Drug-possession charge dropped against OU receiver Saunders
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1/23/13 at 4:46 AM
Oklahoma wide receiver Jalen Saunders had a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge dropped due to a lack of evidence on Tuesday, while teammate Cortez Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of the same charge in Cleveland County Court.
Johnson received a deferred sentence of six months' probation. Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney Dane Towery said if Johnson follows the terms and conditions of the probation, the charge will be dismissed.
Johnson took full responsibility for the drugs in the vehicle, Towery said on Tuesday afternoon.
The pair was arrested in Norman on Dec. 2 - just hours after the Sooners' regular-season finale - following a traffic stop. The vehicle belonged to Saunders but was being driven by Johnson.
The arresting officer's affidavit stated he smelled "freshly burnt marijuana" from the vehicle during the stop.
"I initially went back to my vehicle to conduct a driver's license and warrant check on both individuals," Officer Kevin Brandon stated in the affidavit. "I then approached the vehicle again and asked the occupants why the vehicle had a very strong odor of freshly burnt marijuana. Saunders stated that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the evening in Oklahoma City but that no marijuana had been in the vehicle."
A check of the vehicle found a marijuana bud, Brandon wrote. There were also three cigars that smelled like burnt marijuana, Brandon stated, but neither player took responsibility following the discovery.
Saunders, a transfer from Fresno State, was allowed to play in the Cotton Bowl as coach Bob Stoops said the matter was being handled internally.
Johnson, a transfer defensive back from Arizona, redshirted last season. He will be eligible next season.
Original Print Headline: Drug-possession charge dropped for Saunders
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