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Heavyweight champ Wilder arrested in Alabama on marijuana charge
June 15, 2017 / 10:31 PM / 6 months ago

Heavyweight champ Wilder arrested in Alabama on marijuana charge

REUTERS - Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder has been arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession, Tuscaloosa police said on Thursday.

American boxer Deontay Wilder exits the federal courthouse in Manhattan, New York U.S., February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Nate Raymond/Files

After Wilder was pulled over on Wednesday for having windows tinted beyond the legal limit, officers smelled marijuana coming from inside his Cadillac Escalade, they said.

“Officers obtained verbal consent to search the vehicle and recovered a misdemeanour amount of marijuana from the console,” the Tuscaloosa Police Department said in a statement.

The 31-year-old American, who last fought in February when he beat Gerald Washington with a fifth-round knockout to retain his WBC heavyweight title, was released on bond for $1,000.

Deontay Wilder celebrates after knocking out Artur Szpilka in the ninth round of their heavyweight title boxing fight at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., January 16, 2017. Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports/Files

Wilder’s lawyer, Paul Patterson, said in a phone interview that the marijuana did not belong to Wilder.

He said Wilder was out of state for several days and returned home from Georgia in his Rolls Royce before switching to his Cadillac Escalade to run some errands.

Wilder has a large fleet of vehicles that associates and friends can access and prefers the Escalade for errands because the tinted windows offer more privacy, Patterson said.

“Mr. Wilder adamantly denies this is his marijuana and he looks forward to clearing his good name,” the attorney added.

“He has never been charged with any type of drug offence. He takes this seriously, he understands he is a role model for the community and state and nation and we are investigating who had access to his vehicle while he was out of state,” Patterson said.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Peter Cooney

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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