It’s been months since Micah Riggs locked the doors for the last time at his business Coffee Wonk at 3535 Broadway in Midtown Kansas City. And it’s been years since he sold a now controlled substance known as K2 or synthetic marijuana.
Riggs stopped selling it the minute it became illegal in August of 2010.
Unfortunately however, he’s been up to his eyelashes in prosecutors and police ever since Coffee Wonk was robbed at gunpoint in September of 2010 and police were called to investigate.
While they were there, the cops confiscated a new substance Riggs was selling which he says did not contain any of the banned K2 chemicals. And they charged him with distributing a controlled substance.
Subsequent to that trial he announced he would not reopen Coffee Wonk. Yet for some reason or another – an overzealous prosecutor wanting to put a “W” on her resume perhaps? – the government won’t let the matter drop.
On April 1st – “the fools day” – Riggs learned that the prosecutor was going forward with essentially the same charges he had just been acquitted of for a subsequent Coffee Wonk bust last October.
“They had tried to get me to take a deal before the last trial and this was still being held up because they hadn’t charged me,” Riggs says. “And they offered then not to go forward with this charge from October of last year if I took the deal.”
Feeling strongly that he was innocent, Riggs passed on the deal and then won in court.
So what was the deal the prosecutors were trying to make?
“The deal would have been if I agreed to let Kansas City Police and Regulated Industries inspect my shop for two years whenever they wanted to they would drop it,” Riggs says. “Of course at that point they would have been telling me what I could and could not sell.”
“Because one, I didn’t break any laws and two, somebody had forged my signature on a consent to search form,” he says. “And three, this is how you go about bringing change. I wanted to show to society that if these laws that they were accusing me of were so good, why did they need to forge my signature to search one of my spaces?”
The questionable search played a role in Riggs March court win, he says.
“It was testified to by a document verification expert witness,” Riggs says. “And the prosecutor didn’t have any experts to refute it.”
Next up: Riggs is slated to be back in court this summer on a charge stemming from the September 2010 bust that he had ‘intent to create a controlled substance,” he says. “It was a hung jury on that count.”
Added to the duplicitous “distribution” charge from last October and a guns drawn visit from police shortly before his March trial, Riggs stands to spend a whole lot of time in court and a ton of money defending himself against charges he feels he was exonerated from by the jury two months ago.
“In February, right before the trial, after I was not taking their deals, they came in with guns drawn and seized money and product again and even took my computers and the video from my security camera,” Riggs says. “So I can’t even review the footage of that bust.
“And they arrested me and I was (basically) kept in jail for 24 hours while they tried to intimidate me, but I kept telling them I wasn’t going to answer any questions without my lawyer there. So they made me sit on an uncomfortable metal bench in a common area for 22 hours, and then tried to question me again before they finally let me go two hours later.”
Riggs bottom line:
“I mean, they got what they wanted, my shop’s closed…I don’t know what they’re trying to do. I think they just want their pound of flesh. I think it’s a complete waste of taxpayers dollars.
“My shops closed, it’s not reopening. I haven’t emptied it yet because I was hoping I could sell it, but I’m in the last month of my lease and I’m not reopening it.
“You know, polls show that 52 percent of Americans support the legalization of cannabis. And that shows we’re going in the right direction. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I was thinking about opening a nutritional store, but now I’ve got to fight all these charges and commit all of my money to these legal things. So all that’s on hold for now. I can’t really get on with my life until I have this off my shoulders.
“I mean, I’ll fight it. I’m not waving any white flags. I’ll fight it until I prove my innocence and I have all the evidence to prove my innocence. So I’m just going to keep on fighting because I have all the facts and the facts are in my favor.”