A 22-year-old Florida man was recently arrested in North Carolina, along with a 25-year-old man who is apparently a fugitive from California, although no details were reported, The two were apparently sitting in a parked SUV with Florida tags and, when a county deputy noticed the vehicle parked at the end of a dead end street, he became suspicious.
Unfortunately, as he approached to question the occupants of the SUV, the California man stepped out with a rifle in his hand. However, there was evidently no serious threat, and two county deputies apprehended the two men, who were ultimately charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Upon a search of the vehicle, the deputies reported finding a glass pipe suspected of being used for smoking methamphetamines. They also reportedly found a number of other items ranging from ordinary to vaguely suspicious, including a thermal-imaging rifle scope, binoculars, a pair of walkie-talkies, a credit card embossing machine, cell phones and an apple iPad. All of the items were apparently legal, however, and resulted in no additional charges.
We may ask, of course, why the California man exited his vehicle holding a rifle. It may have been that he felt intimidated by the presence of police officers in light of his status as a fugitive. Both were brought to the Iredell County Detention Center, and the California man is awaiting extradition.
It was not reported whether the deputies' suspicion that the glass pipe was drug paraphernalia proved to be correct. The presence of the other materials, all of which were legal but which could potentially be used for the sale, distribution or trafficking of drugs, is of no real consequence unless they can be proven to be intended for that purpose.
While possession of drug paraphernalia is typically a misdemeanor charge, that is not to say that the men should not seek out experienced criminal defense counsel in North Carolina or California. Even a misdemeanor drug conviction can have serious consequences to your reputation and make it more difficult to pursue long-term educational and employment opportunities.
Source: Fox Charlotte, "Fugitive Wanted in California Arrested in Mooresville," Anthony Burman, Jan. 29, 2013