Four Pack players face pot charges

Staff WriterApril 27, 2010 

Four N.C. State football players and a former Wolfpack women's volleyball player face misdemeanor charges after police recovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia during a search of an off-campus apartment early Saturday, according to records at the Wake County courthouse.

Three football players - defensive tackles Markus Kuhn, 23, and J.R. Sweezy, 21, and offensive tackle Jake Vermiglio, 22 - were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of using a controlled substance. Allison Davis, 22, who was a senior on the N.C. State volleyball team this past fall, faces the same three charges as Kuhn, Sweezy and Vermiglio.

A fourth N.C. State football player, tight end George Bryan, 20, faces a single charge of maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of using a controlled substance. All of the charges are misdemeanors.

N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien commented on the charges in a brief statement released by a school spokeswoman.

"I have been made aware of the situation," O'Brien said, "and appropriate action will be taken."

According to a Raleigh police search warrant, an off-duty officer working a security shift at the College Inn apartment complex on the 2700 block of Western Boulevard smelled "a strong odor" of marijuana as he walked past the doorway of a third-floor apartment at about 1 a.m. Saturday.

After knocking on the door and meeting the tenants to confirm his observations, the warrant said, investigators returned with a warrant and seized three plastic bags filled with about 6 grams of marijuana, a "blunt" cigar stuffed with marijuana, two homemade bongs and other paraphernalia. Bryan's Blackberry cell phone, which included photos of a marijuana plant, also was seized, according to the warrant.

The list of items taken from the apartment also included a box of ephedrine sulfate injection capsules. Ephedrine is on the NCAA's banned substances list.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said no charges were made in connection with the ephedrine sulfate, nor did he expect any.

All four football players are veterans in prominent spots on the roster.

As a sophomore last season, Bryan received first-team All-ACC honors, catching 40 passes for 422 yards and six touchdowns. Vermiglio, a senior who plays left tackle, is N.C. State's most experienced offensive lineman and is listed as an all-star candidate in the conference's spring media guide.

After an unrelated incident in March, Sweezy was suspended from the team indefinitely. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor larceny after a March 18 altercation with a shuttle bus driver in Mooresville.

Sweezy was scheduled to move into a starting spot because N.C. State had two senior starters at defensive tackle in 2009 who have departed the program. Kuhn, who redshirted last season, also seemed on the verge of getting more playing time because of the Wolfpack's needs at defensive tackle.

Staff writer Lorenzo Perez contributed to this report. or 919-829-8942

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