The Michael Phelps bong photo fiasco continued today as Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott arrested eight people connected to the party where the photo was taken.
Already, the marijuana community is calling for the Sheriff to Free the Phelps 8!.
Cannabis Culture Magazine encourages readers to contact the sheriff and encourage him to end his ridiculous crusade against peaceful pot smokers!
Or write letters to:
5623 Two Notch Road
Columbia, South Carolina
And Now Let’s Go Completely Insane, Starring Sheriff Leon Lott
Spencer Hall, SportingNews.com
Leon Lott, the Richland County, SC Sheriff, has now arrested eight people in association with the picture of Michael Phelps smoking from a marijuana bong. I’d post it here to refresh your memory, but I fear Lott would send policemen to bust down my door with a warrant, and I really like my front door. It works just fine as it is.
That’s eight people charged, including the owner of the house, who was not even at the party in question. The house is technically in the Columbia police district, but Columbia police — like the rest of the known universe — decided that with murders, robberies, and other crimes on the rise in the midst of a recession, pursuing anyone seen in a single grainy photograph of people smoking weed wasn’t worth taxpayer dollars.
Fortunately, Lott is a one-man stimulus package all by himself, injecting valuable taxpayer dollars into eight separate criminal cases filed by the Sheriff’s department, filling the pockets of defense attorneys, court reporters, paralegals, and other assorted beneficiaries of wasting public dollars in the name of grabbing the national spotlight. When you look back a few years from now and wonder when the recession’s tide turned and a wave of prosperity began to sweep across this nation by itself, don’t credit our President or congress: no, Leon Lott deserves the credit. Don’t let history forget this.
(In all seriousness, way more money could have been pumped into the economy if Lott hadn’t seized the bong, which was allegedly going on eBay for six figures. Instead, that valuable piece of history is sitting in a Richland County evidence locker. Why do you hate America, Leon Lott?)
– Article from SportingNews.com
Eight arrests from party that produced Phelps photo: report
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AFP) — Police have made eight arrests in connection with the party that led to publication of a photograph of Beijing Olympic hero Michael Phelps, television station WIS reported Tuesday.
Phelps, the American swim star who won a record eight gold medals at Beijing six months ago, was not among those charged in a probe by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, according to the report.
Seven arrests were made for drug possession and another for distribution of drugs, with arrests resulting from search warrants served by the sheriff’s department as part of their probe, WIS reported.
None of those arrested was named in the report.
A photograph of Phelps holding a bong, a pipe typically used for smoking marijuana, was published by a British newspaper last week and touched off a media frenzy that humiliated the Olympic hero.
The bong Phelps was holding in the pictures, one that led to his three-month suspension and the loss of possible renewal of a sponsorship deal with cerealmaker Kelloggs, was confiscated by the sheriff’s department.
Sources told the station that the bong’s owner was trying to sell it on eBay for 100,000 dollars and the person was not even at the party but was among those charged.
The report said the photograph appeared to be taken at a house located within the city limits of this state capital, but the report said the Columbia Police Department has not taken an active role in the investigation.
– Article from AFP
Who is Sheriff Leon Lott?
Biography from the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept.
Born in Aiken, South Carolina, in 1953, Sheriff Leon Lott attended the University of South Carolina – Aiken, earning an Associate Degree in Police Administration. He went on to attend the University of South Carolina – Columbia, earning a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and continued with graduate study for a Masters in Criminal Justice. Later, Sheriff Lott graduated from the FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Furman University’s SC Diversity Leadership Academy.
Sheriff Lott came to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in 1975 as a patrol officer. He advanced thereafter to various positions, including Criminal Investigator, Narcotics Agent, Lieutenant and Captain of Narcotics Division, Administrative Captain, Uniform Patrol Captain, and Watch Commander. In 1993, Sheriff Lott took the position of Chief of Police of St. Matthews, SC.
In 1996, he made a successful run for Sheriff of Richland County. Upon taking office, Sheriff Lott turned the direction of the Department to Community Oriented Policing. The success that the Department has had in the community since that time can be measured by the civic and community oriented boards and committees that have asked for Sheriff Lott’s participation, to wit:
•President – SC Law Enforcement Officers’ Association
•SC Correctional Association – Board of Directors
•D.A.R.E. America – Board of Directors
•Fight Crime- Invest in Kids – Advisory Committee, Washington, DC
•Cooperative Ministry – Advisory Board
•Communities in Schools – Advisory Board
•Boy Scouts of America – Indian Waters Council – Board of Directors
•SC Public Safety Coordinating Council – Chairman
•SC Police Corps – Advisory Council
•United Way – Local Government Division Chairman
•American Heart Association – Industry Leader Division
•March of Dimes – Luxury Lockup – Chairman
•American Red Cross – Division Chair
•SC Center for Family Policy – Board of Directors
•SC Council for Conflict Resolution – Advisory Council
•Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
•Habitat for Humanity
•University of South Carolina Alumni Association
•University of South Carolina – Aiken Alumni Association
•Spring Valley Rotary Club
•Chapin Sertoma Club
•Special Olympics – Board of Directors
•National Safety Council
•National Federation for the Blind
•Greater Columbia Community Relations Council
•SC Military Department – Colonel – Provost Marshal
•American Legion Post 6 – Commander – S.A.L.
•Retired Military Police Association
•Employee Support for Guard and Reserve – Board of Directors
•Association of the United States Army – Palmetto State Chapter
•Shandon Masonic Lodge #370
•Columbia York Rite
•Columbia Scottish Rite
•National Sojourners – Ft. Jackson Post 184
•2007 Order of the Palmetto
•2006 Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, Community Service Award
•2004 “SC Sheriff of the Year”
•2004 “Strom Thurmond Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement”
•2004 SC Law Enforcement Officers’ Association – “Toughest Cop”
•2004 SC Vocational Rehabilitation Association – “Citation for Individual Contributions” (accessibility rights for people with disabilities)
•2002 Palmetto Pride (SC Governor’s Beautification and Litter Control Program) – “Outstanding Leadership in Litter Enforcement”
•2002 SC Victim Assistance Network – “Silver Scales of Justice”
•2001 Indian Waters Council – Boy Scouts of America – “Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award”
•2001 Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Drum Major for Justice Award”
•2000 Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce – “Athena Award”
•2000 SC Association of School Resource Officers – “President’s Award”
•2000 SC Association of Crime Prevention Officers – “Administrator of the Year”
•1999 “Carolina’s Toughest Cop”
•1989 SC Law Enforcement Officers’ Association – “Officer of the Year”
•1986 Columbia Jaycees “Young Officer of the Year”
Sheriff Lott, a member of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, is married and has four daughters.
– From the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.