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Bengals' Simpson pleads guilty to drug charge; jail time possible

  • By Associated Press
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COVINGTON, Ky. -- Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson could receive a 60-day jail sentence after pleading guilty Thursday to a drug-related felony charge as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

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The four-year NFL veteran also faces a suspension from the league for violating its personal-conduct policy. He's a free agent after completing his contract with the Bengals.

Simpson wore a dark gray suit and stood with his hands in his pockets for a hearing Thursday in Kenton County Circuit Court aimed at concluding a drug case that has hung over him since September, when a package containing approximately 2 pounds of marijuana was delivered to his home in northern Kentucky.

The package had been tracked by agents from California. Authorities later searched Simpson's home and found approximately another pound of marijuana, county Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said after the hearing on Thursday. He was indicted on a felony charge of marijuana trafficking. Thursday's agreement changes the charge -- still a Class D felony -- to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.

Judge Gregory Bartlett can accept the proposed 60-day jail term or reduce it at a sentencing hearing on April 5.

The agreement also calls for three years' probation, 200 hours of community service and drug treatment. Sanders said Simpson got no special treatment. He said the 60-day jail sentence is "probably on the high end of average" for such a case.

The agreement stipulates that there is no evidence Simpson was dealing marijuana. Sanders said Simpson had the marijuana for personal use and was probably sharing it with friends.

Simpson and his attorney left the courtroom immediately after the hearing without comment.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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