Willie Nelson Charged With Misdemeanor In Sierra Blanca Pot Bust
Country legend Willie Nelson has been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession in connection with his arrest at a Sierra Blanca, Texas Border Patrol checkpoint Nov. 26, TMZ.com reported.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said at the time of the arrest that Nelson had six ounces of marijuana on him, which could have resulted in a felony charge. But now, officials have determined it was less than four ounces, resulting in the misdemeanor charge, according to TMZ.com.
If convicted, Nelson will be fined, but not jailed.
Nelson's arrest did not sit well with legal expert Dick DeGuerin, a criminal defense lawyer.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, DeGuerin questioned the lawfulness of the search of Nelson's tour bus where the marijuana was found.
"It needs to be contested," DeGuerin said. "It's supposed to be a checkpoint only for aliens, and [agents] overstep their authority all the time. I've had several cases from that checkpoint and they just use the opportunity to check out anybody they want to. If you have long hair, if you're driving a van or it looks like you're from California or you look like a hippie, they do profiling."
Author-singer-political candidate Kinky Friedman told Rolling Stone he believes Border Patrol agents overstepped their boundaries and said it showed a lack of priorities because he claimed a drug cartel is taking over Hudspeth County, where Nelson's pot bust occurred.
Friedman joined Nelson on his tour bus for three days before the Thanksgiving break to work on a fiction book and said Nelson, "Rolls 24 hours a day. I couldn't take it - staying out all night, smoking dope. And I was the youngest person on the bus."
In January of this year, Nelson's tour bus was stopped at the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol check point for five hours and searched, according to a blog post by Nelson's daughter at the time of the incident. The group received one citation, but she did not say what it was for.
That same month, six of Nelson's band and crew members were busted in North Carolina for allegedly possessing moonshine and marijuana in a vehicle they were in. They were issued citations.
Authorities searched Nelson's tour bus back in 2006 in Louisiana and found about a pound-and-a-half of marijuana and mushrooms. Nelson was charged with a misdemeanor.
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