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Man charged with smoking pot in police department parking lot.
Police in South Houston, Texas did not have to go far to arrest a drug possession suspect.
He was in a police department parking lot smoking pot, investigators said Monday.
Charles Powell, 33, has been arrested more than a half-dozen times over the years, but police said his latest bust happened right outside the police station.
According to police, Powell was standing by his car when he decided to relax with a marijuana cigarette and a beer -- across the street from the city of South Houston's police department on July 25.
A South Houston detective was on his way to lunch when Chief Herbert Gilbert said the detective smelled marijuana.
"The detective came out the rear entry," Gilbert said.
According to the chief, Powell was in front of a sign clearly marked "police" smoking what appeared to be a cigar, but was actually a cigar filled with marijuana.
"He was here with a friend who was visiting someone in our jail," Gilbert said.
The detective confronted Powell.
"In 21 years, this is a first. I've seen a lot of things, but never encountered someone smoking a marijuana cigarette in a police parking lot," Gilbert said.
Powell would not appear on camera, but said by phone that he wasn't smoking marijuana, just a cigarette.
He's facing a Class B misdemeanor for possession of marijuana and up to 180 days in jail if he's convicted.
Powell has a criminal record going back to 1997 that includes multiple arrests for drugs and assault.