Today, 12 Clearwater Police officers arrested Jesse Prince at his Clearwater residence at about 8:00am. 4 officers had shotguns, 2 had automatic weapons and 4 had automatic handguns trained on Jesse while 2 officers arrested and handcuffed Jesse. The police were armed with a search warrant authorizing the search of his home for evidence of unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, marijuana.
While executing a house and garden search, the police officers found a single marijuana plant (about 15" in height) in a single pot growing on the screen porch of his residence along with 47 other house/garden plants. No materials of any sort were found anywhere in or outside of the residence that could be associated with the manufacture or use of any type of controlled substance. The search included wall banging (my term) even in the room of 2 sleeping children.
Based on the court authorized search and undercover police allegations, a felony charge of unlawful manufacturer of a certain controlled substance, to wit, marijuana was levied against Jesse and he was incarcerated for several hours until the $5,000 bail was posted by Jesse's girlfriend for his release.
About 6 months ago, a couple, the male now being described by Clearwater police as a confidential informant (CI) whose name is allegedly Rensey Trinidad, befriended Jesse and his girlfriend in a bar and several social encounters have occurred over the last few months at Jesse's home and elsewhere. The last encounter was Sunday morning, August 6th, when CI, accompanied by an undercover Clearwater Police officer named Det. Howard M. Crosby, stopped by Jesse's home early as they were "on their way to Key West" for some fun. CI brought gifts for Jesse---cookies, rum, wine and macadamia nuts. Before leaving, CI asked Jesse if he had any marijuana they could take to the Keys. Jesse said that he did not have any marijuana.
Contrary to Jesse's recollection of events on the morning of August 6th, the undercover police officer alleges in the criminal charging document that on the Sunday morning in question, Jesse admitted that it was his marijuana plant and it had been moved outside (meaning to the screen porch) to get more light.
The law offices of Denis deVlaming have been retained to defend Jesse in this matter.
Jesse is my friend and I will do whatever I can to help him defend himself against these charges.