The sons claimed they had found the cannabis while “dumpster diving” the previous evening.
If you’re going to make your kids hide your stash, they’d better be old enough to smoke it. Otherwise, like a Montana man found out, a person could face serious consequences.
A man in Bozeman, Mont. has pleaded not guilty to charges that he directed his two sons, between the ages of four and 14, to hide his cannabis when law enforcement officers paid him a visit at the family’s home.
James Russell Clark is facing felony charges of dangerous drugs, criminal child endangerment and accountability for tampering with or fabricating evidence.
Clark, 38, has been held in jail on US$75,000 bail since January, when police arrived at his home after receiving a report of unsupervised children throwing axes in the house’s front yard.
According to police, a child answered their knock at the door, at which point the odour of cannabis was detected emanating from the home.
Police said that Clark, whose eyes were red and glassy, stepped out to speak with officers. During this time, police allege that he paced continuously around the yard and whispered directions to his two oldest children, both sons, while officers contacted Clark’s probation officer.
According to court documents, officers then heard rustling noises from the garage that sounded like plastic bags.
Clark was handcuffed for acting with aggression and for trying desperately to regain access to his home. A search of the house and garage yielded one son emerging from the attic and another standing on a stack of cannabis leaves, according to documents filed in court.
Upon continuing the search, officers located several bags of cannabis and plant trimmings, some of which were being soaked in the process of being transformed into hashish.
The sons claimed they had found the cannabis while “dumpster diving” the previous evening, and that Clark directed them to “get rid of the stuff” when police arrived.
Clark was arrested, and later admitted that he was processing the cannabis for his girlfriend and instructed the kids to hide the stash.
Clark is now facing a fine of up to US$65,000 and as long as 25 years in prison, if convicted.
Written by Emma Spears