Sacramento Kings power forward Zach Randolph was arrested Wednesday night in Los Angeles and charged with a felony, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department report. Multiple media reports indicate the former All-Star was brought in on suspicion of marijuana possession with intent to sell.
TMZ Sports first reported Thursday morning that Los Angeles police officers had been “called to the Nickerson Gardens area in L.A. around 10 PM” to investigate a disturbance near a housing project. When they arrived, “cops found a large crowd of people smoking, playing loud music and blocking the roadway.” Randolph, 36, was one of three people arrested. After the arrests, police told Sacramento CBS affiliate KOVR-TV, “the crowd got unruly and vandalized several police cars — breaking windows and doing other damage.”
Voters in California passed a ballot initiative last November to legalize possession of marijuana for recreational use. That provision, however, only cleared adults over age 21 to “transport up to an ounce of marijuana for non-medical purposes.” Individual possession of larger amounts — and possession without a license to sell or transport weed as a recognized business — can still carry the criminal penalty that Randolph now faces: a felony charge of possession with intent to sell.
Randolph’s bond was set at $20,000, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He posted just before 8 a.m. local time on Thursday morning and was released. (He did not seem particularly concerned about the situation.) His initial court date is set for Aug. 31, according to the booking document.
Randolph has had multiple run-ins with the law over the course of his 16-year NBA career, with a couple of the most notable involving marijuana. In 2010, he was implicated as a “major marijuana supplier in Indianapolis” after a longtime friend was “arrested with a cooler full of marijuana while driving Randolph’s car.” One year later, a “small drug deal went sour” at the former Portland Trail Blazers big man’s home in Oregon, resulting in the beating of a suspected dealer with pool cues and a subsequent tense search of Randolph’s mansion during which Randolph reportedly “ignored a deputy sheriff’s order until the deputy aimed his handgun at Randolph’s ‘center mass.'” Randolph never faced charges in either incident.
After eight seasons in Memphis during which he became a two-time All-Star and one of the most celebrated figures in the history of the Grizzlies franchise, Randolph last month signed a two-year, $24 million contract to head west and join former Grizz coach Dave Joerger on the Kings. He’s expected to provide a veteran mentoring presence to young big men Willie Cauley-Stein, Georgios Papagiannis, Skal Labissiere and Harry Giles. Depending on how this case wends its way toward resolution in the legal system, though, Randolph could face some sort of discipline from the league office in the year to come.
Not long after Randolph’s release, the Kings released a brief statement on the matter:
The Kings on Zach Randolph:
”We are aware of the situation. We have no further comment at this time.”
— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) August 10, 2017
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