NBA’s Montrezl Harrell facing felony marijuana charge

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Charlotte Hornets forward Montrezl Harrell is facing a felony drug charge after authorities said they found vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana in his car during a traffic stop.

Harrell, 28, was pulled over in Richmond, Kentucky, by a state trooper May 12 for driving behind a vehicle too closely, news outlets reported Monday, citing court records.

The trooper said he smelled marijuana and, after a search, discovered 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) of marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags inside a backpack in the backseat.

Harrell has been charged with trafficking less than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of marijuana. If convicted on that count, he could face up to five years in prison. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 13 in Madison County District Court.

Harrell, a former star for the University of Louisville, has played seven seasons in the NBA, including three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers and two with the Houston Rockets. He joined the Hornets in February but was due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, according to the Charlotte Observer.

It was not immediately clear whether Harrell had an attorney who could comment on his behalf. The Hornets declined comment, according to the Charlotte Observer.

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