COVINGTON, Ky. – Four months after marijuana was delivered to Jerome Simpson's home, the Bengals wide receiver was indicted on a drug charge Thursday in Kenton County.
Simpson was indicted on one count of trafficking marijuana in excess of eight ounces. An arraignment date in Kenton Circuit Court was not immediately set. The charge is punishable by one to five years in prison.
Federal authorities swooped on his Crestview Hills townhouse in September and seized a package containing 2.5 pounds of California marijuana being shipped to the residence. Inside the home investigators found about six more pounds of marijuana, scales and smoking devices.
A path leading to Simpson's residence began Sept. 19, a California law enforcement official told the Enquirer shortly after the raid.
A narcotics unit devoted to detecting and tracking suspected marijuana shipments flagged a package, which originated in Eureka, Calif., at a Sacramento shipping center. California authorities then alerted Kentucky law enforcement agents about the package, and they kept an eye on it while it was delivered, according to authorities.
When the packaged arrived at Simpson's town home in the 2700 block of Mansion Place, Simpson's 27-year-old acquaintance, Aleen Smith, accepted it from the delivery man, according to authorities. Simpson was briefly detained and gave investigators permission to search his home. That's when the additional marijuana and scales were found.
Offensive tackle Anthony Collins was at the home when the package was delivered but was not indicted on Thursday. Bengals coach Martin Lewis has said the 26-year-old Texas native was not the subject of the investigation and that the player appeared to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Simpson gained national attention in December with his 19-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown against Arizona that included a somersault flip over Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington from the 2-yard line into the end zone. The North Carolina native just completed his fourth year with the Bengals. He was drafted in the second round in 2008 and emerged as one of the team's starting wide receivers. Simpson attended Coastal Carolina for college.
This is the second Bengal this week to be the subject of court proceedings. Adam "Pacman" Jones pleaded guilty Wednesday in Hamilton County Municipal Court to one count of resisting arrest. The 28-year-old West Virginia native was sentenced to one year of probation, a $250 fine, 50 hours of community service and ordered to stay out of the Scene Ultra nightclub. When police officers arrived, Jones cursed at police.
Trouble started for Jones after an argument broke out July 10 at the nightclub in the 600 block of Walnut Street Downtown. When they tried to handcuff him, he waved his arms and tensed his muscles to try to prevent that.
Bengals' Simpson sentenced to 15 days in Kentucky jail
COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail and three years' probation on a drug-related charge.
A judge in Covington reduced the jail time from the 60 days recommended by prosecutors in their plea agreement with Simpson, now a free agent after four seasons with the Bengals.
Simpson pleaded guilty March 1 to the felony charge resulting from about 2 pounds of marijuana shipped to his northern Kentucky home in September. He was indicted on a felony charge of marijuana trafficking, but the plea agreement changed the charge to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances, also a felony.
Simpson, clad in a dark suit, took the stand briefly and apologized to his family, the community and his team.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," he said
Simpson told the judge that he would try through community service to help others not to make the same mistake that he did.
Several people testified at the hearing on his behalf, including his agent and a woman who works with him as a volunteer at a church in Covington that feeds the homeless and needy. They praised Simpson for his community service, a point that the judge noted in his remarks before sentencing.
Judge Gregory Bartlett of Kenton County Circuit Court said that he was impressed with the testimony and letters sent to him on Simpson's behalf. He said the case was difficult because "Mr. Simpson appears to be "a good person" who made a "serious lapse in judgment. "
But despite the community service Simpson was doing long before he was charged, he still committed a felony, the judge said.
'We can't ignore that," the judge said.
Both the prosecutor and the judge said that they don't believe Simpson was trafficking in marijuana but that it was for the use of him and his friends.
The judge agreed to the defense request to allow Simpson to wait until 6 p.m. to turn himself in at the jail. Simpson also will have to serve 200 hours of community service, undergo drug testing and pay a $7,500 fine plus court costs.
He had been under investigation since agents from California tracked the package shipped to his home. They said it contained 2 1 / 2pounds of marijuana. Authorities said a search of Simpson's home turned up one more pound of marijuana.
Simpson was a second-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina. He caught 53 passes for 758 yards and four touchdowns last season.
Simpson's attorney and agent say he faces discipline from the NFL.
can the title be changed to "Bengals' Jerome Simpson indicted on drug charge"
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