Owner, Manager Of Norman Smoke Shop Found Not Guilty In Drug Paraphernalia Case

<p>The former owner Robert Cox, and manager Stephen Holman of a Norman pipe shop were found not guilty of selling drug paraphernalia by a Cleveland County jury.</p>

Tuesday, May 9th 2017, 12:09 pm

A Norman business owner and city councilman have been found not guilty of selling drug paraphernalia.

Their former business, the Friendly Market, was raided by law enforcement in December 2015. Officers said they found bongs, hats with marijuana leaves and other drug related items, but no illegal drugs.

"The state was trying to say paraphernalia is a glass pipe," said attorney Brecken Wagner.

Wagner and attorney Blake Lynch represent former Friendly Market owner Robert Cox and store manager Stephen Tyler Holman who is also a Norman City Councilman. They said the crux of the case was intent and they were able to convince jurors that the items could be used for smoking tobacco or other herbs. There was no way to prove they were beings sold for drug use, according to Wagner and Lynch.

"The industry believes that everything here is legal," says Ziggy's owner Chelsey Davis.  

Davis owns several Ziggy's stores across the metro that sell the same items the Friendly Market did. He believes the law is on his side, but not necessarily law enforcement. Still he owns the lease to a Norman store and says he plans to move forward with opening it now that this case is settled.

"I feel as okay as I do here," he says. "Still a measure of uncertainty." 

Prosecutors, however, say if the Friendly Market reopens they wouldn't hesitate to file charges again.

"They want this to be their legacy, that they found a way to shut down glass pipes in Oklahoma," said Lynch.

The Friendly Market has closed and Cox's attorneys say the state seized and still has possession of all his merchandise, about $4,000 in cash.

The Friendly Market was raided twice, so there is still another felony case against the owner on essentially the same grounds. 


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