Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars' Williams Facing Charges; Police Cite Him for Traffic Violations and Possession of Marijuana

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars' Williams Facing Charges; Police Cite Him for Traffic Violations and Possession of Marijuana

Article excerpt


Bad driving in Jacksonville on Monday led to charges of drug possession and driving with a suspended license for Jaguars wide receiver Reggie Williams, police said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Williams, 22, was arrested after an officer found a small bag of marijuana and two joints in Williams' Mercedes sport utility vehicle during a traffic stop on St. Johns Bluff Road near the St. Johns Town Center. Williams had been pulled over at 6:40 p.m. for running a red light and making an improper turn, police said.

Williams received two citations for traffic violations and criminal charges of marijuana possession and suspended license, Assistant Chief Lonnie McDonald told reporters on Tuesday.

He was issued a notice to appear in court, McDonald said.

Williams was not jailed on the criminal charges because they are misdemeanors; it was less than 20 grams of marijuana (8.1 grams) and he cooperated with police, passed a field sobriety test and called his brother to drive him home from the scene, McDonald said.

Jaguars spokesman Dan Edwards said the team would have no comment on Williams, though the arrest will likely put him into the first stage of the National Football League's substance-abuse program. The first stage requires players to be tested as frequently as the league's medical director requests and to be considered for inpatient treatment.

According to arrest reports, when Williams exited the vehicle to sign the citations for the traffic infractions, Officer Terry Brown got a whiff of something suspicious.

"I smelled the smell of burnt marijuana emitting from the suspect," the officer wrote in his report.

"He gave me consent to search his vehicle," Brown wrote. "I discovered two marijuana joints under the driver's seat and a small bag of marijuana in the center console."

Williams also was charged with "unknowingly" driving with a suspended license. Williams' license had been suspended for failure to pay fines in 2005, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Neither the report nor McDonald said what the fines were for, and Williams did not return phone calls to his home seeking comment.

A search of Florida Department of Law Enforcement records revealed no prior criminal history in the state for Williams.

Until his arrest, most of Williams' problems had been a lack of production on the field.

Williams was considered a gamble when the Jaguars selected him with the ninth pick in the 2004 draft because he lacks the speed that most franchise receivers have. …

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