Eight arrested in Michael Phelps case - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Eight arrested in Michael Phelps case

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - New details have emerged about a party where Olympic champion Michael Phelps was spotted.

On Feb. 2, a British tabloid published a picture of the 14-time Olympic gold medalist using a water pipe to smoke marijuana. The picture was taken at a party in Columbia back in November when Phelps was here for a visit.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department has been taking a lot of heat from people in this country and all over the world.

They want to know why Sheriff Leon Lott is going after Michael Phelps.

Many are saying the sheriff should concentrate on more serious crimes, or at the very least, not focus solely on the Olympic champion when there were others at the party who were also breaking the law.

Now it appears the case has expanded beyond Phelps' activities.

The party took place in November at a house on Blossom Street near Five Points.

It was at that house where someone snapped the photo of Phelps taking a hit on a marijuana pipe called a bong.

Lott says the picture indicated a law was being broken in his jurisdiction. He said he couldn't ignore the violation just because Phelps is rich and famous.

We've now learned that since investigators began trying to build a case, they've made eight arrests: seven for drug possession and one for distribution. These are arrests that resulted as the sheriff's department served search warrants.

We've also learned that the department has located and confiscated that bong.

Sources say the owner of the bong was trying to sell it on eBay for as much as $100,000.

The owner, who wasn't even at the party, is one of the eight now charged.

Phelps is not one of those charged at this point, but the sheriff's department has strong evidence that matches the photo to the house on Blossom Street.

That house is in the city, but the Columbia Police Department decided not to initiate or take an active role in the investigation.

Governor Mark Sanford is also weighing in on the sheriff's actions.

On the FOX News Channel Sunday night, Geraldo Rivera asked Sanford whether Phelps should be prosecuted.

"I don't see what it gets at this point," said Sanford.

His spokesman told us Monday night Sanford is letting that quote stand.

Previous Story:

Reported by Jack Kuenzie

Updated by Jeremy Turnage

  • SportsSPORTSMore>>

  • Correction: All-Star Game story

    Correction: All-Star Game story

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 11:39 AM EDT2018-07-17 15:39:20 GMT
    Wednesday, July 18 2018 3:55 AM EDT2018-07-18 07:55:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Fireworks are displayed before the MLB Home Run Derby, at Nationals Park, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. The 89th MLB baseball All-Star Game will be played Tuesday.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). Fireworks are displayed before the MLB Home Run Derby, at Nationals Park, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. The 89th MLB baseball All-Star Game will be played Tuesday.

    A record 10 home runs. A slew of strikeouts. The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored what baseball has become.

    More >>

    A record 10 home runs. A slew of strikeouts. The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored what baseball has become.

    More >>
  • Machado won't let trade talk diminish his fun as All-Star

    Machado won't let trade talk diminish his fun as All-Star

    Monday, July 16 2018 5:57 PM EDT2018-07-16 21:57:41 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 2:25 PM EDT2018-07-17 18:25:52 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gail Burton). Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado, left, and Caleb Joseph score against the Texas Rangers in the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Baltimore.(AP Photo/Gail Burton). Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado, left, and Caleb Joseph score against the Texas Rangers in the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 15, 2018, in Baltimore.
    Machado preps for All-Star Game knowing that trade from Orioles is imminent.More >>
    Machado preps for All-Star Game knowing that trade from Orioles is imminent.More >>
  • Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Hometown hero Harper wins thrilling HR Derby over Schwarber

    Monday, July 16 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-07-17 02:47:41 GMT
    Tuesday, July 17 2018 1:48 PM EDT2018-07-17 17:48:28 GMT
    Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Washington Nationals Bryce Harper (34) reacts to his winning hit during the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 16, 2018 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

    More >>

    Harper thrills home crowd and father by winning Home Run Derby over Schwarber 19-18.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly