Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Friday, October 24, 2008
Steelers' Holmes faces drug charge after traffic stop

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes will be charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop in which police smelled burning marijuana and found marijuana-filled cigars in his car.

"He's going to be summoned," said police Sgt. R. Griffith, meaning Holmes was not arrested after the incident Thursday, but will receive notice of the charge in the mail.

The charge, possession of a small amount of marijuana, is punishable by up to a year in jail but probation or a fine is common in most cases.

Police said the 24-year-old Holmes acknowledged having marijuana when stopped and pointed out the blunts to officers.

"We're aware of what happened and are still gathering information at this time and will not comment," Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett said Friday.

But the team will deactivate Holmes for Sunday's game against the Giants.

Holmes and his agent could not immediately be reached.

The third-year player didn't have his license when police stopped him about 4 p.m. near Mellon Arena, the home of hockey's Pittsburgh Penguins.

Police stopped Holmes driving a dark sport-utility vehicle with out-of-state license plates. Officers in the area had been alerted that a similar vehicle was believed to be carrying a large amount of drugs. Holmes' vehicle matched the description but was not the one police were seeking, Griffith said.

Holmes is second on the team behind Hines Ward with 22 catches for 360 yards and a touchdown. A first-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2006, Holmes has 118 catches for 2,037 yards and 11 touchdowns, in his career with the Steelers.

Holmes has had two other run-ins with the law since the Steelers drafted him. In June 2006, he was charged with domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. Those charges were dropped when the mother of one of his three children declined to help prosecute the case and prosecutors were assured that Holmes received anger management and domestic violence counseling through the NFL.

In May 2006, Holmes was arrested for disorderly conduct by police in Miami, who also later dropped the charges. Holmes is from Belle Glade, Fla.