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Ravens wide receiver Deonte Thompson no longer facing drug charges

Law EnforcementDeonte ThompsonFootballBaltimore RavensJohn Harbaugh

Ravens reserve wide receiver Deonte Thompson's felony and misdemeanor drug charges have been dismissed by Florida prosecutors, according to his lawyer and court records.

Thompson was arrested in February in Gainesville, Fla., and charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The case against Thompson was dropped due to insufficient evidence against him, according to Alachua County court records.

Alvon Summerall, a co-defendant and the driver of the car that was stopped with Thompson a passenger, has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license, according to court records.

"Deonte's clean," lawyer Huntley Johnson told The Baltimore Sun in a telephone interview. "I'm happy for him because I think it will make a big difference in his future. I've represented a lot of athletes and he's a damn good young man.

"The case was dismissed because one of the other guys accepted responsibility for the drugs. I've spoken with the Ravens and they were very pleased with the outcome of the case."

According to the original arrest report, an officer "noticed a strong odor of burned cannabis" from a Chevrolet SUV pulled over for driving without the headlights on.

When the vehicle was searched, the officer found bags containing 29 grams of marijuana inside a duffel bag. However, Thompson said that only the bag was his while the driver, Summerall, and another passenger, Erskine J. McKinley, both said the drugs belonged to them, according to the Gainesville police. The officer said that neither man could state what other items were contained in the bag.

Thompson stated when they were pulled over that the other men handed the bag to him and told him to put it behind his seat, according to the report. The bag also contained a plastic jar and plastic baggies to store and contain the marijuana.

"As it was readily apparent that all three defendants were aware of and in possession of the cannabis, all three were taken into custody for felony cannabis possesion and drug paraphernalia," the arresting officer wrote in his report.

A former University of Florida player signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Thompson caught 10 passes for 96 yards and no touchdowns last season for the Ravens after dealing with a foot injury during training camp and at the beginning of the regular season.

Although the case will be reviewed by the NFL under its personal conduct policy, Thompson is considered unlikely to face any punishment from the league office since the case has been resolved with no finding of guilt and no other legal obligations for Thompson.

When Thompson was arrested, team spokesman Chad Steele issued a statement saying, "There are two sides to every story."

Three Ravens players have been arrested this offseason, including Thompson, running back Ray Rice (felony aggravated assault) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (misdemeanor battery). Rice and Reid's cases are still pending.

During the NFL owners meetings, Ravens coach John Harbaugh expressed disappointment about the players' off-field problems and addressed Thompson's situation.

"You can’t be riding around in a car with marijuana in your bag," Harbaugh said. "I don’t care what your reason or your excuse is for it. You can’t be riding around with guys that you have no business riding around with."

awilson@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Law EnforcementDeonte ThompsonFootballBaltimore RavensJohn Harbaugh
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