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Baseball Hall of Famer Cepeda arrested on suspicion of drug possession

Baseball Hall of Famer Cepeda arrested on suspicion of drug possession

Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda was arrested after a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over for speeding and discovered drugs in the car.
The former San Francisco Giants star, who works for the team as a community liaison and speaks to at-risk children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, was stopped at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday after his car was clocked going 83 mph (134 kph) in a 65 mph (105 kph) zone on Interstate 80 in Cordelia, northeast of San Francisco, the CHP said.
While approaching the vehicle, "the officer smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the car," CHP Sgt. Wulf Corrington said on Wednesday.
The CHP officer arrested Cepeda after finding a "usable" amount of a white-powder substance that likely was methamphetamine or cocaine, Corrington said. The officer also found marijuana and a syringe, he added.
The 69-year-old Cepeda was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance, along with possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe and possession of marijuana, both misdemeanor charges.
"The arresting officer did not see visible signs of intoxication or being under the influence," Corrington said.
Ted Cassman, an attorney representing Cepeda, said the former slugger "does not use, and was not under the influence of, any illegal substance."
"This is an unfortunate misunderstanding, and we intend to meet promptly with the authorities to explain that Orlando was not responsible for any illegal substance in the car."
Cassman said the marijuana was medical marijuana used by a family member who has diabetes. Asked about the white powder, Cassman said he had no specific comment.
Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said neither the team nor Cepeda would have an immediate comment about his arrest.
Cepeda, alone at the time of the arrest, was booked and released on $12,600 (euro9,300) from the Solano County Jail on Tuesday, Corrington said.
Cepeda has not yet been charged.
After his playing career ended, Cepeda was convicted in 1976 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, of smuggling marijuana and sentenced to five years in prison.
That conviction was probably one reason the first baseman was not elected to the U.S. Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Cepeda eventually was elected by the Veterans Committee in 1999.
During his 17 big league seasons, the seven-time All-Star played in three World Series. Known as "Baby Bull" and "Cha-Cha," Cepeda was the 1958 National League Rookie of the Year with San Francisco and the NL MVP in 1967 with St. Louis. In 1961, he led the National League with 46 home runs and 142 RBIs.


Updated : 2021-05-09 16:54 GMT+08:00