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We’ve all watched scenes on TV showing someone trying to flush drugs – usually a small bag of pot or other drugs, or maybe some pills – down the toilet. The scene often involves the occupant of the house or apartment being surprised at the presence at his or her home of a representative of the law enforcement community. Whether that representative has actually arrived at the occupant’s door to execute a search warrant or an arrest warrant, or to sell tickets to a PBA event, the activity inside the home is often the same, consisting of a mad rush to locate the drugs, and then to buy enough time for a single flush, with the incriminating evidence literally going down the drain.
Things were just a bit different late last month when police arrived at the Casa Grande residence of a man with a search warrant for the home. They say that the man, upon realizing that officers were at his door, attempted to flush his marijuana down the toilet. But the amount, four pounds of weed, presented something of a problem. He was apparently unable to complete the task in time to hide the pot from the cops.
This was a bad day all around for the suspect. In addition to being charged with felony possession of marijuana, it was reported that they also found several guns in the home. This led to a charge of misconduct involving weapons (the suspect, a convicted felon, is a “prohibited possessor”), which is a felony. He is also charged with possession of marijuana for sale (another felony). The police say they also discovered two children in the home, leading to two counts of endangerment.
Finally, adding insult to injury, the police have taken the allegations of attempting to flush the marijuana down the toilet, and have added to the rest of the offenses with which he is charged a claim under A.R.S. 13-2809, which defines the crime of tampering with evidence. Like most of the other charges he now faces, this is a felony, and consists of destroying physical evidence with the intent that it be unavailable in a proceeding which is then pending, or which the defendant knows is about to be instituted.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004