly what this is turning into: a fucking witch-hunt. they couldn't POSSIBLY admit that MAYBE one can smoke pot and still be successful. so they (meaning the gov't) stand by the web of lies adn misinformation and trust that we will remain too doped up on reality tv and the news media circus to care to find out the truth. :mad:

    and ya know what else: MY FUCKING TAX DOLLARS are funding this bullshit. grrrrrrrrrrr.
  13. aerozeppelin123
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    Argh, this really winds me up. Do these officers genuinely believe that they are doing valuable police work? Who do they think they are protecting? All the time spent investigating this is time not spent investigating genuine crime that ACTUALLY HURTS PEOPLE. It does make me glad I do not live in America, police in the UK would not be as pathetic as this. They have made a couple of half-hearted attempts to charge Amy Winehouse and other celebrities from photographic evidence like this, but these were abondoned very quickly. I don't even want to think about how much money the American public are forking out to pay for this nonsense, it's a complete joke.
  14. fnord
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    Under what grounds did these cops get a search warent on?
  15. Raoul duke420
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    Is there not some statue of limitations on some bullshit charge like this? It is a disgrace that this is how our time and tax dollars are being spent by the police and the prosecutors on this case. Makes swim hate the government that much more.
  16. thebige
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    Dam short hair olympic gold medal wearing athletic million-dollar earning all american hero type hippie.............
  17. doggy_hat
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    Cops still need reasonable evidence to search? I thought the rule was; If you don't want to be searched then you must have something incriminating to hide, so you're getting searched.
  18. runitsthepolice
    Re: Lawyers: Arrests made in Phelps case

    This is incorrect. Plain and simple

    Swim just realized this might have been sarcasm
  19. youdontknow
    Really if phelps woulda just denied it and said it was flavored tobacco or something then it all would have blown over cause they would have had no evidence that it was bud. the only evidence they had that it was pot was that he admitted it.

    But seriously the media abd the authorities are blowing it way fucking out of proportion. Hes a man in his early 20's. How many of them can say they absolutely never smoked pot. Jesus man
  20. Woodman
    This is the kind of ridiculous effort by law enforcement that makes me want to start smoking pot again, ... just to piss them off.

    They would never spend so time and much money going after anyone else for such a minor offense; it's just that Phelps is a widely recognized celebrity.

    Consider how many people are caught in actual possession of a joint, not just caught on film, but in actual possession of weed. Chances are, you won't see any major investigation going on around THEM; probably because it would cost way too much money, so they are either cited, charged with misdemeanor possession, or just have their shit confiscated & destroyed.

    Some useless bureaucrat obviously thought it would be a good tool to draw attention to himself or his department.

    It's not like there was some random police officer who saw the photo of Phelps hitting the bong and said, "Oh my! It looks like he's breaking the law. We had better launch an extensive investigation and look into everyone who may have been involved in this!"

    I'ld love to post a photo of myself with a joint on one hand and my dick in the other, along with a caption that reads, "Come and get me, Mother-Fucker!"

    ... and do you think for a second that law enforcement is going to say, "Look, there's 'Woodman' smoking a joint. We better launch a major investigation and look into everyone who may have been involved in this!" ?

    Hell no, because without any celebrity, there's just no way they can get enough mileage out of the bust to make it worth their effort.

    Fucking bureaucrats!
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