DA will not pursue drug charges against BU receiver

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Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 6:55 pm

The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue misdemeanor marijuana possession charges against Baylor University wide receiver Robbie Rhodes.

Rhodes was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence May 2 after a routine traffic stop in Waco.

Waco attorney Jonathan Sibley said Baylor has been drug-testing Rhodes for about seven months and he never tested positive for drug use.

Sibley said he showed those test results to the DA’s office, including a test administered two days before Rhodes was arrested, and convinced them he was not guilty. Rhodes also tested negative after his arrest, Sibley said.

“Robbie didn’t have anything to do with it,” Sibley said. “Baylor runs a clean program, and it helps that they have been testing Robbie because that helped us present evidence to the district attorney to convince them that he had no connection to this drug activity that they accused him of and arrested him for.”

Sibley said he appreciates how District Attorney Abel Reyna handled the case.

“I think when they think that somebody has done something wrong, they are aggressive in prosecuting that individual,” Sibley said. “In this case, they were willing to look at the evidence we provided to them and they made the right decision in not charging him with the drug activity.”

Reyna confirmed that, saying that after his office got the initial report from Waco PD about the charges, “we received additional, uncontroverted evidence supporting Mr. Rhodes’ claim that he had no knowledge of the drugs located in the vehicle he was operating.”

Baylor athletics officials had no comment on the DA’s decision.

On May 2, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said Rhodes was pulled over after he didn’t signal a lane change at South 18th Street and Clay Avenue.

The officer smelled marijuana when he approached Rhodes’ car, Swanton said, and found 5.8 grams of marijuana in a baggie under the front seat.

Swanton said the tampering charge was added because Rhodes allegedly tried to hide the drugs.

According to jail records, Rhodes previously was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, which carried a $448 fine, but has no other arrest history in McLennan County.

Rhodes is expected to be one of Baylor’s top receivers as a sophomore this fall after making 10 catches for 157 yards during an injury-plagued freshman season.

He was one of Baylor’s top recruits in the 2013 class out of Fort Worth Southwest High School.

As a high school senior in 2012, he caught 32 passes for 945 yards and 16 touchdowns and also rushed for 296 yards and six scores.

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