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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs’ Spence faces marijuana charges in Alabama


Published:   |   Updated: January 15, 2014 at 06:40 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Akeem Spence was arrested on a marijuana possession charge Tuesday after his car was stopped by an Alabama trooper, who reported clocking Spence’s vehicle traveling at 100 mph.

Jail records in Escambia County, Ala., show Spence was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon and released on $3,000 bond a few hours later.

Spence faces charges of unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphenalia, according to Escambia County Sheriff’s office. A court date of March 3 was set.

“We have been informed of the situation involving Akeem Spence and are working with local authorities to get additional information,” new Bucs coach Lovie Smith said in a statement.

“We will wait to get all the facts, but the initial reports are concerning and disappointing. I have spoken with Akeem and expressed my dissatisfaction with his involvement in this situation. As a member of the Buccaneers, he will be held to the high standards we have set for all members of this organization.”

Initially, Alabama state troopers pulled over Spence for driving 100 mph in a 65-mph zone.

When troopers approached Spence’s 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, they became suspicious that there were illegal drugs in the car. A K-9 unit brought to the scene detected marijuana, according to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.

Spence, who was alone in the car, was taken to the Escambia County Jail.

The traffic stop took place in Flomaton, Ala., a town near the Florida border. Flomaton is about 90 minutes northwest of the Panhandle city of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where Spence was born and raised.

He was an all-star football player, state weighlifting champion and track star at Fort Walton Beach High School.

Spence, 22, was a fourth-round pick out of Illinois in last year’s NFL draft. He started 14 games for Tampa Bay as a rookie, netting 19 tackles, 10 assists and one sack.

Spence’s arrest comes five days after running back Michael Hill was arrested in St. Joseph, Mo., on a disorderly conduct charge.

According to authorities, Hill’s arrest stems from an early Thursday morning fight at a bar in which he failed to obey an officer’s orders and resisted arrest. He was released after posting $500 bond.

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