Marijuana Arrests Reported In Phelps' Bong Case

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.

0 thoughts

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. im glad it is a safe drug he’s taking and not any thing else in the world.i know that my brother Phelps will never die like everything else prescription drug,alcohol,tobacco,coffee etc…..i dont think they will charge him but just advertising its time to legalize it……..

  8. Why does our Government Love To Waste citizens Taxmoney??? We work hard…& its not like Money grows on Trees
    No wonder why our Economy is doing poorly…
    We should have a Peacefull Marijuana Protest(PMP)
    against our crazy Government…

  9. This is just the kind of publicity needed to fuel the movement for marijuana de-criminalization. I’m not gonna preach to the choir here about the draconian drug laws in our country, but the time is ripe for massive, public, civil disobedience. Imagine if you can……..a ten million persons, 4-20 march on D.C. It’s time to stand up and demand change.

  10. Actually it would be supremely AWESOME if Phelps came out and said he was a regular Cannabis Consumer.
    Even MORE SUPREMELY AWESOME it would be if he spoke in favor of legalization of Cannabis, a natural herb that has been scientifically proven without question to be safer than coffee, alcohol & tobacco (and even McDonalds!).
    Lord knows this would be a much better message to send to “the children” than “Hey kids,it’s okay to throw money away on useless government waste. . .as long as it’s not your own!”
    LEGALIZE FREEDOM!

  11. @Jake It is Marijuana, who cares!!! It is less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol and has hundreds of more benefits. Stop believing this propaganda that the media is throwing at you and open your eyes! You are nothing more than a sheep who follows the sad traditions of the American “standard”.
    Save the sick
    Cloth the poor
    Shelter the homeless
    Legalize.

  12. How much time should they give him? 5 10 20 years. Maybe then he will learn his lesson and all people will never smoke pot again from seeing this example. Yes this is it!

  13. I’m with Barry. Civil disobedience is what will legalize it in 2009, de facto if not de jure. I’d rather we didn’t stage a massive rally. The media will take photos of all the people who reinforce stereotypes, and it is easy for cops to turn a blind eye to a Hempfest. No, we need to stage civil disobedience everywhere, in our yards, on the sidewalks, and on the cafe patio- every day, week after week. They’d arrest the first few, then they wouldn’t know what to do. They couldn’t arrest everyone, they could break up thousands of families, and they’d have to give up.
    We just have to start showing some courage to back up our convictions.

  14. Somebody should organize a protest over these arrests and get people from around the country to come.
    It’s time to stand up for our rights.
    In fact we shouldn’t stop with just protesting the arrest of Mike Phelps or anyone who happened to be there. Mike Phelps is just another victim of the war on drugs. We should stand up for everyone’s rights whether they are famous or not. Anytime someone is arrested for a marijuana offense, unless it’s some drug dealer who has also engaged in violent black market-related crime we should organize protests in the towns where they are being tried or held, and get people from all around the country to come.

  15. Michael Phelps is the new whipping boy for the hypocritical ethics and rationales of the moralists and prohibitionists. They must disparage him to justify thier beliefs that when you use cannabis you will be worthless to society because of this history of conditioning and propagnda says it is fact but Mr. Phelps has proven them and this theory wrong.
    Michael Phelps is the antithesis to all of this propagnada and conditioning.Look at what you can accomplish with the assistance of cannabis,a world class athlete and a gold medal world record holder not a leach on society as the moralists and prohibitionists would have you believe.
    He will be crucified for not following or behaving in the pretext of the propaganda and protocol set forth to one being so successful in this society.
    He has confirmed the war on cannabis is the biggest hypocritical lie ever perpetuated by the goverment and those who justify their professions.
    He has shattered the stereotype and belief system of those who will maintain the window dressing of moralists and prohibitionists and the war on drugs.They will follow thier conditioning and propaganda to the debts of hell knowing full well on their way down the abyss that they are foolish and no longer the majority.
    The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself. ~Jane Addams
    The devil loves nothing better than the intolerance of reformers. ~James Russell Lowell

  16. I have just canceled all my vacations in South Carolina for life! I would rather shovel snow than spend a dime in that backward outhouse of a state. Aren’t there enough decent people there to stop this?
    They are working their butts off trying to bust Michael Phelps and ruin the moral of the country just for their own aggrandizement. I see that the Bible Belt is still engaging in great Christin acts like persecuting people who haven’t really hurt anyone.
    The South shall fall again!

