Billings Gazette, USA
GILLETTE - A store owner charged with selling drug paraphernalia was acquitted Wednesday on all charges.
"I wasn't surprised at all," said Jeffrey Doles, 35, owner of Hip Hop Hippie, which sold bongs, brightly colored pipes and blankets with marijuana-leaf designs. "I wasn't doing anything illegal. I was never, not once, doing anything outside the color of the law - never."
On Aug. 10, police confiscated material they said was drug-related; two days later, they arrested Doles when he reopened the store with an even larger inventory, charging him with delivery of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of paraphernalia with intent to distribute. He wasn't charged with drug possession.
It took the jury only 30 minutes to acquit Doles on all of the charges.
Police Chief Rich Adriaens criticized the decision, saying the jury could have taken a stand against drugs.
"Just because six people found someone not guilty doesn't mean the crime didn't occur," Adriaens said.