DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Going For The (Acapulco) Gold

Recent pot busts unrelated to house party attended by Olympian Phelps

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Going For The (Acapulco) Gold

UPDATE: Mug shots of suspects nabbed in Bonggate crackdown

FEBRUARY 12--The arrests triggered by the publication of the Michael Phelps bong photo have had nothing to do with the November house party attended by the Olympic champion, court documents show.

Instead, the Phelps photo clearly spurred South Carolina cops to target several young men who lived at two residences that allegedly were "identified as a location where marihuana is frequently stored and consumed." In a February 6 search warrant for the Columbia home where Phelps partied, the Richland County Sheriff's Department makes no mention of the November bash.

The warrant, released today by a magistrate judge, claims that the property at 2201 Blossom Street was targeted as part of "ongoing drug investigation in the Columbia, SC area." As a result of the raid at the Blossom Street home (and a property about 15 miles away on Lake Murray), several young men and women have been busted on pot charges for their contemporaneous possession of the drug (not some retroactive criminality related to the party Phelps attended at the Blossom Street property).

According to search warrant documents, probable cause to raid the home seems to have been established after cops approached Daniel White, 22, as he was leaving the house on February 4. White, who said he was subletting the property to Kameron Howard, 23, reportedly admitted that pot "was stored and consumed on a regular basis at the residence." [Cops were familiar with White, who had been cited on January 10 at a different residence for pot possession.] A second man, Zachary Carter King, 22, reportedly admitted that pot had just been "consumed in his presence" at the Blossom Street home.

Last Wednesday evening, after Alexander Duffin-Barnes, 22, exited the residence and placed garbage bags in a bin, two investigators rooted through the trash and discovered marijuana. During a subsequent raid, "green plant material" was found in the front living room of the house, according to a property inventory prepared by cops.

Neither Phelps nor the November party is mentioned in the search warrant documents. (4 pages)