By Paul Shockley
Thursday, February 4, 2010
A parolee who said he had a medical marijuana card allegedly offered cash bribes to a state worker after the parolee was caught trying to beat a drug test with a hidden device strapped to his waist.
Chad M. Thomas, 34, of Palisade, was ordered held at the Mesa County Jail on $10,000 bond on suspicion of felony bribery, and a parole violation, following his arrest Tuesday on a warrant obtained by parole officials.
Thomas was one of several parolees randomly called on Jan. 2 to provide a drug-test urine sample at a local private business, which is contracted by state officials to perform the tests.
An arrest warrant affidavit said a caseworker became suspicious about Thomas’ sample after Thomas tried to block the worker’s view while Thomas was providing his sample.
When asked to raise his shirt and lower his pants, Thomas was observed to be wearing a Whizzinator, which was attached to a white strap around his waist, the affidavit said.
The devices allow wearers to pass fraudulent “clean” urine held in a small reservoir in the device.
Thomas allegedly offered the case worker $300 to throw the device away, but the worker refused. Thomas then offered the case worker $500 to throw the device away and was refused again, the affidavit said.
“Thomas then stated that he had a medical marijuana card and did not want to go back to (prison),” the affidavit said.
The caseworker took the device, and Thomas left.
That same day, Thomas called in to state parole officials and said he had panicked after smoking marijuana on New Year’s Day, the anniversary of his father’s death, saying he was “having a very hard time dealing with it.”
Thomas also said he had a medical marijuana card, but he knew it was a violation of federal law for parolees to use medical marijuana. A friend suggested to Thomas he should try his Whizzinator.
A parole officer wrote in the affidavit that Thomas admitted making statements to the effect of, “if money would make this go away,” during the botched Whizzinator encounter Jan. 2.
Thomas was sentenced in Mesa County in May 2007 to a four-year term in prison after pleading guilty to charges of menacing and criminal mischief. He was released on parole in March 2008. Thomas was projected to be discharged from parole in August.
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