Paris Hilton Charged With Coke Possession, Arrest Report Released

Paris Hilton has been charged with possession of cocaine. The complaint and police report are here. The Las Vegas Review Journal recounts events.

The prior statements of police to the media are detailed here. The official report contains yet another version of how the police found cocaine inside her purse. [More...]

In this sworn version, the officer states Paris asked to go to the bathroom and get away from the crowds, so he took her into the Wynn Hotel. They were directed to a security holding room and were waiting for a female officer to arrive and escort her to the ladies room.

"Hilton needed to put some lip balm on, and I handed her the purse from the table. As she began to open it, I saw a small bindle of what I believed to be cocaine in a clear baggy begin to fall from the purse and into my hand," according to the arrest report written Lt. D. Flynn.

A few thoughts on the police report: There's no question she was in custody when the cocaine was found as she was not free to go to the ladies room on her own. Why was the police officer's hand still close enough to catch a falling bindle when she opened the purse? Sounds suspicious. And once he closed the purse and put it back on the table, why didn't he get a warrant before re-opening it when another officer arrived? Had he done so, the search might be legal. I don't see any exception to the warrant requirement holding up here. And if the search is bad, her arrest following the search is bad, and her ensuing statements, whether Mirandized or not, should be excluded.

According to the officer, Paris said the purse and the cocaine weren't her's, but she acknowledged the the money, credit cards and rolling papers inside the purse did belong to her. There was also a broken pill that belonged to her and for which she had a prescription -- it's a pill that aids breathing.

The cocaine weighed less than one gram.

Also questionable: The traffic stop. The officer says he pulled up along the passenger side of the vehicle and the window was open. He smelled pot and saw the female passenger move to close it. He told the vehicle to pull over and contacted the driver, at which time he says he immediately recognized the woman was Paris. So he's saying he didn't recognize her when he was right outside her open window and made the decision to have the car pull over?

The stop did not happen in an instant. Paris was in the car while police removed her boyfriend, Cy Waits, and gave him a sobriety test, which they say he failed. The officer says he then directed Paris to exit the vehicle, which is when she told him of her concerns about the growing crowds and need to use the ladies room. At that point, the officer says she might be a suspect if drugs were found in the vehicle search, but he's not stating he had probable cause to arrest her at that point. He even says he merely "didn't feel comfortable" releasing the car to her.

Paris should win this one. And if not, she's not looking at a prison sentence. See my earlier post with the statutes. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193.130 and related ones.) Cocaine possession is a Class E felony but unless a stated exception applies, probation is mandated, and none of the exceptions apply. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 176A.100.)

According to E! Online, Cy Waits has been fired by the Wynn over the incident.

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    Why was the police officer's hand (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:45:39 PM EST
    Why was the police officer's hand still close enough to catch a falling bindle when she opened the purse? Sounds suspicious.
    Suspicious in what way?

    when you hand something (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 01:52:35 PM EST
    to someone, do you keep your hand there? I would think by the time she opened the purse, he would have pulled back his hand. Visualize the scenario. It's instinctive to pull back your hand when you give someone something, be it a tissue, a scissors or a purse. Who keeps their hand so close once the item has been tendered?

    I imagine that the further explanation (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    will be that he saw this object start to fall from the purse and put his hand out to catch it; it was how I interpreted what I read, but who knows?

    You don't have to keep your hand right there; if you are close enough to hand someone something, you are close enough to catch it if there's a fumble on the hand-off, or if something in or on the object being handed over falls.

    I don't imagine the officer was planning on letting Hilton get too far out of his range.

    One thing seems obvious to me: Hilton is not getting smarter with age.  When she had youth on her side, her legal scrapes could be chalked up to the exuberance and entitlement of the young and privileged; now that she's almost 30, it has more of a feeling of she has nothing better to do to keep herself in the headlines.

    Interesting to me to see how those who have lives of advantage choose to use those advantages; Hilton's life just seems sad and empty to me.


    if it seems sad to you (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:20:09 PM EST
    then maybe it's because you don't know much about her. She has successfully merchandised herself and she is a brand. She makes a lot of money and is involved in her businesses, from the perfume and clothing lines to the shoe lines and personal appearance fees. From a press release by her company a few weeks ago, about her Spring 2011 shoe line:

    About Paris Hilton Entertainment: based in Beverly Hills, California, Paris Hilton Entertainment was established in 2006 to leverage the appeal and talents of Paris Hilton, designer, recording artist, actress, model, author and entrepreneur. The company manages all brand licensing, entertainment, and endorsement businesses  for Paris Hilton. Specifically, Paris Hilton Entertainment focuses on the development of Paris Hilton-branded fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products, as well as her ventures in film, television and music. As the face of the company, Paris Hilton takes an active role by overseeing product development, design, marketing, and promotions for Paris Hilton Entertainment.

