Snowboarders arrested for pot after Kirkwood event
A member of the Denmark Olympic snowboarding team and a member of the Canadian snowboarding team were arrested Saturday night in Douglas County for allegedly smoking marijuana while driving from Kirkwood Ski Resort to a snowboarding competition in Big Bear, Calif.
Denmark team member Michael R. Kildevaeld, 31, of Centerville, Mass., and Canadian team member Frederic Brett Tippie, 29, of Kamloops, British Columbia, were traveling with Anton David Pogue, a member of the U.S. snowboarding team, when their vehicle was stopped for speeding on U.S. Highway 395 near Topaz Lake around 10 p.m.
Pogue, 29, who was asleep in the bed of the pickup in a sleeping bag at the time of the stop, was not arrested.
Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies reported that the Toyota pickup was traveling south at 83 mph in a 55 mph zone. Deputies said when they approached to speak with Kildevaeld, the driver, they smelled and saw marijuana smoke coming out the pickup’s cab.
Deputy Aaron Crawford, a drug recognition expert, called for a narcotics detection dog. The dog found two plastic baggies, containing approximately two ounces of marijuana in each, and a metal marijuana smoking pipe hidden inside the truck, deputies said.
During the investigation, both Kildevaeld and Tippie admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day at Kirkwood and just prior to the car stop, deputies said. All three snowboarders were at Kirkwood for the VANS Championships of Snowboarding, where Pogue placed 33rd in the men’s giant slalom. Deputies said that Pogue showed no signs of being under the influence and was not involved in the marijuana smoking.
Kildevaeld, who placed 15th in the men’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, was arraigned Monday in Minden’s District Court on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Tippie was charged with being under the influence of marijuana. His attorney is Patrick Gilbert, who was recently convicted of bringing marijuana into a Nevada state prison.
Possession of marijuana in Nevada is considered a category E felony and requires mandatory probation. Preliminary hearings on the two cases are set for Wednesday in Minden district court.
As of January, Kildevaeld was ranked 33rd in the world in snowboarding. Tippie listed his employment as being a member of the Canadian Olympic team, but in numerous sites on the Internet listing Canadian Olympic snowboarding members, his name was not listed. Tippie was ranked 41st in Canada as of Feb. 25.
The arrests come a little less than a month after Canadian gold medalist Ross Rebagliati had his medal temporarily revoked after testing positive for traces of marijuana in his system. Rebagliati’s medal was reinstated after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled it wasn’t able to take his medal because there was no explicit agreement between the International Olympic Committee and the International Ski Federation that marijuana should be treated as a banned substance. Rebagliati said he had not smoked marijuana since April 1997 and was exposed to second-hand smoke at a party in January.
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