Massachusetts police just lately despatched an area man to jail after discovering that he had an open warrant for allegedly promoting weed in New Hampshire six years in the past. This turns into more and more wonky as a result of New Hampshire decriminalized cannabis in 2017, whereas Massachusetts decriminalized the herb in 2008 and legalized adult-use in 2016. So what provides?
Within the winter of 2013, New Hampshire native Robert Hitchcock Simpson allegedly offered a small quantity of pot to an undercover Nashua police officer. Shortly after this alleged sale, New Hampshire police issued a warrant for Simpson, however by that point, the younger man had moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 2017 — 4 years later— police rediscovered the warrant throughout a routine stock and despatched it to the county legal professional for indictment.
A court docket clerk despatched a letter to Simpson’s outdated New Hampshire deal with to tell him of his impending court docket date, however the letter was not forwarded to his Massachusetts residence, leaving him unaware of the arraignment continuing in opposition to him. A grand jury indicted him on three cannabis gross sales costs, and police issued a brand new warrant for his arrest as a result of he was not current on the arraignment.
Simpson didn’t be taught in regards to the warrant till June 4, 2019 — six years after the incident occurred — when he went to the Gloucester police division to contest a summons for shoplifting. Whereas working Simpson’s information, police found the excellent warrant and put the 29-year-old behind bars. Police assured him that he would both be launched rapidly or transferred to a New Hampshire jail. However the cops had been filled with shit. As a substitute, Simpson remained locked up in a Massachusetts jail for practically two weeks.
Simpson’s mom intervened after studying that her son was jailed near a cell the place his brother dedicated suicide in 2012.
“I’m shedding my thoughts … can not cease pondering or grieving and made plenty of calls and all the time get the run-around,” stated Chrisee Simpson, the mom, to the New Hampshire Union Chief. “He would have come up if he was even notified of this, however he wasn’t.”
Hillsborough County Legal professional Michael Conlon spoke to Simpson’s mom 10 days into Simpson’s incarceration, and guaranteed her that her son can be transferred to New Hampshire.
Two days after being transferred, a Hillsborough County choose launched Simpson on his personal recognizance. “I used to be sitting in jail for this in a state the place it’s authorized,” Simpson instructed the Union Chief after being launched from jail final week. “There are far more medicine up right here that you ought to be nervous about than me and my weed.”
Lt. Brian Kenney, head of the Nashua Police narcotics investigation, stated that it was not typical for a suspect to be held for weeks in a Massachusetts jail ready to be transferred to New Hampshire. Kenney stated that though pot possession is decriminalized in New Hampshire, gross sales are nonetheless unlawful, and added that he believes Simpson “ought to face the music because it was in 2013.”
A Hillsborough County prosecutor supplied to drop the felony gross sales costs in opposition to Simpson if he agreed to plead responsible to a misdemeanor possession cost, however he refused.
“I’m not taking any deal for a misdemeanor,” Simpson stated. “Why indict me 4 years later? It baffles me.”