There aren’t many excuses the police haven’t heard when it comes to a drug possession arrest and selling marijuana due to a down economy is not a new one. Yet that did not stop a Tampa man from trying to use that excuse to get out of drug charges after he was pulled over by Tampa Police.
TampaBay.com is reporting that Timothy J. Stewart was pulled over around 11:30 Sunday night on Fowler Avenue E. Police reportedly stopped the 27-year-old because he was missing a tag light on his 1989 Pontiac Bonneville. That led to a traffic stop where police reported smelling marijuana in the man’s car. When police searched the vehicle they discovered 22 grams of marijuana. They described the marijuana as packaged for sale.
According to the story on TampaBay.com Stewart claimed to have started selling drugs just a few weeks before his arrest due to the fact he was unable to find a job. That didn’t fly since the article found previous drug arrests for Stewart. Hillsborough County arrest records show the man has a previous charge with intent to distribute marijuana and two previous charges for intent to distribute cocaine.
Following his most recent arrest Stewart was charged with possession of marijuana and intent to distribute. At last report he was being held at the Hillsborough County Jail where his bail was set at $4000. There was no information if he had been released from jail since his Wednesday arrest or if he had retained a criminal defense attorney in Tampa to represent him. If so, that lawyer most likely would not argue the case using the “recession made me do it” defense.
Stewart will be facing felony charges on the possession alone as possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to five years. That doesn’t even take into account the intent to distribute charges.