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Jeremy Niederbrach's criminal career may have gone from thuggish to asinine.
Niederbrach, a 25-year-old resident of Salem, Ark., had a court appearance to determine his parole status Feb. 9, having been charged with criminal mischief, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Police had accused him of driving through several people's yards, at least two chain-link fences, a tree and a Sonic Drive-In (search) sign.
But by 10:30 a.m., his case hadn't been called ? so he went outside the Salem District Court building for a smoke. In plain view of cops and court officers, he whipped out and lit a marijuana cigarette.
"He stood out there, and he lit up the joint," Salem Police Chief Al Roork told the newspaper. "I'd say he used real poor judgment."
Looking down on Niederbrach from a second-story window were Brian Sanderson and Scott Russell, agents with the 16th Judicial Drug Task Force.
"This is stupid," Sanderson, who went to high school with Niederbrach, remembers saying to Russell at the time. "I can't believe we're watching this."
Sanderson and Russell watched Niederbrach take a few puffs, burn his fingers on the stubby butt of the "roach," then drop it back in the prescription-pill canister he'd been keeping it in.
"We just waited for him to come back upstairs to arrest him," Sanderson said.
Niederbrach denied having any pot, then got belligerent.
"I told him to settle down," Sanderson told the newspaper. "We told him we watched him smoke it. It didn't matter what he said."
Niederbrach was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and additional parole violations.
"It was amazing," Sanderson said. "We've seen people doing drugs before, but we were undercover, and we weren't at a courthouse. I kept trying to think I was missing something and tried to come up with an excuse for him. But I couldn't think of any." Link
-------------------- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers