Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

$4000 worth of marijuana found in house fire

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • $4000 worth of marijuana found in house fire

    Cops find drugs while checking house after fire
    By Matt Manochio, Daily Record

    JEFFERSON -- Police found a pound of marijuana with a street value of $4,000 in the basement of a house where firefighters had just put out a fire yesterday morning.

    One resident, a 37-year-old man who police did not identify, was injured in the blaze.

    He was taken to The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and remained in critical condition, Morris County Prosecutors office spokesman Jeff Paul said on Monday night.

    At approximately 9:45 a.m., police received a 911 call from a resident of 6 Edward Court, who reported a fire in the basement of the two-story, single-family home.

    Officer Joseph Johnson and Det. Sgt. John Kessler found the pound of marijuana during a post-fire investigation of the house, according to Paul.

    There was minor structural damage to the basement, where police say they think the fire began.

    The Morris County Prosecutor's Arson unit will continue to investigate the scene, and charges are currently pending, according to Paul.

    "Firefighters contained the fire in the basement," Paul said. "There was significant smoke damage to the house."

    Police said a burst water pipe within the home helped to control the fire. Very little damage was visible on the house's exterior. Yellow police tape was stretched across the driveway, while the Morris County Prosecutor's office and Jefferson police investigated the scene all day.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  • #2
    George,

    In my FF1 training class we were told that we were in a persons home to suppress fire (monitor CO, assist EMS, whatever) and attend to any related tasks but that we should be deaf, dumb and blind to anything else. In fact, we have gotten involved in matters unrelated to the call such as calling the Health Dept when we went on a CO call at the cat ladies’ house (does every town have a cat lady?).

    Taking into account that state laws vary, can you give a rule of thumb to firefighters working a job? In the case you report here is a firefighter suppose to “see” a pound of marijuana sitting on a table or ignore it and hope the fire marshal sees it?

    Bill.

    Comment


    • #3
      Tell it Like it Is.........

      In Maryland, I see it, I report it. I'm not sure on the fine print in the laws, and, I don't give a damn. You got pot? I got radio! The pile of reefers on someone's kitchen table has the potential of getting someone high enough to get in their car, drive down the road and kill someone else. Same goes with alcohol or drugs in a vehicle that has been wrecked or burned. We have found "Things" in fires and reported the findings to Law enforcement, and we will continue to do so. The only exception is the "patient confidentiality" stupidity that is ruining EMS right now. Stay Safe....
      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
      In memory of
      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

      IACOJ Budget Analyst

      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

      www.gdvfd18.com

      Comment


      • #4
        About 1/5 of my members is a PO as a full time job. If I see something strange, I just make sure they happen to visit that area.
        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

        Comment


        • #5
          That would explain the happy faces and the sudden urge to eat a 40 pound bag of Oreo cookies after overhaul operations were done!

          On a serious note...

          We do have a duty to act. What if you found a meth lab in the building, a large cache of weapons, bomb making materials, etc.? Would you turn a blind eye, pull a Sgt. Shultz and say "I see Nothing!"?

          Inform the PD that you have found a "situation" that may warrant getting a search warrant.

          PS: anyone know what an ounce of marijuana goes for today? Just curious...
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

          Comment


          • #6
            Once the FD is on scene, the property is under the control of the FD (this may or may not be legally correct depending on the state, but it is always correct for practical purposes). To simply ignore illegal activity that you come across in the normal course of your work, I would think, would border on criminal.

            Stay Safe

            Comment


            • #7
              PA

              I think that was the instructors point. Criminal activity that appears during the course of your normal duties would be fare game but we were not to act on evidence that we encountered outside normal duties.

              That, of course, is the hard part. What are normal duties? And the reality is that I don’t dwell on it much because I’ve never had to deal with such a situation.

              I could, though, respond to just such a situation where there would be interesting legal problems (affluent, suburban neighborhood). Say we got called in for smell of gasoline in the garage (happens all the time) and tripped over a meth lab in the basement? What if the garage was detached?

              I don’t know the law and my instructor probably didn’t either so this may all be empty conversation but considering what you hear in the news it does make me wonder.

              Bill.

              Comment


              • #8
                Had a house fire that resulted in a similar situation a few years back. Basement fire, extended to the kitchen. After the fire was out, we were waiting for the Fire Investigator, and a PO saw a small amount of marijuana in the bedroom. Because the bedroom was not involved in the incident, he couldn't charge them because it would have been thrown out- no business looking in the bedroom. But he could still confiscate it and let the owner know he found it- what were they going to do, sue him to get it back?!

                I have a hard time believing it is ever right to be "deaf, dumb, and blind to everything" but the fire. You see something, report it. Let the appropriate authorities decide if there is validity to take action.

                There are situations where we are legally obligated to report (e.g. child/elder abuse). Other times we are morally obligated and could be liable for negligence if something happened down the road that we could have prevented.

