Cavaliers' Delonte West indicted on six weapons offenses

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 3, 2009; 4:01 PM

A Prince George's County grand jury indicted Delonte West, a Washington area native who plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, on six weapons offenses Tuesday in a September incident in which he was arrested on the Capital Beltway with three loaded guns and an 8 1/2-inch bowie knife, authorities said.

In addition to the weapons offenses -- each of which is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of three years in prison -- the grand jury also indicted West, 26, on one count each of reckless driving and negligent driving.

Prince George's prosecutors routinely seek jail time for people convicted of weapons charges, even first-time offenders. State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said West's case will be handled no differently than any other.

The Cavs are scheduled to play the Washington Wizards tonight in Cleveland.

Tad Carper, a Cavaliers spokesman, said team officials could not comment because they had yet to see the charges against West. The team had not heard from NBA officials regarding charges, Carper said. Phone calls to NBA headquarters were not answered, and West's attorney could not be reached for comment.

On Saturday, West, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard, played for the first time this season, in the Cavaliers' fourth game. West scored 13 points as the Cavs defeated the Charlotte Bobcats.

According to the Associated Press, West took two leaves of absence during the Cavs' training camp and is being treated for bipolar disorder. Last week, West's wife filed a domestic violence report against him, the AP reported.

The weapons charges stem from a Sept. 17 incident in which West was traveling north on the Beltway about 10 p.m. in a three-wheeled motorcycle called a Can-Am Spyder when he allegedly cut off a county police officer near Route 214.

The officer pulled West over for making an unsafe lane change, and as the officer approached the motorcycle, West told him he had a handgun in his waistband.

The officer called for backup and searched West and his vehicle.

Three guns were found -- a 9mm Beretta in West's waistband, a Ruger .357 Magnum strapped to his leg, and a 12-gauge shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back, authorities said.

West also had additional shotgun shells in a backpack, authorities said.

It is not clear why West was so heavily armed. Shortly after the arrest, West's father, Dmitri West, said in an interview that his son was "looking behind his back and protecting himself."

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