Prosecutors drop drug charges against Steelers' Holmes
Steelers' wide receiver Santonio Holmes faces the media after marijuana charges against him were dismissed this morning in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Santonio Holmes faces the media this morning with his attorney, Robert DelGreco. Marijuana charges against Mr. Holmes were dismissed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
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Prosecutors dropped marijuana possession charges against Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes this morning after deciding there was not probable cause for the traffic stop that led to the charges.
Mr. Holmes, 25, who was named Super Bowl MVP this year after his game-winning touchdown catch, was found with a small amount of marijuana after police pulled him over near Mellon Arena on Oct. 23.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Newman announced at a hearing this morning before Allegheny County Judge Lester G. Nauhaus that, after reviewing case law, she determined the stop would not hold up in court.
Ms. Newman said that Pittsburgh Police Lt. Kevin Kraus received an anonymous tip that a late-model SUV with out-of-state license plates was carrying a large amount of narcotics through the Hill District.
Lt, Kraus passed the tip along to supervisors at the Zone 2 police station. Two Zone 2 officers then pulled over Mr. Holmes because he was driving a Range Rover with Florida plates. His attorney, Robert Del Greco, said the stop violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as an illegal search because it was not specific or reliable enough.
Mr. Del Greco filed a motion last week to that effect, and Ms. Newman said this morning that she agreed, so she would drop the charges.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Mr. Del Greco said small marijuana possession charges typically are disposed of when the defendant pleads guilty to a summary disorderly conduct charge at the magistrate level.
But Mr. Del Greco said he always intended to challenge the traffic stop and never discussed a plea deal to a lesser charge. Mr. Holmes waived his right to a preliminary hearing in February.
When a reporter asked if Mr. Holmes, wearing a black suit and black undershirt with no tie, had anything to say, he looked to his attorney.
"You can say you're happy," Mr. Del Greco said with a smile.
"I'm all right," Mr. Holmes said.
First Published June 10, 2009 10:28 am