  17. Shame on the person who took this pic.
    Free the weed. This has been a nonsense war for too long now. Wake up America!
    No more Kelloggs in this house either!

  18. It’s too bad that he apologized and stated his regrets for the events that took place that evening (seemed to me he was speaking about the douche with the camera phone.)
    I would have loved to see any cannabis-loving magazine do a piece on Phelps’ performance and potentially his pot-tastic handling of the Olympics last year… he could have been our pot-champion! *sob*
    Oh well… who knows. We’ve got Rosanne Barr, maybe we’ll get Oprah next? 😉

  19. Well I don’t know who’s the bigger idiot, the person who took the photo or the person who tried to sell the bong online. For one it’s a federal offense. Come on, Phelps, speak out for the liberty of all responsible pot smokers. They’re about to arrest you as well. They now have the proof that it was indeed marijuana, or at least a strong case against you.

  20. We will end Marijuana Prohibition as soon as we all stand up and say enough is enough. If recent poll indications are a sign of the times, most of us are there already, we may not have to wait much longer.
    We need to start a website called http://www.itokebongs.com
    Then everyone in America can post their picture on the site with their email attached. If enough people pose with their bongs, The law enforcement agencies in the world will see that we are the people. WE ARE THE PEOPLE! WE ARE THE PEOPLE! WE ARE THE PEOPLE!
    STOP ARRESTING US! STOP ARRESTING US! STOP ARRESTING US!!!!!

  21. Better yet,
    Lets all plant a marijuana plant in our home. On July 4th, 2009, set the plant out on your front steps. Then at 12:00 noon (lets interrupt their lunch) lets all call our local police and let them know that we have a marijuana plant sitting on our front porch.
    Imagine 50 million phone calls at noon on July 4th 2009.
    If NORML sanctions this action, I am in like Flynn.

  22. I also believe that the Richland County Sherriff, Leon Lott, is a tool. He is only doing this to become famous. Lets make him feel famous. Contact the Richland County Sherriff’s office and share your feelings on his glorious waste of public resources.
    (803) 576-3000

  23. I feel bad for the idiot who took the picture. Eventually he will be found and possibly hurt fiercely, for selling out his friends, and causing everyone of those guys to get arrested.
    Run Gump Run!
    Stupid is, is stupid does. Momma always says.
    If you can’t stand the heat, don’t become a rat. The rat traps hurt. If this was legal, it would just be a dirty photo. But this is criminal still, and you just don’t photo things like this.
    That photo couldn’t be used in court anyways. It was taken in a private area, without consent of the parties involved. (You don’t have to have permission in public, but you do in private, especially if the focus is clearly one individual. You need that individuals permission, and there is testimony that says no-one had permission.)

  24. In post #2 steveo said “I support phelps all the way…arod….no way…focus on what is important!!!steroids or weed…no comparison”
    I would like to correct you on this. The illegality of steroids is very much like that of marijuana. When Congress was looking at making steroids a scheduled drug they first asked the American Medical Association, DEA and Dept of Health and Human Services what they thought. All three came back and said anabolic steroids should NOT be a scheduled drug. That of course didn’t stop Congress from scheduling them anyway. After that, just like with marijuana, the propaganda began. They make it sound like people die all the time from Steroids but once again there has never been one death determined to be directly related to steroid use. If you do the research it is quite easy to find out that steroids can be used with very little risk by healthy ADULT males, just like marijuana.
    Now if you were referring to the fact that steroids are cheating in sports whereas marijuana is not then I totally agree with you. It is just that according to a recent study the average anabolic steroid user is a 30 year old adult male, college educated, professional that does not compete in any competitive sport and simply uses them for cosmetic reasons. And in that situation it seems ridiculous to say that you can sign your life away, go under the knife and have fake pec implants put in but you can’t take a medicine that with proper training and nutrition will give you real pectoral muscles.
    Steroids too have become just one more example of wasteful “Drug War” spending that has no scientific basis.

