A 19-year-old Bettendorf man ordered to spit out marijuana during a traffic stop instead swallowed the drugs, telling the arresting officers he didn’t want to be charged with another possession, police say.
Justin E. Nelson made an initial appearance Tuesday in Scott County District Court, Davenport.
He’s charged with marijuana possession, which is a serious misdemeanor. For allegedly swallowing the drugs, he’s also charged with obstructing prosecution, an aggravated misdemeanor. If convicted of the aggravated misdemeanor, he could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.
Nelson was pulled over in the 1200 block of Grant Street, Bettendorf, at 8:45 p.m. Friday for a broken rear light, according to an arrest affidavit.
Officers saw Nelson chewing marijuana, and Officer Josh Paul grabbed his throat and told him to spit out the drugs, the affidavit stated. Nelson refused and swallowed the marijuana, and he had pieces of marijuana in his teeth and on his shirt, the affidavit states.
Nelson also had a baggie at his feet that had marijuana residue inside, the affidavit states.
In a follow-up search at his home, officers found .72 grams of marijuana, two scales and packaging material in his bedroom, the affidavit states.
At the jail, Nelson told officers that when he saw the lights from the squad car, he put the marijuana in his mouth and began chewing and swallowing it so he wouldn’t be charged with another drug possession, his affidavit states.
In June, he was charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia in Rock Island County, records state. Both charges were dismissed Aug. 15.