A Nesquehoning man faces drug charges after being caught smoking marijuana in a store parking lot.
Thomas J. Devitt, 22, of 22 W. Catawissa St., was charged by Officer Brian White with unlawful possession of a controlled substance; possession or delivery of a small amount of marijuana or hashish; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:
On Aug. 14, White was dispatched to the Dollar General store at 10:43 p.m. on a report of a suspicious vehicle parked in the lot for about two hours. The vehicle was black, with dark tinted windows, and was parked near the rear of the store. White pulled in behind the car, a Mazda, and approached the driver's side. The windows were tinted so dark he had difficulty seeing inside.
White knocked on the driver's side window but received no response. He opened the door, and was met with a cloud of smoke and a strong smell of marijuana. He identified Devitt from previous police-related contacts.
White asked Devitt what he was doing. Devitt mumbled an unintelligible reply. His eyes were bloodshot and shiny, and his pupils dilated. White asked Devitt if he was smoking marijuana, and why he was smoking in the parking lot.
Devitt said "cause I didn't want to smoke at home."
White could see, in plain view between Devitt and the console, a plastic Pepsi bottle which Devitt had converted into a smoking instrument. White took the bottle, which had a small blunt still inside and smelled like marijuana.
He asked Devitt to step out of the car, and saw that Devitt's balance was very poor and unsteady.
He arrested Devitt and placed him the back of the cruiser.
White returned to Devitt's car and saw, also in plain view, another small blunt that Devitt had smoked, but that had burnt residue on it. On the driver's side floor was an empty cigarette pack. White looked inside and saw more burnt residue and smelled a strong odor of marijuana.
He gathered the evidence and put in the cruiser. He asked Devitt to turn off his stereo and lock his doors. Devitt immediately replied, "I only smoked a small roach. That was it."
Devitt's car was locked, and White took him home.