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Police nab kids with pot

Mary A. Castillo

Six local high school football players were stopped after Laguna

Beach police Sgt. Guy Miller spotted them with a two-foot-tall

marijuana plant while waiting at a Jack in the Box drive-through.

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“Sgt. Miller saw that plant leaves were swaying inside the vehicle

and that it was being held by one of the passengers,” said Sgt. Greg

Bartz.

He noticed that when the passengers saw him, the plant immediately

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went out of his view.

Miller left the restaurant on a priority call involving beer

bottles allegedly being thrown at a local bar. He called officer Jim

Cota to make the traffic stop. Bartz said when Cota stopped the black

Suburban all six young men denied knowledge of the plant. The officer

found it stuffed in one of the inner compartments next to the center

console, said Bartz.

After they were brought to the station, the young men told police

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that they had just stolen it from a friend when Sgt. Miller pulled in

behind them at the fast food restaurant, said Miller. They alleged

that the owner of the plant -- a fellow student -- had bragged about

growing it and that they took it as a prank. Police said they

stressed to officers that they never intended to use the plant for

personal use or gain.

The group were released to their parents at about 3:30 a.m. Friday

after being lectured on the dangers of drugs, said Bartz.

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The parents of the alleged owner of the plant will be contacted by

police.


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