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Football player arrested for possessing 87 lbs. of pot
Arizona Daily Wildcat (U. Arizona) ^ | 12/4/02 | Jeff Lund

Posted on 12/05/2002 7:46:34 PM PST by NorCoGOP

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The football player that University of Arizona head coach John Mackovic called a disgrace to his family was arrested Tuesday in Henry County, Ill., on charges of possessing 87 pounds of marijuana. Police discovered the marijuana in a vehicle driven by junior tight end Justin Andrew Levasseur, according to Illinois State Police reports.

Levasseur, 22, who is from Antioch, Calif., was stopped for speeding at 9:16 a.m. on Interstate 80 in a rented 1990 Ford box truck, reports stated.

The marijuana could have had a street value of up to $150,000. Possessing that much of the illegal substance is a felony, said Sgt. Thomas Burek of the Illinois State Police Department.

Levasseur has been charged with trafficking more than 5,000 grams of marijuana and manufacturing and delivering more than 5,000 grams of marijuana. Both are class 10 felonies in Illinois, which means they typically carry penalties of between six and 30 years in prison.

Burek was not certain how the arresting officer discovered the marijuana or how it was packaged.

Levasseur had his initial court appearance in Henry County Circuit Court on Tuesday. Bail was set at $300,000.

Two of his teammates had not heard about the arrest, but said that based on Levasseur's character, they were surprised.

"It sounds unbelievable," senior wide receiver Bobby Wade said.

"I'm pretty sure there is a lot more to it. Based on his character, this really surprises me."

"I had no idea about this and it really surprises me," senior and fellow tight end James Hugo said.

A passenger riding with Levasseur, Max Necochea, 22, of Mission Viejo, Calif., was arrested for unlawful use of weapons and marijuana trafficking.

Both were being held in Henry County jail as of yesterday.

Burek said he did not know the relationship between Levasseur and Necochea or why the two were in Illinois at the time.

Levasseur made news after Mackovic called Levasseur "a disgrace to his family" when the tight end missed a block in a November loss to UCLA. The remark stirred emotions that led to a meeting between more than 40 football players and President Pete Likins, and prompted an apology by Mackovic.

In a release issued yesterday, Mackovic said he was aware of the situation, but did not comment in detail.

"I am aware of the situation and I have spoken with Justin's parents," Mackovic said. "University of Arizona Athletics Director Jim Livengood and I will speak with Justin and his family before any determination of his team status can be made.

"In legal matters, the athletics department has prescribed a course of investigation and review committed to the student-athlete's welfare and rights."

Dean of Students Melissa Vito, who wasn't aware of Levasseur's arrest, said most criminal cases usually fall outside the jurisdiction of the university but, depending on the threat posed to the UA, disciplinary action can be taken.

She said she would have to know the circumstances of Levasseur's arrest to comment further.

This season, Levasseur played in 12 games and caught 11 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns came in Arizona's lone conference win, against California, one week after Mackovic's comment to Levasseur.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jose Ceja and Maxx Wolfson contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: scholarathlete

1 posted on 12/05/2002 7:46:34 PM PST by NorCoGOP
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To: NorCoGOP
The lad is innocent - FReepers, when you pick up a hitchhiker, be sure to check your ashtrays after you let him off.
2 posted on 12/05/2002 7:49:12 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
I've had that problem before. A guy I gave a ride to once left a Volkswagen in my ashtray.
3 posted on 12/05/2002 7:54:21 PM PST by AUgrad
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To: NorCoGOP
Arizona to Illinois buy low-sell high scheme, seems pretty easy to figure out.Innocent until proven guilty though.
4 posted on 12/05/2002 7:54:42 PM PST by Rocksalt
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To: NorCoGOP
87 lbs of pot ... sounds like the Tight End was trying to get Loose.
5 posted on 12/05/2002 7:57:57 PM PST by commish
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To: commish
hehehe... he figured the cops would never catch him and he would get a cool $200,000 cash somewhere. We have 'nother Darwin Alert loser candidate here.
6 posted on 12/05/2002 7:59:57 PM PST by goldstategop
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To: NorCoGOP
Burek was not certain how the arresting officer discovered the marijuana or how it was packaged.

With 87 pounds worth of dope it probably didn't require much in way of detective skills.

