A smoke cloud in the area leads Florida man to ask cop: ‘Did you find all my pot?’

David Ellis
David Ellis Indian River County Sheriff's Office

A Fellsmere marijuana man didn’t try to hide after smoking up his neighborhood Thursday night, a deputy said. In fact, he seemed downright hospitable and helpful to law enforcement.

In return, they gave 64-year-old David Ellis a place in the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office crossbar bed-and-breakfast on charges of felony possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.

Ellis posted $6,000 bond after breakfast Friday morning.

According to the arrest report, Deputy Luke Keppel rolled toward Ellis’ home after neighbors complained about someone open burning.

Keppel wrote that the smoke coming from Ellis’ yard “appeared to be large enough that the smoke cloud was seen en route and a smoke haze could be seen at surrounding neighboring properties.”

The deputy described an “open pile of debris” five to six feet wide with flames two to three feet high in the yard. He knocked on the door of the home in the 12800 block of 85th Street. Ellis answered.

They walked toward the fire as Ellis said it was just leaves.

“Upon reaching the fire pile, I could smell a strong odor of burnt cannabis and see remnants of small cannabis plants and leaves,” Keppel wrote.

Keppel told Ellis he was burning cannabis, according to the report. Ellis said he was just burning the leaves, which he described as “trash.”

Keppel repeated himself, believing Ellis didn’t understand. Ellis restated himself, knowing Keppel didn’t understand.

“It’s trash. You don’t smoke that,” Ellis said. “I’ve got like a quarter pound of it inside.”

Ellis said he had to go back inside to turn off stove, and Keppel insisted he’d have to follow, which the deputy said Ellis didn’t mind.

“Inside was a strong odor of raw cannabis and in plain view was a large aluminum tray with what appeared to be raw cannabis and paraphernalia items sitting between the kitchen and the living room,” Keppel wrote.

When they went back outside, Ellis asked Keppel if he saw his pot. Keppel said he saw some on the tray.

Ellis said, “I’ve got more in the refrigerator.”

Fellesmere cops arrived to back up Keppel. After being reminded of his right to remain silent, Keppel wrote that Ellis said, “You can search the house, but I’m not going to tell you where I get it from.”

Keppel said as they left the house after finding 174 grams of raw cannabis and 15.4 grams of THC wax, Ellis asked them, “Did you find all of my pot?”

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.