    The Paris Hilton Shoe collection is available in select department stores nationwide and online at: www.zappos.com, www.macys.com, www.heels.om, www.shoes.com.)

    Take a look at all the collections she has put out over the years.

    Assuming she does smoke pot or is otherwise a recreational drug user, why does that make her life sad or pointless?

    30 is pretty young, strange that you think it's "old enough to know better." Her boyfriend was the manager of that club, it was 11:30 pm, a worknight for him. From TMZ:

    According to Hilton, she was eating sushi at the Wynn hotel with boyfriend Cy Waits, sipping a little wine.  Paris says she was tired and Cy offered to drive her home and then return to the hotel to work.

    I think it sounds like the cop was starstruck.


    Gotta agree, she does sound like she has a (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:59:02 PM EST
    pretty full and fun life, although at some point you gotta figure it's just not worth it to be involved in shenanigans like this...

    I see dual shenanigans... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:00:39 PM EST
    The accused dude if he was driving around under the influence...and the ever present shenanigans on the part of the state.

    Ms. Hilton did nothing wrong except maybe letting her friend drive her.


    with people/stuff that puts her in danger of being arrested or she can choose a course that's less open to this sort of thing.

    Hey, I love coke. I even use the fond memory of its effects when I'm in a situation where I'm nervous or feel out of place. I call up that centered, confident, in-the-groove, feeling.

    But I also stay far away from situations where I might be even peripherally involved. Just not worth it to me anymore.

    I wonder if Paris is approaching that same point...


    Yep... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 11:28:05 AM EST
    sadly it is what it is...all I'm saying is it need not be what it is...it's totally under our control.

    I think if you look at it objectively, like an intelligent alien who just landed on earth today you'd come to this conclusion...two people (allegedly) caused harm or potentially could have caused harm to their fellow citizens...the dude for allegedly driving under the influence, and the officer for causing harm to Paris, who harmed or could have potentially harmed no one but herself.


    30 is not young (none / 0) (#23)
    by nyjets on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 04:48:09 PM EST
    I will admit, I could care less about Paris Hilton. Therefore, I can not comment on most of what you have written.
    However 30 is not young. She is an adult and has been for almost 10 years.  At thispoint, she should most certainly know better.

    Know Better? (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 04:53:17 PM EST
    Just say no to drugs?

    Don't carry a purse?

    Don't plead not guilty?

    What is it that you are saying she should know better?


    I meant in a general sense (none / 0) (#25)
    by nyjets on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 04:59:58 PM EST
    I meean she should act like an adult .

    You Lost Me (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:20:57 PM EST
    Seems to me that the police are the ones acting less adult here...

    Not sure how Paris is acting like an adult here.

    Do you mean something like people who cross the street when the light is red, even though there is no oncoming traffic in sight, are not acting like adults because they are setting a bad example for children...... even if there are no children around?


    Age 30 is just an infant, (none / 0) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:25:15 PM EST
    if you are like the late Republican Henry Hyde, who when his earlier adulterous affair with Cherie Snodgrass became public during the House impeachment of President Clinton, he chalked it all off to "youthful indiscretion".  He was age 41 at the time.   Of course, Henry did find the fountain of youth in his infamous amendment--which lives on.

    So I'm not sure what the end game is (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:04:16 PM EST
    with your suspicion - the cop planted the coke?

    not at all (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:23:26 PM EST
    It's that events didn't unfold the way he is reciting, and the recital is an effort to saved a bad search. Just my speculation. They put out too many different versions, see my prior post.

    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:29:47 PM EST
    Apologies J... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:02:22 PM EST
    please delete if you wish.

    I deleted it, thanks (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:21:45 PM EST
    Wow is all I can say. Idiots aren't just born, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 02:47:19 PM EST
    Wow is all I can say.  Idiots aren't just born, they are nurtured and enabled all the time.

    First let me say that Paris is one of my favorite celebrities.  Not Lindsay, not Brittany but Paris and Jessica Simpson who also has problems with her boyfriends.

    I think it has something to do with that commercial where Paris was washing a car.  I liked that a lot.

    Anyway, what I read elsewhere was that the amount of cocaine was 8 grams not less than 1 gram.  Perhaps you meant to say less than 1 ounce, but anyway there seems to be a discrepancy there.

