|California Highway Patrol recommends drug charges against Cepeda|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 03 May 2007 15:29|
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -The California Highway Patrol will recommend prosecutors charge baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda with drug possession, a spokesman said Thursday.|
The department will forward its report of Cepeda's arrest to the Solano County District Attorney's office on Friday, CHP Sgt. Wulf Corrington said.
The former San Francisco Giants star was stopped Tuesday after he was clocked driving 83 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 80 in Cordelia, about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. The 69-year-old Cepeda was arrested after the officer discovered marijuana and a white powder substance in his 2001 Lexus.
In its initial report, the CHP said the powder appeared to be cocaine or methamphetamine. Corrington said the substance was being tested.
The CHP will recommend Cepeda be charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and two misdemeanors - possession of a hypodermic syringe and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, Corrington said. The speed violation will be included.
Ted Cassman, a Berkeley attorney representing Cepeda, did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment. On Wednesday, however, Cassman said Cepeda was innocent and did not use illegal drugs.
He told The Associated Press that the marijuana in the car was for a family member's medical use but said he could not explain the white powder.
Cepeda, alone at the time of the arrest, was booked into Solano County Jail and released the same day.
He has a previous conviction for involvement with illegal drugs. In 1976, Cepeda was convicted in his native Puerto Rico of attempting to smuggle marijuana and sentenced to five years in prison.
He now works for the Giants as a community liaison, speaking to at-risk children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter could not be reached Thursday for comment, and the team has declined to comment since Cepeda's arrest.
A first baseman during his 17 big league seasons, Cepeda started his career with the Giants and moved on to St. Louis, Atlanta, Oakland, Boston and Kansas City.
He was a seven-time All-Star who was the 1958 National League rookie of the year and 1967 National League MVP, when he was with St. Louis. In 1961, he led the National League with 46 home runs and 142 RBIs.
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