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Laurence Maroney arrested on weapons, drug charges

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  January 18, 2011 09:13 AM

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Maroney Arrested Football.jpgFormer New England Patriots running back Laurence Maroney was arrested in St. Louis Monday night on drugs and weapons allegations.

St. Louis police said five people in an Infiniti Q56 were arrested about 10:30 p.m. Monday night. Police declined to name the suspects but said all five are accused of possessing marijuana. Three, including a 25-year-old man, were accused of unlawful use of a weapon. Maroney, 25, is a native of suburban St. Louis. No one has been formally charged.

Maroney's publicist, Jane Higgins, said Tuesday that the Denver Broncos player did nothing wrong but confirmed that he was one of those arrested in the Infiniti on the weapons allegation. She denied Maroney was arrested for drugs.

"He holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon," Higgins said in a statement according to the Associated Press. "He was not arrested for any drugs nor was he involved in a high-speed chase. He was released without being charged with any offense and we do not anticipate he will be charged with any criminal offense."

Police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said one of the men had a valid concealed weapon permit but that state law prohibits possessing a gun while under the influence of drugs. She declined to elaborate.

Van Ross said the process of seeking charges could take up to a month.

Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said, "We're aware of the matter but have no additional comment at this time."

Van Ross said that officers saw three vehicles near Chaifetz Arena causing traffic to slow because the vehicles repeatedly stopped so occupants could talk to people on the street. Officers also suspected those in the vehicles were smoking marijuana.

Officers pulled over the Infiniti and a GMC Yukon; the third vehicle fled.

Van Ross said that inside the Infiniti officers found three weapons -- a .45-caliber handgun, a 9mm pistol and a .223 -caliber rifle -- along with a substance believed to be marijuana. Five of the six people in the Infiniti were arrested and released pending application of warrants, Van Ross said.

Five other people were in the Yukon. One of them, a 28-year-old man, was arrested for being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Maroney was drafted 21st overall by the Patriots out of Minnesota in 2006. He rushed for a career-best 835 yards in 2007. In 2009, Maroney set career highs with 194 carries and nine touchdowns. He was traded to the Broncos for a fourth-round draft pick in September after he was inactive for the 2010 season opener. Maroney rushed for only 74 yards in four games with the Broncos this season, averaging just 2.1 yards per carry.

Maroney was a standout at Normandy High School in St. Louis County, and has remained active in the St. Louis community during his NFL career. Recently, he has been helping victims of a New Year's Eve tornado that struck the area where he grew up. And last summer, he gave out 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to St. Louis students.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this update.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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