Someone caught on a camera phone selling pot in a store’s lunchroom to a friend by another employee. No physical evidence remains.

My son had visited his friend in the storeshe works in the lunchroom to sell her aboutone ounce of pot. It was in a bag and whenhe handed to her she had cash out. At thattime an employee walked in a somehow caught the act on camera. The pot was flushed down the toilet by the giirl. The problem is now that first of all my son doesnot sell pot…this was the only time and theperson with the camera phone demands at least twice a week to get pot through my son who gives it to the girl otherwise he’ll go thethe police. Extortion and it’s not ending. Whatcan I do?

Asked on July 7, 2009 under Criminal Law, Colorado


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Colorado, here are my initial impressions.  First, you should be aware that, based upon the facts that you have provided, the person with the camera is probably guilty of committing the crimes of extortion/blackmail, not to mention buying/possession of a controlled substance.  Moreover, it is unclear whether, based upon the facts that you have provided, the police would even be able to arrest your son based upon the evidence in the possession of the person with the phone.

Based upon the foregoing, your son should consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of devising a strategy to put an end to this ongoing extortion.  A skilled defense attorney may be able to report this to the appropriate authorities while at the same time immunizing your son from criminal liability; or, the attorney may be able to advise your son that it would be unlikely for him to be arrested/prosecuted based upon the evidence in the possession of the person with the camera.  Nevertheless, your son needs the advice of an attorney who can develop an appropriate strategy after reviewing ALL of the relevant facts.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think the best thing you can do is hire an attorney to give your son a consultation.  There are some differences in the law, from one state to another, and I'm not a Colorado attorney.  More importantly, in a case like this, sometimes the "details" make all the difference.

It sounds to me like Mr. Camera Phone isn't in any position to go to the police, any more, unless he wants to go to jail along with, and for longer than, your son.

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