NCCU player, roommate face drug charges

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comMarch 10, 2012 

— Sheriff's deputies say they arrested an N.C. Central University basketball player and his roommate on Thursday after finding drugs and thousands of dollars in cash in their apartment.

Landon Christopher Clement, 23, and his roommate, Kalifa Fletcher, 20, were charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintaining a dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia, the Durham County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

Clement, who was averaging 15.9 points per game before injuring his right foot in December, has been suspended indefinitely from NCCU's basketball team.

Deputies with the sheriff's office narcotics unit made the arrests Thursday morning while executing a search warrant at the South Durham apartment Clement and Fletcher shared at 5308-F Penrith Drive, according to the sheriff's office. Investigators say they found 84 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $12,008 in cash.

Clement and Fletcher were released from the Durham County jail Thursday after they each posted $10,000 bonds, according to the jail's website.

Maj. Paul Martin with the sheriff's office would not disclose how or why Clement and Fletcher became targets of a narcotics unit drug investigation.

Fletcher is a junior from Hyattsville, Md., majoring in criminal justice. Clement is a junior from Raleigh majoring in biology, Ayana Davis Hernandez, an NCCU spokeswoman, said Friday.

Clement, who graduated from Raleigh's Sanderson High School, transferred to the historically black NCCU from UNC Greensboro. He enrolled in the fall of 2009 and one year later, he became eligible to play for the men's basketball team coached by his former high school coach and mentor, Levelle Moton.

Moton on Friday issued a statement saying the news of Clement's arrest "is disappointing and concerning.

"As coaches, we try to nurture and provide the necessary resources for these young men to be successful," he said. "We constantly talk about the impact of making positive decisions."

Last month, Clement was the subject of an article, "Traditionally black NCCU warms to white shooter," that appeared on and was republished in The News & Observer. The article focused on Clement's popularity on the NCCU campus, fueled by his ability to hit 3-pointers .

In addition to criminal prosecution, Clement and Fletcher must go through NCCU's judicial process that could result in expulsion from the university. "Landon's graduation date will be dependent upon the legal outcome and NCCU's judicial process," Hernandez said Friday.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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