Marinovich pleads not guilty after another drug arrest

Updated: August 29, 2007, 4:23 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Todd Marinovich, the former professional quarterback whose career ended in a mire of drug abuse, is facing a possible prison term after a weekend arrest in Orange County.

Marinovich, 38, remained jailed Wednesday on no-bail warrants for probation violation pending a Sept. 6 pretrial hearing.

Police said Marinovich was skateboarding in a prohibited area near the Newport Pier boardwalk shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday and ran away when officers tried to stop him. He was found hiding in a carport about six blocks away.

Marinovich had a guitar case, and inside officers found about a gram of powdered methamphetamine, a metal spoon and a hypodermic needle, Sgt. Evan Sailor said.

Marinovich was arrested and pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of unauthorized possession of a hypodermic and resisting a police officer.

Marinovich was a star quarterback at Southern California in 1991 and was a first-round draft choice of the then-Los Angeles Raiders. He played with them for two seasons before being released because of an acknowledged drug problem.

Marinovich later played football in Canada and for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, leaving that team in 2001 after being arrested on suspicion of heroin possession.

In Orange County, Marinovich has had at least nine previous court cases, most of them involving drug-related crimes, and has spent a total of several months in jail after pleading guilty or no contest to various crimes.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press