Patrick Chung, a key component of the New England Patriots’ defense in the past decade, was indicted by a New Hampshire grand jury on a felony cocaine-possession charge Aug. 8, court documents show. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge in Belknap County Superior Court on Wednesday.
The incident occurred June 25 in Meredith, N.H., according to court documents. Public records indicate that Chung owns a home on Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, roughly 125 miles north of Patriots team headquarters in Foxborough, Mass.
A Class B cocaine-possession felony in New Hampshire carries a possible prison term of seven years. The “Class B” indicates it’s a first offense.
According to the Laconia Daily Sun, an indictment in New Hampshire is not an indication of guilt but rather a finding by a grand jury that enough evidence of a crime exists to bring a case to trial. During his arraignment hearing, Chung will be told of the charge against him and asked to enter a plea (though an attorney can ask to appear on his or her client’s behalf). If his case goes to trial, court documents have targeted March for jury selection, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. It’s unlikely Chung will face NFL sanctions until his legal situation is resolved.
In a statement, the Patriots said they were aware of the reports involving Chung but would not “be commenting while his judicial proceedings take place.” Chung was not spotted at Patriots practice Wednesday, according to multiple reports (New England hosts Carolina in a preseason game Thursday night). He has yet to play in the preseason after breaking his arm in Super Bowl LIII and then undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, though he has been a regular practice participant.
Chung, a 32-year-old safety, has played nine of his 10 NFL seasons with the Patriots and has 11 career interceptions. He has started 70 of 80 possible regular season games over the past five seasons.
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