Webber Detained for Pot Possession: Puerto Rico Releases Ex-Wizard after 2 Hours

By Seper, Jerry | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 15, 1998 | Go to article overview

Webber Detained for Pot Possession: Puerto Rico Releases Ex-Wizard after 2 Hours


Seper, Jerry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Chris Webber, the former Washington Wizards forward traded earlier this year after brushes with the law, was detained last night at Puerto Rico International Airport by U.S. Customs Service officers after a drug-sniffing dog detected what authorities said was marijuana in his possession.

The 25-year-old former University of Michigan All-American, traded in May to the Sacramento Kings for All-Star guard Mitch Richmond and power forward Otis Thorpe, was visiting the Caribbean Islands on a sports promotion tour sponsored by the Dominican Republic and was headed for Barbados from Santo Domingo when he was stopped at the airport by Customs Service officials.

According to authorities, Webber was traveling with Detroit Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse and was detained in the airport's passenger lounge area after a Customs Service dog detected what authorities said was 11 grams of marijuana during a routine check of inbound and outbound passengers. The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m.

Customs Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul Kilcoyne in San Juan said prosecutors later declined to name Webber on smuggling and possession charges and he was released after paying a $500 administrative fee under the Custom Services' "national zero tolerance" program.

Kilcoyne, in a telephone interview, said the marijuana initially was discovered in luggage tagged by American Airlines as belonging to Stackhouse. He said Customs Service agents questioned the Pistons star, who denied owning the bag, and that "further inquiry determined that the bag had been mismarked." Kilcoyne said Webber, who listed his home address as Bowie, then came forward and claimed ownership.

He said that after an initial review of the facts, the matter was referred to the U.S. attorney's office, which declined to seek criminal charges, based on the the small amount of marijuana. Webber was detained for about two hours and released to rejoin the promotion tour after he paid the $500.

The former Washington Wizard has been no stranger to law enforcement problems in the past year. He was arrested after being pulled over in January for speeding in Landover on his way to a Wizards practice. …

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