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Russell's arrest the result of larger investigation, police say

JaMarcus Russell's arrest for alleged possession of codeine syrup resulted from a two-month undercover investigation that could end in more arrests, authorities in Mobile, Ala., said Tuesday.

Mobile County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lori Myles said the investigation wasn't targeting the former Oakland Raiders quarterback, but his name and home address came up several times. Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, was arrested at his home Monday and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Online records show that Russell, who graduated from high school in Mobile, was booked into the city jail at 4:22 p.m. ET Monday, then released soon afterward on $2,500 bond.

Myles said Tuesday that forensic tests to determine the amount of codeine syrup involved sometimes take 5 to 7 days. She added that police wouldn't reveal whether they believe Russell was dealing the drug, which can be used to make "purple drank," a concoction made up of codeine syrup, soda and Jolly Rancher candy.

Russell has a bond hearing scheduled for Wednesday, and he's set to appear in court July 20.

Russell didn't return a call from The Associated Press on Tuesday. A business partner of Russell's agent said they had no comment.

Monday's arrest is the latest setback for Russell following his May 6 release from the Raiders, and it reportedly cost him any chance with one NFL team. The New York Daily News cited a source in saying the Jets are no longer considering a deal with Russell, although senior writer Steve Wyche reported last week that the team's interest in the quarterback was minimal.


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Russell also has been linked to the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings in various reports. NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi reported that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats own Russell's rights in the Canadian Football League, which could be an option for the quarterback.

Russell spent three lackluster seasons with the Raiders after they drafted him. He won just seven of his 25 starts, threw for 18 touchdowns with 23 interceptions and eventually was benched.

After releasing Russell, the Raiders filed a grievance seeking to recoup approximately $9.5 million of the $36.4 million that they paid the quarterback since 2007. Lombardi reported Tuesday that Russell's arrest will not affect that process.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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