US Marijuana Party

Friday, March 31, 2006

Richard Riley Jr. faces drug charges

Ex-governor’s son denies marijuana, drug paraphernalia belonged to him

The State, SC
The Associated Press

MOUNT PLEASANT — The son of former South Carolina Gov. Dick Riley was arrested early Thursday morning on drug charges, police said.

Richard Riley Jr., 47, was charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to an incident report. Riley also told The Associated Press he had been charged with open container.

An officer found an open beer can, marijuana and metal and glass pipes in the car, according to the incident report.

“None of it was mine,” said Riley. He and his wife sell artwork in Greenville. “I’m hoping to get some charges dismissed. ... The only thing I was doing was speeding.”

Riley said he was driving a friend’s SUV because the friend had a couple of drinks at a restaurant. They were headed to a nearby Isle of Palms beach house to go fishing, but got lost, he said.

Riley was pulled over for going 66 mph in a 45-mph zone, according to an incident report. Riley said he thought the area had a posted limit of 55 mph.

He was taken to the Charleston County jail. He said he paid bail and pleaded not guilty.

Riley was arrested Nov. 17, 1992 with 26 others and charged with conspiracy to unlawfully possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

His arrest came the same week former President Clinton appointed his father as education secretary.

The younger Riley pleaded guilty to reduced drug charges in February 1993 and was sentenced to 180 days of home confinement and probation for three years.

Clinton pardoned him in January 2001.

Riley’s father served two terms as governor from 1979-87.


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