Pot arrest comes with jacket return

Published 8:00 pm Friday, December 3, 2010

Accepting marijuana is apparently not a part of a downtownbusiness’ return policy.

A Bolton man who tried to return a jacket he purchased at RushingShoe Shop on Wednesday accidentally left a stash of weed in the bagthe jacket was sold in. He was arrested after store owner JamesRushing looked in the bag and called police.

Marco B. Gibson, 21, of 1501 Noriell Road, Bolton, is being held atthe Lincoln County Jail and is charged with possession of marijuanawith intent to distribute after unknowingly handing 25 individuallywrapped nickel bags of pot over the counter, said Brookhaven PoliceChief Pap Henderson.

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“He should have been kicking his own butt,” the chief said. “Hewent down there to exchange a purchase he had made and when he gavethe clerk his bag, they saw this marijuana in there. He gotsuspicious and left.”

Henderson said Gibson attempted to ditch police while fleeingthrough downtown Brookhaven, earning him additional charges offailure to yield to blue lights, felony fleeing a law enforcementofficer, reckless driving, no seatbelt and improper childrestraint. Gibson had a little girl in the car with him, Hendersonadded.

Rushing said he had already quietly called police and was playingit cool, trying to stuff Gibson’s returned jacket back into thebag. When he had difficulty getting the jacket packed away, Gibsoncame over to assist and realized what he’d done.

“He got in a hurry of a sudden,” Rushing said. “I guess he was puredumb. I was shocked to see someone bring their dope into a retailstore.”

Rushing said he’s encountered narcotics in returned items before,especially in boots. People tend to forget where they’ve hiddentheir drugs, he said.

“If it had been something small, someone’s personal marijuana, Iprobably wouldn’t have said anything. But he had it in thelittle-bitty square bags, and I knew he would be selling it. Hecould have sold it to kids, anyone’s kids.”

Although calling police was the right thing to do, Gibson’s arrestcould be bad for business, Rushing said.

“He was buying a whole bunch of stuff,” he said.