Thursday, March 15, 2012

Judge dismisses marijuana charge against man with pot in vehicle

Should individuals be subject to criminal charges for simply being present during someone else's criminal acts? Regardless of what we ourselves believe, thousands have been criminally processed due to a "Guilt by Association" type circumstance, but one St. Lawrence County judge disagrees with that old myth and makes a shocking decision that backs a citizens rights for a change.

24-year-old Benjamin Armstrong of Salamanca was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Christopher Bomberry when they were pulled over on Route 3 in June of last year. But what Armstrong didn't know, was that Bomberry was transporting 4 pounds of marijuana in a spare tire.
The men were stopped by the U.S. Border Patrol and a drug sniffing canine alerted agents to the marijuana. Despite Armstrong's claims of having no knowledge of the pot, both men were arrested and charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a charge that literally haunts a person for life. Armstrong feeling like a victim of guilt by association feared for his future, and felt the charges were unfair while claiming his innocents, and apparently the judge deciding his case felt the same way.
A decision made by Judge Jerome J. Richards states that prosecutors failed to prove Mr. Armstrong knew there was marijuana in the vehicle. He also sited that neither Border Patrol agents nor state police could testify that Armstrong confessed to knowing about the marijuana. Judge Richards then dismissed the indictment against Benjamin Armstrong.

“The charge that Armstrong acted in concert with Bomberry is based on nothing more than his physical presence in the vehicle,” Judge Richards wrote in his decision.

Charges against Bomberry will not be dismissed, and will stand.

 Judge dismisses marijuana charge against man with pot in vehicle - Phoenix Cannabis Culture |