When University of Missouri football star Dorial Green-Beckham was arrested Jan. 10 in Springfield, he talked with police. So did the other two people in the Jeep with expired tags, stopped on Sunshine Street just east of Jefferson Avenue.
A close reading of a police document in the case reveals a tale of three friends caught in a nightmare moment – in a vehicle with a felony amount of marijuana and a digital scale.
Each of the men told his own version of what happened. All three stories are different, save for one constant: no one says Green-Beckham knew anything about the pot underneath a cushion of the back seat behind the driver.
The driver, John McDaniel, told cops that just before being stopped, he, Green-Beckham, and another passenger, Pat Prouty, "had all been smoking a blunt," according to the police document, an affidavit requesting permission from a judge to search McDaniel and his cell phone.
McDaniel didn't stop with telling police he'd just been getting high. He said the pot in the back seat belonged to Prouty, and "stated that he knew Prouty had marijuana and had contacted him to purchase some marijuana from him."
Officer Dustin Martin continued:
"I asked if Prouty had ever sold him marijuana and he said yes. McDaniel thought it had been about three weeks prior, but clarified that he would call Prouty any time he wanted it and they would smoke together. McDaniel thought that Prouty sold to about five people, and admitted that he had been with Prouty when he was delivering marijuana to people. McDaniel said Prouty mainly sells people grams and 'eighths' for $50."
On McDaniel's cell phone – a text he'd sent earlier in the day: "Patty p bruh! ... I need to make a re-up when I get off I'm fresh out!!"
Here's what Pat Prouty had to tell police: it's my pot. I smoke a lot of pot – an ounce a night. All of this is for personal use.
Legally it's the smarter thing to say. Felony possession isn't nearly as serious a crime as felony distribution.
Prouty also explained the money cops found on him – $1,873 in his left front pocket, another $153 in his wallet. At least a thousand is Christmas money, he told police. He also insisted he never sold marijuana.
Green-Beckham told police he smelled pot when he got in the Jeep, "but did not actually see the marijuana ... he did not know how much marijuana was there or who the marijuana belonged to, and stated the marijuana did not belong to him."
From the affidavit of Officer Dustin Martin:
"He told me that Prouty and McDaniel had picked him up to take him to another friend's house. Green-Beckham stated that while he was in the vehicle, nobody was smoking marijuana. When asked about Prouty, Green-Beckham told me that he knew Prouty had been associated with marijuana sales in the past but did not have any knowledge of McDaniel being involved in the sales of marijuana."
A few observations:
– McDaniel talks. A lot. Not cool. He fingered Prouty as a dealer, and his text to "Patty p" is a pretty transparent "got any ganj, bruh" request to Prouty.
– Green-Beckham is sitting pretty if prosecutors decide to charge him. No one says he knew there was a felony amount of pot in the vehicle, and cops found no drugs on him when they searched him. He might be accused of making a bad choice when it comes to getting in a Jeep that reeks of weed, but that's not illegal.
Prosecutors are in a tough place when it comes to charging the best-known guy in that vehicle. If they do it, some will think it's only because he's the football player known by an acronym, DGB. The same argument will be made if they do not charge him. But looking at the case through the lens of this affidavit, there's nothing substantive linking Green-Beckham to a felony drug charge.
– Prouty knows his legal liability, and the big difference between having a lot of weed and having a lot of weed to sell. The only spot in his story that raises eyebrows: dude, you're smoking an oz a night? Seriously? What a waste of kind.
Prosecutors have not charged anyone in the case.