Local News

Curry Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges

Posted April 5, 2004

— University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill basketball recruit JamesOn Curry has pleaded guilty to charges of selling and delivering marijuana to an undercover officer for the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.

Curry entered his pleas Monday in Alamance County Superior Court. Judge Kenneth Titus gave Curry a suspended sentence of five to six months on each charge and placed him on 36 months probation. Curry also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

Curry's scholarship status still was unknown late Monday afternoon. In an interview with Gregg Doyel of

SportsLine.com,

UNC coach Roy Williams said he had decided Curry's fate but did not want to say anything until he had a chance to meet with the player's family.

"I've made a decision, but that's all I can say right now," Williams told Doyel in the lobby of a hotel in San Antonio, Texas, where Williams was attending the Final Four.

Curry's case was one of more than 50 similar cases that resulted from an undercover operation conducted in the high schools of Alamance County.

He also was ordered to be evaluated by the local mental-health agency for any drug related issues, and to complete any recommended drug treatment programs. He was ordered to pay $600 restitution for laboratory costs to the State Bureau of Investigation and $95 to the Alamance County Sheriff's Office for purchase money.

UNC Athletics Director Dick Baddour was not available for comment Monday. The university's sports information department said it had nothing new to report about Curry's case.

UNC student-athletes convicted of a felony are ineligible to compete for the Tar Heels, according to UNC athletic department policy. There is no such rule that extends to recruits.

Becky Schoffner, Director of Community Services at Alamance-Burlington Schools, said that federal law prohibited her from discussing any disciplinary actions that may or may not be taken against a student.

Schoffner told WRAL that a large number of students who were implicated in the undercover operation are enrolled in a special alternative evening program at Sellars-Gunn Alternative Educational Center. She added that if they complete the required courses, they will graduate with the group at Sellars-Gunn.

She would not say if Curry was one of those students.

Sellars-Gunn Principal James Pegues said Curry is not one of his students. He said the school system decided instead to place Curry in a special auxiliary program off-site at Ray Street.

In addition to the probation, suspended sentence and community service, Curry -- the state's all-time leading scorer in high-school basketball -- was ordered:

  • To submit at reasonable times to warrantless searches by a probation officer,
  • Not to use, possess or control any illegal drug or controlled substance unless prescribed by a physician,
  • To supply a breath, urine, or blood specimen for analysis of possible presence of prohibited drugs when instructed by his probation officer,
  • To stay at least 300 feet from Alamance-Burlington School System property until allowed by permission of the school system.
  • The first six months of his probation are subject to the rules and conditions of intensive probation.

    After his court appearance, Curry was taken for processing by a probation officer to begin his probationary sentence.

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