Dover Pipe Shop Manager To Plead Innocent

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Nov 3, 2001.

  1. By Brad Morin, Democrat Staff Writer
    Source: Foster's Online

    The manager of Smoke Signals Pipe and Tobacco Shop, who is charged with selling drug paraphernalia, has hired an attorney to defend her against the charge.
    Dover police executed a search warrant on Oct. 19 and seized the store's inventory of glass water pipes and other items that are allegedly used to smoke marijuana or other illegal drugs. The store manager, Susan R. Hargrove, was summonsed on a charge of selling drug paraphernalia.

    Mark Sisti of Chichester confirmed that he is defending Hargrove, who is scheduled to appear in Dover District Court on Nov. 9. Sisti expects to enter an innocent plea by letter.

    "My understanding is there wasn't one bit of illegal or controlled substances that they seized...they seized a bunch of clean pipes," Sisti said.

    The police affidavit to obtain the search warrant states that undercover agents from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Drug Task Force purchased several smoking items from the store soon after it opened in September. The clerks said that they were to be used for tobacco, the affidavit stated.

    The store was marked with signs that told customers they had to be 18 or older to enter and they would have to leave if they made any reference to illegal substances.

    But in their affidavit, police cited law enforcement, school and substance abuse officials who said the pipes were not used for anything other than smoking illegal drugs.

    Sisti serves on the legal committee of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which advocates the legalization of marijuana. Sisti said his role is to provide legal advice and there is no connection between NORML and Hargrove's case.

    Dover Police Chief William Fenniman said Sisti's affiliation with NORML only bolsters his case.

    "I just find it odd that a lawyer for the legal team of NORML is representing a party who is saying that this material is only used for tobacco purposes and we look forward to adjudicating this in court," Fenniman said.

    Fenniman has said this was the first search warrant of its kind in the state and it could set a precedent for shutting down similar shops.

    Sisti said he had heard of no similar case in the state.

    "I think there's a real problem if they're seizing everything that could be used in the drug trade," he said, noting that rolling papers are sold everywhere legally.

    On Oct. 26, police issued a summons to the business itself, Smoke Signals LLC, charging it with misdemeanor sale of selling drug paraphernalia. The business is owned by Susan Hargrove's mother, Kelly Hargrove of Exeter.

    No attorney has entered an appearance on the business's behalf, according to the clerk's office at Dover District Court.

    Smoke Signals remains open for business at One Main St., selling cigars, rolling papers, herbal smoking blends and other items. Susan Hargrove estimated that the items police seized were valued at $3,000 to $5,000.

    Source: Foster's Online (NH)
    Author: Brad Morin, Staff Writer
    Published: November 2, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Geo. J. Foster Co.

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