While the state of Alabama has struggled for the past several years to get lawmakers onboard with legislation aimed at allowing marijuana to be consumed for medicinal purposes, it appears Winston County Sheriff Hobby Walker has devised a small town medical marijuana program of his own – a plan that entails trying to persuade his deputies to steal weed from the evidence room.
According to report from Al.com, two former deputies with the Winston County Sheriff’s Office recently filed a lawsuit against Walker because they claim they were wrongfully terminated in 2015 after they refused to supply him with marijuana for his dying aunt.
Court documents indicate the sheriff’s attempt at getting his hands on contraband cannabis began in May of last year, when he took a stab at claiming possession of three ounces that had been seized during a search.
“Sheriff Walker took the marijuana and began to place it in his desk drawer and told Green ‘Thank you’,” the complaint reads.
The lawsuit states that Green then advised Sheriff Walker that he could not keep the weed because it was part of an on-going investigation of a suspect that was believed to be smuggling in the herb from Colorado. Although the sheriff returned the package to be catologed into evidence, he told Green that he needed some pot, not for him, “but for his aunt that was dying of cancer and needed the marijuana to help her with appetite.”
A month later, after Sheriff Winston finished reading Green the riot act over events that had taken place while he was on a mission trip in Haiti, he aggressively warned the deputy that “he would not ask again” for marijuana, implying that disciplinary action was on the horizon if his request continued to be ignored.
Although Sheriff Walker eventually got his hands on a small bag of weed that was found in deputy Moody’s patrol car, he continued to pressure the officer to find more.
Both Green and Moody claim Sheriff Walker harassed them countless times over the summer for pot. In one particular incident, this one taking place during a meeting about local marijuana eradication efforts, Sheriff Walker told the two, “It’s a hell of a deal asking for dope, isn’t it? Here we are trying to get drugs and I’m trying to get you boys to get me some.”
It was then the deputies involved several outside law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.
As part of the investigation, the deputies were instructed to record some of their conversations with Walker. In one of the recordings, the sheriff can be heard advising Green and Moody not to put all of the seized marijuana into evidence and that all they had to do “is peel a little off” and give it to him.
Upon the request of investigators, Green and Moody delivered an undisclosed amount of marijuana to Sheriff Walker around the end of September. The two were fired a month later without being allowed any of the hearings officers are typically permitted before being sent to the unemployment line.
So far, no charges have yet been filed against Sheriff Walker for “tampering with evidence” or any of the other charges he stands to face if prosecutors decide to go for the throat.
All of the agencies involved in the investigation have refused to comment at this juncture in the case.