Suspended OU corner faces felony pot charges

Updated: December 11, 2012

NORMAN, Okla. — As Oklahoma prepares to play Texas AM in the ATT Cotton Bowl, one of its players is facing felony drug charges.

Sooners cornerback Joe Powell has a preliminary conference hearing scheduled for Dec. 18 on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to Cleveland County district attorney Greg Mashburn.

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Norman police connected Powell to the drugs when they tracked a FedEx package from California containing four pounds of “high-grade” marijuana, according to Mashburn and a Cleveland County court affidavit.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops indicated through a spokesman that he was aware of Powell’s situation, and that Powell has been suspended from the team since October.

Mashburn said Powell had the package delivered to a friend’s house on Oct. 8 under the guise that the package contained “shoes.” When the package arrived, Powell had another friend go and pick it up and bring it to Powell’s apartment, where a police surveillance team was stationed.

Mashburn said that Powell, 21, was waiting outside his second-floor apartment, took the package from the friend and disappeared around the building.

Police caught up with Powell at the University Greens apartments, where he confessed that the package contained marijuana.

Powell, however, told police that he was only holding the package until an unknown person picked it up and that he was only getting “a little bit of money or marijuana” to give to “the girls” (the two friends) for bringing him the package.

Powell then took police to where the package was hidden back at his apartment complex between bushes and an air-conditioning unit. Mashburn said that Powell was “cooperative” with police.

Powell was formally charged Oct. 18 and posted bond of $1,000.

Powell, a junior out of Dallas, played receiver for the Sooners as a true freshman in 2010. He was switched to cornerback last year and was expected to be one of OU’s primary reserves at the position this season. But Powell suffered an injury during summer workouts and was passed by others on the depth chart.

Powell isn’t the only Sooner in trouble with the law. Two weekends ago, receiver Jalen Saunders and cornerback Cortez Johnson were booked on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession after their car was pulled over.

Jake Trotter | email

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