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Man sits in jail on pot charge Mosby said she wouldn’t prosecute

Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 15:17:26-05

BALTIMORE, Md. — It was January 29 when Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced if you're arrested for marijuana possession in the city, no matter the amount — you won't be prosecuted by her office.

“Effective immediately,” Mosby said in her press conference, “the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases regardless of weight and or criminal history.”

Mosby called it a monumental shift, but defense attorney Tony Garcia calls it posturing.

“There's political points, and there's reality,” Garcia said.

Because the reality for Garcia's client, Dwight Chinyee, was a month in central booking.

He was arrested by MDTA Police in the harbor tunnel on February 5, a week after Mosby's policy change. Officers found more than 17 pounds of marijuana in his trunk, individually wrapped, heat sealed packages.

While that is a lot of pot, they found nothing else; no scales, no ledger, just the marijuana.

Garcia says while Mosby can't do anything about his arrest, her prosecutors still chose to hold him without bail for a month before dropping the charge.

“In this case here, she got the political points. People say, okay, I may like that or have an opinion one way or another on her policy but the actual people, the actual individuals that she's dealing with, she is holding them in jail,” Garcia said.

Garcia filed a motion that challenged Mosby's office to defend Chinyee's incarceration, but Thursday morning, assistant state's attorneys dropped the charges all together.

Chinyee, from North Carolina, says a month in jail cost him his job.

His attorney Garcia says, he is one hundred percent sure there are others like Chinyee sitting in central booking on a charge Mosby announced she wouldn't prosecute.

“It is one thing to make a promise. It is another thing to accept the benefit of your promise, but then you got to deliver,” Garcia said.

The Office of the Baltimore State's Attorney for Baltimore City sent WMAR 2-News a statement late today saying:

There were several factors that we initially considered that were supportive of the distribution charges in this case. However, after further review and investigation, our prosecutors determined that the facts did not extend beyond mere possession and decided to drop the case prior to indictment.

The union for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police released this statement Friday defending their officers arrest of Dwight Chinyee: