Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another citizen robbed

The Palestine Police Department doesn't have anything better to do? This is a travesty. And stealing Mr. Sussdorf's truck is over the top.

Businessman gets probation for possession

The Palestine Herald


A prominent Palestine businessman arrested last spring for possessing almost 1 pound of marijuana has received three years probation for the offense under terms of a plea agreement reached with the state.

On Thursday morning, Stephen Wright Sussdorf, 59, of Palestine pled guilty to the state jail felony charge of possession of marijuana between 4 ounces and 5 pounds before 87th State District Judge Deborah Oakes Evans.

During the late afternoon hours of May 15, 2007, Sussdorf was arrested by representatives of the Anderson County Drug Investigation Unit after they found him in possession of 14.76 ounces of marijuana.

Under terms of Thursday’s plea agreement, Sussdorf received three years deferred adjudication, was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and also must perform 40 hours of community service, according to Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe.

Sussdorf must also forfeit the 2000 3/4-ton Ford pickup he was operating at the time of his arrest last May since it was “used in the commission of the offense,” the district attorney stated.

If Sussdorf successfully fulfills all terms of his probation, the offense would not be noted on his permanent record, Lowe acknowledged.

Lowe said Sussdorf was handled like any other individual accused of a similar crime by his office.

“I know Mr. Sussdorf is a public person and has been active in Palestine...but I don’t think he was treated any differently than anybody else,” Lowe said Thursday. “He didn’t ask for any special favors and his lawyer (Dan Scarborough) didn’t ask for any special favors.”

Officers were acting on a tip that Sussdorf was possibly transporting a felony amount of marijuana when they pulled over the man operating a Ford pickup near the intersection of Loop 256 and U.S. 84 around 4:30 p.m. on May 15, 2007, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said at the time.

After the sheriff’s trained canine, “Lucky,” alerted on the bed of the truck during an open air search of the vehicle, the officers found a baggy of marijuana concealed in an open bag of dog food, according to the sheriff.

A state jail felony is punishable by six months-to-two years in a state jail facility and a fine not to exceed $10,000.


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