Bama linebacker Johns charged with selling cocaine, possessing Ecstasy

Updated: June 24, 2008, 6:29 PM ET
By Chris Low | ESPN.com

Alabama's already thin linebacker corps took another hit Tuesday when senior Jimmy Johns was dismissed from the team following his arrest on multiple drug charges.

[+] EnlargeJimmy Johns
AP Photo/Rob CarrJimmy Johns, the 10th Alabama football player arrested within the past year, is jailed in Tuscaloosa on $120,000 bond.

Johns, who was moved from running back to linebacker this spring, was arrested Tuesday morning in Tuscaloosa and charged with five felony counts of distributing cocaine.

A sixth charge of possession was also tacked on after police officers searched his off-campus residence and found cocaine and Ecstasy pills, according to Tuscaloosa Police Department Capt. Jeff Snyder, who heads up the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.

It didn't take Alabama coach Nick Saban long to react; he dismissed Johns immediately.

"This type of behavior obviously will not be tolerated, and he is no longer a part of our program," Saban said in a statement.

Johns is the 10th Alabama football player arrested within the last year.

Snyder said police received information about two months ago that Johns was involved in the selling of drugs.

"Once we were able to get our investigation in place, we were able to buy from him five different times over the last week and a half and were then able to obtain a search warrant for his residence," Snyder said.

On two occasions police bought cocaine from Johns on the Alabama campus and, on one of the five times investigators bought cocaine from Johns, they bought as much as seven grams of the drug, according to police.

Johns is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on $120,000 bond -- $20,000 for each charge.

Snyder said Johns was the only member of the Crimson Tide football program who was a part of the investigation.

"In fact, over the course of our investigation, he indicated that he tried his best not to let anyone else on the team know that he was selling," Snyder said. "As our investigation goes right now, nobody else in the football program is involved."

The Crimson Tide were already without linebacker Prince Hall this spring after Hall was suspended by Saban for disciplinary reasons. Saban said recently, however, that the door was open for Hall to rejoin the team if he met all of the coach's expectations.

Linebacker Ezekiel Knight also remains sidelined because of a heart ailment, and there's concern that he might not be able to play again.

Depending on what happens with Hall, sophomore Rolando McClain is the lone returning linebacker with extensive experience. McClain, a freshman All-America selection last season, manned one of the other two inside spots in the Tide's 3-4 defense this spring along with Johns.

The 6-foot-2, 233-pound Johns was No. 2 on the Tide in rushing in both of his first two years, but he saw reduced playing time last season after missing part of spring practice for academic reasons.

Saban moved Johns to linebacker before last season's Independence Bowl game, and he was expected to contribute to a defense already short on experience.

Chris Low covers college football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Chris Low | email

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