Texas game wardens arrest DFW NORML members in hopes of seizing their boat
Earlier this year five members of DFW NORML’s wake board team were arrested on the lake after game wardens raided their boat and found three grams of marijuana. There is now more information about why the raid occurred.
The group was at the Red Bull Cliff Diving Competition at Possum Kingdom Lake in Graford on their boat Hydro, which is owned by attorney David Sloane, who is the Public Information Officer for the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
As three members sat on the boat, another on the ski platform, and the other on a float near another boat, game wardens swept down on the boat and detained them. One man on the boat was in the process of rolling a blunt when the raid occurred, and quickly handed over the three grams he had when asked.
Officers then proceeded to tear apart the boat in search of more marijuana, though nothing else was found. Sloane later got the boat back, however had to perform a lot of work on it to fix what was torn up.
Even though the man rolling the blunt took responsibility for the marijuana, all five members were arrested and later strip searched.
According to Sloane, details obtained through a public information request show that officers were joking through text messages prior to the raid, saying that they were going to seize the boat for their department, and likely expected a lot more marijuana to be on board.
Sloane had previously planned to sue the state after they dragged their feet on complying with the request, and now says that he is only waiting on a few videos from body cameras.
Though all five were arrested, only one has since been charged with possession. Sloane says the officers never had any intent of pursuing charges against the other four, and was also told that had he been on the boat at the time, he would have been arrested as well. At the time, Sloane was coming back from having a jet ski refueled and upon return found the members under arrest.
“The smell of marijuana was thick in the air that day. There were lots of boats, it was a big party, and our guys were kinda bummed because they didn’t really have any,” he stated, alluding to the fact that there were a lot of people out on the lake that day consuming marijuana, however the game wardens chose to target his boat.