Florida Man Burns Pile of Pot Leaves in Backyard, Leads Cops to His Stash Inside

64-year-old Florida man David Ellis was super friendly to the sheriff’s deputies who arrested him, but he still didn’t snitch.
Florida Man Burns Pile of Pot Leaves in Backyard, Leads Cops to His Stash Inside
Soru Epotok/ Shutterstock

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And where there’s weed smoke, there are nosey neighbors. One towering column of cannabis smoke later, and police arrived at the home of Fellsmere, Florida man David Ellis. To officers’ surprise, Ellis made no effort to hide the open burn that was quickly engulfing the trimmings from a few dozen cannabis plants. In fact, he welcomed officers inside his home, just to make sure they understood the difference between flower and trim. Because in Ellis’ words, he wasn’t burning cannabis, as police claimed. He was burning “trash, the stuff you don’t smoke.”

Florida Man Gives Sheriff’s Deputy the Easiest Weed Bust of His Life

As Indian River County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Keppel pulled up to Ellis’ home, he quickly saw what prompted a neighbor’s complaint in the first place. Blanketing the quiet neighborhood in a smokey haze, the unmistakable smell of cannabis wafted through the air. At ground zero was an open pile of debris, Deputy Keppel said, spewing out flames about a yard high.

When Keppel knocked on the door of the residence, Ellis answered. Together, the officer and the Florida man walked toward the burning debris pile. Ellis told the officer it was just leaves. It wasn’t a lie. Leaves, stalks and other trimmings from several small cannabis plants were in the fire. Keppel accused Ellis of burning cannabis. Nah, Ellis replied, he was just burning leaves, just burning trash. If Deputy Keppel wanted to see cannabis, he should come inside. And that’s exactly what Ellis invited Keppel to do. “I’ve got a quarter pound of it inside,” Ellis explained.

Deputies Thankful for Gracious Arrestee

Inside, Deputy Keppel saw enough to call for backup. He saw a large aluminum baking tin filled with raw flower. Pipes and bongs littered the kitchen and living room, Keppel wrote in his report. Keppel and Ellis went back outside the house. And Ellis, who had been attending to a howling tea kettle, asked the deputy if he’d seen the tray of cannabis. Keppel said he had. “I’ve got more in the refrigerator,” Ellis told Keppel.

By then, backup had arrived. A search of Ellis’ home turned up 174 grams of flower and a little more than a half-ounce of wax. “Did you find it all?” Ellis asked.

Ellis spent the night and an early breakfast in jail before posting $6,000 bond last Friday. He’ll soon appear in court on multiple drug charges. The 64-year-old Florida man is facing felony marijuana possession charges, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession. Marijuana decriminalization efforts are spreading across Florida. But in places where police are actually adopting them on the ground, they only apply to misdemeanor possession. Hopefully, Ellis’ graciousness toward his arresting officers will play to his favor in court.

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