It’s natural to feel nervous when a police car pulls into the rearview mirror. Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, roadside interactions with the police are a nuisance at best, and deadly at worst. But what about unmarked police cars?
For those who have grown paranoid under the influence of marijuana, any black SUV or Crown Vic with tinted windows that are riding a little too close to your tail will start to look like the cops. Uncertainty, after all, begets fear. And if you’re Leland Ayala-Doliente and Holland Sward, fear begets—well, calling the cops on yourself.
Last year, Doliente (22) and Sward (23) were driving through Idaho under the influence of marijuana. They were on their way to Montana from Las Vegas, trafficking 20 pounds of marijuana (and a friend’s dog). After growing bored from the extended time on the road, the two men apparently decided to spice up their road trip and test out some of the weed they were transporting.
And that’s when the paranoia took hold.
Evidently, the marijuana they were smoking was good—or at least strong enough to make both men forget that state lines are not patrolled for drug activity in the same way national borders are. So when the two men crossed the state border into Idaho, they were on the lookout for police cars. Unfortunately, since the advent of unmarked police units, just about any vehicle with tinted windows can look like the cops. And for the extremely high and paranoid—like Doliente and Sward—every car starts to look like the cops.
If Doliente and Sward were not high, they may very well have seen the surrounding Idaho traffic as what it was: just traffic. But under the influence of marijuana, the two men saw an entire highway of unmarked police cars—creeping up behind them, watching, waiting, planning to swoop in for the arrest. The anticipation became too much to bear.
“Madison County 911.” Answered the dispatcher.
“Hi, uh, we’re the two dumbasses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons, and I’d just really like for you guys to end it. If you could help me out with that, we would like to just get on with it.” Replied Doliente.
Better to turn themselves in and get their inevitable arrests over with, they thought. But as the dispatcher’s confusion will attest, there was just one problem: the two “dumbasses” were never actually being followed by the police. They were just high and paranoid.
If Doliente and Sward hadn’t called the police, they would have, most likely, get away with their crime. As it turns out, there were, in fact, no police officers following them at the time. Instead, the police came and met the two men—by their own request—on the side of the road, where they were waiting with their hands behind their heads and 20 pounds of marijuana placed conveniently beside the car.
Doliente and Sward were both charged with a felony for marijuana trafficking.