Drug charges send former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes to jail again

Published Feb. 23, 2012

TAMPA — Former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes was arrested early Thursday after he tried to eat a plastic bag of marijuana and had marijuana blunt tucked behind his ear, police said.

The 27-year-old Tampa man was pulled over in his orange 2011 Chevrolet Camaro about 1 a.m. at Nebraska Avenue N and Norfolk Street E after he committed a traffic violation, an officer wrote in an arrest report. The officer did not specify what that violation was.

Police said after the pulled Dukes over, they noticed a small bag of marijuana on his lap. He then tried to dispose of the marijuana by sticking it in his mouth as if he was going to ingest it.

Then, after police removed the bag from his mouth and took Dukes into custody, they noticed a marijuana blunt "resting on his right ear," according to the report. Dukes was booked just after 3:30 a.m. and was still being held at the Hillsborough County Jail Thursday morning.

He faces charges of tampering with physical evidence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a cancelled, suspended or revoked license. He was also being held on two Hillsborough County warrants for driving with a suspended knowledge and operating with a suspended or revoked driver's license.

His bail was set at $4,750.

Dukes has been arrested five times in the past year, mostly on charges of driving with a suspended, cancelled or revoked license.

In March 2011, he was accused of hitting his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

In that case, Mountrail Mounshay Mack, 20, told deputies she and Dukes had been staying in a motel for several days. On March 2, deputies responded to the East Lake Inn Motel, 6539 E Hillsborough Ave., where Mack said Dukes slapped her several times in the face during an argument.

Dukes, a Tampa native who attended Hillsborough High and last played in the majors in 2009 for the Nationals, left the motel for his mother's house on Royal Banyan Drive.

Mack was not significantly injured.

Past arrests for Dukes include contempt of court and failing to appear in a case where he owes an ex-wife child support and alimony.

In 2010, he owed three women a total of $143,000 in child support and alimony.