Canadian Football League

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Former Canadian Football League player facing charges again

NEWPORT BEACH -- Former USC and NFL quarterback Todd Marinovich pleaded not guilty today to a felony charge of possessing a small amount of methamphetamine and misdemeanor syringe possession and resisting arrest. The charges stem from his arrest on Sunday about 1:30 a.m. in the West Ocean Front parking lot by the Newport Pier, where he was skateboarding where it is prohibited, said Newport Beach police Sgt. Evan Sailor. Marinovich, 38, took off on the skateboard then picked it up and ran when approached by police. He was later found about six blocks away hiding in a carport at 1324 W. Balboa Blvd., Sailor said. Marinovich had a guitar case which contained speed in a powder form, as well as a spoon and syringe, Sailor said. He was arrested and later booked at the Orange County Jail. Bail is set at $25,000 on the arrest, but Marinovich has two no-bail warrants for probation violation, a jail clerk said. At his appearance in a Newport Beach courtroom, Marinovich was ordered to a pretrial hearing on Sept. 6 and a preliminary hearing on Sept. 11. On June 3, 2005, Marinovich was ordered into a six-month live-in drug program, to be followed by six months of outpatient treatment after it was found that he violated terms of probation. He was also placed on three years probation. A no-bail arrest warrant had been issued April 12 for a probation violation stemming from a previous drug conviction. Marinovich was arrested May 20, 2005, after being chased from a Newport Beach public restroom, where he was spotted with suspected drug paraphernalia. He served 18 days in jail and was placed on three years probation. In all, Marinovich has nine prior cases in the Orange County courts, most involving possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and possession of a hypodermic needle. Marinovich was first arrested in January 1991 while at USC. He entered a drug-counseling program and charges were eventually dropped. After playing two years at USC, Marinovich was drafted in the first round by the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1991. He became the team's starter in the final week of the regular season and was the starter during part of the 1992 season, but released before the start of the 1993 season. Marinovich acknowledged drug use was a major factor in the release. He surfed in Hawaii and formed a band but said that experience exposed him to harder drugs. He injured a knee in training camp with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1994, then was out of football until signing with the CFL's British Columbia Lions in 1999. Marinovich served a three-month jail sentence in 1997 for cultivating marijuana in his house. Marinovich's final stop in football came with the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, who he played for in 2000 and 2001. Marinovich was arrested for heroin possession in 2001. He was on probation for that arrest when he was arrested in 2005.


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