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Power coach copes with wife's imprisonment

| Thursday, March 24, 2011

While Chris Siegfried remains in Pittsburgh coaching the Power of the Arena Football League, his wife has been in jail for the past six weeks on drug charges in Polk County, Fla.

Tammi Siegfried, 35, of Windermere, Fla., owner of a tobacco store chain called Low Ball Louie's, was arrested Feb. 9 by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on nine counts each of delivery of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Six of her employees also were arrested.

That arrest followed another on Nov. 16 in which Tammi Siegfried was charged was with delivery of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to deliver, and possession and sale of an imitation controlled substance. She is being held without bond in the Polk County Jail and awaits a status hearing April 29, said Polk County Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Wood.

Chris Siegfried has not been charged and is not connected to the investigation, Wood said.

Chris Siegfried on Wednesday had no comment, calling it "a personal, private matter." He is caring for the couple's son and daughter, ages 11 and 9, respectively, who are "doing fine."

Siegfried said outside factors do not affect how he does his job.

"I am paid to be the coach of the Pittsburgh Power, and there is nothing that is going to mentally, emotionally, physically affect what I do," he said. "This is my job, and I am good at my job. My family life is personal, and it is going to stay that way."

He added, "My wife is more beautiful now than I have ever seen her. I love her more than I ever have. She is an incredible woman."

Power co-owner Matt Shaner said Chris Siegfried has the team's full support.

"It's pretty painful for him," Shaner said. "It is certainly hard on our football team.

"Coach Siegfried hasn't been charged with any crime. We look at this as a personal family matter. He will remain our coach. We support him. It is something he is dealing with with his wife."

The charges against Tammi Siegfried are third-degree felonies, according to affidavits. Some of the November charges stem from what the sheriff's office described as the sale and distribution of synthetic marijuana products known as K2 and Spice.

After that arrest, Tammi Siegfried posted a $6,000 bond after spending one day in jail.

Her attorney, David Parry of Tampa, Fla., did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The arrests of Tammi Siegfried and six of her employees stem from a crackdown by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on the sale and distribution of K2.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced Oct. 26 that his office and the Haines City, Fla., police department were working with the Florida State Attorney's Office and the 10th Judicial Court to prosecute those selling or possessing K2.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that so-called "fake marijuana" last year spurred 1,170 calls to centers nationwide after 2,882 in 2010.

Edward P. Krenzelok, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center, said the use of synthetic marijuana can produce "more profound and unpredictable effects than (chemicals) found in natural marijuana.

"There is more of a psychoactive component and its use is often associated with erratic behavior. We have had a few, but not many cases reported to the Pittsburgh Poison Center."

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