Using the hashtag #SeeSomethingSaySomething, the Flagler County Florida Sheriff’s Office issued a wanted poster on Facebook for a woman photographed ‘stealing’ marijuana that washed ashore.
“Help us find this woman!” The sheriff’s office exclaimed in its Facebook post.
“This woman is wanted in connection to the marijuana that washed up on Flagler County beaches. If you have any information contact for Flagler County Sheriffs office at 386-313-4911.”
Judging by the comments, many mocking in tone, most folks thought a search for the woman was futile and a waste of time, energy and money and many questioned the authority of police asking from whom was the marijuana was stolen?
“Who did she steal it from?… spongebob square pants. That weed doesn’t belong to the government. Go spend our money more wisely for something that matters! (They should be ashamed for putting her in harms way for posting her face. For freaking weed that they want for themselves that isn’t harming anybody.),” a commenter asked.
“How can you steal something that washed up on the beach have the owners of the stuff come forward to press charges for theft,” another asked.
Beyond that, hundreds of commenters that live in Flagler County were angry that cops are focused on this instead of the meth and opiate epidemics there.
“It’s weed. Go investigate real crime that’s going on in Flagler like heroin and meth dealers instead of wasting tax dollars on this bs,” the resident said.
Flager Beach is on the Atlantic coast of Florida just north of Daytona Beach. Marijuana bales washing ashore while not common are certainly not a rare occurrence in the Sunshine State. But in the last few days in the Daytona area, dozes of bales have washed ashore, some have connected the sea weed to Hurricane Florence.
A number of Flagler locals agreed there were perhaps more important things to focus on but nonetheless supported police in their search.
“While everyone is right saying we have more pressing issues it is still illegal like it or not! FCSO keep doing a great job.”
More than a 100 pounds of marijuana have been recovered but there’s not only more out there, police say, but people have been fighting over it.
A Keys t-shirt famous in the 1980s was ‘Save the Bales,’ as it was not uncommon for pot to wash up on beaches. But Flagler County is serious about finding this woman as Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley’s name is on the wanted poster. Some are worried that the sheriff has jeopardized her safety.
“Shame on you Flagler County Sheriff’s Office! Your ignorance may have put this woman in real danger. Don’t you think someone is looking for that weed??”
Some in the community are pressing authorities to focus attention on matters more important. And good luck at trial, if she’s located, one person commented on the FCSO Facebook page.
“From the comments if this goes to trial you will have a hard time convicting her. I get it, it’s illegal and you have to pay attention. However isn’t it a waste of resources to actually pursue her? It seems the community is not concerned.”
But the FCSO is all over this and posted a lengthy release about a man they arrested for taking pot off the beach.
“This morning the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to Jungle Hut Park in reference to a call of marijuana washing up on the beach. In the past two days, packages of marijuana have been washing up on the beaches in St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties.”
“Today, the caller stated that she could see multiple packages, presumably containing marijuana, washing up on the beach and that the suspect, Robert Kelley, was seen attempting to open the packaging and take packages of marijuana. Others were attempting to do the same thing.”
When FCSO arrived on the scene, the caller identified Robert Kelley to deputies. While on scene, Kelley did not attempt to approach FCSO and alert them that he had found suspected narcotics. After speaking with the caller, deputies made contact with Kelley and asked if he took some of the suspected marijuana. Robert pointed at his vehicle and stated that he was holding it for law enforcement’s arrival. When Kelley was asked why he had not alerted law enforcement immediately, he stated he did not alert FCSO because he did not know if the Sheriff’s Office was going to come or not.
FCSO conducted a probable cause search of Kelley’s vehicle and located a “brick” of suspected marijuana in his trunk. The “brick” was wrapped in plastic and contained approximately 11 pounds (wet weight) of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. Kelley had attempted to conceal it by wrapping it in a brown beach towel.
The suspected narcotics tested positive for Marijuana. FCSO has recovered approximately 100 pounds of marijuana that has washed up on Flagler’s beaches in the past two days.”