OCEAN CITY – A Bel Air, Md., man found out this week cash, not marijuana, is the currency of choice in Ocean City after pleading guilty to attempting to purchase items from a resort convenience store with a bag of dope in May, resulting in his arrest on drug and theft charges.
Michael Lee Autry, 27, of Bel Air, Md., pleaded guilty to the charges of possession of marijuana in District Court on Monday for an incident in May when he attempted to exchange marijuana for merchandise at the 7-Eleven on 94th Street. Around 3 a.m. on May 14, Autry, who was reportedly intoxicated at the time, walked into the store, grabbed a bag of chips and three bottles of Gatorade and took them to the counter.
The clerk proceeded to ring the items up, which totaled $11. Autry gave the clerk $1 and a bus pass for the items. The clerk explained to Autry that he needed to pay $11, at which point Autry told the clerk that he already had.
After repeatedly telling Autry that he owed more money, Autry pulled out a bag of marijuana and placed it on the counter, as if to exchange the bag for the merchandise. The clerk told him he would not accept marijuana as payment and told Autry he was calling the police. Autry became angry and smashed one of the drink bottles on the counter, breaking the bottle and spilling its contents on the floor. Autry then ran from the store leaving the merchandise and the pot.
OCPD PFC Christine Plant and her K-9 partner Jester arrived on the scene a few minutes later. The pair was able to track Autry to his hiding spot in the dunes behind the Pyramid Condominium. Autry was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and misdemeanor theft.
In District Court on Monday, Autry’s attorney explained to the court that at the time of the arrest, Autry was just two weeks shy of completing his probation for an alcohol-related offense.
He explained that Autry was highly intoxicated at the time of the 7-Eleven incident, and that Autry was currently participating in an alcohol treatment program. Autry’s attorney also added that Autry had $49 in his possession at the time of the incident, pointing out alcohol impaired his judgment.
“This is the most embarrassing thing that could have happened to him,” Autry’s attorney said of the incident.
Judge L. Bruce Wade, found Autry guilty of the possession of marijuana charges and granted him probation before judgment with three years of unsupervised probation and $357.50 in fines.
“Your drinking and smoking pot days are over,” Wade said to Autry.