                We aren't expected to know how all these situations are supposed to be handled. Report them the those who do know. At least its off our back.
                TW
                Essex Junction Fire Dept.
                Vermont

                Comment


                • #9
                  Police found a pound of marijuana with a street value of $4,000 in the basement of a house where firefighters had just put out a fire yesterday morning.
                  4000 bucks for a POUND?
                  That must be a misprint....according to my buddy.
                  Why, back when I was, I mean my buddy was growing up, I, I mean, you; check that, I mean my buddy could get three kilos for that much money!
                  At least, that's what my buddy tells me. I've also read some things and watched 60 minutes. It was in the documentary film "Woodstock" where I believe that marijuana was actually free.
                  It is my understanding that you can no longer get it without a prescription. Or is that just in Canada?
                  I hafta go. Things are gettin' too far out and it's freakin' me out, man!
                  FREE TOMMY CHONG!
                  CR
                  Visit www.iacoj.com
                  Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                  RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here are my rules of thumb.

                    1. You are a public official. You have a legal, moral and ethical duty to report (we'll come back to this) criminal activity when you become aware of it.

                    2. Evidence that is in "plain view" is perfectly acceptable to use in court. "Plain view" applies when you are where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to be doing and you encounter evidence of a crime. The officer in the bedroom example was probably wrong. It is perfectly acceptable to be in a bedroom to see if there are victims, to see if there is any evidence of fire extenstion, etc. It would NOT be acceptable to open dresser drawers. Of course, if it was a minor amount, it is usually not worth fighting that battle.

                    3. Please understand that your duty ends with "report". The evidence should not be moved or disturbed in any way until the area is secured by law enforcement. It is entirely possible that law enforcement will not collect the evidence at that point. Instead, they may elect to leave it in place and use it's existence as probable cause for a search warrant.

                    4. Your instructor doesn't have a clue.

                    5. Fig Newtons, Gonzo.
                    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      George

                      Thanks, that's the way I hoped it worked.

                      Bill.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Random Thoughts:

                        1) We've had some good sized interior grow operations up here...good sized like former barns Always wondered what the drifting smoke from one of those would be like...large chicken coop burns in Connecticut...in other news, suddenly all convience stores for 20 miles are stripped clean of snack foods...film at 11.

                        2) Be discrete...I don't mind telling the cops, but don't make it obvious you did. Being Neutral and Appearing Neutral are different, and we should at least appear neutral in general.

                        3) Quantity may matter. I really don't care if they have a single plant growing in their sunroom while we're taking care of a chimney fire. I really don't. And like George said, for a small quantity it might not even be worth the prosecutor's time to argue whether it was in "plain view" or not.

                        But...finding a pound of Marijuana? Forget about concerns over search warrants, "Yes, we need a police supervisor here, we've discovered a situation we feel is potentially threatening to our safety." Cause were there's that much drugs, it's a good assumption there's guns and people looking to protect property.

                        4) Heck, for that matter...if you really want to get cute, "Yes, officer, we found some valuables...could you come in and secure them for us so we don't get accused of theft?"

                        5) It's those darn drug companies Chief Reason...why I hear in Canada you can buy marijuana still for $4000 for 3 kilos

                        6) Captains have to have other people do math for them!
                        Police found a pound of marijuana with a street value of $4,000
                        $4,000/lb, 16ozs/lb = $250
                        Wow!
                        Last edited by Dalmatian90; 09-23-2003, 05:42 PM.
                        IACOJ Canine Officer
                        20/50

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well I think that it all comes down to the severity of the item(s) found. If you happen to come across a bong and maybe a dime bag or two of marijuana I don't think it should be a major problem, I would personally have a blind eye. On the flip side if I came across an extremely large amount of weed, coke, guns bombs or anything that is clearly a hazard and or illegal I would deffinitely report that to the officials. I would most likely report a pound of weed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by firefiftyfive
                            Well I think that it all comes down to the severity of the item(s) found. If you happen to come across a bong and maybe a dime bag or two of marijuana I don't think it should be a major problem, I would personally have a blind eye. On the flip side if I came across an extremely large amount of weed, coke, guns bombs or anything that is clearly a hazard and or illegal I would deffinitely report that to the officials. I would most likely report a pound of weed.
                            Why would you turn a blind eye? Are you not a public servant? Public servants have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to respect laws.

                            And Dal, why would you have to appear nuetral? If the guy is breaking the law, he is breaking the law.

                            Quantity absolutely matters...to the cops and the prosecutor, not to the FD. If it's there, it's there and you have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to report it. Report it, not touch it.
                            PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Same reason we don't use fire hoses to control crowds George -- we want to be seen as people who help, not harm.

                              Standing there blabbing on your radio in front of the residents (or having the residents hear it over one of the other numerous radios on scene) "Hey, send the cops down, we got a bunch of dope here." puts you in a position of ratting them out. Do it discretely so you can maintain an appearance of neutrality.

                              If it's there, it's there and you have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to report it. Report it, not touch it.

                              Hell no I don't.

                              I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance, discretion and thinking in each situation is what matters. I don't support mandatory reporting, I don't support mandatory sentencing, and I don't support per se laws. Discretion needs and is exercised by people reporting, by cops investigating, by prosecutors preparing a case, by judges through the principle of equity, and by Juries all the way up to and including jury nullification.

                              About the only thing I have a legal obligation to report is actual or potential child abuse, and even at that my initial written report is that I will not file a written report until I've had oppurtonity to seek legal counsel -- it's a new law, and I don't feel comfortable with it.
                              IACOJ Canine Officer
                              20/50

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X