Two former members of the Kent State University Golden Flashes football team are in the Portage County Jail, charged with felony counts of possessing marijuana, after allegedly receiving a 53-pound shipment of the drug at a Brimfield residence.
Shawn C. Thompson, 23, of 4831 Sunnybrook Road, Brimfield, and Wayne D. Stevenson, 22, of Akron, were arrested at the Sunnybrook Road residence Thursday after undercover drug agents confiscated the narcotics, which are worth about $85,000, according to Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley. Both are KSU seniors.
Thompson remained in the Portage County Jail Friday night in lieu of posting a $100,000 cash bond, and Stevenson remained there in lieu of posting a $50,000 cash bond. The pair were arraigned Friday in Portage County Municipal Court when bonds were set.
Agents from the sheriff's Intelligence Unit, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the Akron City Police Department converged on the residence and discovered the drugs, according to Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley.
"They had powdered it with soap to try to kill the smell so if we tried to detect it with drug dogs it wouldn't smell," Kaley said, adding that his office had conducted several undercover drug buys at the home.
He said Stevenson and Thompson, who did not know they were going to be arrested, complained that the undercover agents were late Thursday when they arrived to make a final drug transaction with the men.
Thompson and Stevenson are no longer eligible to play on the KSU football team because of their status as seniors.
Laing Kennedy, KSU director of athletics, said the arrests are being looked into and confirmed that the pair are not on the team's current roster of players.
"If due process determines they are guilty, our next step would be to look at their (financial aid) scholarship, and in all likelihood they would lose that as well," he said.
Thompson is a graduate of Euclid High School, where he earned letters in football, wrestling and track. He played on the defensive and offensive lines during his football career. At KSU, he was a starting player in the defensive tackle position and was considered an excellent run defender.
Stevenson is a graduate of East High School in Akron where he earned four letters in football and one in basketball. At KSU, he played linebacker and on special teams.
Staff writer Allen Moff contributed to this report.