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Shepherd players jailed on drug charges

September 19, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two Shepherd University football players were in Eastern Regional Jail on Tuesday after police found 27.5 grams of marijuana in the car in which they were riding early Sunday and more than $1,800 in their possession, according to court and jail records.

Demetrius Brandon Weeden, 22, of Waldorf, Md., was arraigned by Berkeley County Magistrate Sandra L. Miller on charges of possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with the intent to deliver it and conspiracy to deliver the drug. Miller set a $35,000 cash-only bond for Weeden.

Ayowole Gabriel Ijelu, 22, of Germantown, Md., was arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana) and jailed on a $10,000 cash-only bond set by Miller. A third person who West Virginia State Police trooper J.R. Barker said was riding in the tan Mercury Grand Marquis he stopped was not identified in the officer's complaint in the case.

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Both Shepherd University seniors are listed as defensive backs, and Ijelu is the team's fifth-leading tackler. University spokesperson Valerie Owens verified they were players, but she could not comment on their status.

"We need to learn some more details on the whole thing ... Student Affairs and the athletic director will review the case and then make a decision about institutional action," said Owens, who was unaware of the incident until contacted Tuesday.

Football coach Monte Cater said he learned of the arrests Tuesday and only had talked to one parent and knew little about what had happened.

"I certainly want to find out," Cater said.

According to Barker's complaint, Barker stopped the men's car at about 1:45 a.m. Sunday in the McDonald's restaurant parking lot off Apple Harvest Drive in Martinsburg.

Barker said in his complaint that a rear brake light in the window of the car was "half burnt out" and he smelled burning marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The complaint alleges the men did not answer the trooper's questions about the marijuana odor, and Barker and Trooper N.K. Campbell had them get out of the car. A pat down-style search of Weeden led to the discovery of $1,226 in his front left pocket, and a similar search of Ijelu found $630 in his right front pocket, according to Barker's complaint.

Under the driver's seat of the vehicle where Weeden was seated, police found two bags of marijuana that weighed a combined 27.5 grams, according to Barker's complaint.

Ijelu, who was sitting in a back seat, told police the money he was found with was a college refund and thought he had about $200 in possession, according to Barker's complaint. Weeden didn't provide police with an explanation for how he acquired the money found in his possession, Barker noted.

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