Is it me or does it seem there is some sort of legal wrangling going on daily in the NFL? For that reason, I am starting a new feature here at the MHR, and creatively calling it "Police Blotter".
We've got several stories this week, and unfortunitely we start with our own Sam Brandon, who turned himself in to authorities yesterday --
Brandon, 27, faces a charge of violating a restraining order and violation of his bond conditions, both misdemeanors, district attorney spokeswoman Kathleen Walsh said.
Despite prosecutor objections, a judge released Brandon on a personal recognizance bond. He was due in court Nov. 17 for a pretrial conference on the new charges and a domestic violence case from July 2005.
Brandon was fingerprinted and photographed at the jail. Walsh did not release additional details.
Neither Broncos officials nor Brandon immediately returned a phone message left at the team's office.
Team spokesman Paul Kirk declined comment.
A fourth-round pick by Denver in 2002, Brandon faces a charge of third-degree assault and a charge of criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, stemming from his arrest July 4, 2005, officials have said. Details of his arrest were not immediately available.
I guess if this is going to happen, it's best that it goes down during a BYE week.
*--The Half-Way House that is the Cincinnati Bengals made news again this week, with LB Odell Thurman having his 4 week suspension extended to the full season for blowing a .17 after being pulled over by Ohio State Patrolman --
Thurman was arrested about 3 a.m. Monday, hours after the Bengals beat division rival Pittsburgh 28-20.
Police said Thurman's blood alcohol was 0.18 percent when he was arrested, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent in Ohio. Thurman is due in court Oct. 2, the day his initial suspension for missing a drug test was to end.
The Bengals were on the practice field when the suspension was announced, and coach Marvin Lewis was not immediately available for comment. Earlier, quarterback Carson Palmer noted that he saw Thurman cleaning out his locker at Paul Brown Stadium.
"I think everybody saw that and realized at some point you're not going to get a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance," Palmer said.
"It comes down to decision-making. Coach Lewis is fed up with harping on Odell about doing the right thing at the right time and not being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Palmer said. "At some point, I think Marvin's done with it."
But Palmer said the actions of his teammates -- six Bengals players have faced various charges since December -- have had no effect on the play of the 3-0 team.
"I think we've got a couple guys who've gotten mixed up and made bad decisions," Palmer said. "In no way will that affect the rest of this team or any other individual players."
At a news conference Monday, Lewis was critical of Thurman's behavior
"I am not pleased," Lewis said then. "It's not right, it's not what we stand for, it's not what the National Football League should represent."
Thurman, a second-round draft pick from Georgia last year, started all but one game in 2005. His arrest came less than a week after commissioner Roger Goodell visited Cincinnati and reminded players of their responsibility to stay out of trouble and represent the league honorably.
"He just obviously doesn't understand the privilege and the right to play in the National Football League," Lewis said. "This will probably be dealt with very severely."
Rookie Reggie McNeal and Chris Henry, both Bengals wide receivers, were in the vehicle when Thurman was arrested, but they were not charged.
Henry has been arrested four times and convicted twice, avoiding jail time so far. He pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in northern Kentucky, and this month pleaded guilty to a weapon charge in Orlando, Fla.
This is getting rediculus. Sure, you have to take a chance on a guy every now and then, but so many of these players have histories that it's going to become a distraction at some point.
*--The San Diego Chargers are back into the news as well. A few weeks after LB Steve Foley was shot 3 times by an off-duty police officer, DEA agents arrested SS Terrence Kiel on drug charges --
Drug Enforcement Administration officials said Wednesday that Kiel admitted to shipping at least two parcels of prescription cough syrup to Texas. While Kiel did not tell the DEA his motive, the agency in Texas has found widespread abuse of codeine-based cough syrup mixed with soft drinks or drugs and referred to as "lean," said John S. Fernandes, the special agent in charge of the San Diego office.
A pint bottle of "lean" can cost between $200 and $325 on the street, he said.
