Felony marijuna charges against a Columbia man were dropped Tuesday in Cooper County.
Police found 19 pounds of marijuana in the basement of 917 Locust Street, across the street from David Barton Elementary, during a search on the night of April 15. Police were originally called to the house for a report of a man holding people hostage. Boonville Police Chief Bobby Welliver previously told the Daily News there was no evidence anyone was being held hostage.
Police arrested David Sobelman, 27, of Columbia, and he was charged with felony delivery of marijuana. Cooper County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Phelps dropped the charge against Sobelman on Tuesday, which was a Class C felony that carried a sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison.
Sobelman was at the wrong place at the wrong time, said his attorney, Clark Jones. He was visiting his step-mother, Diane Sobelman, at her home on Locust Street in Boonville when police received the false report of a hostage situation, Jones said. Police arrested David Sobelman when they found the marijuana in the basement, though there were four other people in the house at the time, Jones said.
Phelps dropped the charges against David Sobelman after Jones presented evidence he lives in Columbia, and that Diane Sobelman was arrested in Nevada driving with more than 50 pounds of marijuana last year, Jones said. An arrest report from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada shows Diane Sobelman was arrested while driving through Reno on July 27, and officers found 62 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of her car.
“I think the people of Cooper County are lucky to have (Phelps) in office, because there’s a lot of prosecutors who wouldn’t have given this the attention it deserved,” Jones said.