Police said a package containing 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana was delivered from Eureka, Calif., to the suburban Kentucky home of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson on Tuesday, where authorities say they conducted a search and found six more pounds of marijuana inside.
Michelle Gregory, spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice, confirmed to the Cincinnati Enquirer a report published by CaliforniaWatch.org, a group of investigative journalists, on Wednesday night, which detailed the operation. It was initiated by a special marijuana task force after agents discovered a suspicious package at a commercial sorting facility in Sacramento.
Simpson's teammate, offensive tackle Anthony Collins, was also present when a woman, identified as Aleen Smith, 27, accepted the package on Tuesday. All three were questioned at the residence, but no arrests were made at the time.
Simpson told police that he lived at the residence and gave officers consent to search the premises, Gregory said. Police allegedly found other empty parcels, scales and packaging material inside Simpson's home.
"The house was set up as a potential distribution network," said Tommy LaNier, head of the National Marijuana Initiative, a group that is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and helps coordinate marijuana enforcement operations around the United States. "They had it all set up to receive supplies of high-grade marijuana from Northern California, and from there, it was being distributed from that residence," LaNier told California Watch.
All the packages were sent from an area of Northern California known as the "Emerald Triangle," LaNier said. The area is known for producing large amounts of marijuana.
Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said he had heard rumors of the bust but had no further comment.
"Thereâs nothing of substance in the development of rumors that weâre aware of," he said. "Thereâs nothing to hang a hat on at this point."
Simpson had four catches for 136 yards last week in a 24-22 loss to the Denver Broncos.