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Babineaux says he's not guilty


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Falcons' Jonathan Babineaux facing drug charges

By Rhonda Cook

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana during a routine traffic stop Thursday night.

Babineaux, 28, was released from the Gwinnett County jail shortly after 5 a.m. Friday after paying a $8,300 bond, according to jail records.

"Unfortunately, since it is a legal matter, I will not be able to comment further at this time, but my family and I have faith that you will see, I'm not guilty of these charges. I also want to thank my family, friends, the Atlanta Falcons, my teammates and the fans for their continued support,” Babineaux said in a press release issued Friday night.

The team did not immediately say what disciplinary action, if any, it would take against Babineaux, or if he'd play in the Falcons' game Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Babineaux was with another man, 25-year-old Aaron Robinson of Minneapolis, who also was arrested. Robinson was charged with possession of marijuana, a felony.

Gwinnett police originally stated both men would be charged with intent to distribute, but this afternoon released a statement clarifying the charges. Babineaux and Robinson were charged with possessing more than an ounce of marijuana, but not with intent to distribute. The charges are still felonies.

A spokesman said a discrepancy in the arresting officer's report and jail paperwork was responsible for the confusion.

Babineaux and Robinson were stopped around 10:45 p.m. Thursday as they drove north on I-85 in Babineaux's 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT.

"It's cut and dry," Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli told the AJC. "He was stopped for a traffic violation."

Schiralli said the officer searched the SUV because he smelled marijuana. The officer found three bags containing a total of 40 grams of marijuana, Schiralli said.

In addition to the possession charges, Babineaux is charged with having no tag light and driving without a license and with an expired tag. He also was charged with tinting his car windows too much.

The Falcons drafted Babineaux in the second round out of Iowa in 2005.

He signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension with the team in November 2008.

Babineaux has been arrested before in Gwinnett County. In 2007, he was charged with killing his girlfriend's dog, a pit bull-mix , but the animal cruelty case was dismissed nine months later.

Investigators had verified that the dog had a history of unprovoked attacks and that a dog trainer had told Babineaux to spin the dog around by swinging the leash when it became aggressive, District Attorney Danny Porter said when he dropped the charge.

An autopsy ruled the dog, Kilo, died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Babineaux has denied intentionally hurting the dog. His lawyer said the dog was behaving aggressively that night, and Babineaux was trying to protect himself and his daughter, Jonea, who was 5 months old at the time.

Return to ajc.com for updates on this story.

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This is just another prime example of an athlete with WAAAAAAAYYYY too much money, and not enough SENSE to go with it.

And what about the idea that some folks had, that we were going to get rid of all the "thugs", and only go for "quality" players??? I mean, it's not like this is Babineaux's first encounter with Gwinnette Police...yet, we just signed him to something like a 5 year - 25 million dollar contract. What's up with that, TD???

And just think about this....if Babs wasn't a "pot-head", he might have 10 sacks this year, instead of 5.

Is this team going to continue to "self-destruct" right before our eyes??? :(

Edited by FalconJim
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Gwinnet Police Dept Presser:

Chief of Police: First we would like to apologize for the embarrassment we have caused Mr Babineaux, his family, Arthur Blank, and the Atlanta Falcons organization. We made a grievous error in arresting this upstanding citizen and role model throughout Georgia. The officers who arrested Mr Babineaux have been put on a 10 day paid suspension for racial profiling, planting marijuana, and tinting Mr. Babineaux's windows. This is a sad day for our department. In other news, we would like to announce that every member of our force will be driving brand new 2009 Chevy Camaro's. We also will be breaking ground on a new police station starting Monday morning at 9 A.M.

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It's entirely possible that the weed belonged to Robinson. If so, and he wouldn't take responsibility, then the cops had no choice but to charge them both. So it is possible that Babs is not guilty of the only charge here that matters. A piss test could shed some light and if he passes then I expect people to rethink thier stance.

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The only possibility I could see where he is "not guilty" is if there was somebody else in the car whose weed it was. They have a policy now if they find weed in a car they charge everyone in the car with possession, even if they didn't know it was there. One of my friends got pulled over (Gwinnett Police as a matter of fact) and they found weed on one of the passengers and charged my friend, who was driving, with possession along with the passenger. So if that's the case, you can fight that in court and win if you have the money to get a good enough lawyer to do so.

That said, I'm sure he's guilty as ****. But I would at least like him to deny it until the end of the season...

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If this was his first and only offence I would maybe give him the benefit of the doubt, but he also is an animal abuser, which i know is not a big deal to all you tuggz out there. I say get rid of this overrated piece of trash and have someone who wants to play. Marijuanna I see as harmless for the most part, but it is a big deal for the NFL and he knows to stay away from it if he wants his job which cleary he shows that HE DOESNT. Drop him like yesterdays trash TD. You can draft 7rd round tackles that are better than him.

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Gwinnet Police Dept Presser:

Chief of Police: First we would like to apologize for the embarrassment we have caused Mr Babineaux, his family, Arthur Blank, and the Atlanta Falcons organization. We made a grievous error in arresting this upstanding citizen and role model throughout Georgia. The officers who arrested Mr Babineaux have been put on a 10 day paid suspension for racial profiling, planting marijuana, and tinting Mr. Babineaux's windows. This is a sad day for our department. In other news, we would like to announce that every member of our force will be driving brand new 2009 Chevy Camaro's. We also will be breaking ground on a new police station starting Monday morning at 9 A.M.

You shoulda been a comedian. Great post, so funny.

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If this was his first and only offence I would maybe give him the benefit of the doubt, but he also is an animal abuser, which i know is not a big deal to all you tuggz out there. I say get rid of this overrated piece of trash and have someone who wants to play. Marijuanna I see as harmless for the most part, but it is a big deal for the NFL and he knows to stay away from it if he wants his job which cleary he shows that HE DOESNT. Drop him like yesterdays trash TD. You can draft 7rd round tackles that are better than him.

What is a tuggz? Maybe I should know, but I don't. Who is tuggz?

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of course he would say he's not guilty....but how is he not???

I don't know all of the details but if you get pulled over and the cops search the car and illegal contraband is found in the vehicle, more times than not everyone in the vehicle is charged. Usually, the officer will ask all of the occupants in the vehicle who do the drugs belong to. If one person will step up to the plate and say "The drugs are mine and the others had no idea they were in the car" then that may lead to only that one person being charged. That rarely happens though. So if no one will fess up and claim the drugs, the entire vehicle gets charged.

JB could be telling the truth. I am sure that quantity of drugs was concealed in a bag of some sort like a duffel or backpack and not just laying around on the seat or floorboard. So if the weed was in such a bag and the other guy brought the bag in the vehicle with him, it is possible that JB didn't know. If that is the case, the State will have to prove that JB had knowledge of the presense of the drugs. If they are not physically on your person, that is a "constructive possession" case and knowledge of the presense is the key.

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i just think the other guy was the one carrying the weed .... and babineux and overrated ? lmao hes our best d lineman this year and he does good year in and year out so i support the guy and hope he doesnt get suspended for these last games because we need him badly .

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With all that money, I guess he can't afford that yearly tag fee and a light!

That's the part that really gets me. How can you be that stupid. Driving without a license & tag not renewed. I mean, you know you've got to be really stupid to have the drugs in the first place, but then advertise yourself to the cops by not having a tag light AND an expired tag. That's just begging to be pulled over and telling them you are a moron.

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