    I would say that the officer's hand was close to the purse for the very good reason that he was making sure that Paris didn't tamper with evidence, and that all she got out of it was lip balm, and in fact he should have checked out the lip balm itself.  It might have had something hid in it.  Then when Paris got nervous and who wouldn't, she fumbled the sneaky 'grab the evidence move' and the alert officer made the snare.

    And these further details also derail Paris's clam that it was someone else's pocketbook and cocaine.  It is strange that omeone else's pocketbook had a lot of Paris's personal stuff in it and that Paris was actually carrying it into the hotel and there was no other pocketbook that she could claim was hers on the scene.  No one is going to buy that story.

    I imagine someone told her once to carry her bad stuff in another pocketbook that she could disclaim, but she forgot that they also told her to carry a regular pocketbook that she could claim was hers.  That was a little too inconvenient for the child of privilege, or maybe it was like trying to walk while chewing gum.

    Still I like her commercial.

    You are wrong on the amount (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:25:23 PM EST
    it was .8 grams. It says so in the report, to which I linked. Please don't post rumors here when the facts have been provided.

    I think it was 0.8 grams. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:05:29 PM EST
    Some might care, (none / 0) (#12)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:08:23 PM EST
    About rich socialites who misbehave, but I am not among them.  

    But we all should care... (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:27:35 PM EST
    about the cruel joke that is the war on drugs.

    Well said. (none / 0) (#20)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:39:05 PM EST
    My drug choices are nicotine, caffiene, and alcohol. If the war on drugs keeps going, nicotine possession will rank up there.

    This isn't the Cold War, where 30 years of spending will leave the economy of some nation-state in shambles. Producers don't appear to be cutting back, instead shifting locations. I don't think they'd be producing if they lost money.

    In a similar way, police departments are making money through property seizures and private prisons seem to be turning profits.


    And, care about a possible illegal (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 04:33:39 PM EST

    then you are free to (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 03:26:40 PM EST
    scroll on by.

    WTF? (none / 0) (#32)
    by kaleidescope on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:23:30 PM EST
    How was she misbehaving?  Did she hurt anyone?

    David Chesnoff, Paris's lawyer, (none / 0) (#27)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 05:08:05 PM EST
    is going to have a party with all the stories of how they found the coke. I'm sorry that Paris has to take time out of her busy schedule for such nonsense, but I'm curious about how Chesnoff is going to handle this.

    Chesnoff is one of (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:57:23 PM EST
    the top criminal lawyers in the country. He's a friend of mine and I know he'll be great. And he won't be presenting his case to the media, but the court.

    Also of interest, perhaps, is that Dave Chesnoff (none / 0) (#34)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 08:22:52 PM EST
    is the protege and former partner of retired criminal defense attorney -- turned flamboyant mayor of Las Vegas -- Oscar B. Goodman.

    Yes, Oscar is another (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 09:31:21 PM EST
    great lawyer and a friend -- one of my all time faves.

    What I don't understand (none / 0) (#31)
    by Untold Story on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 07:09:06 PM EST
    (there is much I don't understand :) but this is a motorcycle police -- and that to me means one police office.

    He smells pot and stops the car and arrests (?) the driver, Paris boyfriend.  

    But Paris needs to use the restroom -- so what is happening to the boyfriend while this police officer is escorting Paris into the Wynn (only to wait there for a female officer)?

    Going to be attending a civil trial for the next few weeks and then leave for southeast asia and will not be back until the end of the year.

    Will try to read these wonderful posts.  Appreciate all the effort Jeralyn gives and the many details provided.

    Be safe and happy.

    Set-Up? (none / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 30, 2010 at 10:01:20 PM EST
    "It could be a setup," Hilton allegedly told pals. "Everyone knows how against cocaine I am."
    Well, evidently, not the Las Vegas Police Department, but regardless of who knew what and whose bag was whose, Hilton is said to believe the whole thing could have been avoided if those police hadn't been so "star-struck" and hadn't "(blown) the whole thing way out of proportion."


    I'd argue that (none / 0) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 08:20:24 AM EST
    Paris is still a public figure, and public figures are considered newsworthy. But that's not my primary interest in the case-- I've become much more interested in the legal-enforcement-jurisprudence-process lately. If Jeffinalabama were to be caught in the same situation, as a hypothetical, it would not make this website, and we wouldn't be reading about the possibility of illegal search, and the methods that may be used to challenge the search.

    So my interest is procedural, but it takes someone famous for this sort of thing to make papers and websites.

    if you aren't interested (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 07:53:51 PM EST
    then scroll on by, no need to comment to say you aren't interested.