+ Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson pled guilty to a felony drug charge on March 1, another step closer towards resolution in a case that goes back to last September. Kenton County Commonwealth laywer (aka, prosectuor) Rob Sanders is recommending that Simpson serve 60 days in jail, three years on probations and 200 hours of community service. If Simpson violates the agreement, he could spend three years behind bars.
News broke in late September from a website named CaliforniaWatch.org that two Bengals players were questioned by authorities after 2.5 pounds of marijuana arrived at Jerome Simpson's home in what was described as a controlled delivery. That same report erroneously reported (using allegations from police reports) that a woman named Aleen Smith signed for the package and that an additional six pounds was found inside of Simpson's home, along with supplies that quoted one official to say, "The house was set up as a potential distribution network". Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins was reportedly with Simpson at the house.
The following day Simpson was excused from practice, while Collins returned. Marvin Lewis spoke with XM's NFL radio saying:
"I've been appraised of the situation for a few days now and unfortunately Anthony's name got put into it for no reason. It was at Jerome's house and it's an investigation that's going on. He's cooperating and doing what he can to help in the investigation."
In the days that followed unfounded rumors circulated, as they typically do regarding the enormity of such as story.
On January 19, Simpson was indicted for trafficking marijuana, to which Simpson pled not guilty to during his arraignment on January 30. However on March 1 Simpson pled guilty to a felony drug charge in an agreement with prosecutors. That agreement includes 60 days in jail, three years on probation with 200 hours of community service.
Kenton County Commonwealth lawyer Rob Sanders joined Eddie and Tracy on 700 WLW on Thursday, hours after the announcement that Simpson plead guilty. When Eddie remarked that someone signed for the package, Sanders quickly pointed out that no one actually signed for the package saying, "No, that's actually not true. That was part of the misinformation put out by the folks in California."
When asked about the amount of marijuana being 8.5 pounds, taking the reported 2.5 pounds delivered to Simpson's home and the six pounds found inside his house, Sanders said:
"That's very incorrect. In fact if there was ever eight pounds in this case, somebody in law enforcement (has) some serious explaining to do because there's about five pounds missing. To my knowledge there was never ever anywhere close to that amount. The package that arrived on Mr. Simpson's doorstep weighed right about two pounds and there was just under a pound found in his house in various containers. The total weight on the lab report I got back from the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab was 2.9 pounds."
Simpson's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 5, where Judge Gregory Bartlett can accept the proposed deal between prosecutors and Simpson.
As for his future in the NFL, it might be salvaged. There will be some P.R. issues to deal with and a likely suspension, but once those things fade, Simpson will available for relatively cheap for any team wishing to risk it.