Kiel grew up in Lufkin, about 120 miles north of Houston, and played at Texas A&M.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said Kiel would be paid even though he will miss Sunday's game at Baltimore.
"He's been informed to stay home and take care of personal business," Smith said, adding that Kiel is due back with the team on Monday.
"I'm really not interested at this point in commenting on anything about the matter," coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
Clinton Hart, who will start in Kiel's spot, said the defensive backs met Wednesday morning.
"We have to regroup and make that fist a little bit tighter. Kiel's still our boy and we're supporting him 100 percent," Hart said. "We're going to go out there and win this game with him on our backs."
Kiel was arrested on two counts of transporting a controlled substance and three counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.
The DEA is investigating where Kiel got the cough syrup, who else may be involved and the intent.
Two federal law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said quart bottles full of what appears to be prescription cough syrup were found at Kiel's house. Both officials said Kiel admitted to financial difficulties when interviewed by agents.
Kiel is making $500,000 this year, his fourth with the Chargers.
The player was jailed Tuesday and released on bail.
Kiel's agent, Vann McElroy, said he couldn't comment on specifics of the case.
"Terrence is a good kid. We just have to wait and see," McElroy said.
Fernandes said the two shipments Kiel admitted to sending to Texas each contained prescription cough syrup that had been repackaged in pint-sized water bottles.
On Tuesday, Kiel was called off the practice field after authorities arrived at Chargers headquarters. Kiel was taken into the locker room, detained and read his rights, Fernandes said. His locker wasn't searched, but authorities searched his car, then took him to his house to execute a search warrant.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant made public Wednesday, FedEx managers searched a package Kiel mailed with his FedEx account in June and found 15 bottles of Prometh prescription cough syrup in the box. A boarding pass found inside the box led DEA agents to an address Kiel used to register a car. Three bottles of Prometh were seized last week at that address.
Kiel paid cash to send a second package to Texas last Thursday, prompting a FedEx manager to contact the DEA, according to the affidavit.
Fernandes said codeine-based cough syrup can be used to enhance, mitigate or temper other drugs, including cocaine and PCP.
"It goes right to the heart of what really is fueling an already out-of-control, raging fire of abuse of pharmaceutical drugs," Fernandes said.
Kiel was a second-round draft pick in 2003.
Three months after being drafted, Kiel was shot three times during an attempted carjacking in Houston. Kiel returned to play in all 16 games as a rookie, including eight starts.
It was the second run-in with the law by a Chargers player this month.
Outside linebacker Steve Foley was shot three times outside his suburban home on Sept. 3 by an off-duty Coronado police officer who suspected him of drunk driving. Foley will miss the entire season and forfeit at least $775,000 in pay.
"I'm very disappointed and very concerned," Smith said. "I'm not the least bit happy with all these things."
Another team, like the Bengals, that are too good to have these types of things crop up. Marty can't be too happy.
*--Our court-room tour comes to an end in Miami, where former Bronco Keith Traylor is facing a suspension for violating the League's personal conduct policy --
Traylor is serving a one-year probation sentence for two misdemeanor charges stemming from a May 16 arrest in Oklahoma on charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Traylor also was charged with a felony for ripping a smoke detector off a jail wall, but Tania Bible, legal secretary for the Mayes County, Okla., district attorney, told the newspaper the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor when he was sentenced to a one-year deferred sentence on July 19.
Bible told the newspaper that Traylor paid $100 to replace the smoke detector and received probation for the DUI charge. The controlled substance charge was dropped. If Traylor completes his probation, both charges will be dropped.
However, Traylor is still subject to NFL discipline. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Sun-Sentinel that "it will be reviewed under the appropriate league policy."
According to the policy, if a player is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime, he is subject to discipline at the discretion of the commissioner.
Traylor, 37, had two sacks in the Dolphins' first win of the season last Sunday, a 13-10 victory over the Titans.
Not a bad start, though it is sad that I would even have the material to support such a feature....