PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN/KDKA) – Police have released new details on the incident that led them to file marijuana possession charges against Steelers’ running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount.
The traffic stop happened Wednesday, just a short time before the two were to board a flight for the team’s preseason game in Philadelphia. Charges were filed just hours before the game.
According to the criminal complaint, a Ross Township motorcycle patrol officer stopped next to a black Camaro at a red light at McKnight Road.
The officer couldn’t see through the tinted windows, but smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from a partially-opened driver’s side window, the criminal complaint reports. He then turned on emergency lights and made the traffic stop.
Police say Bell was driving; Blount was in the passenger seat and a woman, identified as 21-year-old Mercedes Dollson, was in the back seat.
The criminal complaint reports the officer said Bell asked, “Why I pulled him over. I explained to him that I detected a strong odor of marijuana.” He also said Bell claimed he did not have any marijuana, but his eyes were red and glassy, and his pupils were dilated.
The officer asked if any of the passengers smoked marijuana that day. According to the criminal complaint, Bell replied, “It was about a minute ago.” When asked to explain what he meant, Bell said, “We smoked within the last two hours.”
By then, backup units arrived, including a police K-9 handler who said the dog would search the vehicle for contraband.
The criminal complaint reports Bell then admitted the marijuana, about 20 grams, was inside the glove box. Bell said they had just purchased the pot and everyone pitched in to buy it.
Investigators say the officer told Bell because he was smoking; he could not operate the vehicle and could possibly be DUI.
According to the criminal complaint, Bell replied, “I didn’t know you could get a DUI from being high. I smoked two hours ago, I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine. Why would I be getting high if I had to get on a plane to make it to my game?”
When the officer asked what game, Bell told him, “I have to be on my plane at 3. I play for the Steelers.”
After he administered a field sobriety test, the officer said he believed Bell could not safely operate a motor vehicle. Bell was placed in handcuffs and taken to the hospital for a blood draw.
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