Updated April 3, 2012 @ 9:54 p.m. ET
Lions RB Mikel Leshoure's arrest March 12, which became public this week, was actually his second arrest in a one-month period on marijuana charges, the Detroit Free Press is reporting.
In the second incident, Leshoure was a passenger in a Mitsubishi SUV that was pulled over by police for, according to the police report, "failing to signal lane change and following too close behind a semi" on I-94 in Bridgman, Mich., on March 12. When the arresting officer approached, he noticed that Leshoure was chewing what appeared to be marijuana, according to the Baroda-Lake Township Police report. Leshoure admitted to smoking marijuana before the SUV was stopped by police, according to the report.
Baroda-Lake Township Police chief Gary Ruhl said that Leshoure had been stopped Feb. 18 by Benton Township Police in Berrien County for driving 92 mph in a 70-mph zone on I-94. When the officer on the scene asked for and received permission from Leshoure to search his BMW, he found a gram of marijuana in a backpack, according to the police report. After being cited for possession of marijuana and speeding, Leshoure appeared in court March 1 and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of use of marijuana and paid $485 in fines.
Because of the first arrest, Leshoure has now been charged with marijuana possession/second offense, a felony punishable by up to two years in prison, Ruhl said. He had been scheduled for arraignment yesterday, but he failed to appear. Ruhl said he received a phone call from Lions director of security Elton Moore late Monday afternoon, indicating that Leshoure believed the arraignment had been adjourned until Wednesday.
The Lions released a statement, saying, "We are aware of the report. We are gathering more information and have no further comment at this time."
Leshoure, a second-round pick in 2011, missed all of his rookie campaign after tearing the Achilles tendon in his left foot in training camp. He is expected to compete with Jahvid Best for the first-string job in training camp.
The way we see it
These incidents could make Leshoure subject to NFL discipline under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, depending upon how the second case is resolved. The Lions had hoped Leshoure would be a key contributor in 2011 before his Achilles injury, and if healthy, he could be a nice complement to Best — assuming Best, who has a history of concussions, is cleared to return to the field.
At the very least, this latest incident is an unwanted distraction for Leshoure and the Lions.