  25. The sheriff seems to have something in his pockets. If I were sheriff I’d try to solve some of the murders in his county. Then I’d go out and have my picture taken playing “POCKET POOL” in front of the troops.

  26. If i were the parents of the 8 arrested i would have it in for the piece of s@!t sherriff. Unless this is just a really backward town; the people of the town should stand up for these 8 students who stand too have their futures screwed up by some Idiot sherriff. Listen people; YOU CAN VOTE THIS IDIOT OUT OF OFFICE. Make him an example to all other Idiots out there.

  27. I’m a Richland county, SC resident. Please do remember that only residents of Richland county can vote for the office of Sheriff there. There also isn’t always somebody running against every incumbent; if there’s no competition, this asshat wins by default like he did last November.
    I’ve heard a few stories from a trusted source of corruption inside the Richland county police department. They’ve demonstrated some rather two-faced behavior: on the one hand, they tip off low-grade cannabis dealers about busts; on the other, they attempt to prosecute successful people on little more than circumstantial evidence.
    This sheriff is an opportunist who takes whatever comes his way that benefits him the most. He doesn’t give a shit about public safety, unless it’ll make him a pretty penny.

  28. MR. BAYNES,
    I FULLY RESPECT AND SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO HIRE AND FIRE YOUR EMPLOYEES.
    HOWEVER, YOUR RECENT DISMISSAL OF OLYMPIAN MICHAEL PHELPS PENALIZES HIM FOR EXERCISING HIS RIGHTS TO FREEDOM AND LIBERTY GUARANTEED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND BILL OF RIGHTS. BY EXTENTION, AS HE IS A FELLOW AMERICAN, YOU ARE ALSO PENALIZING ME THREATENING MY RIGHTS.
    IF YOU ARE COMPELLED TO PUNISH A WRONG-DOER IN THE SUBJECT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES, I SUGGEST THE PERSON(S) WHO DISRESPECTED MR. PHELPS BY VIOLATING HIS PRIVACY AND EXPOSING HIM TO POSSIBLE CRIMINAL LEGAL ACTION.
    I ALSO SUGGEST YOU IMMEDIATELY REESTABLISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS AMERICAN ATHLETIC HERO AND ISSUE BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC APOLOGIES AS APPROPRIATE. UNTIL THEN, REGRETFULLY, I WILL NO LONGER USE OR BUY ANY OF YOUR MANY FINE PRODUCTS.

  29. If everyone would please call and flood President Barack Obama’s own message line at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 and tell him we want him to REPEAL our Federal marijuana/hemp laws now, every day until our Federal Gov. Repeals all marijuana/hemp laws, then “We the people’s voices will be finally heard loud and clear! Copy this and pass it along! MAKE A DIFFERENCE! CALL

  30. BOYCOTT SOUTH CAROLINA. MAKE EM PAY FINANCIALLY. UNLESS WE OF LIKE MIND RESOLVE TO BAND TOGETHER AND USE OUR CONSIDERABLE NUMBERS WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE ENSLAVED BY THE UNENLIGHTENED MAJORITY OF SHEEP AND DOLTS IN THIS COUNTRY. BOYCOTT KELLOGG’S BOYCOTT SOUTH CAROLINA. NOT FOR JUST 3 MONTHS BUT UNTIL CHANGE TRANSPIRES

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