Over 60 people attending a birthday party on New Year’s Eve in Cartersville, GA were taken into custody after officers discovered marijuana on the premises. They have all been charged for possession, though a vast number of them say they had no involvement with the substance in any way.
A nearby resident returning from an evening out called 911 to report what he believed were the sounds of gunshots in the area. When police responded they came across a party taking place, and they detained the remaining attendees while inspecting the premises to try to determine the origin of the reported gunfire.
When people at the party were questioned they alleged that the shots heard coming from the 21st birthday celebration were fireworks, and not a discharged weapon.
Officers claims that they could smell the pungent stench of marijuana from nearly 100 yards away which led them to call on the drug task force. Less than a full ounce of marijuana was located in the house, but the authorities decided to place nearly 70, people ranging in age from 15 to 31, under arrest on suspicion of drug use.
The charges have caught the attention of national news, and the NAACP have gotten involved and given the group the nickname #Cartersville70. They aim to assist those arrested in attaining the funds needed for bail, and to try to locate proper legal representation in order to protect their rights, which they assert have been violated.
It is believed that instead of being arrested and charged for the marijuana, those involved in the incident should have been issued citations, and that there is no way for 70 people to collectively possess an amount so small.
The drug task force posits that the charges are valid due to the fact that the weed was “within everyone’s reach or control.”
Most of the people charged have been found to have no prior criminal records, and some have lost their jobs since the arrest. While some of them were able to bond out, several are unable to afford it and are being held in lieu of payment.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a drug crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.