Man Admits to Driving Through Albany County With Marijuana in Rented Car
A Colorado man could face prison time after admitting Thursday in Albany County District Court that he sped down Interstate 80 with just over half a pound of marijuana in his car back in March.
John Philip Jacobs, 28, pleaded guilty on one count of felony possession of a controlled substance. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a second charge of possession with intent to deliver and request adjudication of guilt be withheld until sentencing pending completion of the presentence investigation report.
The state will also withhold its sentencing recommendation until after that report is complete. Jacobs could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 if sentenced at the maximum.
Defense attorney Charles Pelkey said in court Thursday he intends to seek first-offender treatment for his client. If granted, that would mean deferred prosecution, but Judge Jeffrey Donnell made it clear that such treatment is exceedingly rare in his courtroom.
"The chance that this court will go along with a deferral," Donnell said, "is about zero. You should assume you will have a felony conviction on your record."
Jacobs was stopped March 22 for driving 90 mph in a 75 mph speed zone on I-80 near mile post 280. He went to the trunk of his rented car to search for the rental agreement, and the Albany County Sheriff's deputy who stopped Jacobs smelled marijuana when Jacobs opened the trunk.
Court documents say a search of the vehicle turned up two plastic bags containing 272 grams of marijuana in total, as well as one clear plastic container with roughly 19 grams of pot inside.
Jacobs told the court Thursday that it was at the end of his vacation in San Francisco when a friend told him there was "a little something" in the trunk for Jacobs.
Donnell asked Jacobs why, if he was transporting a felony amount of marijuana, he would speed and risk being pulled over, saying, "If I were going down the road with a half pound of weed in my trunk... I believe I would be a little more careful than to be going ninety miles an hour."
Jacobs said weather had delayed his trip and he was in a hurry to get back to Colorado, adding that he simply forgot the marijuana was in the car.
"Is that casual attitude a part of being from Colorado?" Donnell asked. Jacobs said it was, but added that he does not use or sell drugs.
"And your problem reflects the problem that we states surrounding Colorado have to deal with all the time," Donnell concluded.
Jacobs remains free on bond pending sentencing.