The former lawyer who once proclaimed in an ad that he thought “like a criminal” could soon get his chance to experience the feeling for real.
According to Trib Live, the 39-year-old from Pittsburgh pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, both felonies. Specifically, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 100 kilograms or more of cannabis and weed possession, notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
While medicinal marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, recreational cannabis is not. Possessing any amount of the drug continues to be a criminal offense, although having less than 30 grams is treated as a misdemeanor punishable by a US$500 ($630) fine and up to 30 days in jail, according to the Fishman Firm. Punishment quickly rises to US$5,000 ($6,300) and as long as a year in jail for more than 30 grams.
The government reports, however, that between 220 (99.8 kilograms) and 880 pounds (399.2 kg) of cannabis was attributable to the accused and another man. They reportedly operated a drug stash house in Pittsburgh.
The man, whose law licence reportedly has been suspended for years, potentially faces five years in prison. He is set to be sentenced in March.
The operation was under surveillance by the police, who witnessed people coming to and from the address with large trash bag marked with green stickers, Trib Live reports. In May of 2019, the accused was seen entering the house with a black backpack. The two accused were seen later carrying two large boxes from the house and loading them into a truck parked next door.
Police followed the two men and upon searching the vehicle, discovered about US$400,000 ($504,000) in the boxes, the publication cites the government as reporting.
A property search after that revealed marijuana, packaging material, a vacuum sealer, a money counter and thousands of dollars in cash.
The YouTube video the accused released in 2014 while a lawyer proclaimed: “I may have a law degree but I think like a criminal,” the Daily Mirror quoted the freestyle rapper-turned-lawyer as saying. It seems Saul Goodman from the television series, Breaking Bad, apparently served as an inspiration.
A video posted on the Internet shows a host of people acting as thieves, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc. all thanking a person called “Dan” for his help, presumably on getting them off.
The video then shows a man identifying himself as a criminal defence attorney. “Consequences. They sure suck, don’t they? America was built on freedom, not on a bunch of people with more money than you, telling you what you can and can’t do with all their stupid ‘laws,’” he adds, putting the word laws in air quotes. “Laws are arbitrary.”
He then introduces himself, saying he is ready, willing and able to defend any client on all charges. He relays that despite having a law degree, “I think like a criminal.” He says this as the video shows big-time criminals from decades ago.
“Pay me now; thank me later,” he later says.
The post attracted more than 150,000 views and plenty of attention, including from fellows lawyers. “No lawyer worth their salt could ever seriously tell a client that he’ll “think like a criminal” in court and that will somehow advance the client’s cause,” one member of the bar writes. “In short, there’s no substitute for logic, common sense and legal reasoning,” the post adds.
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