Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Police: Bell, Blount admit buying pot

PITTSBURGH — Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount told police they "pitched in" to buy a bag of marijuana with a female friend shortly before they were pulled over — and Bell acknowledged smoking some, though he told the officer who pulled them over he felt okay to drive, police said in court papers.

The criminal complaints against Bell, 22, and Blount, 27, were made public Friday morning. They charge Bell, Blount and Mercedes Dollson, 21, of Elk Grove, Calif., with possessing a small amount — less than 30 grams — of pot. Bell was also charged with driving under the influence.

A motorcycle officer in the Pittsburgh suburb of Ross Township pulled over Bell's Chevrolet Camaro when he smelled marijuana coming from it around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, the complaints said. At first, Officer Sean Stafiej wrote, "Bell told me that he did not have any marijuana in the vehicle." The officer said he then asked Bell, whose "eyes were red and glassy," and the others whether they had smoked pot that day. "It was about a minute ago," Bell replied. When the officer asked what he meant, Bell said, "We smoked within the last two hours," and shortly thereafter all three occupants told the officer "they just picked up the marijuana and that they each pitched in to buy it."

Advised he would be charged with driving under the influence, Bell said, "I didn't know that you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine." Bell continued, explaining, "Why would I be getting high if I had to get on a plane to make it to my game?" the officer wrote. After that, Bell told the officer he played for the Steelers and had to catch a 3 o'clock flight to Philadelphia. The Steelers played the Eagles on Thursday night.

The officer said Bell did not appear capable of safely operating the vehicle, so he had him taken to the hospital for a blood test. The suspected marijuana and Bell's blood were to be submitted to the Allegheny County crime lab.

Police said they seized about 20 grams — or three-fourths of an ounce — of marijuana in a plastic bag found in the car's console.

Coach Mike Tomlin called the incident "detrimental to our efforts" after the 31-21 preseason loss. Blount, a former Buc, and Bell both played, but Tomlin said he can't say what will happen now: "Obviously, we have some things to do regarding the matter moving forward, but not a lot to say regarding it at this point in time."

Bills: The team might be worth an estimated $935 million, but according to Forbes, there have been three nonbinding bids, with the highest by Terry Pegula, the owner of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, topping out at $890 million. Nonbinding bids are generally made to gauge a buyer's interest. The next highest of $820 million was made by rocker Jon Bon Jovi's group. Donald Trump's bid came in at $809 million.

Chiefs: Tackle Donald Stephenson was benched by the league for the first four games of the regular season for violating its performance-enhancing substance policy. He said in a statement through the Players Association that he took a medication that requires a therapeutic-use exemption and failed to properly investigate it.

Colts: Defensive tackle Montori Hughes missed practice recently because his daughter died from a sudden illness last week. Maveah Alice Hughes was 3 months old. Coach Chuck Pagano did not provide many details but did offer condolences to Hughes and the baby's mother, Leigh Burton.

Dolphins: Tight end Michael Egnew, the team's third-round pick in 2012, was waived. The team attempted to use Egnew both in a fullback role and out wide after he served as a pass-catching tight end in Missouri's spread offense.

Eagles: All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy left Thursday's 31-21 preseason win against the Steelers in the first quarter with a right thumb injury. X-rays of his thumb were negative, but he didn't return after his 22-yard touchdown catch gave his team a 7-0 lead. "A helmet hit it," McCoy told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It definitely hurts. But there have been times I've been banged up and it turns out fine. We'll see what happens." McCoy, who had 24 yards on four carries before his exit, showed no effects of a toe injury that forced him to miss one practice earlier in the week. "I feel like I've got a lot of work to do," McCoy said. "Feel quick but my legs feel little heavy. It's still early. Need some time be more effective and get in the work mode I need to be effective this year. … I feel good, though."

Raiders: Linebacker Sio Moore was taken off the field on a stretcher with a neck injury after getting hurt in the second quarter of a preseason game Friday night in Green Bay. He moved his legs back and forth while face down on the field after pursuing running back DuJuan Harris.

Redskins: The Washington Post will stop using "Redskins" on its editorial page, saying it "unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too." The editorial board operates independently of the news operation. The Post will continue to use "Redskins" in the news and sports sections.

Saints: Tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 for twice dunking over the goalpost in an Aug. 15 preseason game against the Titans. "It's unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it's fun for me," Graham said. "And I feel like a little kid out there, and sometimes I act like it."

Vikings: The team has increased its contribution to its new stadium by $49 million since last fall, including an infusion of $20 million to cover a funding gap for hundreds of items in the $1 billion building under construction in downtown Minneapolis.

hernandez case: A lawyer for the fiancee of former Patriots and Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez asked a judge to throw out perjury charges, saying Shayanna Jenkins did not willfully lie as she was bombarded with 1,630 questions over two days before a grand jury.

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Published: 12/17/17