A Sonoma County Judge dropped recent charges against former crack kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross today after claims by Ross that his arrest was the result of racial profiling.
Ross was arrested last Thursday after a search of his car by a Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy turned up $100,000 in cash. As it is not illegal to merely be in possession of large amounts of money, the charge against Ross was "possessing money related to the sale of a controlled substance,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ross, who was released from prison in 2009 after serving a 16-year sentence for crimes relating to his drug empire, has written a biography detailing his days as a drug kingpin, and has toured as a motivational speaker. He was pulled over on Highway 101 near Windsor for "an erratic lane change," according to the Chronicle.
The officer searched Ross's car after running a drug-sniffing dog around the vehicle and informing Ross that the dog indicated marijuana was present (no drugs were found, and Ross has a medical marijuana prescription).
It was during the search of the automobile that the deputy discovered the money — money which Ross says was being used to negotiate a real estate deal for a Humboldt County property.
“I’ve had drugs planted on me by cops before, but I’ve never had the smell of drugs planted on me,” Ross told the Chronicle.
Over the weekend, Ross took to Facebook to proclaim his innocence.
"To everyone despite what has been said about me in the media this past weekend, I'm okay & this is just another attempt to drag my name through the mud."
According to Ross, the $100,000 came from speaking engagements and book sales, not from a life of crime.
“I make pretty good money these days," he told the Chron, "and I’m a good saver."
“I knew from the beginning that the charges against me were trumped up,” he told the Chron.
“But it’s crazy to me that people are still getting pulled over in this day and age and in this political climate just for being black. I was one of a bunch of cars on that freeway. We were all going the same speed doing the same thing, but I’m the one that gets pulled over.”