Bishop Police make a marijuana arrest

On February 16, 2012 at 2308 hours, the suspect,  James Michael Degroot, 26 of West Hollywood, was stopped for a minor traffic infraction by a Bishop Police Officer near the Bishop Country Club on Highway 395.. During the contact, a search of the vehicle was conducted and Officers said they recovered a large mason jar with marijuana inside; two small plastic bags with marijuana; and one digital scale.

It was determined the total amount of Marijuana recovered from the vehicle during the search was

Degroot was arrested for 11357(c) HS-Possession of over 1 Ounce Marijuana and
11359 HS-Possession of Marijuana for Sale. Degroot was transported to the Inyo County Jail and he is
currently out on bail for the above listed charges.



19 Responses to Bishop Police make a marijuana arrest

  1. Charles James February 18, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    Reading this makes you long for the good ol’ days (well, for some us “of a certain age”) when it was:

    Chug-a-lug, Chug-a-lug
    Grape wine in a mason jar …
    Homemade and brought to school
    By a friend of mine after class
    Me and him and this other fool
    Decided that we’ll drink up whats left
    chug-a-lug so I helped myself
    first time for everything
    umm my ears still ring
    Chug-a-Lug; chug-a-lug

    (Thank you Roger Miller)

    Mason jars have been around for over 150 years and are apparently still going strong in an age when technology has changed almost everything else. If we were alive a hundred years from now we would probably be reading a news story (if anyone still reads) about someone pulled over with god-only-knows-whatever the current drug of choice is then for the masses stored inside a mason jar! And no doubt alcohol and pot will also still be going strong as well.

  2. Trouble February 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Charles James- that’s pretty good. I agree.

  3. andrew February 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    wow, that will make mammoth lakes safer..

    • Wayne Deja February 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      What does Mammoth have to do with this arrest?…The guy is from Hollywood…and the arrest was made in Bishop.

  4. justwondering February 20, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Why do police get to search a vehicle that has been pulled over for a minor traffic infraction? Seriously, think about it people….I don’t smoke, I have no special affinity for people who use drugs…but I don’t like what is going on regarding the rights of US CITIZENS! We have moved precariously close to a POLICE STATE.

    • Big AL February 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

      Probable cause JW … while it might be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Like anything else, it can be abused.
      I feel it can be abused, but it usually yields some sort of criminal activity. If a person who has nothing to fear with a search, gets searched, then nothing is found, and away you go.
      The thing about that is, it makes you feel like a criminal when you’re not. Really, if you want to get technical, probable cause is a violation of your rights, but that is the law as it stands. It gives too much leeway to obtain the search.

  5. Wilfred S. February 20, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Thank God this evil weed is off the streets. Think of the children, people.

  6. dean February 20, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Keep it in your trunk. Keep it out of sight. Do not give the police a reason to search your vehicle that. Do not consent to searches.

    It is that easy.

    This kid had it coming.

    • Wayne Deja February 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      dean…My bet would be the guy was driving stoned,or Law Enforcement could smell the weed,or the guy was acting all stupid..My experiences with Law Enforcement during a traffic stop have been them asking early on if there is anything illegal in the vehicle.. That is step #1….and if you have nothing illegal,nothing to fear.Now if you say you don’t,and you do,it’s gonna make you all nervous,knowing what is coming next,which is Step #2.. if they suspect something,they will ask for consent to search.Again,nothing to worry about if you got nothing to worry about.But a whole lot to be thinking about if you do.If you don’t consent,I bet 90% of the time they will state they got suspicion to search…which I bet they had in this case.And once they call in another officer…or worse yet,an officer with a K9,the search will begin,whether you consent or not.Best thing to do,if your toting weapons or drugs is to give it up early,cause if you got em’,they will find them.

      • dean February 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

        Wayne –
        Generally, if a LEO asks to search your vehicle they have not developed sufficient probable cause / reasonable suspicion to initiate the search outside of consent. Refusal to give consent for a search is not cause for a search. Always refuse a request to search. Even if you have nothing to hide? Exercise your 4th Amendment right as often as possible. If asked why, respond: “I do not consent to searches”. Offer no further explanation, even if pressed.


        Further, officers generally cannot hold motorists on the side of the road for an inordinate amount of time. Appeals courts have found that generally a minor traffic stop should take no more than 15-30 minutes to complete.

        If a LEO has you on the side of the road for an hour and a half for a speeding violation while he waits for his colleague with a K-9 to come the resulting evidence probably won’t stand in court. If it stands in a local court it almost certainly won’t stand at an appeals court.

        Really, though – if someone is driving around with a felonious amount of any illicit substance they probably shouldn’t be speeding, driving erratically, or otherwise doing stupid things beyond what they are already doing (which is, inherently, pretty stupid). Those that do deserve to get caught every time.

        Do the speed limit. Keep your tags up to date. Drive sober. Obey all traffic laws.

      • Big Rick O'Brien February 21, 2012 at 12:30 am #

        Wayne, a person has no legal obligation to reveal that they have firearms in their vehicle. If you’re dumb enough to admit it, you’re gonna be sitting on the curb for the next 30 minutes, at least you will be in Kalifornia. You’re probably right when you said this dipstick was probably stoned or driving stupid. But when it comes to honest folk like you & me, and most of the people on here, even though you (we) have nothing to hide, I’m not telling ANYONE I have firearms in my truck or not.
        If your weapons are legal and YOU’RE legal, it is not ILLEGAL to keep that info. to yourself.

  7. upthecreek February 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Now I can finally sleep at night

    Thanks Bishop PD.

  8. katie February 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    do the crime .. do the time ..
    glad BPD found it .. scales = sales ….

  9. Wilfred S. February 21, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    #1.. your legal advice is horrible.
    #2.. your punctuation is as well (hint: a single space after commas and periods).

    • Big AL February 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Wilfred S … #3 for you … Who cares if there are mistakes here, when it is the opinion that matters more.
      Your opinions;


      Don’t really lend any relevance to the matter.

  10. Trouble February 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    I wonder how long this guy will do for a crime that is basically a infraction if he had a little less.

    • Rob February 22, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      Had he been legal under prop215 he would have continued on his way with nothing more then a driving infraction. It’s so easy to be legal only an idiot wouldn’t take the necessary steps.

      I’m speculating that the vehicle was searched because it smelled like pot, I wouldn’t be surprised if the driver was operating the vehicle under the enfluence too.

      • upthecreek February 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

        according to Arnold “the terminator”it is now a $100 dollar fine

  11. Wayne Deja February 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Rob…You say”It’s so easy to be legal only an idiot wouldn’t take the necessary steps”….exactly the kind of statement that shows what a shame prop 215 turned out to be,and why the Fed’s are looking into it….or are you saying those that don’t have diabilitating and chronic illnesses’and pain that only marijuana can cure are all idiots?


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