Montrezl Harrell of Charlotte Hornets faces felony marijuana charge

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Montrezl Harrell of the Charlotte Hornets is facing a felony drug charge that could result in up to five years in prison if convicted after authorities in Richmond, Ky., said they found bags of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.

A state trooper stopped Harrell’s rented 2020 Honda Pilot on May 12 because it was following another vehicle too closely, according to Madison County court records obtained by the Louisville Courier Journal and Charlotte Observer. Trooper Jesse Owens stated in the report that he noticed an “odor of marijuana” and, he wrote, Harrell “admitted to being in possession of marijuana and produced a small amount from his sweatpants.”

A search of the vehicle turned up “three pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed bags” in a backpack in the back seat, according to the citation. Harrell, 28, was charged with trafficking less than five pounds of marijuana and his arraignment, originally scheduled for Monday in Madison County District Court, was continued to July 13.

Possessing or trafficking eight or more ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana is a Class D Felony for first-time offenders in Kentucky and is punishable by 1-5 years of incarceration with a $1,000-$10,000 fine.

Harrell, who played in college at Louisville, is a seven-year NBA veteran who has also played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. The Hornets acquired him from the Washington Wizards in a trade-deadline deal in February and he averaged 11.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. He will become a free agent this summer and the Hornets have had no comment on the matter.

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