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May 23, 2012

U.S. News: School backpack holding pot, scale lands dad in jail

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thumbnail School backpack holding pot, scale lands dad in jail
May 23rd 2012, 14:55

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Larry Cornelius Stephens in his booking photo, as provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

By Miguel Llanos,

"Look what I got" was how the 6-year-old in St. Petersburg, Fla., told the teacher of a surprise find in the child's backpack. Turns out the "what" was 3 ounces of marijuana and a weight scale -- and it landed the child's father in jail, the Tampa Bay Tribune reported Wednesday.

Larry Cornelius Stephens, 25, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and child abuse.

Stephens acknowledged the pot and scale were his but insist it was for personal use, police said.

Police say he apparently placed them in the backpack, then forgot or didn't realize the child would take it to his school, Campbell Park Elementary.

When Stephens realized what happened he went to the school, but by that time the pot had been discovered, the Tribune reported.

Stephens left the school but later turned himself in to police. He was released late Tuesday on bail, records show, and has done prison time for drug possession in the past.

Police did not release the name or gender of the child.

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