Another lesson was learned the hard way in Texas recently, when a drug dog flagged two suitcases filled with marijuana upon arriving to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
According to a warrant from the Austin Police Department On Thursday, January 17, Antonio Salis, 28, was allegedly apprehended in possession of two large, hard-sided pieces of luggage filled with a total of 43 pounds of dried cannabis flower.
Salis was flying from Sacramento, CA, where marijuana is legal and available for purchase, to Austin, TX, where it remains illegal. Possession of any amount between five and 50 pounds, in Texas, is a felony offense punishable by two to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or both.
When the canine signaled to his handler that the two grey bags were ridin’ dirty, officers immediately noticed Antonio Salis’s full name on the luggage tags. Although Salis reportedly refused to allow his bags to be searched, they were confiscated anyway. At which time, Salis confessed that he only found the bags on the street right before his flight, and decided to fly his ground score home with him. Salis is being held on $30,000 bail.
Don’t Try This At Home
Commercial cannabis sales have been legal in California since the first day of 2018. Any person 21 years or older can walk into any recreational marijuana shop, and walk out with up to 28.5 grams of dried flower at one time. 28.5 grams is equal to about one ounce.
It would take 688 separate transactions to purchase all 43 pounds legally, from individual sales, at different retail shops. Let’s estimate, on the extremely low end, that it only takes 5 minutes to make a purchase. It would take more than 57 hours to stockpile 43 pounds. This seems unlikely considering that the black market is alive, well, and thriving in the Golden State.
Let this be a lesson to all — do not do this! Airports in states where cannabis prohibition still rules strong are on the lookout for mistakes like this. You may not be flagged flying out of a legal state, but it is very possible you will be caught after you arrive at your destination.