|Photo: Ann Spann, The Destin Log
|Crestview, Fla., mayoral candidate Alan Sampson was arrested back in March after police discovered a bong in his bedroom. Now he says a pack of rolling papers was planted in his house.
Crestview, Florida mayor hopeful Alan Sampson, who was charged with marijuana possession and possession of “narcotics equipment” after police reported seizing a bong from his bedroom in March, said someone broke into his home last week and left rolling papers in his bathroom drawer.
“I don’t know if someone was trying to leave me a message or if it was some of the kids in the neighborhood,” Sampson said, reports Michael Stewart at Florida Freedom Newspapers
Sampson, who has vowed to fire Crestview Police Chgief Brian Mitchell if he’s elected mayor, said he doesn’t use rolling papers.
Sampson told deputies who responded to his call that he was running for mayor and that he has made enemies because of campaign promises.
“Mr. Sampson advised he believes the rolling papers have been planted in his home to get him into trouble,” the sheriff’s department said.
Deputies responded to a call at Sampson’s home on May 8. The mayoral candidate told deputies he got home the previous day to find his master bedroom door open and the screen cut from the frame.
“The screen was neatly cut using an unknown sharp object,” the report said.
The responding deputy also said he found a living room screen facing Sampson’s back yard that was also cut away from the window frame. The missing screens were not recovered.
Deputies got a “latent fingerprint” from the window in the master bedroom and the rolling papers were seized and would be checked for fingerprints, too, according to the police report.
Sampson said nothing was taken from his burglarized home.
Just three days ago, officials announced
that charges of marijuana possession and battery against Sampson would be dropped if he met conditions laid out in a deferred prosecution agreement.
Under the agreement, the charges will be dismissed if Sampson does not break any laws for the next 10 months; if he has no contact with teenagers involved in an altercation that led to the battery charge; and if he completes 25 hours of community service.
In the latest incident involving Sampson before the rolling papers case, the mayoral candidate was arrested March 21 after police serving a search warrant on his home said they discovered marijuana stems and seeds and a bong in his master bedroom.
According to Sampson’s arrest report, a confidential informant told members of the Crestview Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit that he had bought marijuana from a minor living at the home — Sampson’s 15-year-old son — “on numerous occasions.”
The informant was sent to the home on two occasions, and bought pot from the minor both times while under police surveillance, according to the search warrant.
Police said they found 12 grams of suspected cannabis and digital scvales in the minor’s jacket pockets. The minor was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sampson has identified the minor as his son and says police coerced the confidential informant into giving his son the pot and scales later brought back while under police surveillance.
“I never believed in my wildest dreams drugs would be p-lanted on my 15-year-old son by police in order to obtain a search warrant for my house,” Sampson said.
Sampson, a long-time critic of the local police department, has vowed to fire the police chief if elected. He maintains his arrest was an act of retaliation by police in an attempt to destroy his reelection campaign.
“My goal is to clean out the cesspool that is called the Crestview Police Department,” Sampson wrote in an email.
Police declined to comment, but in an earlier statement, said “The Crestview Police Department does not and has never had any interest in Alan Sampson’s campaign for mayor of the City of Crestview.”
The battery charge resulted from a February 18 incident after an argument between Sampson and six teenage boys outside his home. Sampson said he argued with the boys, who were skateboarding, when they blocked his driveway and refused to move as he was leaving for work.