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Gator staff member pleads not guilty

Florida staff member Major Parker appeared in a federal courtroom Tuesday morning and entered a plea of not guilty to six counts of drug distribution.

Parker, one of coach Billy Donovan's first recruits and an assistant to Donovan before his December arrest, attended the hearing with his father, sister and wife. His attorney, John Stokes, entered the plea.

Parker was indicted last week. Along with Florida student Farrah Stephanie Moise, he is accused of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and five counts of distributing cocaine.

The first and sixth counts carry a possible sentence of 5-40 years in prison, four years supervised probation and a $2-million fine. The other counts carry a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison and $1-million fine.

Parker, 26, declined to comment.

"He's in a very positive mind-set," Stokes said. "He's looking to the future, looking forward to resolving this matter and getting on with his life."

A trial date has been set for Feb. 14 but might not happen.

"We will be having discussions with the U.S. Attorney, reviewing the evidence, and at some point, my client will make a decision on whether this case will go to trial," Stokes said.

Parker remains free on bond and indefinitely suspended by Florida. Donovan said Monday that like other former players, he feels a responsibility to help Parker get his life back on track once the legal process plays out.