A 77-year-old farmer is being sent to prison for 10 years for cultivating cannabis plants after police illegally trespassed on his property to nab him.
In a case that clearly highlights the manner in which police break the law to target, arrest and convict citizens with impunity, 77-year-old Charles Frederick White has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for cultivating marijuana.
The sheriff’s office claims they happened upon the growing operation by mistake, while ostensibly claiming to follow up on a call from a woman outside the Baltimore area who said her identity had been stolen and that new credit cards taken out in her name were being sent to a Polk County address.
Curiously, the officers took four months from the time she called to allegedly investigate.
“It was just really hard to get in touch with them,” Rianhard said of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “They just really didn’t do a whole lot.”
Rianhard said she doesn’t know why it took four months after calling in December for sheriff’s detectives to go out to the address of the supposed thief.
She said she never knew that her identify-theft case had accidentally spawned a major marijuana bust.
“It’s bizarre how that happened,” Rianhard said.
Bizarre is likely a vast understatement, with the truth likely being much closer to White being targeted by federal, state, and local law enforcement, which used an absurd excuse to gain access to his property.
The detectives claim that they were unable to find the home they were looking for in the rural area 45 miles north of Springfield, so they decided to stop at the nearest home – that of Charles Frederick White, who at the time was 71.
From the outset, law enforcement began violating White’s rights, as they drove up a long driveway to his home and parked. The detectives immediately noticed the pungent skunk-like smell of unharvested cannabis.
From that point forward, all investigation into the identity theft was abandoned.
White approached the detectives, who spoke to him for a few minutes before leaving. A search warrant was then obtained, and White was eventually charged with growing more than 1,700 marijuana plants.
The problem with this initial contact by the detectives is that White had a closed gate on his driveway — with a posted “No Trespassing” sign.
Of course, the detectives claim that the gate was open and they never saw the sign – although two neighbors testified in court, saying they had lived next to White for years, and he NEVER left the gate open.