5 Bags of marijuana in a backpack, digital scales, 252 empty sandwich baggies and two cups with marijuana residue landed one man behind bars on Tuesday morning around 1 AM. 24-Year old Gary Jackson was stopped on Forrest Street at North Highland Avenue for having the light above his license plate out.
MPD Officer Earl Crow wrote in a police report, "While speaking with Mr. Jackson I smelled the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle." That smell is what eventually led police to the backpack that was in the car. Officer Crow conducted what is called a "Probable Cause Search" due to the odor.
Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a person has committed or will commit a crime. For probable cause to exist, a police officer must have sufficient knowledge of facts to warrant a belief that a suspect is committing a crime. The belief must be based on factual evidence, not just on suspicion. In this case, the evidence was the smell of marijuana.
Suspect Gary Jackson videoed the entire stop on his cell phone, however his phone was seized by police. Money that was located in the car was also taken in as evidence.
To make matters worse for Jackson, his 9-month old son was in the car with him when the stop was conducted. Jackson was also within 1,000 feet of Central Magnet School, which means if he is convicted, he could face additional prison time. Drug Free Zone laws allow for stiffer penalties against persons convicted of drug possession when they are within 1,000 feet of a school. In some states, the drug-free zone is a distinct criminal offense that carries an eight-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Jackson will face the charges for the manufacturing or the sale of a schedule six drug and possession of drug paraphernalia in court on July 30, 2015.
MPD Arrest Report #15-9303