EASTON - Grammy-nominated rapper Tauheed Epps, also known as 2 Chainz, was found not guilty Wednesday in Talbot County District Court on marijuana charges stemming from a traffic stop on Feb. 14.
Police stopped a 2013 Ford E-350 van, in which Epps and six others were traveling on a way to a concert at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, on U.S. Route 50 and Hiners Lane, for speeding.
Upon stopping and approaching the vehicle, police said, officers smelled burnt marijuana coming from the van, and then searched it under probable cause.
After searching the vehicle, police said they found a metal grinder, later identified in court as such, in a gray bag that was inside a camouflage-colored bag.
Police said Epps the camouflage bag was his but did not take responsibility for the grinder in the gray bag.
When police began to arrest Epps, charging him with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, Epps asked the rest of the people he was traveling in the van with who owned the grinder, according to court witnesses.
At that time, Harold Folsome Jr., a security guard contracted out of Ohio, approached police and took responsibility for the grinder being in the bag.
Folsome said during trial that before being stopped on Route 50, the group was at a hotel in Baltimore getting ready to leave for the show.
Folsome, who is partly responsible for packing and transporting Epps' bags, said he and three other people, including Epps, were in the hotel suite getting ready to leave for the show when he grabbed various items from around the room and put them into the camouflage bag and then subsequently in the van.
Folsome denied owning the grinder, and said he did not know who did, and he also said he was not paying attention to what he was putting in the bag, as he was in a rush to leave for the show.
"Whoever left it in the room, I guess that's who it belonged to," Folsome said.
Folsome said he told police the grinder was his because he was the one who put it in the bag and should be responsible for it, saying, "When I saw what it was, I knew what I did."
Epps' defense attorney argued that there was no evidence to prove the gray bay belonged to Epps.
While giving his verdict, Talbot County District Court Judge William H. Adkins III said he saw the case as a paraphernalia case, and found Epps not guilty on possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
Adkins said the grinder was "clearly" in Epps' bag, but Epps could not be found responsible for owning the grinder.
"It belonged to somebody in that room. As for who, I don't know," said Adkins, who also found Epps not guilty of a possession of paraphernalia charge.