7 posted on 12/05/2002 8:01:16 PM PST by DouglasKC
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To: NorCoGOP
It sounds as if the coach called him the right name for the wrong reason. He was just a little ahead of the game.
8 posted on 12/05/2002 8:02:08 PM PST by Cicero
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To: DouglasKC
The trunk was probably filled to bursting. I'm surprised it didn't overflow when the cop sprang the latch and looked at what was inside the football player's car.
9 posted on 12/05/2002 8:02:46 PM PST by goldstategop
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To: goldstategop
Not likely. A pound of mexican pot on the border in bulk quantity would run about 300 bucks. His gross couldn't have been anywhere over $30,000. Stupid, stupid man.
10 posted on 12/05/2002 8:03:11 PM PST by SandfleaCSC
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To: Cicero
<Chuckle... let's put it this way... there's no touchdown and no dance in the end zone from this fellow and no wonder the coach was uttering some choice profanities. Its not every day a member of your team fouls out.
11 posted on 12/05/2002 8:04:42 PM PST by goldstategop
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To: NorCoGOP
What an IDIOT! You're carrying 87 pounds of weed and you speed???
12 posted on 12/05/2002 8:17:36 PM PST by Axenolith
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To: NorCoGOP
Missing a block makes him a disgace to his family, but being a pothead doen not. Nice priorites there, Coach!/sarcasm off
13 posted on 12/05/2002 8:19:56 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: commish
What a way to wreck a career. Sad.

This kid , 22, is gonna do more time then BAM and old Cowboy LB Henderson.
14 posted on 12/05/2002 8:23:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
Wanna bet? I'll wager a dollar he get's no more than community service.
15 posted on 12/05/2002 8:57:42 PM PST by TheHound
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To: NorCoGOP
87 lbs. for Cheech & Chong would only be a misdomeanor..personal use, you know.

A speeding violation is not probable cause for a vehicle search....unless the yahoo gave the cop an ok after being asked.
Should be interesting to find out more about this.
16 posted on 12/05/2002 9:33:56 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: Cicero
Yeah, I was going to say "and to think, the coach called him a disgrace to his family...".
17 posted on 12/05/2002 10:13:41 PM PST by ApesForEvolution
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To: Axenolith
No doubt. Cruise control at the legal limit would have been the best choice. Lots of really bad choices made here, the least of which was not staying under the speed limit.
18 posted on 12/05/2002 10:15:32 PM PST by ApesForEvolution
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To: NorCoGOP
An 87 lb. blunt. Who wudda thunk it?
19 posted on 12/05/2002 10:21:09 PM PST by rdb3
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To: NorCoGOP
"a disgrace to his family"

The coach is vindicated.

20 posted on 12/05/2002 10:21:49 PM PST by TopQuark
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To: NorCoGOP
He just wanted to throw a party for the whole team.
21 posted on 12/05/2002 10:32:39 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: Axenolith
"What an IDIOT! You're carrying 87 pounds of weed and you speed???"

What's more idiotic is that he was pulled over at 9:00 in the morning. Who is in a hurry to get anywhere at a quarter past nine? Should have had a radar detector. I don't leave home without it.

22 posted on 12/05/2002 10:45:34 PM PST by tuna_battle
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To: HiTech RedNeck
He might be able to have the party AFTER he graduates from his "new" alma mater in Joliet,Ill.

(He should "graduate" in 6-10 years.....)

23 posted on 12/05/2002 10:47:53 PM PST by musicman
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To: TopQuark
"a disgrace to his family" The coach is vindicated.

Don't you see? his life of crime started after his coach called him a disgrace. His feelings were soooo badly hurt, what else do you expect him to do? Try harder? Nah! Sell pot, that's the only logical solution!!! He should be cleared of all charges, and the state should pay for counseling!!! </vomit-inducing sarcasm>

24 posted on 12/05/2002 10:55:17 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: SandfleaCSC
87 pounds of pot?

Bet that much crosses the border every couple minutes, 24 hours a day.

25 posted on 12/05/2002 11:07:31 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf
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To: NorCoGOP
A business major?

When he said Nate Newton was his hero, who knew??
26 posted on 12/06/2002 2:23:41 AM PST by Tall_Texan
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To: Captainpaintball
You are right: It's our fault. This poor kid did not stand a chance: he only attended college and was popular, even famous.
27 posted on 12/06/2002 5:37:27 AM PST by TopQuark
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To: rdb3
An 87 lb. blunt. Who wudda thunk it?
28 posted on 12/06/2002 6:16:39 AM PST by general_re
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