When 32-year-old Terance Eugene McCullough was pulled over last February for speeding on Highway 59, the policeman asked McCullough about the strong smell of marijuana emanating from his ride. McCullough replied that he had, in fact, just smoked a joint.
The trouble was, he hadn't quite finished that joint. And as the 32-year-old McCullough had perhaps learned from catching one of any number of episodes of Cops, America's finest long-running educational documentary television program, the first thing you do when you are caught with weed is to try to eat the evidence.
Unfortunately for McCullough, like the guy in the clip above, he failed.
Fort Bend Now picks up the tale:
Upon closer inspection, the officer saw what looked like ashes and marijuana in McCullough's mouth.
The officer retrieved a small sample of the material McCullough was trying to eat, which field-tested positive as marijuana. A subsequent Department of Public Safety laboratory test confirmed the substance was, in fact, marijuana.
The article doesn't tell us exactly how the officer retrieved that sample, but now McCullough has been convicted of felony evidence tampering.
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"It doesn't matter how serious the underlying crime is, when you deny evidence of that crime to law enforcement, it's a felony," says Fort Bend County District Attorney Chris DeLozier.
McCullough could get anything from probation to two to 20 years in prison, plus a $10,000 fine, just for eating a joint. Assuming that the joint he tried to eat was the only weed in the car, he had been looking at a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a max of 180 days in jail and a $2000 fine, not to mention that whole matter of being a convicted felon for the rest of your days.
Seems kinda harsh to Hair Balls. We called local defense attorney and blogger Mark Bennett about it, who surprised us by not being much up in arms about the draconian punishment. He takes a dim view of evidence tampering, and to him, it doesn't matter how serious the original crime you were trying to hide was.
"There are a ton of things to get up in arms about other than this," he told us. "Sorry if that doesn't help your story any."