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Iverson arrested for drug and firearms possession

August 4, 1997 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Allen Iverson, the flashy Philadelphia 76ers point guard who was named NBA Rookie of the Year last season, has been arrested and charged with drug and firearms possession.

Iverson was a passenger in a car that was stopped at 1:27 a.m. EDT Sunday for speeding on Interstate 64 about 20 miles east of Richmond, state police spokeswoman Mary Evans said. The car was going 93 mph in a 65 mph zone.

``When the trooper stopped (the car) he smelled marijuana, and that’s why he asked them to get out,″ she said.

The trooper found a .45-caliber pistol on the floor mat in front of Iverson’s seat during a search. Iverson told the trooper it was his gun.

Iverson was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of firearms with a controlled substance.

Evans said the firearms charge would be dropped because it only applies if a pound or more of marijuana is found with the weapon. She said one marijuana cigarette was found under the front seat where Iverson was sitting and another in the back of the car.

Iverson owns the car but was not driving, according to police.

The driver, Maduro Earl Hill, 32, of Hampton, was charged with reckless driving. Another passenger, Damon D. Stewart, 24, also of Hampton, was charged with possession of marijuana.

Iverson and Stewart were arrested and taken to New Kent County jail. Iverson’s sister posted Iverson’s $2,000 bond and Iverson’s uncle posted Stewart’s $1,000 bond, Evans said.

The men are due in court Aug. 12. If convicted, they face up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Iverson, who owns a home in Hampton, close to his boyhood home of Newport News, has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for comment.

Iverson was the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick in 1996. He averaged 23.5 points last season, sixth in the league.

Dave Coskey, 76ers vice president of marketing and communications, said the team would not comment until they had spoken with Iverson.

``If Allen broke the law, he won’t be given any special treatment,″ Coskey said.

The NBA said it did not want to comment at this stage of the legal process.

The arrest is not Iverson’s first brush with the law.

Iverson was a standout basketball and football player at Bethel High School in Hampton. At age 17 he was involved in a bowling alley brawl between rival groups of black and white high school students.

Convicted on rioting charges in 1993, Iverson was given a five-year sentence. He served four months before former Gov. Douglas Wilder interceded, granting clemency, and the conviction was subsequently overturned.

Iverson played for two years at Georgetown before turning pro.

He was involved in a fight with teammate Jerry Stackhouse during his rookie season and was criticized for his admission that he carries a gun.