Reserve OU cornerback facing felony drug charges
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 2:30 PM
NORMAN – Oklahoma cornerback Joe Powell faces a felony charge of intent to distribute marijuana, after police intercepted a package of "high grade" marijuana meant for Powell and used it to catch Powell during a transaction last October.
Powell, a 21-year-old junior from Dallas, was charged in Cleveland County District Court on Oct. 18. He awaits a preliminary hearing conference scheduled for Dec. 18, when Powell's attorney is expected to meet with the assigned district attorney to begin deliberations.
From there, the case proceeds to plea bargaining, sentencing and/or a trial.
According to Oklahoma statutes, a possession with intent to distribute felony is punishable by two years to life in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
An OU spokesman confirmed to the Tulsa World that OU coach Bob Stoops is aware of Powell's situation, and that Powell has been suspended from the team since October.
According to an affidavit filed into Cleveland County District Court, Oklahoma City Police. detectives intercepted a FedEx package of four pounds of "high grade" marijuana intended for Powell. Norman police set up a delivery of that package to Powell the night of Oct. 8 at his apartment east of OU.
An intermediary delivered the package – originally said to be containing "shoes" when Powell set up the transfer – with "a surveillance and arrest team" positioned in the parking lot.
Police observed people leaving Powell's apartment before contacting him. Powell agreed to meet detectives at University Greens Apartments nearby. It was there he admitted he knew the package contained marijuana, but that he was holding the package until an unknown person picked it up from him, and that he would receive "a little money or marijuana to give to 'the girls' for doing this."
Powell then took one of the detectives back to his apartment and retrieved the package. The detective confirmed the package contained marijuana, and Powell was released at the scene pending charges.
Powell was charged Oct. 18. He posted $1,000 bond.
Powell played sparingly as a backup slot receiver in 2010, and then as a cornerback and special teams player in '11. He had not suited up for a game this season prior to the suspension.
This is the second issue involving players and marijuana since the end of the Sooners' season. Wide receiver Jalen Saunders and defensive back Cortez Johnson were arrested on complaints of possession Dec. 2 in Norman, about 12 hours after OU's season-ending victory at TCU.